The Affogato, When Coffee and Ice Cream Collide

By Lesley Balla  |  February 28, 2014

Coffee and dessert is one thing, but coffee on ice cream is another, entirely. The affogato is the amazing marriage of espresso and ice cream (or in some cases, gelato or sorbet): an afternoon dessert pick-me-up of epic proportions. And you know when else an affogato is appropriate? Breakfast. Here are four spots to get your fix right now.

Bulgarini Gelato: Both the Altadena and newer Culver City gelaterias have perfected the affogato. Choose your gelato flavor - vanilla for your purists, but try something like chocolate or almond at least once - and it gets topped with the perfect amount of Illy espresso. It's Italian through and through.

Cafe Demitasse: Known to geek out over cofee and dessert tastings, the crew from the Little Tokyo and Santa Monica coffeehouse definitely takes their affogato seriously. The espresso is always made from their own roasted beans, perfectly pulled and poured over Straus organic ice cream. Things get really crazy when they have Sweet Rose Creamery ice creams like chocolate stout in the house.

Coolhaus: It's more than just ice cream sandwiches at the Pasadena and Culver City shops. You can have your affogato made with Handsome Roasters pour-over or cold-brew coffee and any ice cream from the lineup (Tahitian vanilla bean and Nutella almond is a pretty good combo). Both are great, but the hot coffee melts the ice cream just enough to render the whole thing semi-sweet. The cold brew is good on a hot day but you’ll be eating ice cream with coffee versus an ice cream-coffee slurry. Pretty delicious either way.

Pazzo Gelato: When the line at Intelligentsia in Silver Lake is too long, the secret to getting a Black Cat espresso or Intelli drip coffee is to go across the street to this gelateria. But that also means you can combine specialty of the house - seasonal gelatos - and the espresso for one fab affogato. They're also available in Echo Park.

Gracias Madre: The West Hollywood vegan Mexican spot gets into the act with its take on the affogato: the "Ahogado" made with housemade vanilla bean vegan coconut ice cream and espresso. Maybe not as creamy, but just as tasty.