Ocean State Food & Drink Tour
What’s a vacation without good food and drink? In Rhode Island, you can build a whole trip around the culinary goodies the Ocean State has to offer.
True foodies will love these tours that explore different aspects of Rhode Island’s culinary scene. The Newport Neighborhood Food Tour with Rhode Island Red Food Tours is a great way to explore Newport and sample some of the city’s best eateries while checking out the local architecture and learning some local history. Another great option in Newport is the Newport Foodies Stroll. It’s a 1.75-mile walking tour through lower Thames Street, where you’ll sample cuisine from five of the best local restaurants.
Rhode Island Red Food Tours also operates a Downcity Providence Food Tour where you’ll enjoy tastings at six local restaurants while exploring the art, culture, and architecture of Rhode Island’s capital city.
While in Providence, you can take a Federal Hill Food & History Walking Tour, and visit various Federal Hill locations where you’ll sample cheeses, charcuterie, and antipasti. You’ll meet the bakers, chefs, merchants, and historians that are part of this iconic Providence neighborhood. Next, you can head to South County and tour the Matunuck Oyster Farm. Go out on Potter’s Pond and learn about aquaculture and fisheries on a global scale and local scale. Then you can dine on local oysters at Matunuck Oyster Bar.
BREWERIES, WINERIES, & DISTILLERIES
Rhode Island has more than thirty breweries, eleven wineries, as well as distilleries and cider works throughout the state. In Pawtucket alone, you can visit Rhode Island Spirits Distillery & Tasting Room, The Guild, White Dog Distilling, Crooked Current Brewery, Foolproof Brewing Company, and Smug Brewing. And just north of Pawtucket, you can visit three other breweries. Moving on to Providence, you can check out Trinity Brewhouse, Beer on Earth, The Industrious Spirit Company, and Providence Brewing Company, among others. Next, you can pop over to the east bay and check out Six Pack Brewing, Sowams Cider Works, and Twelve Guns Brewing.
Moving south from Providence, there’s Buttonwoods Brewery and Apponaug Brewing Company in Warwick, and Linsider Brewing Company in East Greenwich. South County has Shaidzon Beer Company, Whalers, South County Distillers, and more. And over on Aquidneck Island, there’s Ragged Island Brewing Company, Taproot Brewing Company, Rejects Beer Company, and more. For a complete list of Rhode Island breweries and distilleries, check out our Brew Trail.
As for wineries and vineyards, there are twelve sprinkled throughout the state. Starting in the north at Diamond Hill Vineyards in Cumberland you can work your way south to Mulberry Vineyards in Chepachet, Verde Vineyards in Johnston, and Nickle Creek Vineyards in Foster. From there, on to West Greenwich’s Leyden Farm Vineyard and Winery, North Kingstown’s Gooseneck Vineyards, and West Kingston’s WinterHawk Vineyards. Next, you can head over to Greenvale Vineyards in Portsmouth, Newport Vineyards in Middletown, and Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyards in Little Compton before going back over the bridge to Westerly for a visit to Langworthy Farm Winery and Tapped Apple Cidery and Winery.
Most of these have lovely outdoor seating areas with food served or food trucks on-site and offer tours and tastings. Many host regular events and feature live entertainment as well!
FOOD & DRINK EXPERIENCES
The Newport Experience offers lobster boils and sunset sails on the Schooner Aurora, a magnificent sailing yacht.
PVD Food Trucks hosts many fun, outdoor events including live music throughout the state.
Weekapaug Inn hosts a Lobster Boil & BBQ on the Guest Lawn on various dates throughout the summer that includes a buffet of additional main courses, a dessert table, and s’mores by the fire.
The Coastal Queen hosts several cocktail and foodie themed tours while enjoying a sail on the ocean.
In Blackstone Valley, consider checking out Blackie’s in Smithfield. They have a diverse menu featuring fresh, seasonal items that include vegan, gluten-free, keto-friendly, and allergen-sensitive options. Also in Smithfield, is Tavolo Wine Bar & Tuscan Grille. Enjoy authentic and innovative Italian cuisine, grilled steaks. seafood, and more in an upscale dining atmosphere. In Pawtucket, stop by Wildflour, a vegan bakery, café, and juice bar for coffee, tea, smoothies, vegan milkshakes, cold-pressed juices, and freshly made pastries and lunch options.
