My Favorite Things: Providence, Rhode Island
My Favorite Things is a series to help you quickly find and save all my recommendations. From sites to see, places to eat, and everything else - if I find a new favorite, I want to share it with you!
While Providence isn’t one of the most popular cities in New England, its charming aesthetic of colonial and nautical is irresistible. Winter New England weather isn’t always the most conducive to walking around, so I imagine that this town only gets more charming without the whipping wind and snow flurries. Regardless, Providence (and Jackie) made sure that we never went hungry – and had a little bit of culture on the side.
I had heard about Julian’s from a friend (Thanks Jen!) and our Providence hostess-with-the-mostess Jackie had also heard about this spot from her friends. With that mountain of recommendations, breakfast at Julian’s was the first thing we did Saturday morning. Based on our understanding of their popularity (and some help from Google), we arrived around 8:30 and were seated right away. Even an hour later, the wait was so long that people were leaving. The menu is fairly expansive and they are seemingly happy to make accommodations and changes to items. I had their breakfast burrito with tofu instead of chicken, and it was delicious. Pair good food with a quirky interior and a bathroom full of Pez dispensers and a DVD player, this will quickly become one of your new favorites.
Although technically not in Providence, I’m including The Guild because it’s only a short drive to its Pawtucket location. An old mill that has been renovated into brewing space, come to their industrial tap room to try a range of beer and feel like a local. (At least, I did.) They have plenty of tables and space to play games. We also saw people bringing their own take-out dinners. If, like me, you prefer a laidback space to a downtown bar, this is the spot for you.
Rhode Island School of Design Museum
Before you skip this recommendation because you don’t like art or art museums, you should know that I generally fall into the same category. Besides modern art, I’m a scanner and a walker through most other types of exhibits. However, with the amount of galleries and pieces within the RISD Museum, you will find something you’re interested in. I’d be willing to guarantee it. I personally enjoyed the rotating exhibit, the modern art, and the section on Ancient Greece. (Nothing like singing Hercules songs in front of ancient vases.) There’s also an Egyptian section, and a mummy is a crowd pleaser for all kinds. The museum is also free on Sundays, if you want to take advantage.
Just a short walk from the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Knead Doughnuts are big enough to have for lunch – which we happily did. A cute place full of subway tile and natural light, try not to be overwhelmed by the options and flavors laid out in the case. While the place is cute and the doughnuts are obviously made with care, maybe wait to have coffee somewhere else. (Or maybe I just caught them at the end of a pot.)
Small Point Café
A ten minute walk from the museum, Small Point Café is a nice reprieve from the busy streets of downtown. Have a bagel, some great coffee and sit in the shadow of their window plants. Open until 6 pm most days, you can enjoy their artsy vibe for any meal of the day.
Have you been to Providence? Where should I check out on my next trip?