We found the best Pumpkin Spice Latte in Saskatoon

We tried pumpkin spice lattes from cafes around Saskatoon - see how we ranked your favourite!

As spooky season comes to a sudden (and snowy) close, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on a matter of great importance to local Saskatoon residents — where to find the best pumpkin spiced latte (PSL).

The PSL is a staple of the autumn, so PodSask assembled a crack team of experts to evaluate a number of PSLs from local cafes across the city, selected based on recommendations from friends and family.

Each PSL was ranked on six criteria, out of a possible maximum of 10 points:

  1. Sweetness — not too sweet, not too bitter. The “Goldilocks zone” is what we’re looking for.
  2. Texture — something rich and smooth, without any grit or chunks from the toppings.
  3. Toppings — cinnamon, whip, brown sugar – whatever adds to the overall goodness.
  4. Pumpkinness — really, the critical part of the PSL. If it doesn’t have a pleasant pumpkin flavour, what are we doing?
  5. Instagrammability — need to get those sweet, sweet social media pics.
  6. Flavour — was it, well, good?

And it wouldn’t be a comprehensive analysis if we didn’t have a talented panel of PSL judges:

Kendall — The Pumpkin King
Average PSLs per season: 15+
“Enjoying a PSL on the patio on a sunny day adds to the experience.”

Brayden — The Convert
Average PSLs per season: 10-15
“I didn’t used to drink these. Now I can’t stop.”

Shannon — The Latte Veteran
Average PSLs per season: ~10
“I’m looking for a delicious coffee flavour when I have my latte.”

Aditya — The Coffee Hater
Average PSLs per season: 0
“Next time, my vote is to do hot chocolate.”

Matt — PSN: Pumpkin Spice Novice
Average PSLs per season: 1
“This is what all the cool kids drink, right?”

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the best PSLs in Saskatoon!

Control: Starbucks


Brayden: “It’s the gold standard for a reason… Yes, it is obnoxiously sweet, but it is always there for you and will always be there for you. You know exactly what you’re getting, and who doesn’t love the ‘quick and dirtiness’ of it all?”

Shannon: “This is the pumpkin spice latte that I’ve had the most. I usually have it half sweet and realized that when I tried the original recipe I prefer the ability to customize my drink. I enjoy a less sweet drink and the original recipe is too sweet for me. This one wins as the go-to fall drink with the recognizable cup and ease of access.”

5. Broadway Roastery (on Broadway)


Shannon: “This PSL has the most delicious smell! The toppings made me feel like I was eating the most scrumptious pumpkin pie. The actual latte was not my favourite as I felt it didn’t taste enough like pumpkin coffee. Though it’s presentation and sturdy glass mug made it feel like a treat.”

Matt: “This one hits perfectly down the middle for me. It’s a good size, it looks beautiful, and it has a lovely flavour to it. The Broadway Roastery has never let me down before, and the PSL is no exception — a very comforting, well-crafted latte.”

4. Venn Coffee Roasters

*Due to circumstances outside of our control, we did not get the full, sit-down “latte art” offered at Venn and had to take these PSLs to go. The IG-ability scores reflect some consideration for that difference.

Matt: “This was not the biggest or the prettiest cup of coffee I’ve ever had – but it was sure tasty! A great tinge of quality pumpkin flavour to go along with some nice, high-quality coffee. I would’ve liked it a little sweeter (which is rare for me, since I prefer my coffee black) but I would definitely order this again.”

Kendall: “Flavour-wise, Venn was a favourite for me. The pumpkin flavouring was the least sweet by far, which is my preference as someone who doesn’t tend to drink a sweet or flavoured coffee. However, when indulging during pumpkin spice season I think a certain level of sweetness is anticipated/expected by most, so this option may not be a favourite for everyone. Since the latte wasn’t as sweet, the pumpkin flavour did not come through quite as clearly as in some of the other options, as it blended more with the earthy coffee flavour.”

3. Underground Cafe


Kendall: “Underground café had the nicest latte art of all tested locations. Each latte showcased a different design highlighting how skilled the barista was. There was a cinnamon topping with the foam and though it seems the amount of cinnamon on each latte varied a little, mine had the perfect amount. It added nice flavour without causing a gritty texture as the cinnamon settled to the bottom of the drink. It was a bit sweeter than I prefer, but still quite delicious.”

Aditya: “First and foremost, the art was great. Each of us had a different image for our latte art (which was a nice touch) and it wasn’t all basic leaves — One of them was a swan! I think…
It had a nice dusting of cinnamon to boost the topping and Instagramability scores too. Though it did knock it down on texture a little. This was my second PSL and it was quite nice. Sweeter taste but not too sweet. Flavour was actually good with a good amount of pumpkin too. It didn’t have the scent that really pulled you in though. Overall I wouldn’t order it again because I don’t drink coffee — but if I had to pick a PSL I’d probably pick this one.”

2. Prism Coffee


Shannon: “This coffee was so good I’ve gone back three times! I enjoyed the taste of the rich coffee with a smooth pumpkin flavour. It’s good from first sip to last and is my new favourite PSL.”

Kendall: “Prism is my go-to coffee shop. It is where I frequent the most and the place I am most likely to treat myself to a flavoured latte, as the syrups they make in-house are fun and delicious and the sweetness level and coffee used balance well. It is my comfort coffee, so not a surprise it scores the highest for me. I’m sure the comfort factor plays a role in my rating. The accoutrements were simple compared to the others as it was “only” foam with lovely latte art, but that’s my preference in a latte.”

1. City Perks


Brayden: “We have a winner! From the get-go City Perks brought game. The drink was visually appealing and delicious. It elevated the PSL from its humble beginnings in a white and green cup to a thing of art. The use of a house made pumpkin syrup was a nice touch, but can also leave the last sip of a drink chalky or gritty.”

Matt: “When I close my eyes and imagine a PSL, this is what I see and smell in my mind’s eye. Beautiful latte art, a dash of cinnamon, and fantastic overall flavour. I’ll need to start making regular excuses to go to City Perks if this is what I can expect on a regular basis! (I also feel validated that my personal favourite received the highest overall score)”

The Verdict

Congratulations to City Perks for taking the top spot in the inaugural PSL rankings! We picked each of these locations because of their quality, and none of them disappointed (unless you’re Aditya – kudos to Underground Cafe making a PSL that even a coffee-hater could like).

It’s safe to say that Saskatoon hosts a plethora of delicious PSLs each season. Whether you want something sweet or a little more on the strong side, there’s something for fans of all tastes — but City Perks was the clear overall favourite choice of our team of panelists.

Did we miss your favourite spot? Do you have an idea for our next Sask food exploration? Send us an email at [email protected] — we’d love to hear what you have to say!

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