12 Unique Restaurants in Rhode Island: The Most Extraordinary Eats in the Ocean State

by Jen
Unique Restaurants in Rhode Island
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Our guide is your ticket to discovering the most unique restaurants in Rhode Island, from hidden gems to scenic spots perfect for any meal. Get ready to explore Rhode Island’s extraordinary culinary scene like never before!

Rhode Island, a New England gem, may be the smallest state, but it’s bursting with flavors that defy its size. This beautiful spot on the East Coast is a haven for foodies, offering a diverse culinary scene that ranges from historic taverns to innovative dining experiences. Whether you’re craving fresh seafood by the ocean or a quirky meal in a retro setting, Rhode Island delivers with charm and uniqueness.

As we embark on a culinary journey through the Ocean State, we’ll discover spots that are more than just places to eat; they’re experiences that linger in your memory long after the last bite. From the oldest taverns in America to hidden oyster bars, and from themed dinners to cozy bakeries, each restaurant tells a story. These are places where the ambiance is just as important as the menu, and where every meal is an adventure.

Prepare to be intrigued, delighted, and maybe a bit surprised as we explore Rhode Island’s most unique dining destinations, offering top things to do in Rhode Island!

The top restaurants to visit in Rhode island right now

Unique Restaurants in Rhode Island: 12 Incredible Rhode Island Eateries

From seaside eateries with stunning views to cozy, hidden gems serving up local flavors, Rhode Island’s unique restaurants have something for every palate. Let’s explore the Ocean State’s culinary treasures and discover where your next memorable meal will be.

1. Ogie’s Trailer Park

In the heart of Providence, Ogie’s Trailer Park stands out as one of the coolest restaurants in Rhode Island. This unique spot combines the vibes of a dive bar, a retro kitchen, and a family-friendly hangout, all with a trailer park twist. It’s a place where everyone finds something to love, from comfort food lovers to beer aficionados.

The menu at Ogie’s is a dream for anyone craving comfort with a side of nostalgia. Imagine biting into Granny Boo’s Badass Bacon Burger or enjoying a plate of crispy tater tots. And for the beer lovers? The selection is top-notch, featuring local favorites and rare finds like The Alchemist’s Heady Topper.

But Ogie’s is more than great food and drinks. It’s about the experience. Dining here means sitting at picnic tables or cozying up by a fire pit, surrounded by quirky decor and parts of trailers. It’s where meals come with a side of laughter and memories, making it a must-visit for anyone exploring Rhode Island’s culinary scene.

Ogie's Trailer Park is one of the unique restaurants in Rhode Island.
Ogie’s Trailer Park is a cool restaurant with a dive bar and retro kitchen vibes.

2. The Dinner Detective

Step into The Dinner Detective and find yourself in the middle of a mystery that unfolds with every bite. Located in Providence, this dinner show offers a unique blend of suspense and dining, making every evening unforgettable. From the moment you arrive, the mystery begins, with actors hidden among the guests, ready to draw you into an interactive experience.

Among themed restaurants in Rhode Island, The Dinner Detective stands out for its engaging approach. Guests can become part of the story, with clues scattered throughout the evening, leading to a prize for the top sleuth. It’s an adventure that tests your detective skills while you dine.

The menu promises a satisfying experience, with multiple courses designed to delight. And with shows running year-round, every visit offers a new mystery to solve. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or just looking for a night out with a twist, The Dinner Detective is your ticket to a thrilling culinary journey!

Enjoy a suspenseful dining experience with actors mingling among guests at The Dinner Detective.
Enjoy a suspenseful dining experience with actors mingling among guests at The Dinner Detective. | Image Source: https://providence.thedinnerdetective.com/

3. Village Hearth Bakery Cafe

Tucked away in Jamestown, Village Hearth Bakery Cafe is a cozy spot where the aroma of fresh bread fills the air. This family-run bakery and cafe prides itself on making everything from scratch. From stone-milled whole grains to hearty loaves baked in a wood-fired brick oven, every bite tells a story of tradition and craftsmanship.

As one of the unique restaurants in Rhode Island, Village Hearth offers more than just bread. The menu features rustic Italian, Kalamata Olive Ciabatta, and French Loaves, among others. The cafe serves up hearty breakfast dishes, mouthwatering sandwiches, and wood-fired pizzas on weekends. And let’s not forget the sweet pastries, from muffins to sticky buns, all baked fresh daily.

Open for breakfast and lunch, with special pizza nights on the weekend, Village Hearth Bakery Cafe is a must-visit for anyone seeking a genuine taste of Rhode Island. It’s a place where food is made with love, and every meal feels like coming home.

Village Hearth Bakery Cafe offers homemade delights, including freshly baked bread.
Village Hearth Bakery Cafe offers homemade delights, including freshly baked bread.

