Bus: 6, 15, 28, 55(773) 955-2556 istriacafe.com41.791644 -87.588155 1520 E 57th St (at Lake Park Ave) Hyde Park, Chicago
Mon–Fri 6:30am–8pm; Sat 7am–8pm; Sun 7:30am–8pmAverage cup: $5
The guys behind Hyde Park’s Istria are all about keeping things small-scale and local. But that may be hard for them to continue, as people are bound to respond to roasted-to-order coffee, fresh panini and the dozen varieties of housemade gelato. It’s creamy stuff, put out in a constant rotation of flavors as delicious as cherry mascarpone and fresh peach, plus oddball options like Nerds that only a kid could love. They’re the antithesis to Starbucks now, but with a second location at the Hyde Park Art Center, better get it while it’s still indie.