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Posted by Anonymous on 07/20/2010
Good for commuters using the trains that run over it or for neighborhood folks to hang out at, this is a great spot with high quality coffee, snacks and ice cream, but the super friendly and helpful staff are the thing that makes it most special.
Posted by Anonymous on 05/24/2010
Istria is by far my favorite coffee shop in Hyde Park! The coffee is excellent - they serve Intelligentsia which is very high-quality for the coffee connoisseurs and they make THE BEST lattes, cappuccinos and mochas. You will not find better coffee in Hyde Park, or possibly in the entire city. While slightly on the expensive side, you can taste the quality in everything. The paninis are delicious, although on the smaller side, and the gelato is fantastic. Also, the baristas are all super friendly. A must-visit coffee shop for Hyde Park residents and visitors alike.
Posted by Anonymous on 08/13/2009
Awesome coffee and great panini and gelato in a perfectly convenient location. The lady who works here in the mornings is the nicest girl EVER. She is so friendly, so cheerful. I just want to give her a hug. And free wifi!
Posted by Robert V on 04/29/2009
I've been to Istria countless times, whether it was just to get a cappuccino, a free cup of water, a lemon cookie, or all three. Every time I've been impressed by the skill of the baristas. The Intelligentsia beans are always stupendous (although not quite up to par with downtown Intelligentsia due to the minor difference in machinery) and the service is impeccable. The gelato is stupendous as well. Upon first inspection of the coffee shop it looks like a quick coffee stop while waiting for the train, but on further inquisition Istria is a unique local experience. One can chat up the service, discuss the subtleties of coffee flavors with them and sample the wide variety of blends they have. Although slightly expensive, this shop is worth every penny if you value high quality coffee. Although there is a line of pillars running through the center of the dual chromatic orange and white shop, they provide a sense of privacy from the counter not gotten at any other Hyde Park coffee shop. I would recommend Istria to every coffee connoisseur, but discourage it for the blunt of palette as the amazing coffee would not be worth the money if not appreciated properly.
Posted by Aaron on 04/25/2007
Istria's coffee is overpriced and service is slow, but it's the best place to go if you live in east Hyde Park. The coffee is quite good, though their cappuccinos generally have far too much foam. Pastries are about average, and thankfully not as ridiculously overpriced as those the Medici. The gelato is delicious but incredibly expensive. The decor is rather clinical, but I like all the windows. Usually it is empty enough that you can be comfortable doing work there for a while (unlike the Med or Bonjour, which have fewer tables).
Posted by Istrian Lover on 12/12/2006
Istria Cafe is simply too good to be true for the Hyde Park community! Finally a cafe with real people serving REAL Italian products! The espresso is so wonderful, the gelato is a must have and the panini make your mouth water. You will always see the same regulars, as everyone in the neighborhood know this is the best place to go. I can't wait for the new location to open at the Art Center. The service is absolutely impeccable.... everything has a personal Istrian touch, all the way down to the latte art in my morning vanilla latte.
Posted by Anonymous on 09/11/2006
I'm a firm advocate of a multiple visit review to give any eating establishment a fair chance to impress. I've been to highly rated eateries and been far less than overhwelmed and been to dives and been blown away by the food. Istria deserves a series of visits simply because the size of the patron crowd greatly affects the type of service and even the qaulity of the food served. I've been when all is great and other times when the service was just too busy to get it done. The reviewer Richard sounds like a disgruntled 17 year-old who just left home so take that with a grain of salt. I've lived here my entire life and seen foodies come and go. Istria is a great place. Try the tarts and write a review.