New gelato joint opens near Metra station

By Laura Bishop

Owners of a recently opened eatery attached to the 57th Street Metra station hope to offer a new gathering place for Hyde Parkers. Istria Café is a traditional Italian-style bistro, offering menu options including pastries, gourmet coffee, and gelato.

The café is open from early morning until mid-evening, catering to both the commuter crowd and local residents. Free wireless internet access is available to customers, and there is a moderate amount of indoor seating.

Gelato and coffee are two of the specialties of Istria. Twelve flavors of freshly made gelato are available at any given time, with over 100 flavors in rotation. Free samples are available.

The café also features several blends of international coffee, including a specially created house blend, and a wide selection of teas.

An ever-changing variety of bread and pastries are available each morning, delivered fresh from local companies. Those looking for lunch can find soups and panini sandwiches on the menu. The café is looking to add vegan options soon.

As the café is only two weeks old, the owners said they are looking for feedback and suggestions from the community. Possible plans for the coming months include live music and a book club.

Istria café is co-owned by Marc Pribaz, Paul Pribaz, and Tim Schau, residents of the North Washington neighborhood. The owners said they are committed to providing excellent service, high-quality food, and a place where everyone in the neighborhood can feel comfortable. All of the staff are local residents, with over half from the current or former University community.

Istria Café is open Sunday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Monday through Thursday, 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Saturday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. The café is currently hiring.

Bring this brief on your next visit to the café, and you will get a free 12-ounce coffee with any pastry purchase.