8 Creative Dishes Showcasing Coffee

There’s nothing like a hot cup of coffee in the morning, but what about trying that coffee on a plate?

From espresso-rubbed steaks to decadent desserts, there’s some sublime dishes perfect for the coffee lover.

Halvah Semifreddo

At Safta in Denver, the nuttiness of sesame comes to life in cool, creamy semifreddo, complemented by chocolate mousse and a refreshing granita made from Turkish coffee. “The flavor combination of sesame and coffee was a huge breakthrough for me,” says Chef-Partner Alon Shaya.

Cafecito Tres Leches

At Bar Collins at Loews Miami Beach Hotel, a Cuban coffee (cafecito) soaked sponge cake mixed with evaporated milk, condensed milk and cream, topped with torched meringue and garnished with edible gold and a coffee bean. Loews Miami Beach Hotel Executive Pastry Chef Cynthia Keller-Sanchez says, “A coffee fueled dessert that also celebrates local Miami culture, we use Cuban cafecito to soak our tres leches sponge cake and give it a delicious caffeine kick. The torched meringue adds a velvety layer of sweetness, rounding out a bite ideal for celebrating National Coffee Day.”

Turkish Coffee Cake

At Tzeva in Sarasota, Florida, topped with orange glaze and pistachio, and served with a side of white pepper ice cream. “I chose to add the Turkish Coffee Cake to the menu for two reasons. One, to pay homage to the good, hard working people from Turkey that are on my crew. Second, cardamom is a main ingredient in the sponge cake and it goes very well with the Turkish coffee. The two flavors together alongside the orange glaze from Florida oranges is a perfect representation of the Art Ovation Hotel and Tzeva as a whole,” said Executive Chef Ken Shiro Lumpkin.

Kentucky Butter Cake

At 1799 Kitchen & Cocktails in Franklin, Tennessee, this dish is made with chocolate fudge, banana jam, espresso beans, and sweet corn oce cream. “Kentucky Butter Cake is one of the recipes you’d find on a well-worn page in an old cookbook. It’s simple and sweet like a food hug. We take this southern staple and pair it with flavors of the many esters you may nose on a bourbon. The chocolate fudge and espresso add some robustness and bitterness along with the chocolate espresso beans. The sweet banana jam filling the cake compliments some of those tropical and fruit notes you may get from a whisky and balances the robust coffee. It’s the perfect nightcap for a wonderful dinner,” said Thomas Tuggle, Executive Chef, 1799 Kitchen & Cocktails at The Harpeth Hotel

Espresso-Rubbed Steak Frites

At Trademark bar + kitchen in New York City, these classic 8oz NY strip frites come with a touch of espresso, herb butter, and fries. “Everyone loves some steak and frites, but we’ve infused our passion for coffee and given them a little bit of an espresso rub. The dynamic flavor, herb butter and classic fries make this dish a must-have when visiting Trademark bar + kitchen,” said Executive Chef, Alex Mixcoatl.

Glazed Pork Belly

At Thompson Hospitality’s CUT132 in Columbus, Ohio, slow roasted coffee rubbed pork belly topped with bourbon, espresso, apricot glaze and frisée. “The apricot glazed Pork Belly is a fan favorite appetizer at CUT132. The Berkshire pork belly is first scored utilizing a cross hatched method on the fat side then dry rubbed with Brazilian ground coffee, sea salt, paprika, cayenne pepper, white pepper, fresh minced garlic, red onion puree, and brown sugar. Once seasoned, the pork belly is slow roasted for over an hour and half to ensure a soft, delicious texture that is then complimented with a bourbon, apricot and espresso glaze for a sweet and savory experience. This dish is decadent and delightful with the perfect hint of coffee making it a perfect way to celebrate and acknowledge National Coffee Day,” said Chef Brian Pancir, Corporate Culinary Director of Thompson Hospitality.


At Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse, Affogato is made with vanilla gelato, chocolate, caramel, espresso and chocolate-hazelnut biscotti. Steve DiFillippo, Chef/Owner of Davio’s, says, “Affogato is a staple on our Davio’s menu and the perfect way to top off any of our signature Italian dishes.”

Espresso-Rubbed NY Sirloin

Prepared with an espresso, wild mushroom, and root vegetable demi topped with a Great Hill bleu cheese fritter, this beautiful dish is found at Bucatino Restaurant and Wine Bar in North Falmouth, Massachusetts. “Our espresso-rubbed NY Sirloin is a flavorful, unique dish packed with fun textures and tastes that has quickly become a menu (and personal!) favorite! While the steak on its own is delicious, our espresso-based rub and demi glaze add even more depth of flavor and a richness to the overall taste and mouthfeel. Topped with a bleu cheese fritter, the dish incorporates quite a few different and unexpected elements, which makes it especially enjoyable!” said Dan Delancey, Executive Chef.

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