Where to Eat in Providence: The Best Restaurants and Bars

April 14, 2018 Tynisha Seiler

Years of careful urban planning and meticulous restoration have rendered this former rum and molasses trading town one of the best places to live in the United States, star of an eponymous television show and a swell place to spend a weekend. Historic sites, wonderful museums and theaters seamlessly blend with newer attractions on the block including a modern mega-mall, scenic Riverwalk, outdoor skating arena, convention center, plus new hotels and restaurants. The Roger Williams Zoo, with its updated Tropical Rainforest Building where "spunky monkeys" roam free in a constructed jungle-like environment, remains one of the city's top attractions and offers hours of entertainment for children and adults alike. Wander back in time on Benefit Street, where eminent Federal period homes recall the city's wealthy past. For a modern experience, check out the more than 100 stores at Providence Place. Or tantalize your taste buds on "The Hill," a historic area that boasts many award- winning restaurants, from the Italian and Mediterranean cuisine for which "Little Italy" got its name, to Caribbean, Mexican, Chinese, seafood and baked goods. For a different perspective, take a romantic river cruise on an authentic Venetian gondola. No matter what your vantage point, Providence sparkles.
Things to do in Providence

1. Los Andes

903 Chalkstone Ave, Providence, RI 02908-3558 Parking Available, Valet Parking, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Takeout, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Street Parking, Television, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover, Accepts Credit Cards Peruvian, Latin, Seafood, Spanish, South American, Central American, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Dinner, Lunch +1 401-649-4911
Excellent
77%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Los Andes

Reviewed By ddoran - boston

Our waitress, the Peruvian Camille, advised us to try their special version that night of their Causa Limena which added crab and other unusual things. This was the first plate that was even better than their Cervice Classico. We shared the entree sized Cerviche with a Churasco al Gaucho. For wine, Ali advised us to try their Chilean Calypra Chardonnay..which was a spectacular match for our meal. We had coffee and our tres leches for dessert. Thanks to Diego Curi for seating us, Andrea Curi for her gracious welcome, and my apology to Stephanie for allowing me to switch tables so I could practice my Dominican Spanish. We are eating all of our leftovers for a home dinner tonight.

2. Massimo Restaurant

134 Atwells Ave, Providence, RI 02903-1632 Television, Takeout, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Street Parking, Validated Parking, Valet Parking, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Accepts Discover, Accepts Credit Cards Italian, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Drinks SGD 24 - SGD 59 +1 401-273-0650
Excellent
78%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 356 reviews

Massimo Restaurant

From Joseph + Esther DeQuattro of Pane Vino comes the much anticipated Massimo. Massimo brings the quintessential Italian trattoria to Providence’s Federal Hill Neighborhood. Offering a seasonal Italian menu inspired by the regional cuisines of Italy. Signature dishes include Fettuccine alla Carbonara with guanciale and a farm fresh egg, the Fig & Taleggio Pizza, and the House-Aged Rib-eye “Fiorentina.” Located at the gateway to federal hill, Massimo is classically designed to create a warm and lively setting, featuring dark woods and bright pops of yellow. Massimo’s spacious dining room has giant sliding glass doors that lend an al fresco feel to the entire first floor. Upstairs, the glass-enclosed dining room – including a full bar & lounge – make it the perfect place for occasions of all scopes and sizes, whether it’s a quiet night out with friends and family, a corporate team building event, or a boisterous celebration with seating for up to 100 guests. Massimo has unique Italian wines from small boutique Italian winemakers and a cellar selection from Italy, Spain and California. Our approach to wine is accessibility, quality and variety to encourage unfettered enjoyment. Our bar features beers on tap, cocktails, and a large selection of classic Italian amari, grappa and many other Italian liqueurs.

Reviewed By Robert B - Westlake Village, California

My recent meal at Massimo was hit-and-miss, but mostly everything was fantastic. The Orecchiette con Salsiccia was one of the best pasta dishes I've ever had, and the Pollo al Limone was perfectly cooked and flavorful; however, the meal fell flat with the spaghetti carbonara which both came out cold and bland -- other reviews mention issues with the carbonara as well, so I would stay away from it entirely. Also, the caprese special we ordered lacked taste, mainly missing salt. Despite these two dishes, everything else was perfect: the waitstaff was incredibly hospitable and the restaurant's decor makes for an inviting ambiance.

3. East Side Pocket

278 Thayer St, Providence, RI 02906-1548 Takeout, Seating Fast Food, Mediterranean, Greek, Middle Eastern, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options Lunch, Dinner, Late Night SGD 26 +1 401-453-1100
Excellent
72%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 242 reviews

East Side Pocket

Reviewed By Carrie S

Food was delicious and very fresh! The falafel was crisp and freshly fried, the meat was juicy and flavorful, and all the toppings were fresh tasting. There was little seating but well worth the trip. It was also extremely reasonably priced.