4. CAV

Step into CAV in Providence, and you’re stepping into a world of drama and elegance. This restaurant is known for its unique atmosphere, where every corner tells a story. With white lights, exposed beams, and dramatic chandeliers, CAV sets the stage for an unforgettable dining experience.

The menu is a delightful journey through French and American cuisine, with a touch of Asian influence. Signature dishes like Poulet aux poires and duck confit showcase the kitchen’s flair for combining comfort with sophistication. For those looking for value, the bistro menu offers smaller portions of CAV’s favorites.

Among the best restaurants in Rhode Island, CAV stands out for its eclectic menu and the artful presentation of its dishes. The restaurant also features a collection of ceremonial art and antiques, adding an extra layer of intrigue to your visit. Whether you’re enjoying a meal or simply sipping a drink at the vintage bar, CAV promises an experience that’s as rich in culture as it is in flavor.

At CAV in Providence, immerse yourself in drama and elegance amidst unique décor and lighting.
At CAV in Providence, immerse yourself in drama and elegance amidst unique décor and lighting.

5. Troop

Nestled in Providence, Troop is a culinary adventure wrapped in a throwback to the ’80s. Here, the decor is a fun nod to the past, but the menu is a vibrant celebration of today’s global street food scene.

The place buzzes with an ’80s vibe, thanks to servers in Adidas tracksuits and decor filled with retro icons. Yet, Troop is firmly in the present with its diverse and delicious offerings. It’s where nostalgia meets modern dining in a perfect blend.

Among fun places to eat in Rhode Island, Troop shines for its creative menu. You’ll find dishes like roasted cauliflower on black lentils with za’atar honey, Korean short ribs in hot chili sauce, and a standout hanger steak with chimichurri and yucca fries. It’s a spot where the world’s flavors come together under one roof, offering something for everyone. Troop turns dining into an experience, making it a must-visit for those seeking fun and flavor in every bite.

Troop offers a nostalgic '80s vibe with a modern twist on global street food.
Troop offers a nostalgic ’80s vibe with a modern twist on global street food.

6. White Horse Tavern

In Newport, White Horse Tavern is a special place where history meets delicious food. It started way back in 1673, making it one of the oldest spots to grab a meal in America. Imagine eating in a place that’s been around for over 350 years!

This historic spot is not only a journey back in time but also a showcase of New England’s finest flavors. From the land and sea, the tavern brings together a menu that marries tradition with a touch of the modern. It’s a place where every dish surprises, from classic clam chowder to innovative lobster ravioli.

As one of the best places to eat in Rhode Island, White Horse Tavern stands out. You can start with fresh oysters or try their famous clam chowder. For the main dish, there’s beef Wellington with all the trimmings or crispy duck that’s just delicious. They even ask local fishermen for the “catch of the day” to keep things exciting and fresh.

White Horse Tavern is one of the unique restaurants in Rhode Island.
White Horse Tavern, serving delicious food since 1673, offers a unique blend of history and flavor.

7. Matunuck Oyster Bar

There’s a place where seafood lovers rejoice in South Kingstown: Matunuck Oyster Bar. It’s not just any seafood spot. Here, they take fresh to a whole new level. Imagine eating oysters that were just in the water off the porch. That’s Matunuck for you.

This place has gotten a lot of attention, and for good reason. Their seafood, especially the oysters, is top-notch. They raise their own Matunuck Oysters in Potter’s Pond, right next to the restaurant. You can even take a tour of the oyster farm to see where your food comes from.

When it comes to unique Rhode Island restaurants, Matunuck Oyster Bar is a gem. Their raw bar is something you can’t miss. The oysters taste like the ocean in the best way possible. And it’s not just oysters; they serve amazing bay scallops and a Rhode Island Seafood Stew that’s out of this world. Even their fried clams are a hit. If you’re in Rhode Island and love seafood, this is the place to be.

Matunuck Oyster Bar offers unparalleled freshness with oysters straight from nearby waters.
Matunuck Oyster Bar offers unparalleled freshness with oysters straight from nearby waters.

8. Camp Nowhere

Looking for cheap eats in Rhode Island? Camp Nowhere in North Providence is your go-to spot. This unique place is all about enjoying great food in a cool setting. Imagine a cozy cabin with a camp theme where every dish is a tasty surprise, and the prices are unbeatable.

Camp Nowhere stands out with its $3 menu. Yes, you read that right! From gourmet sliders to mouth-watering nachos, the quality and flavor of these dishes will blow you away. And it’s not just the food that’s affordable – the drinks are too. Picture sipping on a $3 cocktail named Bug Juice or Cactus Moonrise. Sounds fun, right?

