Double-digit temperatures, traffic, pumpkin-flavored everything ... fall has arrived in the Valley. Here, it's easy to eat your way into the spirit of the season. Here's how.
You can tap into the spirit of Arizona with saguaro and scorpion lollipops from Cactus Candy Company (found in AJ’s, Natural Grocers, and Whole Foods). If you're craving more conventional confections, caramels from Salted Serenity Sweets hit the spot. GoodyTwos Toffee Company offers all the takes on toffee you can imagine. Salted Serenity and Goody Twos both have shops in Scottsdale.
Chocolate. Vegan, dairy-free, and organic dark chocolate options await at Wei of Chocolate (Phoenix-based, but you can order online). If you're feeling like Willy Wonka, chocolate factory tours are offered at Zak's Chocolate in Scottsdale and the Cerreta Candy Company in Glendale.
For those on the hunt for something sweet and serious for trick-or-treaters, Sweeties Candy of Arizona, a candy warehouse in Chandler, should hook you up with top-notch treats.
Choose from 20 flavors of caramel apples–including the “Snicker All You Want!” masterpiece–at Hannah's Caramel Apples. For cheesecake or Rocky Road caramel apples, head to a location of Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.
Can't handle a whole monster caramel apple? We've got you.
Try the caramel-apple-pie float at Churn, or the caramel-apple cupcakes at Sweet Daddy Cupcakes and Urban Cookies Bakeshop. Another beyond-the-stick option is the Cinnamon Hug Apple Chips from Fluffy Vegans at the Phoenix Open Air Market.
Your first stop for fantastic funnel cake should be the Arizona State Fair. Find a Nutella-flavored version at Dutchman’s Funnel Cake. Countless other counters fry up powdery funnel cakes and serve them on greasy paper plates throughout the Arizona State Fairgrounds.
One can munch funnel cake outside fairgrounds. Order a classic funnel cake with powdered sugar (and add caramel, chocolate, or strawberry syrup for a $1) at the Fantasy Funnel Cake food truck, which you'll find parked at events throughout the Valley.
The seasonal Four Peaks Pumpkin Porter has been flowing through taps for weeks now. It can be sipped and savored at 8th Street Brewery and Tasting Room On Wilson in Tempe, at Four Peaks Grill & Tap in Scottsdale, and at Four Peaks Sky Harbor.
Farmers’ markets are a Mecca of pumpkin fever. Uptown Farmers Market has "Better than Pumpkin Pie" sweet potatoes and "Pumpkin Patty with a Kick" pumpkin seed brittle (from Naked Chocolates), pumpkin butter (from Careless Coyote), and mini cinnamon-pumpkin scones (from From Scratch Bake Shoppe).
Outside the market, Arizona Bread Company's Arizona Bread Company bakes unreal bread made from soft sweet pumpkin and fall spices.
Find hearty helpings of turkey at Cornish Pasty Co.'s the Pilgrim: roasted turkey, sweet potatoes, grilled onions, and stuffing, crowned with red-wine gravy and cranberry sauce.
The spirit of Thanksgiving can also be found between two slices of bread.
Order the Gobbler (turkey, cranberry, and cream cheese) at Dilly’s Deli, the Sacks Improv (turkey breast, herb stuffing, and cranberry sauce on an eight-inch baguette) at Sacks Art of Sandwicherie, or the Old Fashioned Turkey Sandwich (slow-roasted pulled turkey and house-made cranberry relish on nine-grain bread) at The Farm Kitchen.
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Fall at the Farm
Schnepf Farms in Queen Creek hosts a gathering known as Pumpkin & Chili Party throughout October. There, enjoy hayrides, a ten-acre corn maze, rides, a pumpkin launch. You can also rent a private bonfire area if that's your thing. Farm guests can pick their own basil and lavender. Food is also a reason to make the trip. The event features caramel apple pies, sucatash, and pumpkin divined into just about everything–cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, fudge, chili.
Mother Nature's Farm in Gilbert hosts what's known as Halloween Pumpkin Patch. This is a great place to pick pumpkins of all sizes. Score sweets and pumpkin-related gifts at an onsite market.
Admission to Vertuccio Farms in Mesa gives one access to pumpkin bowling, a hay maze, a corn maze, and other activities. The farm's annual Corn Maze & Fall Festival runs from early October to early November. It features the a Spider-Web Climb, a seven-acre corn maze, and other shenanigans for denizens of the Valley to get fall right.