Starbucks' pumpkin spice latte has created a cult following unlike anything seen in the beverage world before. The PSL's return is awaited anxiously each fall and its (verified) popularity has created a wave of pumpkin-flavored everything.
Recently, however, the iconic latte's status has been in question, even facing competition from other Starbucks latte flavors. If coffee lovers have been missing caffeinated yumminess on Starbucks' own menu, imagine the other autumn lattes beyond the doors of this coffeehouse powerhouse.
Dallas isn't lacking in independent coffee shops and the flavors of creamy, dreamy fall lattes aren't either. Check out the five places in Dallas with sip-worthy lattes that aren't the Starbucks PSL.
Sip | Stir Café
Practically autumn in a cup, Sip | Stir's version of the PSL is rich in taste and sprinkled with just the right amount of seasonal spices. An Uptown favorite, this is an even better substitute for when you are craving the Starbucks original. Although this festive treat is only available during the fall months, still visit this inviting shop year-round for other novel flavors such as s'mores and crème brulée lattes. The s'mores' decadent chocolate, graham cracker and marshmallow garnish will conjure visions of campfires. Or indulge your sweet tooth with the crème brulée latte, complete with a torched cinnamon sugar top à la its namesake dessert.
Mudsmith replaces the straight lines and cool colors of a typical coffee shop with a homey hunters lodge feel. Its menu also features untraditional specialty drinks. The latte is a must-try, and while the regular is prime (especially when mixed with syrup such as hazelnut or amaretto), the KC's Special is, well, special. This latte is a decadent concoction of espresso, milk, vanilla and caramel. If coffee isn't your thing, Mudsmith's chai tea latte is also popular. The rich, spicy and sweet tea concentrate steamed with milk and sprinkled with cinnamon just might convert coffee lovers into chai tea latte lovers.
Drip Coffee Co.
Drip Coffee hand roasts all its coffee onsite in small batches to ensure their customers are enjoying peak flavor. And customers are, especially when ordering lattes. Stay traditional or try the yummy vanilla latte for a sweet treat. This local favorite features a different coffee each month and October is Brazilian, a medium-bodied coffee with subtle sweetness and an overall nutty flavor.
The Wild Detectives
The Wild Detectives is indecisive in exactly what it wants to be, and the result is a multipurpose space sure to charm patrons -- it's a bookstore, coffee shop and bar all in one. The coffee is cultivated by direct trade practices and roasted locally by Davis Street Espresso. The resulting latte is a perfect combination of steamed textured milk poured precisely into a shot of great espresso. Again for non-coffee drinkers, try the chai tea latte. This masala-chai tea is blended with milk and nutmeg so tastefully it is guaranteed to leave you dreaming of the holidays.
Oak Lawn Coffee
Even though it's October, Dallas temps are still reaching the 90s and that's just not fall at all. So frozen drinks are still acceptable, which means you need to be drinking Oak Lawn Coffee's popular frozen latte. This blended concoction of espresso and frozen goodness is just the refresher you need to cool off before the temperature drops for winter. If you are more of a traditionalist, Oak Lawn's hot and iced lattes are also topnotch. Elevate your caffeinated experience by adding flavorful syrup such as white chocolate or vanilla ginger.
Still thirsty? Try Deep Ellum Brewing Co.'s Oak Cliff Coffee Ale, the perfect 5 o'clock drink for all latte lovers.
Emily Ward is a senior studying journalism and fashion media at Southern Methodist University. She is not opposed to regularly scheduled coffee shop study breaks.