We survived another scorcher in sunny SoCal! Once that Autumn Equinox hit, I busted out the scarves, boots, and sweaters so fast and didn't look back. If you're like me and are beyond ready to enjoy "sweater weather", here's a guide to fall events, drinks, food, and décor in beautiful Claremont, CA.
Quench Your Thirst
Coffee. Lucky’s Coffee Roasters just dropped their fall menu and they have killer options including the Pumpkin King (house made pumpkin puree, pumpkin spice, and espresso), Pumpkin Queen (uses a vanilla alternative to pumpkin puree), Terry’s Mocha, Old Fashioned Chai, and a few other non-caffeinated options.
Rev’d Up Coffee on Foothill Blvd is serving up some delicious Pumpkin Pie Cold Brews using real pumpkin pie and sweet cream (good lord gimme one now!). Other fall menu items include the Pumpkinhead, J ‘O Lechera, and Franken Fink. They serve Stumptown Coffee and breakfast/lunch options such as pizza bagels, deli sandwiches, breakfast burritos and more! *Fun fact* they host a Cars & Coffee event every last Sunday of the month. Next one is on Halloween so follow their Instagram for details.
The Reverse Orangutan, otherwise known as TRO, will be dropping their fall menu in October. Located inside Laemmle Theater in the Village Plaza, TRO makes incredibly delicious lattes and all their syrups are made in house.
Be on the lookout for Nosy Neighbor Coffee opening mid-October located adjacent from Pep Melo on Harvard Ave. They specialize in coffee AND donuts so be sure to check out their Instagram for updates.
Oktoberfest. “Ziggy, Zaggy, Ziggy, Zaggy, Oi, Oi, Oi!” Gotta love Oktoberfest. Head on over to Back Abbey to have a refreshing Oktoberfest beer. With the recent launch of their fall menu, food options to look forward to are the Jagerschnitzel, Fish & Chips, or Back Abbey Burger. Pair it with a festive beer like Ayinger Oktoberfest, Celebrator Doppelbock, Klokke Roeland, St. Bernardus, or Delirium.
Cocktails. You can always count on Citrus Grove Distillers for a rotating seasonal menu and boy am I glad their fall menu is dropping October 1. Some drinks you can look forward to trying are their Hot Toddy (my personal favorite), Smoked Old Fashioned (or their Maple Bacon Bourbon Old Fashioned), and other drinks with ingredients like persimmons, beets, espresso, and apple cider.
Although Union on Yale doesn’t have a dedicated fall drink menu, they do serve up some finely crafted cocktails such as a flamed Old Fashioned, Sazerac, New York Sour, Amy’s Farm, and the “Bartender’s Choice” options.
Cozy up next to the fire inside Walter’s courtyard and enjoy some adult beverages like a Walter's Hot Winter Tea, Walter's Old Fashioned, White Russian, or Espresso Martini.
Smoothies. The Spot Café, located on on Foothill Blvd, just launched their creative scary movie themed smoothies! Ask for their Beetlejuice made with banana, fudge, chocolate chips, reeses cookie, spinach, fudge, and almond milk.
Sweet & Savory Pastries
I Like Pie Bakeshop. God Bless I Like Pie because that’s the Lord’s work they’re doing baking those individual pies. Located in the Village Plaza, I Like Pie Bakeshop sells individual pies and just released their fall menu with flavors like Pumpkin Praline, Choc Chip Press, S’mores, Salted Caramel Banana, and so much more!
Some Crust Bakery. Head over to my most frequently visited place in Claremont Village, Some Crust Bakery, for their fall pastry selections like a Pumpkin Danish, Salty Caramel Cupcake, Pumpkin Chocolate Cookie, Snickerdoodle, and so much more! Oh, and don’t forget their build-your-own breakfast egg sliders (I may or may not be addicted to them).
Crème Bakery. Swing by Crème Bakery on Harvard Ave because they have some incredibly decadent pastries―savory and sweet. Get there early because the line is always out the door and for good reason. Pastries to put on your radar are the Ginger Scone, Banana Walnut Muffin, Gingerbread, Ham and Gruyere Croissant, Jalapeño Cheddar Cheese Biscuit, and meat-filled baguettes.
