Why Providence?

Our Take on Rhode Island History

  • First, here’s a Little History about Little Rhode Island

    Rhode Island was founded in 1636 by Roger Williams, who was banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for his extreme views on freedom of religion and speech. He traveled southwest to what is now Rhode Island and purchased land from the Narragansett tribe. He founded Providence on the principles of tolerance and peace. We all think this sounds like a good idea.

    Brown University, then known as “The College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations,” was founded in 1764 and was the first university to accept students regardless of the religious affiliation. It is one of 9 universities founded prior to the American Revolution.

    RI was the first American British colony to secede from Great Britain in May 4, 1776, two months prior to the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which was signed in the Original RI State House

    • You can still go the court room where the Declaration of Independence was signed. It is open to the public on weekdays and located at 150 Benefit Street.
    • Despite being the first colony to officially secede from Great Britain, Rhode Island was the last of the 13 colonies to become a state.

    The French, under General Rochambeau, landed in Newport in 1780, and Newport became the base of the French forces during the American Revolutionary War.

    Rhode Island is considered the birth place of religious freedom.

    • It is home to the First Baptist Church in America (left), which is located in Providence.
    • It is home to the First Synagogue in America, the Touro Synagogue (right), which is located in Newport.

    RI is considered the birthplace of Industrial Revolution. In 1790, the English immigrant Samuel Slater founded the first textile mill in Pawtucket, which revolutionized the textile industry in New England. He is now known as the father of the American industrial revolution.

    The Rhode Island State House was built in 1895-1904 and became the model for other state houses around the nation.

    • The dome of the RI State House is the 4th largest self-supporting marble dome in the world, behind the domes of the St. Peter’s Basilica, the Taj Mahal and the Minnesota State Capitol Building.

    At the beginning of the mid-19th centuries, wealthy southern planters began to build their “summer cottages” on Bellevue Avenue in Newport, RI. By the turn of the 20th century, many of the nations wealthiest families, including the Vanderbilts, Astors and Wideners were summering in Newport and had constructed large “cottages,” such as the Breakers and Miramar.

    • You can now visit the Newport mansions, which are protected by the Newport Preservation Society. They are open most days, and have audio guided tours.
    • Newport has become a popular wedding destination as many of the mansions can be rented for large events. The mansions have also served as sets for many Hollywood films, including “The Great Gastby” and “27 Dresses.”

    Providence underwent cultural revival in 1980-1990’s with growth of visual and performing arts (fueled by Rhode Island School of Design), and restaurants (fueled by Johnson & Wales Culinary Art School).

  • Fun Rhode Island Facts

    • The first polo game in America was played in Newport in 1897
    • The first circus in America happened in RI in 1774
    • Author H.P. Lovecraft was born in Providence, Rhode Island. He is buried in the scenic Swan Point Cemetery on the East Side of Providence. Lovecraft enthusiasts celebrate his birthday and death yearly both at his gravesite and at the Ladd Observatory. The observatory was frequented by the young author during his lifetime.
    • The first National Lawn Tennis Championship (the precursor to the U.S. Open) was held in 1881 in the Newport Casino. Rhode Island is home to the Tennis Hall of Fame.
    • Rhode Island shares a state water border with New York.
    • Rhode Island Governor Ambrose Burnside made the sideburn popular.
    • Cumberland is the only place on earth where cumberlandite has been found. It is high in iron , and titanium, and magnetic and often mistaken with meteorites.
    • Rhode Island is home to “Nibbles Woodaway,” the world’s largest bug. It is a giant, two ton, fifty-eight foot long termite that lives on top of the Big Blue Bug Pest Control building. It is often dressed in seasonal costumes, like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer during Christmastime.
    • America’s first ever jazz festival was held in Newport, Rhode Island in 1954.

What Our Residents Have to Say

  • Only 3 hours in Providence?

    Options for a quick visit to Providence, Compiled by Nick Nassikas, PGY-3

    - Want a water view? Grab a burrito from Tallulah's Taqueria on the East Side and head down to India Point Park to lounge while overlooking the water. Occasionally concerts and festivals at the park with lots of activity on nicer days.

    - Raining? Head to the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, a renowned museum with an incredible collection of art.

    - Only an evening? Catch a sunset at Prospect Park overlooking the city. Then walk down the hill, cross the river and head downtown for a bite to eat at one of the restaurants below.