4. Waterman Grille

4 Richmond Sq, Suite 100B, Providence, RI 02906-5117 (Formerly "Gatehouse") Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Television, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Free Wifi American, Seafood, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Late Night SGD 41 - SGD 52 +1 401-521-9229
Excellent
71%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 548 reviews

Waterman Grille

Reviewed By RM C - Boston, Massachusetts

Wonderful place for dinner. Comfortable dining room, superb service, excellent food. Some dishes need to be simplified, however. For example, the perfectly grilled octopus was lost in a mess of sauce, chorizo, roasted peppers, and fingerling potatoes. Too much! Lighten the touch on some dishes for the better.

5. Enoteca Umberto

256 Atwells Ave, Providence, RI 02903-1529 Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Serves Alcohol Italian, Wine Bar, Vegetarian Friendly Dinner +1 401-272-8466
Excellent
87%
Good
8%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 112 reviews

Enoteca Umberto

Reviewed By borgesnany

No matter how often we dine here, it's a dinning experience!!! Not just a "going out to eat " type of experience. We no longer order. We let Umberto and Lia pick the specials of the day for us. No matter what the dish is, there has never been a time when we were not happy and satisfied. This is truly like going back to Sicily!
If you haven't been there, please do yourself a favor, make a reservation ! Regardless of how often we have been here, the incredible enjoyment of the taste and the atmosphere is superb. Umberto and Lia are incomparable!
So is the food. We go no where else to dine! It's truly European ( Sicilian) dining at its best. We absolutely adore this Enoteca!!! If you haven't been here, you haven't dined!

6. Pane E Vino

365 Atwells Ave, Providence, RI 02903-1456 Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Television, Free Wifi, Reservations, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Valet Parking, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover, Accepts Credit Cards Italian, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Dinner SGD 39 - SGD 131 +1 401-223-2230
Excellent
66%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
2%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 416 reviews

Pane E Vino

Joseph and Esther DeQuattro introduced Pane e Vino to Providence, RI in 2002. Grounded in the spirit and tradition of Southern Italy, at Pane Vino you’ll find your favorite dishes expertly prepared and served in a rustic but elegant setting. Combining the very best of tradition with current executions to form a straightforward philosophy...local, simple, & fresh. The menu and daily specials highlight seasonal flavors, fresh local produce, an all-Italian wine list, and imported specialties from Italy. Signature dishes include a Buacatini Amatriciana, Frutti di Mare with squid ink linguine, and a Veal Chop Parmigiana. Whether you are celebrating a family occasion, enjoying a date night, or a working dinner, Pane e Vino offers many choices to customize your meal. Whatever you choose, Pane E Vino guarantees that you will be satisfied, as do the people of Rhode Island who voted it best Italian restaurant in the state in the Rhode Island Monthly magazine's reader's poll.

Reviewed By 1210GW - Maine

We arrived on a Saturday night, without reservations. Our hotel had recommended and said there was a possibility of getting in. It had been a difficult day, so arriving and seeing the full house and no tables available, made it look pretty ominous. Instead we were set up with three places at the bar.
Both bartenders introduced themselves, took care of drinks and provided bread cheese olives and oil. We were happy!
Appetizers were carpaccio and buffalo mozzarella with marinated artichoke.
We each had wonderful pasta dishes as well as wine, and beer, and cocktails. Every thing perfectly paired, or prepared.
Later while enjoying dessert, a shared tiramisu and gelato, one of the bartenders gave us each some of his homemade limoncello to taste..again, another personal lovely gesture.
Along with the camaraderie that comes with eating at the bar, we exchanged our stories, and the manager told us he had comp'd a round of drinks because of our "not so fun" events earlier in the day,...then he turned to my son and thanked hm for a painting class, my son had taught and he attended, a few weeks before. A nice unexpected compliment

Yes, there was a lot of personal connections made, and some would say our review is colored by that...but we went there with no expectations except the hope to get in and have a nice family dinner. This staff, the chefs, the atmosphere and finally the phenomenal food all make for a wonderful special evening.The bar Staff and manager went out of their way to share their food and hospitality with us. It was much more than expected, and beyond appreciated. Do not miss Pane E Vino

7. Gracie's

194 Washington St, Providence, RI 02903-3212 Reservations, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Validated Parking, Valet Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Credit Cards American, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Dinner, Late Night SGD 33 - SGD 131 +1 401-272-7811
Excellent
75%
Good
15%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 457 reviews

Gracie's

Established in 1998, Gracie’s was founded with a vision to offer fine food and personal attention to all. Started on Providence’s Federal Hill, Gracie’s quickly outgrew its 30-seat location and moved to the Downcity Theater District in 2005. The new space offers a cozy wine room, a stunning private dining room and greater seating capacity. Although Gracie’s has grown in size it remains true to it’s mission -- to create a warm environment, and to surprise, excite and educate the palate.

