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One night in Providence, RI

We will be flying into Providence and spending one night there from California on our way to Boston. What would be the one spot we should not miss? There are four of us: DH and two college students. Would prefer some place casual and under $25 per person for entrees. Thanks.

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    1. re: Ichewonthis

      I second Red Stripe for good casual.

    2. Thanks for the recommendation for Red Stripe. What are your favorites there?

      1. Dim, what day of the week are you visiting?

        1 Reply
        1. re: invinotheresverde

          Flying in on a Wednesday evening (arriving about 8:15 PM) and out on Sunday afternoon (flight leaves at 4:00). Spending the first night at a hotel in either Warwick or Providence (still have to finalize the res). At this point probably spending the nights in between in Boston but could change to Saturday night in Providence if there is enough draw to warrant moving out of Boston a day early.

        2. i registered simply to put my two cents in here and possibly to piss some people off as everyone seems so fond of red stripe. the menu SOUNDS great, the food LOOKS incredible but the food is absolutly tasteless or tastes terrible...

          i have gone back over and over again because its cute, nearby, and and i doubt myself every 5 months...could it really be so bad. it is. i mean its edible, but it never ceases to shock me how they can make such a great looking burger, or salad, or house made pickle taste like nothing or in the case of the house made pickles, the flavor is so far off the mark.

          places i would reccommend: korean on benefit street in the old solomans market. you feel like you are sitting in someones strange livingroom, it is truly an odd little place that is not very well known, it is some of the best korean food i've ever had, and i have lived in nyc and la.

          la laiterie At farmstead-- is definatly close to being too exspensive but it can be great, especially if you like cheese ambiance is great and has an unusual menu. farmstead is one of the best cheese shops in the country. their beer list is bizarre and unpronouncable, if you like fancy beer check it out

          julians on the westside- a true providence place, funky creative food, good for vegitarians, outstanding deserts

          thats off the top of my head. this is a great food town, don't judge it by red stripe.

          3 Replies
          1. re: ninadora

            Individual Red Stripe experiences aside, I say Julian's (or Nick's) is a good call.

            If you want a good pre/post dinner walking around neighborhood, then maybe not as much----then La Laiterie (Wayland Square) or even Blaze (Hope) would be better.

            1. re: ninadora

              yes yes YES absolutely agree re: Red Stripe. always so disappointing despite the enormous overall appeal. if OP has only one night in PVD, forget about Red Stripe. Blaze isn't much better in terms of food taste either.
              Julian's' or Nick's would be nice choices. If you have a car during your few days' visit here, head to Andrew's Bistro (http://www.andrewsbistro.com) it's about 15-20 min. from the hotels in PVD and you will be amazed at what you find hidden there. (don't look for pre/post dinner walk there but it's just so comfy and cozy inside, food and atmosphere.
              )enjoy your visit!

              1. re: madgee

                I'll agree w/that on Red Stripe....I give it another shot every 6 mo or so and wonder why I haven't yet learned my lesson.....the latest time was a grilled cheese w/pear that was way too greasy....the thick bread was almost translucent it was so loaded w/oil.

            2. suprised no one's suggested atwells ave & federal hill - cali was way ahead of us in nouveau cuisine and bistros - what's to be had at red stripe that they haven't been enjoying for 20 years already? (not that it's bad - just that we've got an italian - hell, portuguese, too - background that most states can only dream of.) on the hill - mediterraneo, zooma, siena & constantinos would all be winners.

              1. I like Oak on Hope, XO, or lately Cuban Revolution, which is very different and a little more economical. As far as under $25 on the Hill, I would suggest La Dolce Vita - I don't personally love their food, but good atmosphere for the money.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Lauren3581

                  Their food is not great, but their drinks and desserts are awesome! We go there sometimes after dinner elsewhere for some cocktails and cannolis.

                2. I'd highly recommend you don't miss la latiere. An experience to say the least. Excellant food, especially if you appreciate local fresh food. Another recommendation, that is more expensive, is Mills Tavern. One of the best in the area. If you want to splurge definitly reccomend. The foie gras is to die for!!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: cherylb

                    Try Parkside on South Main (lively bistro type place with an open kitchen), Solomon Market (very casual and byob), Al Forno or Bacaro for grilled pizza and salad/appetizers.

