Casual/swanky dining in/near Providence
I just did a search through the archives and really didn't see anything that appealed to me (or my wallet).
I'd prefer to stay away from classic, homey Italian places...but I'm not entirely against them, either. Although my boyfriend and I are in our 20's, we're intimidated by the pretentious hipsters that frequent places like Julian's...so...
We're basically chain people trying to stray from our bad habits, so go easy on us.
-cheap ($6-$10 apps, $8-$15 entrees)
-casual, comfortable atmosphere
-consistently good food
Try the Red Fez. Bit of a hipster vibe, but attracts all kinds and lacks the attitude you occasionally get a Julians. The bar upstairs is more hipstery then the dining room downstairs, but even the bar is my go to spot for after work drinks with colleagues (lawyers in suits). Food is great and in your price point.
Menu is a mix of well down comfort food (grilled cheese, burgers, mac and cheese) and some fusion (pork belly tacos with kimchi)
49 Peck St, Providence, RI 02903
Broadway Bistro is very nice, but at the top of your price range. If you really want $10 entrees, though, you'll have to make some compromises, and would be better off going to one of the more ethnically-focused places. I'm not up on Mexican/Guatemalan, but there are any number of places in Olneyville (or if you want to head up to CF.) Pho Horn is consistently good Vietnamese, and very nice people. O Dinis is great for Portuguese, but you won't find $10-12 entrees there, either, maybe $15-16.
Well, I've only been there twice, so maybe I was just unlucky those times...but I felt very awkward, judged, and out of place. Could just be my insecurities talking. However, I generally find that places offering extensive vegan/veggie items tend to be VERY crowded...and I'd rather not sit centimeters away from another group/couple.
Anyway, I live in Seekonk so I don't mind traveling to other towns in SE MA/RI.