8 Hidden-Gem Bars in Providence
Beat the crowds with these low-key options.
With a storefront that’s disguised as a dark lingerie shop, Justine’s can be easy to overlook. But once you step past the velvet curtains, you will find yourself in a charming, elegantly lit bar with a 1920s speakeasy vibe.
Nick-a-Nees is a laidback dive bar on South Street in Providence that offers a variety of drink choices, weekly live entertainment and best of all, no covers. Open all week long, it is the place to be no matter which night you choose to hit the town.
Located on Providence’s up-and-coming Wickenden Street, this aptly named venue is best known for its extensive beer selection. Locals adore the Wickenden Pub’s casual atmosphere which includes a cozy back patio with a koi pond. The bartenders will help walk you through the beer selections so you can find what you like best. Oh, and you can bring your own snacks!
Love the Great Gatsby? Then get ready to be introduced to your new favorite hangout: The Avery. Housed in another speakeasy-style venue, this mysterious bar offers handcrafted cocktails in a dim yet sexy setting.
If you love beer and dogs, the Scurvy Dog is the bar for you. This location has a rock n’ roll character that you will love. Kickback with your friends over a large selection of drinks, billiards and friendly dogs. Yes, that’s right! You can bring your pup to enjoy a night out.
Tucked away down a side street, Thee Red Fez (no, that isn’t a typo) is a go-to for locals and visitors with late night cravings. Much like the enigmatic fez, their menu is a perfect blend of fancy (think creative mixed drinks) and eclectic (everything from pickled vegetables and sauteed Brussels sprouts to steamed mussels and house poutine).
Now this one might get us in trouble with the locals, as Lili Marlene’s is hailed as one of Providence’s best-kept secrets (sorry to let the cat out of the bag!). With no sign on the exterior, you’ll need to trust your GPS to direct you to the correct entrance, but we assure you that the bar’s cheap prices, hearty comfort food, masterful cocktails and cozy decor will more than make up for the journey.
Focusing on local brews, What Cheer Tavern reflects a sense of community in its intimate atmosphere. The owners’ goal is to provide a place where everyone can feel comfortable, much like Rhode Island’s origins when Roger Williams created a state of acceptance and unity. Food options include award-winning wings, bacon cheese fries, fish and chips, tacos and more. Spend an evening at this snug bar and enjoy outdoor seating.
• Point Street Dueling Pianos, Providence
• Freeplay Bar and Arcade, Providence
• Ogie’s Trailer Park, Providence
• Riff Raff Bookstore and Bar, Providence
• Flipside Pinball Bar, Westerly
For Outdoor bars:
• Paddy’s Beach Club, Westerly
• Hot Club, Providence
• Chelo’s Waterfront, Warwick
• O’Briens Pub, Newport
• Ocean Mist, Narragansett
For Artisan Cocktails:
• Perks and Corks, Westerly
• The Eddy, Providence
• Toscana Lounge at Main Street Coffee, East Greenwich
• The Revolving Door, Newport
• Fluke Newport, Newport
For Live Music:
• Newport Blues Cafe, Newport
• McBride’s Irish Pub, Providence
• The Trap, East Greenwich
• Chan’s Fine Oriental Dining, Woonsocket
• The Narragansett Cafe, Jamestown
• The Mirabar, Providence
• Ultra the Nightclub, Providence
• One Pelham East, Newport
• Captain Nick’s, Block Island
• Mishnock Barn, West Greenwich