The 15 Best Restaurants in Rhode Island!

Rhode Island has a diverse range of culinary delights, offering just about everything to its residents and guests. Local farms give rise to organic and home-grown crops used by restaurants all year-round, the coastline makes for excellent access to fresh seafood, and in addition Johnson and Wales University, a highly-ranked culinary school, has produced a variety of creative restaurant concepts with top-notch food to match. The state's immigrant populations have also brought incredible food with them from their own cultures—there's a lot more than just American food to sample.

1. Birch, Providence, RI

Birch offers an adventurous twist on dishes with locally-sourced, seasonal New England ingredients. Owner Ben Sukle along with his wife and general manager Heidi Sukle, often bring in guest chefs as well to spice up the menu. The pair recently opened up Oberlin, another great, neighborhood-feeling restaurant.

2. North, Providence, RI

This is the fanciest restaurant you’ve been to that won’t leave your wallet feeling empty. This fusion-style restaurant changes their menu often, which will have you coming back time and time again. Small, with only eight bar stools and only 20 other seats in the restaurant, it’s best to get to North early if you want to eat—they don’t take reservations and the place is wildly popular.

3. Al Forno, Providence, RI

Providence is known for its strong community of Italian-Americans, so it’s no wonder that the city boasts so many incredible Italian bistros! Pizza is Al Forno’s specialty—try the mushroom pizza for something rich and creamy, or the calamari pizza for something with a little extra kick.

4. Hemenway’s Seafood Grill & Oyster Bar, Providence, RI

Great food meets great service meets great cocktails! Oysters are a specialty of Hemenway’s, but don’t miss out on their lobster rolls, duck duo, or bluefish special either. With a loud and vibrant atmosphere, this is a great place for a date you want to dress up for.

5. Gracie’s, Providence, RI

At Gracie’s you’ll be sure to find a refined eating experience. With their very own herb garden on the terrace, Gracie’s ensures all of their products are fresh and aromatic. It’s an expensive investment for their tasting menu, but it’s well worth their exquisite selections such as foie gras, honey-glazed beer bread, and rib eye steak.

6. Beehive, Bristol, RI

Admire the seaside port and sailors out on the water as you eat on the terrace of Beehive Cafe. This cozy and quaint café offers classic favorites you’ll want to come back to again and again, like the butternut squash sandwich and fried chickpeas. Bonus: this café is along the East Bay Bike Path and makes for a great rest stop!

7. Pomodoro Pizzeria, Bristol, RI

This BYOB spot is off of the main area of Bristol, and you won’t want to miss it! Whatever pizza you get, you won’t be disappointed. Be warned—the place gets busy due to its popularity, so get there early (especially during the summer months). 

8. Bristol Oyster Bar, Bristol, RI

If you’re going to spend hours on a summer night sampling seafood and other delicious dishes from the Bristol Oyster Bar, why not start early between 4-6 p.m. to catch their $1 oyster special! Coming later? Try salmon crostini, bread pudding, or tuna poke, too.

9. The Mooring Seafood Kitchen & Bar, Newport, RI

Bristol and Providence are replete with great seafood places, as most of Rhode Island is. Why should Newport be any different? As you watch the sun fall over the Newport Harbor, sip on great wines, slurp on great oysters, and don’t forget to try the seafood pasta!

10. Bouchard Restaurant, Newport, RI

The French-American restaurant that even the French approve of! Not only will you be fawning over the delicious seafood dishes, but also the rich sauces they come in. You’ll love the great service as much as the sole, Cornish hen, and soufflé.

11. Ken’s Ramen, Providence, RI

Among the newer spots on Providence’s restaurant scene, Ken’s is always sure to have a wait. But once you’re in the doors of this hip noodle shop, you’ll be slurping down some of the most authentic ramen on the East Coast.

12. Persimmon, Providence, RI

Persimmon recently reopened its doors at its new location on Providence’s East Side. While the location may have changed, you’ll still find all of your favorites from this modern American restaurant, like striped bass with native squash, carnaroli risotto, or mango and passion fruit sorbet for dessert.

13. Los Andes Restaurant, Providence, RI

Discover an authentic Peruvian experience without leaving Rhode Island! Their dishes don’t only pack a punch of flavor, but are also visually stunning too, like the lobster paella which is served with a whole lobster crowning the plate.

14. Nick’s on Broadway, Providence, RI

This is the go-to spot for brunch in Rhode Island. Chef Derek Wagner has shaped a wonderfully creative menu with fanciful favorites like vanilla-battered, house-baked brioche French toast and Rhode Island Eggs Benedict. You can bet that your servers will be knowledgeable about all the ingredients, too.

15. Ella’s Fine Food & Drink, Westerly, RI

Nominated for several James Beard Awards, chef Jeanie Roland knows what she’s doing. That’s evident from the moment that you taste her tuna tacos, Parisian salad, or pork belly tacos—a must-have. Come prepared to get stuffed by what may be the best restaurant in South County.

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