A Walk Down Wickenden Street

See what this charming street in Providence’s Fox Point neighborhood has to offer. 

POV: You’re sitting at a little table outside of a colorful breakfast nook, under the shade of one of the many small trees that line the street, and birds are singing. Someone walks by with their dog, who sniffs at your ankles before moving along. Across the street, a couple walks by with coffees in hand. Down the way, supplies are being unloaded from the back of a truck and taken into the back door of a tavern. This is morning on Wickenden Street. The serenity transforms into a bustling afternoon as restaurants open for lunch and stores welcome shoppers into the air conditioning. There is plenty to eat, sip, and admire on this quarter-mile stretch, so let’s dig in.

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Coffee Exchange. Photography by Casey Croft.

 

Eat

PIZZA– For pizza, check out Pizza Pie-er, where you can create the pizza of your dreams from an extraordinary selection of crusts, sauces and gourmet toppings. Sit on either side of their open-air windows to get a fresh breeze, which we’re sure the abundance of house plants enjoy as well. For a more traditional pizza diner, try Fellini Pizzeria, or a spot like Pizza Marvin with cocktails and ice cream, located on opposite ends of the street

 

BRUNCH– Did someone say brunch? The most popular breakfast eatery is Brickway on Wickenden, a colorful and cozy spot to get classic diner food. Enter through the alley to discover a small dining room decked out with eye-catching murals with overlapping colors and patterns. The service is fast and friendly, and outdoor seating is available. Right across the street is Caspian, a Mediterranean eatery that serves breakfast and lunch. It also serves smoothies, juices and bakery items. Amy’s Place is another quite popular sandwich shop, especially with the Brown and RISD students. It’s managed to keep up with the times over twenty-two years and remains trendy as ever. 

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Brickway on Wickenden. Photography by Casey Croft.

 

ASIAN FUSION– R.C. Ramen offers many different ramen dishes, as well as appetizers. If you have ever been to Ken’s Ramen, then the cooking here should be familiar. The pork buns come highly recommended, so don’t miss out on those. If you’re looking for authentic Indian and Pakistani food, look no further than Taste of India. It’s got all the familiar Indian dishes and maybe some extra you’ve yet to try, each with the perfect blend of spices and heat level. If you’re craving sushi, then Sakura is the place to go. There is limited seating, but the fish is fresh and the service is quick. Nearby in a big blue building you’ll find Jahunger, a Chinese restaurant with everything you’d expect: noodles, dumplings and a cozy interior. 

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Photography by Casey Croft

 

Sip

COFFEE– There are plenty of window service options on Wickenden Street, starting with the Coffee Exchange. Folks line up on the deck to order sustainably sourced beans roasted and brewed daily. These conscientious coffee connoisseurs offer peace of mind with their morning joe, making sure you feel as good as your coffee tastes. Down on the other end of the street is  unpresumptuous, the Shop. Another order-at-the-window place, this cafe offers outdoor seating at the peak of Wickenden Street. Finally, there is the teeny tiny queer arts cafe called Small Format . If you’re lucky enough to catch it while it’s open, this cozy corner offers coffee, tea, baked goods and more. The space also functions as a gallery and performance space for special events. You can’t miss the bright yellow and purple trim, and the pride flag hanging outside.

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Small Format. Coffee Exchange. Photography by Casey Croft.

 

PUBS– If the traditional American cuisine and craft cocktails weren’t enough to get you into the East End bar and restaurant, then surely the flowery back patio will. Beautiful and spacious, it’s a great place to grab a drink. For even more signature drinks you can head on down to the Point Tavern, where the party people hang out until 1 a.m. From here, you won’t have to walk far to find Wickenden Pub, a casual dive bar where beer flows generously and the bathroom walls provide much reading material. 

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The Point Tavern. Photography by Casey Croft.

 

Shop

ANTIQUES– One of the highlights of these shops has to be Nostalgia, and we’re not just talking about the feeling. There were people waiting anxiously outside this vintage, antiques and collectibles store minutes before it opened, and for good reason. There are three floors filled with racks of vintage clothes, cases full of jewelry, paintings on the walls and a surprising abundance of busts. A couple presidents plus Jules Verne chill on a bookcase next to Ruth Bader Ginsburg. You could spend hours here and keep coming back because it changes all the time.

