Best fall foods on church street

Anika Chandra, Staff Writer

Warm light glinted off of Church Street’s red bricks as I strolled down this beloved cornerstone of Vienna with a loaf of fresh bread in one hand and custard in the other; the air had finally turned crisp, and a taste of fall was both literally and figuratively at my fingertips.

When I began writing this piece, I had to ask myself, what makes something autumnal? Is it vibrant colors such as red, orange, and yellow reminiscent of the leaf piles of our childhoods? Or could it be the transition from shorts and a tank top to jeans and a jacket that accompanies the changing weather? Fall is a time where you “carve pumpkins,” “make applesauce,” and “drink apple cider,” according to Piper Boatwright (’24). One notorious relic of fall here in the Vienna community is Church Street, a haven for local businesses that turns alive with color come autumn. 

Caffe Amouri, a perpetually buzzing local coffee shop, was the first business I visited on my hunt. The moment I entered, I was met with the smell of coffee and pastries. The vintage vinyl wall and mismatched wooden seats combined with exposed piping made the cafe feel homey and inviting. I opted for a seat next to the window where I enjoyed a warm pumpkin latte. Its fragrant blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove was distinct yet not overpowering. Caffe Amouri’s “Pumpkin Pie Latte” is the perfect slice of fall.

Sitting right next to Caffe Amouri is Kiln & Co, a neighborhood shop where people can paint ceramics in addition to enjoying fresh, homemade custard. Although the shop’s checkerboard flooring and red booths are nostalgic of the 60s, its natural wood, exposed brick, and maroon walls tie the retro design back to fall. I originally planned to sample the pumpkin custard advertised on the website. However, when I arrived, I was informed that it would be a couple weeks until this seasonal flavor became available. 

“It has a very rich, natural, pumpkin taste without being overpoweringly sweet,” Kiln & Co employee, Sophia Alodah (’24), said. 

I wound up opting for the next best fall flavor, caramel. The dessert was decadent yet still enjoyable; it had that distinct nutty and slightly burnt flavor that caramel is so well known for, making it a wonderful addition to this list.

Great Harvest Bread Company was the last stop on my Church Street tour. When I walked in, I was immediately greeted with the sight of fresh bread cooling on racks behind the counter. The abundance of choices made it hard to decide what to get, but I ended up walking out with a sunflower loaf. The bread, which I prepared toasted with butter, was fresh and hearty. The best thing about Great Harvest Bread Company, however, is its versatility. Experimenting with fall flavors is made easy with the different bread types, such as Apple Scrapple and honey whole wheat, as well as spreads, like apple and pumpkin butter, they offer.

When looking for a piece of the beloved season we call fall, one has to look no further than Church Street to find it. This spot, Vienna’s version of Gilmore Girls’ Stars Hollow, holds the fall atmosphere and flavors that most seek during this time, and Caffe Amouri, Kiln & Co and Great Harvest are excellent places to begin.