Watermelon, corn on the cob, peaches, berries, fried seafood and barbecue—these are the ingredients that make for perfect summer eating. Restaurants are bringing these and other seasonal flavors to the menu, highlighting them in new items and limited-time offers. Summer fruits are highlighting brunch cocktails, smoothies and other liquid refreshers. The aromas and flavors of the barbecue grill are permeating appetizers and entrees, while fried seafood and treats evoke visits to the beach and fairgrounds. Here’s a roundup of the latest additions to chain menus.
The Peach Milkshake kicks off summer at Chick-fil-A—a customer favorite introduced in 2009 that returned to the menu on Monday. The LTO blends the chain’s signature icedream dairy product with peaches, and the milkshake is topped with whipped cream and a cherry. “It’s the little things like a cold treat on a warm day that makes summer so sweet, and this is one of the many reasons we are thrilled to welcome back this much-anticipated favorite,” said Beth Hefner, a member of Chick-fil-A’s menu development team.
Peaches share the spotlight with creamy burrata cheese in Sweetgreen’s Peach + Burrata Bowl. The summer special features a double serving of peaches, burrata cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, mint, roasted almonds, spring mix and shredded kale, drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette. But Sweetgreen’s emphasis on local, seasonal sourcing means the item will only be availably on the Early Summer Menu in Atlanta, Denver, L.A., Miami, San Francisco and Texas. Other locations will be offering the Berry + Burrata Bowl with blueberries and strawberries replacing the peaches.
Watermelon and blackberries are the summer fruits highlighted in Jamba’s two new smoothies. For June, there’s the Watermelon Breeze Smoothie—a blend of watermelon-grape juice, raspberry sherbet, strawberries and pineapple. Come July, the plant-based Summer Blackberry arrives. This smoothie combines blackberry-pear juice, frozen oat milk dessert, vanilla coconut milk and pineapple.
Nekter Juice Bar
Nekter Juice Bar is bringing back its nutrient-dense Watermelon Berry Smoothie and Watermelon Cooler Juice, both on the menu through Sept. 8. But several new items are also part of the limited-time summer promotion. There’s a Tropical Citrus Bowl, a combo of spinach, pineapple, acerola cherry, banana and orange juice, topped with vanilla coconut yogurt, granola, banana, pineapple and coconut flakes, as well as the Pineapple Coconut Bowl, a fusion of pineapple and coconut topped with granola, pineapple and coconut flakes. Also coming out of the pipeline are the high-protein PB Mocha Smoothie made with cashew milk and Celery Aide Fresh Juice.
Another Broken Egg
A collection of new brunch cocktails to pair with top-selling brunch entrees is how Another Broken Egg is showcasing its bar-forward direction. The cocktails include a Blueberry Margarita paired with Brunch Short Ribs, a Champagne Mule with Shrimp ‘N Grits and Bourbon Milk Punch with Bourbon Street Pancakes. Strong beverage growth during the pandemic motivated the breakfast-brunch-lunch concept to bring its cocktails front and center, according to a press release.
Eggs Up Grill
The “Summer of Yum” is how Eggs Up Grill is grouping its four new limited-time dishes. Under this heading, the breakfast chain is offering Key Lime Pie Pancakes, Banana Pudding French Toast, Summer Berry Waffles and Summer Berry Grilled Chicken Salad. “We want to pay homage to our Southern coastal roots and offer a selection of rich and fresh menu items that remind everyone of summer,” said CEO Ricky Richardson in a statement. The LTOs run through Labor Day weekend.
Hurricane Grill & Wings
“Summertime at the Shore” is the theme for the seasonal specials at Hurricane Grill & Wings and its sister concept, Buffalo’s Cafe. The Fried Clam & Popcorn Shrimp PoBoy and Fried Clam Basket, both with remoulade sauce, and Sweet Funnel Fries topped with powdered sugar and served with chocolate syrup are the beach-themed favorites on the menu at Hurricane Grill & Wings. Buffalo’s Café is showcasing Deep Fried Corn on the Cob with chipotle sauce, shredded cheese and cilantro, Coconut Shrimp with pineapple habanero dipping sauce, Fish & Chips and the same funnel fries.
A dozen new items are launching on the menu at Smokey Bones, many focused on meat. Leading the lineup is a grilled 12-oz. Pork Porterhouse topped with peach chutney. There’s also a Southern Sampler featuring candied bacon, smoked sausage, pork belly burnt ends and green chile pimento cheese; Brisket Chili; Fritos Chili Pie; and a One-Pound BLT piled with a pound of hardwood-smoked bacon. Guests looking for less meaty choices can opt for Chargrilled Street Corn, the Good Seed Veggie Burger or a Crispy Buffalo Chicken Sandwich. Cornbread Strawberry Shortcake and three drinks round out the new menu items.
Wild Wing Cafe
The Backyard Griller menu at Wild Wing Cafe celebrates summer with several new LTOs. The Backyard BBQ Platter is loaded with fried ribs, BBQ pork, chicken hushpuppies and an assortment of sides. There’s also Ribs and Frites, a Pulled Pork Sandwich with apple slaw and a BBQ Chicken Sandwich. The eatertainment chain is also offering a Backyard BBQ Giveaway, giving guests a chance to win a backyard party complete with band and food for 20 guests.
Piada Italian Street Food
The Honey Melon Acqua Fresca is a new housemade beverage developed by Piada Italian Street Food for its summer menu. The thirst quencher is made with rock melon (similar to cantaloupe), lime, water and local honey sourced from family-run farms. Additionally, 10% of every drink purchased in June and July will go directly to GLSEN, an organization that supports LGBTQ students.
Pineapple is the featured fruit at Elevation Burger, showing up in two new items. The King’s Hawaiian Grilled Pineapple Burger and Pineapple Shake both provide a taste of the islands as temperatures rise. The burger features grass-fed beef and the shake is made with sliced pineapple, pineapple juice and ice cream.
Two customer favorites are returning to Farmer Boys this summer. The Hog Heaven Breakfast Burrito is stuffed with three eggs, American cheese, hash browns, hickory-smoked bacon, pork sausage and diced ham. On the lighter side is a Chicken Caesar Salad featuring flame-grilled chicken, diced avocado, bacon and Parmesan cheese on chopped romaine lettuce with a side of Parmesan-crusted sourdough toast.