The Scoop on the Top Affogato Spots in the Capital
Affogato has always been a decadent menu item at cafés and restaurants and it is popping up on coffee menus in Ottawa this Winter too. The hot and cold cross between a dessert and a beverage has a couple of traditional incarnations and Ottawa cafés are offering up surprising variations to entice the java and ice cream lover. Traditionally, an affogato is a scoop of vanilla (or chocolate) gelato that gets “drowned” in a shot of espresso: affogato comes from the Italian affogare, to drown.
These local cafés have taken the affogato experience to new and entertaining levels and we can’t wait to dish the details!
In alphabetical order:
Hintonburg’s cool yet refined flower shop slash café located at 465 Parkdale Avenue serves an affogato that is rich and creamy. An expertly pulled shot of espresso from organic fair trade Rufino beans is paired with ice cream from The Merry Dairy, an Ottawa creamery that specializes in both Jersey (soft-serve) and Midwest (scooped) style ice cream. The Blumenstudio affogato experience is refreshing because great coffee is matched with great creamy ice cream and served in an oasis.
What else we like at Blumenstudio: The flower artistry, the plants and décor plus a well-stocked cereal bar. Check out their second location in Stittsville too.
The Brittania Coffeehouse
To celebrate Canada’s sesquicentennial The Brittania Coffeehouse, located at 273 Brittania Road, and in-house microcreamery The Beachconers are creating a special Canada150 affogato to mark the occasion. Until then, you can pair the Equator brand espresso from Almonte with any of their dozen flavours that vary from week to week. The Brittania Coffeehouse affogato can be anything you want it to be. Traditional or more adventurous, it is up to you. Whatever you choose, enjoy the eclectic ambience as well as the dessert slash beverage.
What else we like at The Brittania Coffeehouse: Art by neighbourhood artists is available for purchase in the café – and the eclectic mix of furniture is also for sale!
Café Qui Pense
This holiday season, Café Qui Pense, located at 204 Main Street across from Saint Paul University, is serving a festive and blissful eggnog affogato. Their barista drowns Pascale’s Eggnog Ice Cream in your choice of expertly pulled espresso shots from their La Marzocca espresso machine. The experience is uplifting and packed with delicate flavours that don’t compete with one another.
What else we like at Café Qui Pense: Browsing neat book titles at the indie bookstore Singing Pebble Books which is attached.
The Guild Room
The Guild Room is inside the All Saints Urban Space located at 10 Blackburn Avenue in Sandy Hill. They serve their affogatos in charming vintage cups. The ice cream is Pascale’s, a local small batch and all natural ice cream, and the Guild Room selection varies monthly. The Guild Room affogato experience is a cross between indulgence and a pick me up.
What else we like at The Guild Room: The café is inside a cool eclectic urban space that is slowly making a name for itself as a trendy multipurpose and inclusive space with great acoustics and an innovative vibe.
The original Vanier taqueria Ola Cocina is located at 62 Barrette Street and has always been known for fresh and creative cuisine. Their tasty version of an affogato has their in house ice cream flavours (vanilla cinnamon or spicy chocolate) drowning in piping hot Mexican coffee. Ola Cocina’s decadent dessert slash coffee has the right amount of heat and sweet.
What else we like at Ola Cocina: The best tacos in town are served here by chef and owner Donna Chevrier and literally everything is made in house – even the hot sauce.
Stella Luna’s award-winning gelato is hand-crafted in artisanal fashion on site at 1103 Bank Street. To taste the gelato alone is an experience in itself. To try their affogato is a moment to be relished. The smooth and dense texture of the rich gelato marries well with the thick crema of the espresso. Gelato is stored at a warmer temperature than ice cream and therefore is served softer too. It is made fresh every day and you can taste that freshness in the delectable affogato.
What else we like at Stella Luna: The buttermilk waffles rival even the best home-made ones.
Sutherland Restaurant, Bar and Coffee House
New venture Sutherland Restaurant Bar and Coffee House at 222 Beechwood Avenue recently opened their doors in the Beechwood East area. The Sutherland affogato is made using a shot of local roaster Happy Goat espresso pulled by resident barista Chloë and a scoop of either of their own chocolate or vanilla ice cream. The Sutherland affogato experience is like a well choreographed ballet.
What else we like at Sutherland: The 3$ breakfast sandwich with homemade sausage and egg on a homemade English muffin.
Two things are sacred at Sweet Jesus located at 97 Clarence Street in the Byward Market: coffee and ice cream. Your “sweet salvation” ice cream experience begins under an upside-down cross and your menu features items with names such as Rocky Road Rage and Krusty the Cone. An affogato can be had in truly extraordinary ways here, true to their mission to create “something that tastes and looks unlike anything you’ve ever seen or had before.” You will be wowed, if you don’t mind the lengthy wait for your hot and cold beverage!
The Union Street Kitchen Café touts itself as having coffee that is “on point”, cookies that are “fit for a monster” and food “for the soul”. This snug New Edinburgh café is located at 42 Crichton Street, just up the street from the Gallery 200 art gallery. The coffee is direct trade organic from JJ Bean Coffee Roasters and the gelato is from Il Primo Restaurant on Preston Street. Together, the traditional mélange is truly harmonious in an inviting setting.
What else we like at Union Street Kitchen Café: The back house is a yoga studio for “everyday ordinary people.”
Our take: Affogatos might just be the best way for Canadians to get their ice cream fix in the winter without freezing. It is certainly a sweet way to be festive and enjoy the moment. Indulge responsibly!