While the weather still screams summer, fall is in full swing. Therefore, I’m taking every opportunity to sport my favorite flannel, break out the Halloween decor, and cheer on college football as I await the first glimpse of colorful foliage. Perhaps the best part of fall, however, is its flavors. Before I rush to join the droves of people celebrating pumpkin spice season, I’m taking the time to enjoy all things apple. I want a pumpkin spice latte as much as the next person, but is there anything better on a crisp autumn day than cozying up to a mug of hot apple cider?
You know what they say about “an apple a day,” so we’ve rounded up some of Norfolk’s favorite ways to get your fix of this iconic fall fruit.
Apple fritters at Naas Bakery
Family-run Naas bakery is a counter-service confectionary that will make your pastry dreams come true. Frosted, sugared, cream-filled – you name it, they have it. Aside from their custom cakes and pastries, customers rave about their apple fritters – massive deep-fried doughnuts dunked in a sweet cinnamon glaze. While they’re known to sell out by mid-morning, this sweet treat is available year-round.
The turkey and brie (and apple) sandwich at TASTE Unlimited
TASTE is a Hampton Roads institution beloved for its gourmet feel, boutique wines, and local specialties. The cafe recently announced the arrival of its newest seasonal sandwich, serving a flavor profile of traditional fall favorites. The sandwich includes slices of oven-roasted turkey layered with hardwood smoked bacon, brie, granny smith apple slices, and a new housemade maple mustard aioli on a flakey croissant. If you’re looking to cut the carbs, the Granny Goat salad is available year-round, featuring our favorite green apple variety.
These Norfolk patisseries each offer an ever-changing rotation of apple-centric sweets, some seasonal, some year-round. From flaky, buttery apple turnovers (Bakehouse at Chelsea) to streusel-laced apple crumble and flaky strudel (La Brioche) to spiced caramel apple pie (May’s Parlor), there’s no shortage of appley indulgences to satisfy your sweet tooth.
The Apple Pie Glaze Doughnut at Klassic Doughnut (Sept 11-17)
Chances are you’ve spotted the iconic mobile food truck around town. Their schedule and flavors change weekly, though you can often find them at Talbot Park or East Beach farmer’s market serving handmade yeast donuts. In addition to their classic glazed or cinnamon sugar, they’ll offer apple pie glazed doughnuts through September 17th and intermittently throughout the rest of the fall. With only a few days left to try this seasonal treat, follow their whereabouts on social media to find their latest pop-up and list of flavors.
The sandwiches at Grilled Cheese Bistro
If savory is more your jam, the Grilled Cheese Bistro on Granby offers an innovative array of sandwich options featuring our favorite fall fruit. The Johnny Appleseed includes applewood bacon, cheddar, and apples between two slices of sourdough, while The Orchard pairs pork belly with brie, mozzarella, and apple jam on toasty bread. Apples are also available as an add-on, should you feel your sandwich needs some additional tartness and texture.
The seasonal hot drinks at Cure Coffeehouse
Quaint and cozy Cure serves up lattes matching the cafe’s atmosphere. Last October, baristas bewitched customers with a Poison Apple Latte – sweetened with housemade apple cinnamon syrup and colored with a dash of activated charcoal. While Cure hasn’t announced if this particular drink will return, they disclose seasonal beverages at the beginning of each month, so be on the lookout.
The apple flavored Coffees at Cafe Genevieve
Calling all Francophiles – say bonjour to Selden Market’s French-inspired storefront, Cafe Genevieve. Pair one of their homemade macaroons or takeaway charcuterie boxes with any of their apple-flavored coffee drinks. Cafe au lait with spicy, fruity undertones? Très Bien!
The award-winning hard ciders at Sly Clyde Ciderworks
Take a quick jaunt over to Hampton to visit this Phoebus taproom, where you’ll find a range of ciders made with “craftily crushed” Virginia apples. The pet-friendly and kid-friendly venue hosts musicians, food trucks, and a lineup of events if you’re looking for some fall fun.
The festive fall cocktails at Four Eleven York Restaurant
Four Eleven York Restaurant offers modern gourmet fare with an intimate twist in the heart of Freemason District. They’ve primarily become a fine dining destination because of their signature cocktail menu, offering new mixology masterpieces to celebrate each season. Last fall, they released the Autumn Ombre, featuring Casamigos Blanco tequila, apple cinnamon simple syrup, mole bitters, lime, honey, and a red wine float. Another happy hour addition was their Fall Sangria, featuring autumnal spices, citrus, pomegranate, vodka, and red wine. It’s the perfect way to wash down some of their bourbon apple pie. Follow their social media for the latest apple additions to their menu.
Candy apple making class at Wine & Cake:
Norfolk’s retail shop for cooking and crafting hobbyists offers a candy apple-making class on October 29th. With a mix of demonstrations, lectures, and hands-on learning, the course will teach students to decorate apples that are as beautiful as they are delicious.
Cakery and cocktails at The Stockpot
This monthly cake decorating class hosted at The Stockpot Norfolk includes your choice of half-baked or caramel apple cake for the upcoming September 20th event. Since tickets sell out quickly, you may be able to snag a spot at the next Cakery and Cocktails Class – and enjoy another round of seasonal cake and cocktail specials.
Apple picking at Cullipher Farm
If you venture out to Pungo, you’ll find a family-owned farm with U-Pick options so you can enjoy the fruits of your labor. U-Pick apples are in full swing, so check out their website for a list of crops, estimated dates, and links to field conditions and weather updates. Grab an apple cider slushie from the market for a refreshing, post-picking treat.
Got more apple treats that should be included? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Talbot Park, NFK
Rachel Reiss moved to Norfolk in 2021, and, true to her native Floridian roots, has been enjoying life near the beach. Since her day job as an HR Program Manager has gone remote, it offers her the flexibility to explore the area’s rich history, culture, and diverse food scene in her spare time. She is also a passionate pianist, aspiring yogi, and self-proclaimed health nut who loves to cook. Rachel lives near Talbot Park with her husband, Phil - a CHKD resident - and their Maltese, Minnie.