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Newport and Providence - Jan. 19-21?

Hi! My husband and I are going to be staying in Newport January 19-21. We're from Philadelphia (the city, not the suburbs), we're in our early 30's and we're looking for some good, casual, affordable suggestions for lunch, dinner and post-dinner drinks. We would especially like some suggestions for places that serve good local specialties and microbrews. We'll most likely go to Providence for a daytrip, so suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!

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  1. In Newport, Cafe Zelda is pretty good. Scales & Shells for mod-priced seafood.

    For dinner in Providence w/a nice atmosphere but reasonable prices I'd suggest Parkside or Rue de L'Espoir. Oh - definitely Nick's on Broadway for breakfast and lunch.

    1. We had one terrible dinner experience at Parkside (both food and service), so I wouldn't recommend it. It could have been a fluke, but it was bad enough for us not to wish to return. And this was very recently too.
      One suggestion I'd make is Mediterraneo (Federal Hill).

      1. Wow - I've never had a bad meal at Parkside, not lunch or dinner. Last time I went was dinner at 2 mo ago, midweek.

        1 Reply
        1. re: JaneRI

          Yup, same here, been a half dozen times and not a problem, very much enjoyed the food, atmosphere.

        2. For microbrews in Providence, Union Station is right in down town. In Middletown (between Newport and PVD) is Coddington Brew Pub. Both offer excellent beer and very good food.

          For seafood in Prov., try Hemenway's. For the best hot dog you've ever had, try Spike's in Prov.

          For a small pub in Providence, try The Wild Colonial. Great selection of beer and liquor with a nice atmosphere, but the menu is limited. That wouldn't be a bad choice for drinks after dinner, but the real winner is L'Elizabeth's Cafe. Awesome desert and coffee. Hemenway's, The WC, L'Elizabeth's are all about 1 block from each other. Union Station is maybe 4 blocks from there.

          Back in Newport, I second the suggestion for Scales n Shells for good seafood. For old-fashioned fried clams, Flo's on First Beach in Newport is unbeatable, but note they're cash only. For good all-around food, I like Brick Alley Pub in Newport.

          Enjoy your time in Newport, I know I do every time I visit.

          1. If you're in Providence (might be just into Cranston) on a Thurs-Sat, there is a VFW or American Legion Hall over in the Silver Lake neighborhood. I think it's called the Franchi Post. They turn the hall into an Italian restaurant. It's cheap and good (especially for lunch). It's on Randall St. near the corner of Atwood Ave. (Rte5)(do not confuse with Atwells Ave.)

            2 Replies
            1. re: RIChowderhead

              Mike's Kitchen is what you're referring to. It's not in Providence, it's well into Cranston, almost on the Johnston line.

              1. re: JaneRI

                Mike's Kitchen? I never saw that designation, but it doesn't mean it isn't so. You're right though. It's in Knightsville now that I think about it.

            2. In Newport:
              Salvation Cafe http://www.salvationcafe.com/
              Mama Luisa http://www.mammaluisa.com/
              and for a great breakfast: Franklin Spa

              1 Reply
              1. re: whs

                Asterix and Obelix was pricey but awesome when I lived there. So was Cheeky Monkey. You can't go wrong with the Black Pearl either, if it is not resting on its considerable laurels - suuuuuuuuper nice atmostphere. A place that's a bit out of the way (on Broadway not right downtown) called Tucker's Bistro was good too. Mama Luisa's was my ex-husband's favorite.

              2. Providence:
                -Nick's on Broadway: breakfast, lunch, and dinner on weekends only. My favorite spot!
                -Red Fez: eclectic menu with reasonable prices, fun RISD-type crowd in upstairs bar
                -Julian's: also eclectic, global menu; veggie/vegan-friendly
                -Taqueria Pacifica: So-Cal Mexican; great vibe; get beer and liquor from the AS220 side. 2nd favorite spot in Prov.
                -Olga's Cup and Saucer: excellent breads, lunches
                -Trinity Brewhouse: RI IPA...mmmm; decent pub food
                -Ichiban in Cranston: sushi, excellent Korean food
                -Haruki in Angell Sq for sushi

                Newport:
                -Second Salvation Cafe (although haven't been in at least a year) and Scales and Shells (my favorite in Newport - lobster fra diavolo for 3 or 4 is the dish I ALWAYS get. Tremendous, esp with a nice crude red or cold Newport Storm on tap)
                -Aidan's for fish and chips (Bristol location, too)
                -Dewolf Tavern in Bristol, RI

                2 Replies
                1. re: a l i c e

                  Oops...I meant Haruki is in "Wayland" Sq.

                  Hi Jane - Didn't know about Aidan's name change...why on earth did they do that, even if there was an ownership change? Weird. Thanks for the head's up.

                  1. re: a l i c e

                    I thought it was funny that I didn't know and people from Seattle had to inform me.

                2. Alice, I guess Aidan's has had a name change? Friends recently came for a visit from Seattle...they met in the Navy in Newport years ago and named their son Aidan for their favorite spot. They were here around Christmas and we had lunch after they spent a couple of days in Newport. Their 5 yr old was very disappointed that it was no longer called Aidan's. I can't remember what they said it's called now.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: JaneRI

                    Aidan sold it and probably didn't want his name on something that he wasn't running. (Though I'm not the Jane you asked... just a coincidence.)

                    The Aidan's in Bristol has great stuffies, clamcakes and chowder, if you're looking for authentic RI food. The burgers are great, too.

                  2. I went to see "Wicked" last eve in Providence and went to Trinity Brewhouse for the third time. Haven't wanted to try anything else on the menu after having their amazing NY strip. It's served with delicious mashed red-skin potatoes and a nice little salad. The meat is always cooked to perfection and goes very well with the many freshly brewed ales, pilsners, and stouts they have on tap. I got the winter lager which was delicious. The ambiance is "noisy college hangout" but the service, food and beer is outstanding..it's also very reasonable and portions are large.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: spirit7125

                      I second your opinion. Trinity is noisier and much more down home than Union Station (not that the beer or food is bad there). Lunch at Trinity is terrific. The specials are excellent and only $6 to $9 usually.

                    2. I gotta say, though, that if you are into to beer at all, they are not very good at it. I have been to many brew-pubs over the years and Trinity is at the bottom of the list. Food is pretty good, though.

                      1. Aidans Bristol is one of our all time favorites: Atmosphere, beer and food. Among the F&C, clamcakes, stuffies and daily specials you should be able to get your regional fix.
                        I just don't get Trinity, except that it is kinda jolly in there. Strictly average greasy pub grub and the beer tastes like home brew.
                        It does not get any more deepinhearta old school Rhode Island than Mike's Kitchen. Should we be sending tourists there?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: atheorist

                          Where and what is Mike's Kitchen?

                        2. It's in the basement of a VFW hall in Cranston. Really really good Italian-American food, at rock bottom prices. It's at 170 Randall St in Cranston if you want to google-map it. Closer to 295 than 95 but not far from either.