                    Stay away from Red Stripe.

                    If you can manage the 20 minute drive, try Mike's Kitchen in Cranston. It's great home-cooked Italian food in a super-casual atmosphere (VFW Post).

                    Have fun!

                  2. One of the best meals in Providence is La Laiterie on Wayland Ave. There is a Rhode Island / Providence based food site that i get lot's of good feedback from. Check it out. http://www.providencepalate.com/

                    1. I highly recommend Bravo - great steak frites!
                      Parkside is also very good.
                      Both are lively which the college students would appreciate.
                      I would not recommend Oak or Blaze.

                      1. Another great choice is Waterman Grille, they have something for everyone. Food and service are excellent.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: KMLEML

                          I want to love Waterman Grille since The Gatehouse was always one of my favorite places, but I've been underwhelmed on each of my 3 visits. And that is exactly what I hear everytime the place is mentioned.

                          1. re: JaneRI

                            I'm surprised...we've been several times and loved it.
                            The whole fish, the small plates for sharing, the wine list, the atmosphere, all great.
                            We also loved the Gatehouse.

                        2. The Red Fez is cool... great atmosphere, a bit easier to get into then La Laiteire and almost as good mac and cheese (a bit cheaper too.) I agree... about Red Stripe... not bad, but not fantastic either. I love Julians for brunch but not for dinner, and Nick's is great, but also small and some times hard to get into.

                          8 Replies
                          1. re: jenluxy

                            why why why have I not tried Red Fez yet? Are located near Ten? Do they have a website?

                            1. re: JaneRI

                              They don't have a website but here's some info...
                              (401) 272-1212
                              49 Peck St., Providence
                              Open for lunch, Tues-Fri, 11:30-3:30 p.m.; dinner, Tues-Thurs, 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat, 5:30-11 p.m.

                              1. re: jenluxy

                                Red Fez is a dirty bar, it has a reputation as being cool but I think it is because the people that work there are so RUDE!!!! For the quality and portions it is expensive. If you like unisex bathrooms that are always out of toilet paper - this is the place for you!!! Also agree on Red Stripe - sounds good, looks good - taste off - like a magazine picture. And there wine is too expensive for the lack of quality.
                                Stick to La Laiterie. They are so nice and the food is spectacular. Nick's is delicious - little pricier - but they are down with you splitting and getting extra sides. Wine list pretty good and not too maked up. Also if you are going to go out for brunch Nick's should be first on your list.

                                1. re: tabasc

                                  While I don't necessarily disagree that Red Fez is that much more than "a dirty bar" (upstairs, at least), I've had great, reasonably priced food there time and time again.

                                  As far as service goes, the only negative experience I've had is slow cooking times. Being the drunk that I am, I just use that time to have another drink. :)

                                  1. re: jenluxy

                                    Gotta say I have had good service and food and have found it clean. Just because the staff is "alternative" and maybe have tatoos and some piercings does not mean the place is dirty.

                                    1. re: Jenkins

                                      I really enjoyed the Red Fez the one time I was there....don't know why I don't go back more often. Although it was pretty crowded and hard to get a seat. But the food was great, the staff was friendly and attentive, and I thought it was fairly clean, although I did not use the restroom. The drinks were huge though. I ordered a Manhattan and I swear it was as big as my head!

                                      1. re: Jenkins

                                        I am "alternative" by your definition. Trust me, that is not why I find it dirty or the staff rude. I find them rude because they have been rude to me. I find the place dirty because I stick to the table and I find the bathroom dirty not because it is unisex (there are clean ones all over - like at Julian's) but because there is pee all over the floor and I have never seen toilet paper. I also was treated rudely by the bartender - my friend wanted a white russian and the bartender didn't want to make it with khalua - he went so far to make all of the other bartenders come over and he got out a drink book to prove to me that I was wrong about the khalua (the book really did have something else) - and I said - can my friend have it with khalua anyway - is that ok? It was not ok. I feel like I have been at an entirely different place then the rest of you.

                                        1. re: tabasc

                                          Very odd. Maybe just one of those nights where everything goes wrong.