Affogato has made its way into the menus of several restaurants across Delhi and Mumbai. We round up a list of the best spots to sample this Italian dessert-beverage hybrid.
Both coffee and ice cream feature high on the list of simple pleasures. Put the two together, and you’ve got a delicious solution to the age-old, post-meal coffee or dessert dilemma. Affogato is an Italian creation that merges two straightforward ingredients: espresso and gelato. The name translates to “being drowned” and is a nod to the experience of cold gelato being bathed in piping-hot, freshly-brewed espresso. This simple marriage delivers complex flavours, with sweet notes giving way to bitter flavours and warm, sharp coffee complementing creamy, delicate gelato.
Affogato’s origins are up for debate, as is the matter of categorising it as a dessert or beverage. However, there is a consensus on how the dessert must be had. The idea is to serve gelato in a chilled glass, so the espresso can run down the sides slowly and pool at the bottom instead of immediately melting the frozen treat. A double shot of espresso is the norm across Italian restaurants, but many dress it up with other ingredients every now and then. Quite similarly, while most spots in India serve it up affogato in its classic iteration, a few others take it a step further, innovating to make each bite more decadent.
Dig into affogato at these 10 spots in Delhi and Mumbai
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A favoured local spot for getting work done while sipping on a cup of caffeine, The Coffee Bond has a menu that is as expansive as the space itself, featuring coffees sourced from local and international roasters. Most popular here are the mushroom rosti, pumpkin pizza, French fries, hot chocolate coffee, and hazelnut mocha. Also, a great option? The affogato trifle with layers of crushed biscotti, cookies, ice cream, and cream cheese dunked in a shot of espresso.
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This bright and cheery spot in the city offers delicious coffee, delectable food, and unique cocktails, all made with choice ingredients. You could spend a long time playing board games, perusing the bookshelves, or sipping a cup of coffee while chasing a deadline. Popular on the menu are their mushroom melt, French toast, fries, and mocha, amongst many others. Their affogato features espresso poured over vanilla ice cream, salted caramel, and a crumble. This one’s unmissable.
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Best known for its floral walls, pastel hues, and cosy, homely atmosphere, Rose Cafe is a picturesque space with alfresco and indoor seating. Popular on the menu here are the shepherd’s pie, chicken tart, pastas, garlic bread, herbed chicken, skinny pizza, and Belgium chocolate ice cream. You could also choose to have the classic espresso-over-ice cream number or go for the gelato affogato, which allows you to choose the gelato flavour and comes with cookie crumble, whipped cream, and espresso.
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With an in-house library, delicious food, and extensive tea menu, Cha Bar is the perfect space to unwind in the city. Locals rave about the finger food, salads, pasta, wraps, burgers, and bubble teas served up here. Most recommended off the menu are the smoked chicken pasta, bun tikki, and passion fruit iced tea. That said, if you’ve got a hankering for something strong and caffeinated, go for the classic affogato, served as a cup of vanilla ice cream with a shot of espresso.
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A family-run business that sources artisanal coffee from across the country to give you a perfectly-brewed morning cuppa, Kaffa Cerrado’s experience outlet in the capital is a must-visit. Peek at coffee being processed while sipping on a cuppa or sampling bites from their food menu. Featured here are sandwiches, wraps, and fries. That said, it’s their affogato that takes on the classic ice cream and espresso combination.
Image: Courtesy Kaffa Cerrado
The one-stop-shop destination for coffee connoisseurs in Mumbai, KC Roasters By Koinonia offers artisanal, delicious cups of java. Their quaint cafe in Chuim village has a range of snacks, vegan options included, and most recommended are their chocolate croissants and flat white coffees. That said, affogato is an extravagant affair at this spot, with a dedicated bar serving up a range of options. You could opt for a scoop of Bono Boutique ice cream in a host of flavours, including Pondicherry vanilla, dark chocolate Italian truffle oil, and salted caramel, all of which come highly recommended. Served with freshly-brewed espresso and garnished with nuts, this is a must-have experience if you love caffeine.
Image: Courtesy KC Roasters By Koinonia
An inviting, thriving space for coffee and delicious grub, Coffee Culture promises a meal made with fresh, quality ingredients. The menu here is innovative, with recommended dishes being the cumin chicken, sesame bun, nachos, pizza, and sizzlers. In the way of affogato, they serve the traditional rendition with espresso and vanilla. But if you love cocoa, opt for the chocolate affogato, which comes with vanilla ice cream, espresso, and chocolate sauce.
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A swanky restaurant with eclectic Mexican, pan-Asian, and continental fare, Thyme and Whisk’s most recommended dishes include their sizzlers, nachos, momos, and pizzas. Their beverage menu is extensive as well, featuring a range of spirits and unique concoctions. Leave room for their affogato, which includes a shot of espresso, two scoops of ice cream, and a ton of chocolate sauce. This one looks as pretty as it tastes.
Image: Courtesy Thyme and Whisk
Another go-to destination for artisanal coffee, Blue Tokai is known to meticulously source its beans, with professionals evaluating their consistency and quality. Every cup of coffee here is aromatic and delicious, and the menu features complimentary bites like almond croissants, bagels, and cakes. Their affogato is a classic affair, with vanilla ice cream topped with espresso. You could go with a small or large serving, depending on your appetite.
Image: Courtesy Blue Tokai Coffee Roasters
This cosy cafe nestled in the bylanes of Lokhandwala is a local-favourite destination to work out of. The aroma of freshly-brewed coffee here is inviting. The frappe, cappuccino, virgin mojito, and brownie come highly recommended here. As does the classic affogato with a scoop of ice cream and a shot of espresso. If you’re feeling a bit more indulgent, go for the chocolate version, with cold chocolate ice cream and piping hot, fresh espresso.
Image: Courtesy The Big Mug
Hero image: Courtesy Thyme and Whisk, Mumbai; Feature image: Courtesy KC Roasters