Providence has an amazing culinary scene and countless terrific restaurants to choose from. Consider trying Oberlin for seasonal small plates in an open kitchen and cozy seating atmosphere. Nicks on Broadway is a casual, open kitchen, New American bistro featuring imaginative, seasonal offerings. It’s also a popular brunch spot. If you’re looking for a great menu and funky atmosphere (inspired by 80’s ad 90’s pop culture), try Troop for “creative eats, beats, and drinks.” CAV is another great spot. Part antique shop, it features an upscale, global menu, a historic bar, and live music on the weekend. No visit to Providence would be complete without a visit to historic Federal Hill for some authentic Italian food. There’s Cassarino’s, Camille’s, Massimo, and more. There are so many great places to choose from, you can’t go wrong. And a wonderful vegan option in Providence is Plant City, which houses restaurants, bars, a bakery, and coffee shop, and more.
On the east bay, check out Bristol Oyster Bar. Housed in a historic building in downtown Bristol, they offer fresh, local oysters along with a farm-fresh, seasonal menu. Another historic dining option in Bristol is DeWolf Tavern, serving contemporary American cuisine on the waterfront in what was once the DeWolf Rum Distillery building. Another great spot on Bristol Harbor is the Lobster Pot, where you can enjoy classic New England dishes, especially seafood, with a contemporary twist.
In the Warwick area, check out Chapel Grille in Cranston for a Mediterranean Italian-influenced menu. You can enjoy classic RI wieners and coffee milk at Sam's New York System or sit outside in the charming grounds of the Tree House Tavern, as well as eye catching decor inside of this 1800's farmhouse. They feature scratch cooking, house-made desserts, and delicious seasonal cocktails
The Newport area is packed with wonderful dining options. Here are a few to consider. Try the historic White Horse Tavern, America’s oldest restaurant, and a National Historic Landmark. They serve an upscale dining experience featuring local produce and seafood in a building that’s been serving guests since 1673. For alfresco dining with amazing views of Narragansett Bay, try The Lawn at Castle Hill Inn and enjoy regional cuisine, fresh seafood, and seasonal cocktails. Visit Cara at The Chanler at Cliff Walk for a Forbes 4-star dining experience in a sophisticated atmosphere overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
In South County, you can watch the fishing boats come in and out from the deck of George’s of Galilee. George’s has been serving up fresh, local seafood and more on the water since around 1948. For more seafood (and more) with a view, head to the Coast Guard House and dine in a former Coast Guard station built by famed architects McKim, Mead & White. Ella’s Food & Drink in Westerly offers locally sourced, French-New American cuisine in an elegant interior. Chair 5 at The Break Hotel in Narragansett has a fun, retro-surfer vibe that’s paired with a hand-crafted, locally sourced, seasonal menu featuring seafood, charcuterie boards, traditional favorites, and more. For some good, old-fashioned clam shack cuisine, go to Aunt Carrie’s in Narragansett at Point Judith. A local institution, Aunt Carrie’s has been serving up homemade cooking and traditional Rhode Island seafood for just over one hundred years.
An easy ferry trip to Block Island provides more excellent culinary experiences. Enjoy prime meats, local fish dishes, and an extensive wine list in the Dining Room at Spring House Hotel. Or visit The Barn to experience quiet, adults-only dining in an intimate, open kitchen setting that features a wood-fired grill. Restaurant 1879 at the Atlantic Inn offers tapas on the lawn, local seafood, herbs and vegetables, creative menus, and an award-winning wine list. Eli’s Restaurant is a small bistro that features craft cocktails, an eclectic menu using fresh, locally sourced ingredients in a warm, welcoming setting. The Harbor Grill & Orchard Lounge offers authentic island cuisine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as cocktails and beautiful views of Old Harbor.
Here are more food & drink events happening this summer. Check out our Event Page to see our full list of events.