Six Reasons to Visit Providence Right Now

The Dean Hotel

Photograph by Christian Harder

Just as Boston’s dining scene has blossomed over the past few years, Providence, our neighbor 50 miles to the southwest, has quietly become something of a dining destination in its own right—a fact underscored by the April grand opening of the Dean Hotel, a brothel turned strip club turned ultra-hip hideaway. Located in Downcity, the now-thriving downtown district, the Dean is stacked to its industrial-chic rafters with affordable rooms (bunks start at $79 a night); an artisanal coffee bar (Bolt); a brauhaus serving German suds, schnapps, and sausages (Faust); and a posh wine and cocktail bar (the Magdalenae Room). It’s also steps away from many other must-visit newcomers to the area. Here, five more reasons to turn a Providence jaunt into a food-filled weekend getaway.

The Dean Hotel, $79–$700 per night, 122 Fountain St., thedeanhotel.com

 

Birch

Photograph by Benjamin Sukle

Birch
200 Washington St., birchrestaurant.com

Farmstead and the Dorrance alum Ben Sukle crafts stunning dishes with inspired accents—a smoked-fish-bone-infused aioli anchoring a fluke ceviche, say, or a crunchy layer of air-popped grains adding texture to a soufflé like johnnycake dessert. For fare of this caliber, the $49 four-course tasting menu is a bargain.

 

Ellie's Bakery

Photograph by Jason Wessel

Ellie’s Bakery
61 Washington St., graciesprovidence.com/ellies

The bakers here share sister restaurant Gracie’s larder, which translates to hearty breads layered with everything from pork belly and Gruyère to duck confit and fig preserves. It’s worth waking up for their breakfast offerings, particularly the thick, fluffy sweet-potato bread and egg sandwiches slathered with tart tomato jam.

 

North

Photograph by Tony Luong

North
3 Luongo Memorial Sq., foodbynorth.com

Momofuku vet James Mark turns out addictive Asian-influenced dishes—funky dan dan noodles with goat and squid; roasted cabbage with a zippy chili-maple vinaigrette; and buttery skate with oyster sauce and tart sauerkraut—at this tiny West End spot. Keep an eye out for a forthcoming offshoot, North bakery.

 

The Eddy

Photograph by CW Almeida

The Eddy
95 Eddy St., eddybar.com

This petite craft-cocktail lounge offers the classics (Sazeracs, Aviations) as well as more-inventive options, like barrel-aged libations and cocktails on tap. A rotating punch goes for a mere $5 a glass, and serves as the perfect chaser for soft pretzels and deviled eggs.

 

Ken’s Ramen

Photograph by Tony Luong

Ken’s Ramen
69 Washington St., kenramenpvd.com

Irreverent touches like a giant Fred Flintstone painting and staff tees emblazoned with the words “Ramen Cartel” belie just how serious this ramen bar is about its noodles. Chewy, brothless sesame-laced mazemen; dipping-style tsukemen; and traditional ramen in a rich, chicken-based paitan broth are even better when followed by a sip of sake or Sapporo.

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  • Guest

    4 out of 5 folks. The Eddy is not a friendly location. The others, especially North, are def worth the drive from MA!!!

  • Guest

    Huh. Weird that 2 of the places mentioned are really new – still soft opening stage – potential is there, but I wouldn’t drive down immediately, quite yet. This reads like a PR driven article and comes off as a tad disingenuous – a disservice to all the restaurants mentioned.

  • http://www.nickinglis.com Nick Inglis

    Another newcomer left out, right next to Ken’s Ramen is Figidini, my favorite of the lot of amazing new restaurants. Great food, great drinks, cool atmosphere.

  • Ashley Waite

    They missed out on XO Cafe! Creative and delicious food by Marty Lyons and tremendous service from an amazing group of talented servers and bartenders!