    - Need a walk? Head to Blackstone Boulevard for a 1.7 mile walk down the beautiful gravel pathway. You can either start or end the walk with a trip to Three Sisters Ice cream to satisfy your sweet tooth.

    - Hungry? Thirsty? We hope the restaurants, coffee spots, and bars listed below lead you to the perfect spot to satisfy your cravings!

  • Our Neighborhoods

    College Hill - Eduardo Nunez PGY-3

    Location, Location, Location and more! In College Hill you truly are in the center of Providence and it is very convenient to getting where you need to go. Equidistant to Rhode Island Hospital and Miriam, you are also walking distance to downtown for a night of Waterfire or going out to restaurants/bars. You are also very close to your friends that may live Wayland square or Hope Village/Miriam area. But there is so much more than just location, College Hill is the most historic part of PVD with Benefit Street having the one the largest collection of Victorian and colonial homes. There's so many beautiful houses and streets, it's great place to go for a walk with your dog or for a bike ride. There's also several parks including Prospect Park with the best view in Providence and the large Brown St park for all your sporting needs. It's also close to Thayer street so that you can enjoy the restaurants and bars of Brown University. With several more restaurants (Den Den's, Mill's Tavern) and bars (Tortilla Flats, Harry's Bar and Burger) spread throughout the neighborhood, there's plenty to do. But when you are so close to everything, Providence is your oyster.

    West Side of Providence - Chiazotam Ekekezie PGY-3

    Living in the historic West Side of Providence has many perks. For example, I enjoy a convenient 4 minute commute to RIH (7 min to TMH and 5 min to the VAMC) in addition to a lively neighborhood in the midst of an impressive revival. There are numerous restaurants--both affordable and extravagant--to choose from on any given night. Historic Atwells boasts some of the best authentic Italian cuisine, mouthwatering sushi and Asian fusion, nourishing vegan/vegetarian meals, and margaritas the size of an adult's face! There are craft breweries (Long Live Beerworks), cocktail lounges (The Avery), and cozy bars (E&O Taphouse) all within walking distance. For those looking to relax and unwind, there are excellent therapeutic massage parlors (West Side Wellness), reflexology lounges (Le Foot Reflexology), and acupuncturists nearby. There are also multiple gyms and wellness centers including Planet Fitness, CrossFit, Devine City Cycle, and Boiler Room Aerial and Bikram Yoga studio. For the religious, there are stunning churches as well as vibrant nondenominational spiritual centers. For families with children (and those who remain children at heart), Dexter Park offers a beautiful space to roam, play, and participate in community cultural life. Enjoy live music at the charming Columbus Theater. Skip the traffic and parking fees and enjoy being able to walk to Waterfire and various attractions in the heart of downtown. Get your bike customized at Dash. Enjoy delicious pastries and artisanal breads at Seven Stars Bakery or North. Recharge with a strong cup of coffee from White Electric or Vanuatu Roasters. Support local farmers and naturalists year-round at the Fertile Underground--where you can always find local honey and excellent matcha. Pick up unique trinkets for loved ones and vintage goods as well as locally made artworks for your home-space while participating in Native American drumming circles at the Share Space. Trade in old clothes for new items at Leviathan Exchange. Get your hair loc'ed, twisted, or cornrowed at BET African hair salon--where you can also get a stunning Dominican-style blow-out. Be first in line for brunch at Kitchen or skip the line and go to Nick's. Try the oxtail at Sue's or fried plantains at Flames--or better yet, buy fresh plantains from Rudy's corner produce truck/stand to take home and fry for yourself! Obviously, there's no shortage of fun things to do or eat on the West Side--it's the best side for anyone who wants affordable rent, short commutes, accessible avenues for self-care and opportunities to participate in the diversity and richness of authentic PVD cultural life.

    DownCity Providence - Dionne Rebello PGY-3

    I have lived at the Regency Apartments in downtown since moving to Providence and I absolutely love it. The downtown scene is vibrant and filled with awesome bars and restaurants. In the summertime, I am steps away from Watefire and the summer concert series - there is always something fun going on! I am also walking distance from Atwells avenue and Broadway which have amazing Italian restaurants and brunch places. My apartment is about a 5 minute drive from Rhode Island Hospital and about 10 minutes from the VA and Miriam hospitals which has been awesomely convenient with a busy resident schedule!