Shopping & Décor
Smell House. The Smell House is a new store in the Claremont Packing House and it’s nothing but candles! I took a gander and there are so many scents perfect for gifts, capturing the essence of a holiday season, or just to smell something good. They have an entire fall section including Halloween scents like Candy Corn, Witches Brew, Magic, Witch’s Potion, and Spooky. They have fun and unique scents like Cereal Milk, Farmers Market, Plant Shop, all the zodiac signs, Auto Shop, Barber Shop, Fairway, and Record Shop (my personal favorite). On your first purchase they provide you a Smell Good tote bag and if you bring it back you’ll get $2 off your purchase. Follow their Instagram for in-store events and candle inventory updates.
The Hens’ Kitchen Shoppe. Nothing better than the smell of pumpkin spice, apple cider, or pecan pie permeating throughout the house. This is why The Hens’ Kitchen Shoppe will get you very inspired to cook up some holiday goodies and get those seasonal scents filling the air. Located on Yale Ave, this unique shop is fully equipped with kitchen decor, kitchen tools, cook wear, marinades, tea, baking mixes, and accessories. I guarantee you’ll leave inspired to cook or dress up my kitchen for the holidays.
Jasmine. Now that it’s “sweater weather” head over to the Jasmine boutique as they specialize in selling the most comfy and luxurious pajamas. Located on Second Ave, this quaint boutique rotates their selection around the seasons and holidays and is by far one of my favorite shopping gems in Claremont Village. They have a healthy selection of bath accessories like soaps, lotions, sprays, robes and slippers. Let them know if you’ll be buying a gift because they go above and beyond on wrapping.
The Grove Home. The Grove Home located on the corner of Indian Hill Ave and Second Ave, is indoor home décor galore! They have so many fall displays from a harvest/autumn theme to spooky Halloween. They also have indoor plants along with plant hanging accessories. You’ll also find candles, incense, crystals, books, door mats and unique home and office décor.
Community & Events
Village Venture. The 39th Annual Village Venture Arts & Crafts Faire will take place on October 23, 2021 from 9am-5pm. The event is throughout the Claremont Village with over 450 booths selling unique arts, crafts, and apparel all by local businesses and nonprofit organizations. You can look forward to a beer garden, food truck court, live music and entertainment, Halloween parade, a pumpkin carving contest and so much more. This event is free so mark your calendar!
Claremont Music Scene. Get acquainted with Claremont Music Scene (CMS), a service club that connects musicians together and provides information on music related events in and around Claremont. CMS provides a calendar of events on the website and Instagram―updated regularly. Brian Luft, founder and brains behind CMS, hosts occasional Meet & Greets to bring the music community together to network and share ideas. CMS will have a booth at the Village Venture so stop by, say hi and learn how you can connect with “the scene”.
Wine Walk. Save the date for the Claremont Village Wine Walk on November 20 from 3 - 7 p.m. You can look forward to food tastings, delicious wine, and live music. Follow Claremont Village on Instagram for more details to come.
Pet Costume Contest. The cutest thing in existence happens every year on Halloween at Claremont Craft Ales (CCA) and it’s their pet costume contest called Howl-O-Ween. Cute, right?! I don’t have a dog myself, but it does not stop me from attending it to take pics and pet all the dressed up puppers. CCA will also host a Halloween themed bingo night on Tuesday, October 5th. Follow their Instagram for updates.
Art Walk & Gallery. Claremont has a lively arts community and proudly features a recurring Art Walk every first Saturday of the month from 6-9 pm. Take a stroll through the Claremont Village and Claremont College to view unique art displays at participating galleries. This event is free to the public and you can read more about it on Discover Claremont.
Claremont Gallery takes place every Friday in the Claremont Packing House and features local artists displaying their unique pieces and craftsmanship. It’s a great time to meet local artists, support the arts, and listen to live music.
Drop a line if you know other events that are happening in the area. What are you most looking forward to this fall?
Thank you all for your support in my passion for Claremont! Goodbye for now, friends.