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Sep 2, 2010 11:21 AM

Newport, RI best eats/ drinks

Hi all,

My bf and I are heading up from NYC to Newport, RI for a few days this labor day weekend. Looking for:

** best bakeries (esp for breakfast, like croissants, scones, etc)
** best coffee
** best cocktails (any fancy pants cocktail lounges with unique creations?) -- prob not a cocktail place, perhaps best beer selection with local brews?
** most reasonable/ delicious seafood place
** best local restaurant
** best ice cream
** best clams

Would esp like places using local ingredients, local farms, local fishermen. We enjoy good, reasonable food. Non-pretentious (okay, except for pretentious cocktails bc we like a good cocktail).

Some places I've picked out from the boards I'm looking to try:
Blue Plate Diner
The Landing
Aloha Cafe
Anthony's Seafood
Flo's Clam Shack

Thanks and looking forward to the suggestions!

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  1. The Black Pearl
    The Red Parrott
    Admiral Fitzroy B&B
    Newport Creamery
    Have a great time I love it up the. I go there from Jersey a few times a year

    1. I'm no expert on Newport, but we ate at Cafe Zelda a few weeks ago and had the best fried calamari I've had in a long time. It was fresh and not overcooked. My 15 yo daughter had their fish special and loved it. They seemed to have a nice bar scene as well, totally separate from the restaurant.

      Cafe Zelda
      528 Thames St, Newport, RI 02840

      1 Reply
      1. re: Isolda

        Just came back from Newport. Loved the Red Parrot. Had garlic bread with shrimp that was awesome. For drinks suggest a short drive over to Castle Hill. Sit out on the Adrondack chairs, have a great drink and watch the sunset. We also had a very upscale dinner at The Mooring. Fantastic seafood pie. Flo's clam shack was pretty good -- clams were excellent.

        Red Parrot
        348 Thames St, Newport, RI 02840

      2. You will love Fluke, not pretentious, farm to table, awesome cocktails.

        1 Reply
        1. re: eater7777

          I second Fluke. Makes the best of seasonal produce along with excellent local seafood.

        2. I thought I replied to this yesterday - maybe it was removed -
          ** best bakeries (esp for breakfast, like croissants, scones, etc) - Village Hearth in Jamestown - worth a quick drive - great baked goods
          ** best coffee - empire tea on Broadway
          ** best cocktails (any fancy pants cocktail lounges with unique creations?) -- prob not a cocktail place, perhaps best beer selection with local brews? - Fluke - upstairs - 41 N is a scene - great view - ok drinks
          ** most reasonable/ delicious seafood place - Anthony's
          ** best local restaurant - Zelda's for local people - Tallulah for local food
          ** best ice cream - Brickleys Lemon Ice Cream in Narragansett or Newport Creamery
          ** best clams - Anthony's

          Blue Plate Diner - no
          The Landing -no
          Aloha Cafe - no
          Anthony's Seafood - yes
          Yesterday's - no

          Add Perro Salado to the list - great outdoor space, great margaritas - Mexican - ish - really good sticky ribs!

          Village Hearth
          2 Watson Ave, Jamestown, RI

          Blue Plate Diner
          665 W Main Rd, Middletown, RI 02842

          Perro Salado
          19 Charles St, Newport, RI 02840

          2 Replies
          1. re: harryharry

            I second Perro Salado. Funky place, great drinks, nice vibe, tasty food.

            Perro Salado
            19 Charles St, Newport, RI 02840

            1. re: harryharry

              Why a no for Yesterday's?

            2. DEFINITELY get over to Castle Hill! At least for drinks on the lawn, even if you don't eat there. I used to suggest Spiced Pear for drinks w/a view, but the service is painfully bad, sometimes to the point of rudeness. Never had that problem at Castle Hill.

              One of the best views in town - adirondack chairs on a vast lawn looking over the water, w/views of the bridge.

              2 Replies
              1. re: JaneRI

                Thanks everyone for suggestions and tips! Just returned and wanted to do a little wrap up for future folks...

