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Best Local Pumpkin Spice Lattes in Como

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Though the unpredictable Missouri weather may make it difficult to determine when the beginning of fall is, there is one thing that never fails to announce autumn’s arrival: the annual release of the pumpkin spice latte (PSL). The perfect drink for fall and coffee lovers, it’s hard to believe that this seasonal staple has only been around since 2003 when Starbucks debuted this soon-to-be sensation. So, whether you love them or hate them, we all have to give our thanks to Starbucks for creating such a delicious drink and putting it on the map. Luckily, for all of those who don’t prefer Starbucks but still need their PSL fix, I taste-tested and composed a list of the best alternatives in Columbia.

Acola Coffee Company

Located at the north end of Columbia’s downtown area in what looks to be a warehouse-turned, bohemian-chic coffee house, you may recognize Acola Coffee Company by its previous name, Three Story Coffee. No matter which name you knew first, there is no forgetting their pumpkin spice lattes. Either hot or iced, their PSLs taste like a Thanksgiving pumpkin pie in a cup. In addition to their flavorful drinks, Acola also provides a laid-back environment, perfect for getting work done and hanging out with friends.

Toasty Goat Coffee Co.

On the northwest side of Columbia, Toasty Goat Coffee Co. may be the farthest from campus, but their rich coffee makes the distance worth it. For those searching for a PSL that doesn’t sacrifice that rich coffee taste, Toasty Goat is the place to go. The coffee shop itself also has a cute and bright environment, perfect for your next coffee date or chill work day.

Lakota Coffee Company

Next on the list, Lakota Coffee Company has two locations in Columbia, one in the heart of downtown and one in the South end. Their PSLs are sweet and creamy, but not too overwhelming in flavor in case you’re looking for a drink with just a hint of pumpkin. Both locations have lowkey, classic coffee house environments making Lakota a great place for your next study session. 

The Grind Coffee House

If you’re in a time crunch and need some caffeine closer to campus, stop by the new Grind Coffee House location inside the Donald W. Reynold Journalism Institute. With three other main locations throughout Columbia, the Grind extended to Mizzou’s campus this fall, just in time for the PSL season. Their pumpkin spice lattes may be on the sweeter side, but are still a good mid day pick-me-up.

Shortwave Coffee

Lastly, if you’re still looking to enjoy some fall flavors but don’t prefer the pumpkin, try the Autumn Spice Latte from Shortwave Coffee. Shortwave has two locations, both of which are in the downtown Columbia area. Their Autumn Spice Latte is the perfect mix of fall spices and flavors, minus the pumpkin taste. Shortwave’s warm environment could be the perfect place for you to celebrate the fall season.

Sarah Gassel

Mizzou '25

I'm a sophomore at the University of Missouri from Wilton, Connecticut, a suburb on the coast in the New York metropolitan area. I came to Mizzou to study journalism and specifically want to work in magazines. My dream would be to work for a travel and culture magazine like National Geographic or Conde Nast Traveller.