18 Places to BYOB in RI
Pick up your favorite bottle or brew and cheers to these places that let you bring your own booze.
110 Broadway, Newport, 846-0606, cornercafenewport.com
The Menu: A brunch spot where you can bring your own booze? They have the fresh-squeezed OJ and mixers; you pour the Champagne. This Broadway restaurant is famous for its friendly staff, cozy atmosphere and Portuguese-influenced breakfast items, best enjoyed with a side of the crisp, seasoned home fries. Hefty lunch options include stacked sandwiches, tacos, burritos and quesadillas, and dinner nights feature weekly specials announced on its Facebook page.
Vibe: Corner Cafe is a super casual spot that locals would like to keep secret, but those in the know can’t help but share the love. Large groups slide into big comfortable tables in the windows by the wood-burning fireplace, while singles can pull up a seat at the counter. It’s a friendly environment for everyone from families and couples to groups of friends catching up over BYOB mimosas.
Get: Brunch options include California eggs Benny topped with roasted red peppers, avocado and feta, chorizo omelets and Portuguese sweet bread French toast, and there’s a full spread dedicated to healthy diets (including gluten-free bread and wraps). Dinner nights are popular with the locals with evening options that can include Portuguese seafood stew, sirloin tip tacos and varieties of gourmet wood-grilled pizzas.
Wash It Down: We’ve seen a party haul in a giant bottle of Champagne, which a server gladly put on ice. The menu has some fun house specialty juices like fresh-squeezed orange and cranberry red raspberry that can instantly be perked up with some bubbly or a shot or two of spirits. There’s also a great selection of lattes and special espresso drinks for the caffeinated crowd.
Corkage Fee: BYOB is $3 per person.
Closest Liquor Store: Rex Liquors, 126 Broadway, Newport, 847-7200
Brunch or Dinner for Two: $30 (breakfast) to $50 (dinner).
Fine Print: Mornings can be super busy with a wait time, but head in after lunchtime and you can still eat breakfast all day. Dinner is served Thursdays through Saturdays.
235 Greenville Ave., Johnston, 432-4813, cafevinori.com
Menu: Italy’s greatest hits are front and center at cozy Cafe Vino. It’s as if your nonna opened up a pasta joint: The food is handmade and the portions are ample. There are no surprises here, and it’s a good thing. Cafe Vino tastes like home.
Vibe: The space, owned and operated by former staff of the late, great Cafe Andiamo, hasn’t changed much. It’s brighter — a plus for seniors and families — but a little less romantic than the dim, candlelit Andiamo. It helps to see where you’re sticking your fork, we admit.
Get: Is an Italian meal in Rhode Island complete without an order of fried calamari? We vote no, so start there. Don’t fill up on the warm bread and infused olive oil with Parmesan; you need to save room for the saltimbocca. Splurge on the veal — it’s tender and crispy, the best we’ve had in a while — and request the house-made linguini. Make sure your dining partner gets the fresh pasta, too — the chefs also make gnocchi — or you’ll have an extra fork in your dinner all night.
Wash It Down: Chianti is a versatile red that works with buttery, red or oil-based sauces, but a deep, dark Zinfandel is the way to go for the full-belly, fuller heart experience.
Corkage Fee: None.
Closest Liquor Store: Delta Wine
and More, 1450 Smith St., North Providence, 353-0576, deltawineandmore.com
Dinner for Two: $80 with tip.
Fine Print: A devoted following means little room for walk-ins on weekend nights. Be sure to call ahead for a reservation.
Crazy Burger and Juice Bar
144 Boon St., Narragansett, 783-1810, crazyburger.com
The Menu: If you go here and order anything but a burger, you’ll cast a long shadow of shame on your house forevermore.
Just kidding. But you really should get a burger. Vegans, meat lovers and masochists (quinoa vegan burger, c’mon!) will love every bit of this place. BYOB, or order a fresh juice combo, smoothie or espresso.
Vibe: Adolescents on date night, families, beach bums: They all flock here for good, quirky eats. Twinkle lights and paper lanterns adorn the dining room inside, while the flora-rich patio out back is both romantic and fun. Extra points for the handpainted mural of a cobblestone street.
Get: The Whassupy Burger, a ground beef patty dipped in sesame, fennel and wasabi powder and topped with brie and onion rings, isn’t as risky as it sounds. (Read: Your mouth will not be on fire; it will be happy.) The risk-adverse can’t go wrong with the Moo Moo Melt, a cute name for the diner staple. Gluten-free buns are available. Call it blasphemy, but the sides are nearly as good as the burgers, so upgrade to fries (plain or sweet potato) and get a bowl of pickles and some tangy Bangkok slaw to share. If you can stand another bite, the gluten-free raspberry key lime pie is a winner.
Wash It Down: White wine lovers should pick up an aromatic gewurztraminer, just to say its name in a funny accent. Repeatedly. Crazy Burger values your crazy more than a proper pairing.
Corkage Fee: None.
Closest Liquor Store: Pier Liquors, 29 Pier Marketplace, Narragansett, 795-3077, pierliquors.com
Dinner for Two: $40 with tip.
Fine Print: Sign up for the birthday club and get a free meal on your big day.
677 Thames St., Newport, 848-2449, winnerwinnernpt.com‘
The Menu: The owners of Mission burgers transformed their former Thames Street Kitchen space into a casual, counter-service fried chicken spot serving sides of mac and cheese, handmade tater tots, Brussels sprouts slaw, pickled veggies and more. The chefs also offer a slow-cooked rotisserie chicken and fried chicken sandwiches to be enjoyed at the restaurant tables or to-go.
Vibe: The upscale casual dining room features quirky chicken-themed art and family-style tables with plastic utensils in cups and stacks of napkins at the ready. The seats are cute and kitschy doubled-up egg crates painted gold, and bar stools overlook the kitchen where you can see your meal as it’s made.
Get: The fried chicken is truly amazing; it’s crunchy, moist and sprinkled with fried garlic, fresh rosemary and Maldon sea salt with a drizzle of honey for a hint of sweetness. You can order a two-or three-piece meal that includes a thigh, a breast with wing attached and/or a drumstick, plus one side and a buttermilk biscuit, or you can order fried chicken by the whole bucket. The housemade tater tots are a must, even if just to swipe one out of your child’s Lil’ Clucker kids meal. (Yeah, they have those here. Some of the owners are parents, so they get it.)
Wash It Down: Malty beers complement the caramelized flavors of fried chicken while providing a palate-cleansing benefit. Newport Storm’s Hurricane Amber Ale or Spring Irish Red Ale should do the trick.
Corkage Fee: None.
Closest Liquor Store: Fifth Ward Liquor, 695 Thames St., Newport, 847-4545
Lunch or Dinner for Two: $25 to $40.
Fine Print: The place is closed on Mondays. Be sure to snag a housemade Rice Krispies treat or Tricycle Ice Cream sandwich for dessert.