Reviewed By Davida H

My husband made the reservation, explaining that we were celebrating a special occasion and that we would like a quiet table. As soon as we arrived, we were welcomed with a congratulations which was again noted at the table and by the waiter and cemented with a glass of Proseco. The atmosphere was lovely! We opted for the seven course fixed price meal for the fore gras and were thoroughly glad that we did as that was a highlight! The waitress listened to our food preferences and all were accommodated. Each course was very flavorful and delicious and the service was outstanding. The pace of the meal was just right so that we left filling full but not bloated and very happy. I absolutely recommend Gracie’s.

8. Hemenway's Seafood Grill & Oyster Bar

121 S Main St, Providence, RI 02903-2905 Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Validated Parking, Valet Parking, Television, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Free Wifi American, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Late Night SGD 41 - SGD 52 +1 401-351-8570
Excellent
64%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Hemenway's Seafood Grill & Oyster Bar

Located on the River in downtown Providence, Hemenway’s is Rhode Island’s premiere seafood address. Aspiring to bring you the freshest and highest quality fin-fish, shellfish and mollusks in the United States while delivering genuine hospitality in a relaxed, social atmosphere. Hemenway’s offers an award-winning wine list, customized private dining for up to 45 guests, seasonal al fresco dining and full menu service in the bar area.

Reviewed By Gerald P

Real good seafood in a very nice upscale setting. The cold dishes were good especially the oysters. The clam chowder was flavorful with plenty of clams. The crab cakes were good but a hair lacking in the crust. The shrimp was a bit over seasoned. The zucchini chips were excellent, but the salt and vinegar homemade potato chips unexpectedly stole the show for the sides. Would definitely recommend this place if you don't mind paying a little dough.

9. Siena Restaurant

238 Atwells Ave, Providence, RI 02903-1529 Takeout, Reservations, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Valet Parking, Television, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar Italian, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Drinks, Late Night SGD 24 - SGD 33 +1 401-521-3311
Excellent
66%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 742 reviews

Siena Restaurant

Brothers Anthony and Chris Tarro own all three restaurants in the Siena Restaurant Group. Located in the heart of Providence's Federal Hill, Siena Restaurant was opened in 2005 and features authentic Tuscan cuisine in a warm and lively atmosphere. While the brothers were raised in Warwick, R.I., Their family has deep roots in the Italian-American community on Federal Hill making it the perfect location for their first restaurant. Come find out why Siena has received Rhode Island Monthly's "Best Restaurant in RI" award for the last two years. Enjoy casually elegant dining with menu selections including a wide variety of grilled steaks, seafoods, and veal entrees along with numerous signature pasta & saute dishes. Reservations accepted. Complimentary valet parking.

Reviewed By ejchowder - Providence, Rhode Island

This quickly became one of my favorite places here in Providence. As all you Rhode Islanders may already know, we are known for our Italian food. Most are tucked away in the Federal Hill/Atwells Ave area with a few sprinkled throughout the city and beyond....MoreThank you so much for the kind review. I am happy to hear you enjoyed your experience with us. We hope to have you back soon! Chris Tarro Owner

10. Cafe Nuovo

1 Citizens Plz Ste 1, Providence, RI 02903-1345 Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Validated Parking, Valet Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar American, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options, Vegan Options Lunch, Dinner, Late Night SGD 105 +1 401-421-2525
Excellent
69%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 429 reviews

Cafe Nuovo

Casually elegant Cafe Nuovo, at the Gondola Landing on Providence's famed Riverwalk, has been hailed by the New York Times and singled out by the Providence Journal as "RI's contribution to world class dining." The scenic waterside setting is matched only by the "fresh, seasonal flavor of Cafe Nuovo's contemporary American cuisine and heavenly dessert creations." Through glass curtain walls or while dining al fresco on the piazza, patrons enjoy attentive service and commanding city views while the river and gondolas roll by. Free valet parking evenings. **Sunday Open for Waterfire, Graduations, some Holidays or private functions

Reviewed By LindaC2O - Providence, Rhode Island

A colleague had her wedding here. There is an atrium used for the ceremony and then we had drinks and appetizers in the main dining room, closed since it was Sunday before they opened. Lunch was then served back in the atrium which had been reset with tables around the perimeter and a dance floor in the middle. Staff ahndled these arrangements very well Lunch was prompt, well prepared and above average food even for a restaurant. But way more than you’d normally get at a wedding. Worked out really well.

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