    East Side of Providence - Chris Thomas PGY-3

    I live on the East Side and I love it! Quiet, easy parking, walking distance to lots of restaurants, bars and parks. More or less equidistant from RIH, TMH and the VA. My favorites include Tallulah's Taqueria and East Side Pockets for quick and delicious bites, Ivy Tavern for dinner/drinks and Three Sisters for ice cream.

    DownCity Providence - Lolita Nidadavolu PGY-3

    Downtown is no more than a 10 minute drive maximum to all the hospitals. Great area for biking around and it's very easy to get to the East Bay Bike path (or the East Side or Federal Hill). Movie theater and Providence Place Mall are nearby (easily walking distance). Favorite places for after work food and drinks are Trinity Brewhouse, Malted Barley. For a good vegetarian place, check out Veggie Fun. One of the great things about living downtown is that it's just a short walk to the river for nights when Waterfire is going on over the summer.

    East Side of Providence - Matt Austin PGY-4

    The East Side of Providence, best described as “urban residential,” is comprised of beautiful, historic neighborhoods. It offers all the benefits of an urban environment: ample walking, plenty of window shopping, delicious restaurants, great bars and yet, maintains an open-air residential vibe. It has plenty of old New England homes, open-spaced parks, and also home to the Brown undergraduate campus. Individual neighborhoods include Blackstone, College Hill, Wayland Square, and Fox Point. Personal favorites include the summer farmer’s market at Lippett park, jogging Blackstone Boulevard (a 2 mile tree-lined path), dinner at Red Stripe, and nitro coffee from Stock PVD. The commute to the hospitals are short and on any given day, I can get to all three of our hospitals in under 10 minutes.

  • Our Favorite Restaurants

    Compiled by Internal Medicine Residents - Edited by Nick Nassikas PGY-3

    Best Fusion

    • North: Located at Luongo Square, very small restaurant with BIG flavors, there can sometimes be a wait in which case you can walk across the street to the Avery and grab a dink while waiting for your table to be ready, probably not the best place for a party of more than 6 due to limited table sizes.
    • Den Den: Very popular Korean/Japanese restaurant.
    • The Red Fez: Amazing mac and cheese.
    • Ken's Ramen: The best ramen in Providence!
    • Apsara: mix of Cambodian, Vietnamese, and Chinese food. SO good!

    Renowned Restaurants

    • Birch: Super good, pricey, has wine pairings... good for a date! Call ahead of time to make reservation, it's SMALL.
    • Salted Slate: Locally sourced food, outdoor seating, farm like interior.
    • Al Forno: Possibly the best Italian food in Providence but can be pricey for a full meal so to avoid breaking the bank, sit at the bar and grab a cocktail and appetizers. If you are looking for a slightly cheaper Italian meal, head to Federal Hill and you'll find a wide range of Italian restaurants
    • Gracie's: Locally sourced food that can be on the pricier side, but for an occasional splurge, this spot is great.
    • Nick's on Broadway: One of the most popular restaurants in Providence, they serve locally sourced American cuisine.
    • Persimmon:The most delicious farm to table restaurant in Providence. Comes at a steep price but totally worth it for a splurge
    • Waterman Grille: Delicious food for a romantic riverfront dinner.
    • Milk Money: New american with must-have brunch in refurbished factory.

    Best Vegetarian

    • The Grange: This restaurant is strictly vegetarian and serves incredibly delicious food with amazing cocktails and beer selection, outdoor seating, live music. Get their roasted cauliflower with sweet chili sauce for a taste of heaven!! They also do brunch.
    • The Garden Grille: Great for both take out and sit down dinners.

    Best Ice Cream

    • Three Sisters: Great place to grab some ice cream on a hot day and head across the street to the park at the end of Blackstone Boulevard.
    • Like No Udder: Vegan ice cream and it's amazing, also have soft serve!

    Best Bakery

    • Seven Stars: Exceptional baked goods and coffee.
    • WildFlour: They have vegan and gluten free options which are delicious even for non-vegan omnivores.
    • Olga's Cup and Saucer: More than just a bakery, Olga's has brunch, lunch, coffee, and lots of outdoor seating.

    Best Peruvian/Bolivian

    • Los Andes: This place is modestly priced and amazing, but portions are HUGE, so be prepared! Very close to the VA and they do take out.

