Leave a big city for a month, and a lot can happen. According to my Instagram feed, the hot new place to go in Paris is Ob-La-Di. Not to be outdone by the expat bloggerati, I made a stop to Ob-La-Di my first priority upon returning from my trip away from Paris. Well, I mean after I did laundry; gauging from the photos of Ob-La-Di, I knew I needed to dress like a fashionista casually hanging out in the Marais after a photo shoot. Read: black, no matter what the weather.
Small and chic (which is the style du jour for all Parisian cafes) this place is carefully done up and hits all the “musts” of a hip and happening Parisian coffee shop. There’s a copper theme going, complete with copper V60s and Hario kettles, and geometric copper light fixtures. There was a black leather jacket hanging on the wall, with Ob-La-Di embroidered on the back; as decor or actually belonging to someone who wished they lived at the time of Grease, I am not entirely sure.
Serving coffee from Café Lomi, what sets the menu apart from other coffee shops in town was the horchata and agua fresca. I assumed this was inspired by the fact that the cafe is next to Paris’ popular Mexican joint Candelaria, but according to one of the owners, it’s just because they dig a West Coast vibe. Which makes sense given the California salad (made with kale, of course). Being from the American West Coast myself, I don’t know when kale salads and granola became this region’s signature dishes. “We all like L.A.,” he noted, as Weezer’s Pinkerton album blasted in the background, leaving me internally humming lines from “Pink Triangle” in my head all afternoon.
But let’s be honest: it wasn’t the hip and curated decor that brought me here, although the funky blue floor tiles are worth a visit on their own. The real reason I came was the affogato, which was said to be made with cookie dough ice cream. I don’t know what’s less Parisian, affogato or cookie dough ice cream, but either way, it had to be mine.
On the menu, it’s officially called the Ob-La-Di Affogato, a Beatles reference. While over the top, and certainly not your everyday summer drink, there’s something magical about the combination of cookie dough ice cream and espresso. While cookie dough ice cream has been around for a couple of decades now (Ben & Jerry’s brought their version out in 1984), it still feels like a novelty food to me, something I was thrilled when my mother let me buy in middle school. Actually, about the same time that Weezer was on repeat. On cassette tape. So you can imagine what drinking one with espresso would feel like. As you get to the bottom and the ice cream has melted into the espresso, the heat of the drink has also softened up the chunks of cookie dough, making for a smooth and creamy puree of sweet, sugary crack. A modern, hip coffee drink, with a hint of ’90s throwback. That’s a lot in one glass.
As for other summer drinks (because I hate to tell you this, but you can’t drink an affogato made with cookie dough ice cream every single day), Ob-La-Di is happy to put anything on ice for an additional 1€, a good option on a hot day. And you get to pair it with Weezer. Kale salad optional.
Anna Brones (@annabrones) is a Sprudge.com staff writer based in Paris, the founder of Foodie Underground, and the co-author of Fika: The Art Of The Swedish Coffee Break, available now from Ten Speed Press. Read more Anna Brones on Sprudge.