In the world of unique Rhode Island restaurants, Camp Nowhere shines bright. It’s a place where you can order the entire menu for $48 and share a feast with friends. Don’t miss out on their $3 desserts like Fried Oreos to top off your meal. Everything here is made with fresh ingredients, yet the prices make you do a double-take.

Camp Nowhere offers affordable and delicious eats in a cool, camp-themed setting.
Camp Nowhere offers affordable and delicious eats in a cool, camp-themed setting.

9. Stanley’s Famous Hamburgers

In Central Falls, there’s a spot that’s been cooking up some of the best burgers for nearly 90 years. Stanley’s Famous Hamburgers is a slice of Rhode Island history that’s been delighting locals and visitors alike since 1932.

When it comes to fun restaurants in Rhode Island, Stanley’s is a must-visit. This place has mastered the art of the burger, offering everything from classic cheeseburgers to unique creations like the pepper cheese burger. And it’s not just about burgers; they’ve got chili dogs, club sandwiches, and even a seafood Friday special.

Stanley’s charm goes beyond its menu. It’s the kind of place where you feel right at home, thanks to its cozy, cabin-style interior and friendly service. Whether you’re craving a single patty or going all out with a double, each bite is a taste of tradition. Don’t forget to pair your burger with some of their famous fries or onion rings for the full experience.

Stanley's Famous Hamburgers serves top-notch burgers for nearly 90 years, a staple since 1932.
Stanley’s Famous Hamburgers serves top-notch burgers for nearly 90 years, a staple since 1932.

10. Kai Bar

Rhode Island is full of dining spots, but Kai Bar in East Greenwich is a treasure waiting to be discovered. This tropical-themed restaurant brings a slice of the Caribbean to the heart of Rhode Island. With its vibrant atmosphere and a menu that sings with flavor, it’s a getaway without the travel.

In the realm of unique places to eat in Rhode Island, Kai Bar stands out. It’s not just the food that draws people in; it’s the whole experience. Imagine sipping bold, citrus-flavored cocktails right from a tropical bar, surrounded by an ambiance that feels like a perpetual summer.

The menu at Kai Bar is a delightful journey through Caribbean-inspired dishes. Small plates packed with big flavors are the stars here. Whether you’re in the mood for a light brunch or a full meal, this spot has you covered. And let’s not forget the drinks – each cocktail is a masterpiece in itself, promising a taste of the tropics with every sip.

Kai Bar in East Greenwich offers a taste of the Caribbean, waiting to be discovered.
Kai Bar in East Greenwich offers a taste of the Caribbean waiting to be discovered.

11. The Coast Guard House

Nestled in Narragansett, The Coast Guard House is a landmark that’s hard to miss. This iconic restaurant has been a staple of Rhode Island dining since the 1940s, offering breathtaking views and mouthwatering cuisine. It’s a place where history and flavor meet, creating unforgettable dining experiences.

Originally built by the United States Life Saving Service in the late 1800s, it has served generations of diners, offering a year-round culinary retreat. Whether you’re a local or just passing through, this spot promises a meal to remember. Among scenic places in Rhode Island to eat, The Coast Guard House stands out. Perched above the rocky coastline, it offers a dining experience like no other.

Here, you can enjoy the freshest seafood, locally sourced ingredients, and creative cocktails, all while gazing out at the sea. The menu is a celebration of local flavors, from succulent seafood dishes to hearty land fare. And with its outdoor deck and cozy fire pits, it’s the perfect spot to relax and soak in the views.

The Coast Guard House has been an iconic restaurant since the 1940s, with stunning views and delicious cuisine.
The Coast Guard House has been an iconic restaurant since the 1940s, with stunning views and delicious cuisine.

12. The Royal Bobcat

Looking for unique restaurants in Rhode Island for dinner? The Royal Bobcat in Providence is a spot you can’t miss. It’s like stepping back into the Roaring Twenties, complete with vintage cocktails and a vibe that’s all about fun. This place is all about bringing that old-school New Orleans jazz age to life, right on Federal Hill.

The Royal Bobcat isn’t just about drinks; it’s a full experience. With a menu that nods to classic cocktails and creative mocktails, there’s something for everyone. And if you’re hungry, the in-house Hanju Kitchen serves up “Ko-Cajun” cuisine that’s as unique as it gets. Think Po’Boy Sandwiches with a twist and kimchi mac ‘n’ cheese that will keep you coming back for more.

This spot is perfect for a night out with friends or a cozy date. The Royal Bobcat proves that some things, like great drinks and good times, never go out of style. So, next time you’re in Providence and looking for a place with charm, delicious food, and drinks, you know where to go.

The Royal Bobcat is one of the unique restaurants in Rhode Island.
The Royal Bobcat offers a unique Roaring Twenties vibe for dinner on Federal Hill. | Image Source: https://theroyalbobcat.com/

Frequently Asked Questions About the Unique Places to Eat in Rhode Island

In our FAQ section, you’ll find everything you need to know from our Rhode Island restaurant guide, answering all your dining questions.

