Passerguide: Providence, RI

Great Food, Great Coffee, Great Colleges and Brutalism - what more could you want in a city?

For Passerbuys' first city guide, I decided to explore Providence, Rhode Island with Passerby Mina Alyeshmerni. We keep hearing how everyone from Brooklyn, NY, is moving to Providence, (yes, apparently LA is out?!) so we decided to take a 48 hour road-trip to the city asking the Passerbuys community along with locals for where to visit. I didn't realize how much of a foodie city Providence is, and I was pleasantly surprised... whether you want to visit for the weekend, or better yet, an entire week - this guide should keep you busy (and happy). Feel free to comment below with your favorite spots, so that I can keep updating this guide! 


First things first, coffee

The Shop at 460 Wickenden St., 401-684-1140; Best cold brew I've had yet. An extremely photogenic coffee shop, that not only has excellent coffee but has great breakfast options. If I lived in Providence, this would definitely be my go-to spot. 

Bolt Coffee at 224 Benefit Street, Providence, RI 02903; located inside The RISD, the perfect charging station for your Museum visit - excellent artisanal coffee with a selection of baked goods.

White Electric Coffee at 711 Westminster St, Providence, RI 02903; laid-back vibe, great coffee - the kind of spot you'd want to work on your novel in.

Dave's Coffee Co at 341 S Main St, Providence, RI 02903; right off the Summer Flea Market, another great coffee option in Providence - super friendly staff.

The Shop, image courtesy  Sarah Nguyen

The Shop, image courtesy Sarah Nguyen


The Grange at 166 Broadway, 401-831-0600. Vegans - meet your favorite restaurant on earth. For those that aren't - you're going to reconsider that vegan life. They've got a great brunch, but also a great spot for lunch and dinner.

Olga’s Cup and Saucer at 103 Point St., 401-831-6666. Great summer breakfast spot, the outdoor seating area shouldn't be missed. 

Seven Stars Bakery at 820 Hope St., 401-521-2200. An absolute must if you're in Providence. Do your breakfast french style - with delicious pastries.

The Shop at 460 Wickenden St., 401-684-1140. Adding this recommendation again, as the breakfast was as good as their coffee - i.e. excellent.

Al Forno, image courtesy  The Eater

Al Forno, image courtesy The Eater

Must Try Restaurants

North at 3 Luongo Memorial Sq., 401-421-1100. Momofuku in Providence. An understated neighborhood restaurant serving cutting-edge regional & global small plates. Ignore the weird paintings on the wall - the food is going to make your top ten list of all-time.

Al Forno Restaurant at 577 S Water St., 401-273-9760. Apparently New Yorkers travel all the way here for pizza. After trying their pepperoni, I understood exactly why.

The Slow Rhode at 425 W Fountain St., 401-351-0006. Tucked amongst a martial arts studio and a brewery, this casual-chic New American-Southern restaurant is great place to start your night, with an array of delicious small plates as well as a strong wine list.

Loie Fullers at 1455 Westminster St., 401-273-4375. Three words: worth the wait.

New Rivers at 7 Steeple St., 401-751-035. A historic warehouse featuring locally sourced innovative & creative American eats. 

DenDen Café Asiana at 161 Benefit St., 401-270-5269. The perfect spot for a quick delicious lunch (order at the cash register, and the food will be delivered to your table) - a solid fusion of Korean & Japanese food in Providence.

Bacaro at 262 S Water St., 401-751-3700. Riverside setting for Italian fare: sizable wine list, extensive cured-meats menu & daily specials.

The Salted Slate at 186 Wayland Ave., 401-270-3737. Local meats, produce & seafood headline this warm, stylish bistro with a well-stocked bar.

The Dorrance at 60 Dorrance St., 401-521-6000. Iconic more than anything else - definitely a wedding destination, and with good reason. 

Persimmon at 99 Hope St., 401-432-7422. Save this one for a special night - the portions are small but you'll savor each bite.

Waterman Grille at 4 Richmond Sq., 401-521-9229. A true gem of a waterfront restaurant offering refined American cuisine.

Where To Shop

White Star Antiques at 357 S Main St., 401-648-7371. Fans of mid-century furniture will be spoiled here.

The Vault Collective at 235 Westminster St., 401-250-2587. A vintage store for those that don't want to leave empty handed.

Providence Flea Summer Market at 345 S Water St., 401-484-7783. An upscale urban market with amazing vendors and food trucks. 

NAVA at 197 Wickenden St., 401-453-6282. Vintage apparel with unique home decor.

RISD Works at 20 N Main St., 401-277-4949. RISD's museum shop featuring everything from mass-produced objects to individual pieces by RISD artists.

Sneaker Junkies at 290 Thayer St., 401-437-6997. Enough styles for everyone to find their perfect sneaker.


Where To Visit

The Providence Athenaeum at 251 Benefit St., 401-421-6970. Founded in 1836 as an independent, member-supported library, you'll want to spend a good few hours in here.

RISD Museum at 224 Benefit St., 401-454-6500. Excellent curation and selection of contemporary modern works. RISD is after all, one of the best art schools in the world. 

Roger Williams Botanical Center at 1000 Elmwood Ave., 401-680-7250. Because botanical centers are beautiful, and you must visit one in any city you're in.

J Schatz Studio at 46 Dike St., 401-273-0500. Located in a historical building that was created as a dye house for the Weybosset Mills in the 1880, this ceramic studio is a must-see.

Brown University 401-863-1000. Get lost in the neighborhood - the architecture is gorgeous. 

Brown University, John Hay Library, image courtesy  Selldorf Architects

Brown University, John Hay Library, image courtesy Selldorf Architects

New England in a nutshell, Providence has a hint of everything that makes East-Coast cities unique.


The Eddy at 95 Eddy St., 401-831-3339. Oysters and cocktails, you're in New England after all. 

Rooftop at the Providence G at 100 Dorrance St., 401-632-4904. Drink served with skyline views - best served during sunset. 

The Avery at 18 Luongo Memorial Sq., 401-751-5920. Speakeasy-style bar offering handcrafted cocktails & a long list of beers in a dark & cozy setting.

Lili Marlene's at 422 Atwells Ave., 401-751-4996. One of Providence's best bars. A dreamlike experience.

The Scurvy Dog at 1718 Westminster St., 401-270-7980. Edgy, rock 'n' roll-inspired watering hole featuring pool, pinball & a vast selection of beers.

Justine's at 11 Olneyville Sq., 401-454-4440. You have to go through a lingerie shop before you come in...yup.

The East End at 244 Wickenden St., 401-433-9770. Excellent whisky selection.

Fortnight Wine Bar at 79 Dorrance St., 401-572-3355. A casual, experimental wine bar with a love for all things delicious and well-made. 

The eddy bar passerbuys providence city guide.jpg

Words by Clémence Polès