Coffee and ice cream are like burgers and fries or peanut butter and jelly. Their complementary flavor profiles combine to make a wholly new flavor that has near-universal appeal. Given that and the popularity of drinks like the Boston Cooler around Metro Detroit, it’s a wonder why coffee and cold brew “floats” have not taken the Motor City by storm.
It seems so simple in retrospect, cold brew coffee topped with vanilla ice cream for a little pick-me-up treat that’s sure to please. If that gets your tastebuds buzzing, you’ll want to check out these Metro Detroit coffee shops below.
Who thought housing a cafe and a laundromat in the same building would be a good idea? Think of the coffee stains!
The proprietors of Midtown’s The Commons wanted to create a communal space for Detroiters to spend time, whether that be getting a load of laundry done, sipping an Americano or both. What better way to pass the time while doing laundry than enjoying a delicious cold brew float (vanilla ice cream topped with house-made cold brew)?
After closing its flagship Midtown location in June due to the COVID-19 pandemic, New Order Coffee Roasters is still going strong at its Royal Oak location at 13 Mile and Woodward. With a menu that is jam-packed with different coffee and espresso-based drinks, frappes and bakery items, it might be easy to overlook the nitro cold brew float. Vanilla ice cream and nitro cold brew coffee combine for a treat that is invigorating and satisfying to all sweet teeth.
New Order has also gone to lengths to ensure a safe environment for their customers by offering the ability to order ahead, contactless pickup and socially-distanced indoor and outdoor seating.
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Located in downtown Royal Oak, Atomic Coffee is hard to miss (just look for the giant coffee mug at Main and Fourth!). With plenty of indoor space to remain socially distant while enjoying a hot or cold beverage, Atomic features a selection of nitro cold brew drinks, all of which are cold brewed for 12 hours and infused with nitrogen for 48 hours. Add two scoops of vanilla ice cream and you have yourself an Atomic nitro float.
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Known for its soft serve ice cream, this window service ice cream shop in downtown Detroit relishes in simplicity with three flavors of soft serve (chocolate, vanilla and twist) and “a handful of toppings.” But, at the sake of adding some complexity to the menu, Huddle also serves cold brew and soda floats. In the case of the former, the cold brew comes directly from The Red Hook, a staple of Ferndale, West Village and (soon) downtown Detroit.
Speaking of The Red Hook, while they do make a cold brew float, it is, unfortunately, a summer exclusive. Fear not! They also make something called an “affogato,” an Italian dessert that consists of a shot of hot espresso poured over the top of a scoop of ice cream. Don’t mind if I take two, please.