Yes, fall signals the end of half-naked pool parties and boozy beach bonfires. But the winding down of alfresco fun comes with at least one silver lining: You get to eat again. Here, everything we'll be enjoying this season -- even if it means working extra hard next year to return to our swimsuit-friendly selves.
High-End Breakfast Sandwiches
Once you try the eggy bacon-and-cheese-crusted brioche bun at New York's BEC (BECNYC.com), you'll see why the reign of the kaiser roll may soon be over. Manhattan is the nexus of the modern breakfast sandwich movement, home to the fanciful, house-made English muffin with duck sausage at NoMad (NoMadHotel.com) and to the Lower East Side eatery Egg Shop (EggShopNYC.com), which pairs its scrambled and sunny-side-up stars with delicious ingredients like grass-fed tenderloin, chipotle bourbon ketchup, and caramelized onion aioli.
Tastefully Priced Tasting Menus
You no longer have to drop $200 for a gourmet tasting menu, as long as you're game for enjoying it in more relaxed settings. In Miami, six diners can share a full sushi omakase at Myumi (MyumiFoods.com), a BYOB food truck offering $40 and $60 tasting options. At Von Kava, a white-tablecloth stand-up tasting table that runs on weekends at Brooklyn's Smorgasburg, you can whip through four courses for $15 in 15 minutes. So much to taste, so little time.
Kid Food for Adults
Restaurants are indulging #TBT-style nostalgia, revamping the classics you gorged on as a kid. Fried bologna sandwiches are now a legitimate craze, with Chicago's Au Cheval (AuChevalChicago.com) swapping out Oscar Mayer for house-cured mortadella. Pizza Party, in New York's Bushwick neighborhood (BushwickPizzaParty.com), serves its pies in a room decked out with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle memorabilia; when you bite into its Hawaiian pizza, artfully made with pineapple foam, you'll want to say "Cowabunga." And for the ultimate decadent blast from the past, head to L.A.'s Barton G. (BartonGtheRestaurantLA.com) and snag a Lobster Pop-Tart.
Rotating Concept Restaurants
In the "everyone's a critic" Insta-age, it's easy to cry "Over it!" once a restaurant passes the one-year mark. So now some venues are changing their cooks, concepts, and even decor seasonally. At Chicago's newly opened Intro (IntroChicago.com), chefs from around the country drop by for two- to three-month stints, and Windy City diners can buy tickets for any and all incarnations. Meanwhile, Revolver (RevolverHamtramck.com), near Detroit, takes its name from its rotating lineup of chefs, who organize daring feasts served at a communal table in a sleek, industrial space.