Spring the perfect time to enjoy al fresco dining

If you didn’t enjoy a meal outside during Hinsdale Restaurant Week in April (it was still pretty chilly), now is the time to enjoy one outdoors.

Al fresco dining has not always been part of the downtown Hinsdale landscape, but it was born of necessity during the pandemic in 2020. And Hinsdale residents, restaurateurs and officials found it to be a welcome addition.

The outdoor dining scene took another step forward in 2022 when the Hinsdale Village Board instituted new design standards for outdoor eateries on public property.

Do you remember the white concrete jersey barriers that were the only thing separating dining areas from car traffic? The concrete planter boxes look oh so much better. The uniform outdoor lights for restaurants that are open at night are charming, and the decks along Washington Street allow diners to enjoy their meals without worrying about their wine glasses sliding off the table.

We applauded the village’s investment at the time, noting the money spent on planters, decking, landscaping and lighting was not covered by the application and per table fees that became part of the new program. Restaurants obviously also have made a financial investment to offer outdoor dining.

The only downside is the loss of a significant number of parking spaces along First and Washington streets. Once Hinsdale Middle School is out for the summer, the spaces in that lot (above the parking deck) will be available for diners — or shoppers — to use.

We encourage residents to help make those investments pay off. The next time hunger pangs strike, head downtown and grab a table outdoors at one of these restaurants. Bon appetit!

First Street

• Fuller House, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday to Thursday, to midnight Friday and Saturday and to 10 p.m. Sunday

• Egg Harbor, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily

• Nabuki, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 4 to 9 p.m. Sunday and Monday

• Il Poggiolo, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday, 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday

• Altamura, noon to 7 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday, noon to 8 p.m. Friday, noon to 7 p.m. Saturday, 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday

Washington Street

• Vistro Prime, 4:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, 4:30 to 8 p.m. Sunday

• Calle Cantina (formerly Que Miso), 3:30 to 9 p.m. Monday to Thursday and Sunday, 3:30 to 11:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday

• Toni Patisserie and Café, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday to Saturday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday

Train station

• Casa Margarita, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday

Village Place

• Café la Fortuna, 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon Sunday

• Giuliano’s, 4 to 9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, 4 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday

Grant Square

• Yia Yia’s, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily

Gateway Square

• Garden Berry Cafe, 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily