Best casual food near Bristol RI
You may want to watch out with that handle in Rhode Island, yankees2738 ;)
If we were to go through local favorites from Newport through Providence, we'd be here all day, so I'll just throw out a few East Bay favorites, especially since the EB doesn't get that much love on the board. You can find tons of recs for affordable eating in PVD in other threads, and I'd direct you in particular to Thayer Street, Wickenden Street, and Hope Street on the East Side of Providence, as well as Downcity (around Weybosett/Westminster/Washington Streets in PVD). You will find plenty of places catering to the tastes/budgets of university students in both these areas. Incidentally, 20 minute radius from RWU probably doesn't include Providence and/or Newport given average traffic conditions, so if time is an issue, you may not get to those cities as often as you might anticipate.
Moving in a radius out from Bristol, you might want to check out:
Beehive Cafe--10 Franklin St. Bristol, very popular with students and a nice atmosphere for coffee, tea, and lunch.
Aidan's Pub--11 John Street, Bristol, classic pub atmosphere, decent food, and drinks when you're of age
Leo's Ristorante--365 Hope Street, Bristol. Italian, burgers, seafood, this would have been a better-than-average meal for me in college, but not out-of-reach pricewise
Quito's--411 Thames Street, Bristol, seafood "shack" on the waterfront
Pomodoro Pizza--271 Wood Street, Bristol, pizzeria
Green Eggs--Metacom Ave in the Bell Tower Plaza, Bristol, brunch
Jacky's Galaxie--383 Metacom Ave, Bristol, pan-asian and sushi, haven't eaten here in a few years, but it used to be quite good
Nacho Mamma's--76 State Street, Bristol, I can't vouch for this Mexican place but it looks appealing everytime I drive by; maybe one of these days...
Chomp Kitchen--440 Child Street, Warren, best burger I've had in the East Bay in years, also sandwiches
Square Peg--51 Miller Street, Warren, soup, salad, and sandwiches including falafel and fish tacos
Federal Hill Pizza--495 Main Street, Warren, pizza and Italian
I'm sure there are many more options, but I don't dine out casually as much as I once did. Also, many of the restaurants in Bristol offer student discounts with an RWU ID, so definitely check that out.