    Best Pizza

    • Coal Fired Pizza: Large restaurant with decent beer selection.
    • Antonio's: Open late and located in the heart of Brown University on Thayer Street, this place becomes very popular on weekend nights during the academic year.
    • Nice Slice: Also located on Thayer Street.
    • Sicilia's: Deep dish style.
    • Flatbred Pizza Company: Wood fired pizza just steps from Thayer Street in the heart of the Brown campus.
    • Pizza Gormet: small place, great for takeout, AMAZING CRUST!

    Great Italian Food

    • Pan e Vino: Fancy Italian on Federal Hill for a good price.
    • Louis Fuller: Go on a Monday for $5 moules frites!
    • Andinos: Classic family style Italian on Federal hill with homemade pasta.

    Best Thai

    • Lim's Thai: Less expensive than some of the other local Thai restaurants, great for either takeout or sit down dinners.
    • Bee's Thai: Try their mango spring roll, it's amazing!!

    Best Brunch

    • Julian's: A favorite brunch spot for post-call residents and interns.
    • Nick's on Broadway: Very popular for good reason.
    • Grange: All vegetarian menu.
    • Kitchen: Tiny restaurant, definitely worth a visit!
    • Olga's Cup and Saucer: Amazing baked goods!
    • Doherty's Irish Pub: Sat & Sun w/ vegan options.
    • Rue de L'espoir: Older crowd, but there are NO lines.
    • Louis: Opens at 4am or so, great for comfort food - think amazing pancakes.

    Best Burgers

    • Harry's Burger Bar: They have happy hour daily.

    Best Tapas

    • Merienda: Located in a colonial home, this place has some of the best tapas in Rhode Island.
    • Vinya Tapas: Intimate setting in the heart of downtown, BYOB with liquor store next door.
    • Ten Rocks: Specializes in seafood, also has live music.

    Best Sushi

    • Sakura: Get the hot babe roll, it may not be in the menu, but they have it. It's THE BEST, also BYOB.

    Best Indian

    • Not Just Snacks: Modestly priced, delicious Indian Food that is perfect for takeout. Located ¼ mile from Miriam Hospital.
    • Kabob and Curry: Cheap and quick.
    • Taste of India: Slightly fancier.

    Best Seafood

    • Hemenways: Pricey but renowned for their seafood.
    • Matunuck Oyster Bar: Very popular, located on the bay with lots of outdoor seating and an outdoor bar (you can't get oysters any fresher than this!).
    • The Shack: Worth a drive, located in a working boat harbor in Jamestown, RI.
    • Scales: Also a drive, located in Newport, RI.

    Best Food Trucks

    • Noble Knots: local, sustainable food offerings
    • Mama Kim's: One of the most popular food trucks, serving Korean BBQ
    • Citizen Wing: amazing wings
    • Mijo's: West coast style TACOS!
    • Poco Loco: Mexican cuisine

    Best Sandwiches

    • Geoff's Superlative Sandwiches: On Thayer street, serving amazing sandwiches.
    • Alibi Café: Incredible sub sandwiches, it's all about their bread!
    • Olga's Cup and Saucer: Great paninis.
    • East Side Pockets: falafel and gyros on Thayer Street in the heart of Brown University.

    Best Mexican

    • Tallulah's Taqueria: Amazing burritos and fish tacos. They have outdoor seating and are located on the East Side.
    • El Rancho Grande: Good burritos, guacamole, and margaritas.
    • Chilango's: Amazing green guacamole.
    • California Taco: Great for takeout.
    • Perro Salado: Located in Newport, outdoor seating under a huge beautiful tree.

    Best Mediterranean

    • East Side Pockets: Popular spot on Thayer, great to take to the park!
    • Kleos: New restaurant in Providence with Greek cuisine
    • Opa the Phoenician: Greek food and live music

    Best Diners

    • Wayland Square Diner: Because we all need a diner breakfast.
    • Brickway on Wickenden: Great breakfast options and coffee.

    Best Vietnamese/Cambodian

    • Apsara on Public Street: Menu the size of Harrison's but everything is superb, including eclectic vegetarian dishes like pea pod leaves. Best Nime Chow in Providence!

