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Where to Get Affogato in Chicago

And a quick explanation why you should try the creamy, dreamy Italian concoction we keep seeing on the city’s menus.

Anatomy of an Affogato at the Peasantry (2723 N. Clark St., 773-868-4888) Amaretto (left) imparts a nuttiness that complements the coffee, says owner Alexander Brunacci. The size of the scoop of housemade gelato (middle) is the result of extensive taste testing. Brunacci picks Intelligentsia coffee beans (right) for their “robust, bitter flavor.”   Photos: Anna Knott

A delicious vocab lesson: The word “affogato” comes from the Italian for “to drown,” which is awfully dark for something as tasty as a scoop of vanilla gelato doused in a shot of hot espresso. Instead, just think of affogato as a wondrous way to end a meal. And now you can enjoy it all over town.

Amanda Rockman, the pastry chef at Nico Osteria, adores the ritual of the dessert—pouring and stirring the mixture into a sweet slurry—so much that she came up with four variations for Nico, including one with banana gelato swimming in thick hot chocolate and another with fior di latte in bitter orange soda—think an Italian Creamsicle.

Rockman is hardly the only one riffing on the classic: The Peasantry spikes its with amaretto to smooth out any lingering espresso bitterness, the Purple Pig goes completely over the top rotating flavors of soft serve such as salted caramel and peanut butter drizzled with chocolate syrup, while Cicchetti turns the versatile treat topsy-turvy altogether, steeping coffee gelato in malted crème anglaise.

You can also enjoy the serviceable, straightforward take at Tesori—a baby step into the world of affogato. Like Rockman says, “Even though it looks simple, it tastes complex.”


Affogato Spotting

Affogato from Cicchetti


671 N. St. Clair St., 312-642-1800


Affogato from Nico Osteria

Nico Osteria

Thompson Hotel, 1015 N. Rush St., 312-994-7100


Affogato from The Purple Pig

The Purple Pig

500 N. Michigan Ave., 312-464-1744


Affogato from Tesori


65 E. Adams St., 312-786-9911


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