                Zelda's- We hit them up for their Sunday brunch. It was great. Best clam chowder of the trip hands down (and I ate a lot of chowda!). Not thickened with flour and well seasoned with a perfect amount of dill and fresh briney flavor. We had a Chesapeake Eggs Benedict (crab cake) and a Scandinavian (lox). The Chesapeake was delicious, though not exactly a crab cake. It was more crab in "cake" form, which was fine by me as it was fresher/ cleaner tasting, but the menu should be updated. Good ambiance, very nice staff.

                Salvation Cafe- was definitely a local favorite. Loved it. Solid, fresh food, family friendly. Slightly quirky atmosphere. This place obviously is a crowd pleaser. We arrived around 7PM for dinner and there was a 40min wait when we left!

                41 North- Grabbed a post-dinner drink. Expensive and weak drinks. You're paying for the view (a great pier, yacht and people watching spot) which was great, just wish drinks matched. They were definitely one of the more adventurous locations regarding cocktails, but when my bf (a slight cocktail expert) told them their Daiquiri was incorrectly named the waitress shot me a "is this guy serious" look. This place is like Miami in Newport. I'd likely go back for the atmosphere (esp if someone else was paying!) and just order martinis!

                Empire Coffee- This became our morning routine. Had coffee and a scone every morning here. Great coffee, decent scones, relaxed vibe.

                Clarke Cook's Candy Shop- We walked a solid 6 miles (Cliff Walk plus) and returned into town starving. Basically just went to the first place that would seat us. Good size sandwiches here and reasonable for the main touristed wharf.

                Benjamin's- Got this rec from our sunset boat crew who told us they go every night after work (who also recommended oyster shooters!). Downstairs "gets rowdy" we were warned upon arrival and headed up to their more low-key dining area. Fairly reasonable for the area, solid seafood and generous portions.

                Flo's Clam Shack- I have to say this was the most fried food I've eaten at once in a long time....! The lobster roll was good and I liked that it was served just lobster chunks on the roll and mayo was on the side. Just ate that lobsta straight no mayo needed! Chowder was okay. Good beach side experience and reasonable prices.

                Castle Hill- Great suggestion! We LOVED cocktails there. Again, pricey and you're paying for the view-- an amazing one at that, but we had a great time. The staff was fine, but we got into some great convos barside with some fellow patrons, learned some sailing terms and had a great time-- stayed longer than planned and missed out on Anthony's bc they closed by the time we headed out for dinner! Does get chilly on that hillside, but is worth the cocktail for the sunset.

                Perro Salada- Loved this place. Wish it was in NYC. Portions were enormous. We ordered guac expecting the usual 1 avo guac and there had to have been at least 3 avocados in that guac and a whole bag of chips!? Fresh too, with large fresh chunks of tomatoes. Prob best bargain too. We got the $8 tacos, thinking they'd be the usual taco size taco and they were overflowing with well-seasoned meat. Serious, two of us could have split the tacos and guac and would have been fine. Drinks were reasonable and delicious too (cilantro-jalapeno margarita and a cucumber one). Yum.

                Slice of Heaven- In Jamestown. We stopped in on our way out of town. Tried to to the Village Hearth, but they're not open Monday-Thursday! Slice of Heaven had a huge and good salad portion and okay chowder (a little floury).

                For the next visit I'll have to hit up all we missed and really wanted to try:
                Fluke, Anthony's and will of course have to get an awful awful from Newport Creamery!

                Places I'd return to:
                Zelda's, Perro Salada, Salvation, 41 (as long as someone else was paying), Castle Hill for a sunset cocktail and Empire.

                Village Hearth
                2 Watson Ave, Jamestown, RI

                Slice of Heaven
                32 Narragansett Ave, Jamestown, RI 02835

                Flo's Clam Shack
                4 Wave Ave, Middletown, RI 02842

                1. re: staceybelle

                  I have always liked Salvation Cafe -- now I'm motivated to get there again this fall! What did you guys like that you ordered there?