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg bust at Nostalgia. Photography by Casey Croft

 

For the more refined palette, Benefit Street Antiques (not actually on Benefit Street, but pretty close) has a showroom of curated and polished home items for sale. Find furniture, china and art to take home and treasure. If it’s music you’re searching for, look no further than Round Again Records, situated comfortably between a flower shop and a tattoo parlor. You’ll mostly find oldies here, organized first by genre, then alphabetically. If you’re more retro than vintage, there are plenty of CDs to browse through as well.

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Round Again Records. Photography by Casey Croft

 

FASHIONS– For some high-end shopping, look to Nava, a Francesca’s-esque boutique store that sells clothes, candles, stationery and accessories. This is the place to find astrology-themed necklaces, soaps, self- help books, you name it. Thoughtful employees will help you find exactly what you’re looking for, whether it be a chocolate bar or a stack of face masks. The Diamond Bar, an engagement ring and wedding band destination, proudly displays its gold and silver wares in glass cases. This is the place to go to spare no expense on your hunny. 

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Nava. Photography by Casey Croft.

 

PROJECT SUPPLIES– For the home DIY-er, Adler’s Design Center and Hardware is a dream-come-true. Thousands of paint and fabric swatches await, along with a team of experienced designers ready to help with your next home project. This place is like a mini Home Depot, but the business is a family affair. If you’re more of a small-scale crafter, then follow the mermaid mural across the street to the entrance of Blick Art Materials. Tons of material, paint, pastels and everything an artist could need in a bright and welcoming space.

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Blick Art Materials.Photography by Casey Croft

 

FLORALS– If you have a big event coming up, or just want to get a gift for a loved one, then visit City Gardens Flower Shop by Gary. He makes beautiful arrangements that may be delivered to funeral homes, hospitals and more. The wedding destination for floral arrangements has got to be Studio 539 Flowers. This shop specializes in bouquets, boutonnieres and corsages for your bridal party. At either shop, the flowers are fresh and fantastic.

 

See

ART– It wouldn’t be the creative capital without a few art galleries dotting the way. The most eye-catching is Gallery Belleau, which features the work of Christopher R. Belleau. Just looking in the window you can spot an army of glass mushrooms, suncatchers hanging from the ceiling and jewelry made out of glass beads. It’s definitely worth a stop inside to find a new decor piece or a gift for a loved one. Right across the way is another gallery/studio; Three Wheel Studio owned by potter Dwo Wen Chen. He throws ceramics and sells them right in the shop, which also features works from other local artists. Find fun floral designs on totally unique dishware at this inviting studio.

 

Pamper

NAIL SERVICES– There are two nail salons on Wickenden and they offer acrylic, gel and regular polish manicures and pedicures. Sit back and relax in the seats of Metro Nails or Z Nails and Spa for a soothing massage and warm towels.

 

HAIR SALONS– Want a new look? Get in the chair with one of the Lab Rats, an affectionate nickname for the stylists at HAIRLAB. Cut, color, styling and texture treatments are all available at this salon that is woman owned and operated. Down the street you’ll find Ky Michaels Salon, previous winner of our Best of Rhode Island awards for Best Salon and Best Hair Color. Services are a little pricier here, but that’s the cost of world-class style. For a different kind of hair treatment, check out Aviva Threading Salon. Here you can get your eyebrows threaded, which involves using a thread wound round the fingers to pull out hairs and shape the eyebrows similar to waxing. Aviva also offers upper lip and other facial threading and henna designs for your hands.

 

MASSAGE– After bouncing from store to store on this little street, you’re bound to be exhausted. That’s no problem, since you can enter Revival Massage and Bodyworks to take the edge off. Here, the staff  believes that massage should be viewed as a therapeutic benefit and not just a guilty-pleasure indulgence. Along with therapeutic and deep-tissue massages, you can add on aromatherapy and hot stones, or get a facial.

 

If you’ve never been down Wickenden Street, you’re clearly missing out. Just think what could be right around the corner and you’d never know it if you didn’t go out and explore.