What are some unique foods in Rhode Island?

Rhode Island is famous for its seafood, but it’s also home to some unique dishes. One standout is the stuffie, a stuffed clam filled with a mix of breadcrumbs, herbs, and sometimes chorizo. Another must-try is the Rhode Island clam cake, a deep-fried delight that’s perfect for seafood lovers. Don’t forget about johnnycakes, a cornmeal flatbread that’s a tasty breakfast option. These dishes showcase the best food in Rhode Island and are a great way to experience the state’s culinary diversity.

What is Rhode Island’s signature food?

Rhode Island’s signature food is undoubtedly the clam cake. These savory fritters are packed with chopped clams and fried to perfection, making them a beloved local treat. Another iconic dish is the Rhode Island-style calamari, which is fried and tossed with garlic butter and banana peppers. For a true taste of the Ocean State, these dishes are a must-try and represent the Rhode Island’s best restaurants and their commitment to showcasing local flavors.

What is the state drink of Rhode Island?

The state drink of Rhode Island is coffee milk. This unique beverage is made by mixing sweet coffee syrup with milk, creating a deliciously smooth drink that Rhode Islanders love. It’s a staple in local diners and homes and is a must-try for anyone visiting the state. Coffee milk reflects the state’s culinary traditions and is a beloved part of fine dining in Rhode Island, especially as a nostalgic nod to childhood.

Coffee Milk - Sweet and creamy Rhode Island beverage.
Coffee Milk – Sweet and creamy Rhode Island beverage.

Where can I find the best seafood in Rhode Island?

For the best seafood in Rhode Island, head to the coastal towns where fresh catch is a daily routine. Narragansett, Newport, and Providence are known for their seafood restaurants, offering everything from casual clam shacks to upscale dining experiences. Look for spots that serve local favorites like clam chowder, lobster rolls, and oysters. These places often rank among Rhode Island’s best restaurants for seafood lovers seeking the freshest and most flavorful dishes.

What are some hidden gem restaurants in Rhode Island?

Rhode Island may be small, but it’s filled with hidden gem restaurants waiting to be discovered. From cozy cafes in Providence’s side streets to seaside eateries with stunning views, these spots offer unique menus and charming atmospheres. Look for family-run Italian restaurants in Federal Hill or waterfront dining options in Jamestown. These hidden gems in Rhode Island provide an intimate dining experience and showcase the best food in Rhode Island with a personal touch.

How can I experience fine dining in Rhode Island?

Fine dining in Rhode Island is all about fresh ingredients, creative menus, and elegant settings. Providence, Newport, and East Greenwich are hotspots for upscale dining, offering a range of cuisines from modern American to French and Italian, making them some of the top places to live and visit in Rhode Island. Look for restaurants that emphasize local seafood and farm-to-table ingredients. Many of these establishments are led by renowned chefs who blend traditional techniques with innovative flavors, creating memorable dining experiences.

What restaurants offer the best views in Rhode Island?

For dining with a view, Rhode Island’s coastal restaurants are unbeatable. Enjoy breathtaking ocean vistas while savoring fresh seafood at spots along Narragansett Bay or the Atlantic coastline. Whether you’re looking for a romantic sunset dinner or a sunny brunch spot, these restaurants combine stunning scenery with delicious meals. They’re part of what makes dining out in Rhode Island special and are considered some of the hidden gem restaurants in Rhode Island for their picturesque locations.

Where can I find authentic Italian cuisine in Rhode Island?

For authentic Italian cuisine, Federal Hill in Providence is the place to go. Known as “Little Italy,” this neighborhood is filled with Italian restaurants, bakeries, and delis that have been serving traditional dishes for generations. From handmade pasta to wood-fired pizzas and classic Italian desserts, you’ll find a wide range of dishes that transport you to Italy. Federal Hill’s vibrant atmosphere and authentic cuisine make it a must-visit for anyone seeking the best food in Rhode Island with an Italian twist.

Final Thoughts On Unique Rhode Island Restaurants

We hope you enjoyed exploring the flavors and sights of the Ocean State with our Rhode Island restaurant guide. From unique dishes and signature foods to the best seafood spots and hidden gems, Rhode Island has something for everyone.

Whether you’re sipping on coffee milk or enjoying a meal with a view, each restaurant brings its own story to the table. Remember, when you stay in Rhode Island, you’ll find that though the state may be small, its culinary scene is vast and vibrant. Keep this guide handy for your next dining adventure, and discover all the delicious experiences this state has to offer, making it one of the top places to live and visit in the Northeast US.

The top restaurants in Rhode island for all types of travelers
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