Tart or sweet, or somewhere in between, this versatile fruit is the star in everything from drinks to desserts.

By Wendy Lemlin
Photography By Bryan Oster


Really, does any fruit personify autumn more than an apple? Relish some in everyone’s favorite thanksgiving pie, adding sweetness to a salad, baked into breakfast pastries and pancakes, in a steaming hot cup of cider, or eaten “au naturel”, one crunchy bite after the next. sweet as a Fuji, or tart as a granny smith, there’s a variety to satisfy every flavor and texture preference. Apple season is here, so go ahead and fall for these dishes that star the not-so-forbidden fruit.


Mary’s English Kitchen

(Above) Festively colorful, Apple Fruit Salad shows off the hues of autumn, with lush red strawberries, bright Mandarin oranges, slices of green kiwi, and the star attraction, crunchy apple pieces, all nestled on mixed greens and dressed with house-made raspberry vinaigrette. Ideal for a light and healthy fall lunch!


Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria

Apples on pizza? Yes, please, especially when combined with hickory smoked bacon, goat cheese, and baby arugula! On the Campania Pizza, the sweet Braeburn is the apple of your pie—the pizza’s creators tested more than 20 different varieties until they found one that would maintain both its shape and flavor when baked at over 700 degrees. Dine in, take out, or take advantage of free delivery to get yours!

Americana Restaurant

Apple Crisp tops everyone’s list
as the quintessential fall dessert, hot from the oven, the tartness of the Granny Smith apples balanced by the just right sweetness of the crunchy graham cracker crisp. Make it all the more decadent with a scoop of vanilla Hagen Daz ice cream, slowly melting into the warm apples, and topped with salted caramel sauce.



Harry’s Coffee Shop

When the name of the restaurant says “Coffee,” you’d expect a really great cup, and a steaming mug of Apple Pie Latte will fulfill all your expectations and more. Belly up to the counter, or snuggle into a booth, and sip away the autumn chill with the taste of apples and caramel, crafted from rich espresso beans from San Diego’s own Café Moto.


The French Gourmet

Apples go beyond dessert and show off their savory component in delicious pairings with meats and poultry. Pork Flat Iron Steak is très magnifique when complemented by tangy green apples and the robust flavor of Grey Poupon Rouge mustard, with its fruity nuances of Cabernet Sauvignon and Marion blackberries.


Girard Gourmet

When a restaurant has its
own orchard in Julian, you
know that home grown freshness will be baked into every mouth- watering pastry. Who can resist a slice of warm Apple Pie, filled to the brim of its flaky crust with just-picked fruit, genuine European apple streudel, rich apple tart, buttery apple croissant, or moist apple muffins?


Brockton Villa

Crisp apples add a lively texture balance to the beautiful Organic Spinach & Julian Apple Salad served at this scenic La Jolla Cove eatery. The refreshing taste of the local apples harmonizes well with the earthy flavor profile of baby spinach, radicchio, Maytag blue cheese and crushed hazelnuts, all of which are enhanced by a zesty pomegranate vinaigrette.

Brick and Bell Café

Think of apples and the enticing aroma of cinnamon probably comes to mind. You don’t have to use your imagination, though, just bite into a made-from-scratch Apple Cinnamon Scone and get it all. The entire apple is baked into the recipe, including the peel, for extra-flavorful goodness—it’s no wonder this tiny cafe sells over 150,000 scones a year!



Chronic Smoothies Blazin Grill

Packed with antioxidants and omega 3s,
the Dragonfruit Dream Smoothie is the latest offering from this friendly locals’ hangout in North Pacific Beach. Loaded with apple juice, banana, pineapple, agave, and of course dragonfruit, aka “Pitaya Plus,” healthy never tasted this good! Serving breakfast from open to close, this is a neighborhood go-to for a casual lunch or dinner.