    Best Coffee

    • The Shop: A favorite coffee shop with nitro brew coffee and tasty treats. The Shop has outdoor seating and is close to India Point Park for a quick stroll.
    • Bolt: In the Dean Hotel Lobby, not a lot of seating but amazing coffee.
    • New Harvest: In the Arcade, they also serve alcohol.
    • White Electric: Located on the west side of Providence.
    • Coffee Exchange: In addition to serving any brew of coffee you can imagine, they also have an incredible selection of beans so you can brew your coffee.
    • L'Artisan: On wayland square, outdoor seating, also has an assortment of mediterranean food and baked goods.

    Best Tea

    • Tea in Sahara: Awesome little tea shop with cozy seating.

    Best Study Spot Where You'll Actually Spend More Time People Watching

    • Teas and Javas: Awesome food, good coffee if not a bit pricey, gelato, beer and wine, also has outdoor seating.
  • Our Favorite Bars

    Compiled by Internal Medicine Residents - Edited by Nick Nassikas PGY-3

    Rhode Island boasts a growing number of great microbreweries that are worth a visit

    • Proclamation Ale Company: Some of the best beer from Rhode Island (not the best place for a brewery tour).
    • Long Live Beerworks: Great all around beers, especially hoppy ones.
    • Tilted Barn: Worth a visit for a brewery tour (also great beers).
    • Revival Brewing: Located in the basement of Brutopia restaurant, has cornhole and other outdoor games too.
    • Crooked Current: Smallest brewery in the smallest state making all sorts of crazy beers.

    Best Dive Bars

    • Captain Seaweeds: Definitely worth a visit, outdoor seating, incredibly friendly bartender (especially if you have a puppy).
    • Nick-A-Nees
    • Ocean Mist: Dive bar that hangs out over the ocean and attracts an eclectic crowd. Big name concerts throughout the summer, reggae night Tuesdays.
    • E&O Tap

    Best Hipster Bars

    • Salon: DJ and dancing downstairs on the weekends.
    • Grad Center Bar at Brown: You're never too old to hang out with grad students and college seniors, super cheap and great beer selection, darts, pool, board games.
    • The Eddy: Go for the drinks, but get their pretzel!

    Best Classy Bars

    • Dorrance
    • The Dean

    Best Bar on the Water

    • Hot Club: Lots of outdoor deck space with a great view of Providence and the harbor. Good for big or small groups of people.

    Best Rooftop Bar

    • Rooftop at the Providence G: The only rooftop bar in Providence, this place is very popular and has outdoor fires, lots of lounge space that doesn't take long to fill because of the popularity.

    Best Bars with a Cool Set-up/Ambience

    • Justine's: Speakeasy behind a lingerie shop.
    • Ogies Trailer Park: Comfort food (Great tots!), outdoor patio and tiki bar.
    • Magdalene Room at the Dean

    Best Karaoke Bars

    • The Boombox: Located in the basement of the Dean.
    • G Pub

    Best German Bar

    • Faust: German food, lots of beer, in the Dean Hotel.

    Best Irish Pub

    • Arigna Irish Pub and Coal Fire Pizza: Sports bar.

    Best Punk/Metal Bar

    • The Scurvy Dog

    Best Wine Bars

    • Bodega

    Best Bars for Live Music

    • The Spot: 7 days/week, Funk Fridays.
    • The Parlour
    • The Dorrance: Friday and Saturday nights.
    • Point Street Dueling Pianos: fun with a bigger group.
    • Local 121: DJ on weekends for when you need to dance.
  • Outdoor Activities

    Compiled by Terra Schaetzel-Hill PGY-3


    • East Bay Bike Path:Hop on your bike for a ride along the east side of the Providence bay on this beautiful 14 mile paved bike path. The trail winds along the water's edge with beautiful views of the bay, sailboats, estuaries and marsh lands with native birds and through the quaint towns of Barrington, Warren and Bristol. Bring some cash and make a stop at The Daily Scoop for ice cream in Barrington, The Beehive Cafe for lunch in Bristol, or pack a picnic for lunch at Colt State Park near the end of the trail.
    • Road Biking: Take a scenic ride through the farmland of southern Rhode Island, taking in the 17th century stone walls, farm fields and ocean views
    • Mountain Biking: Bring your bike to Arcadia Land Management 30 minutes south of Providence and enjoy miles of trails in this 14,000 acre


    • RISD Beach: A private and quite beach a 20 minute drive from Providence (or 10 mile bike ride via the East Bay Bike path) open to RISD and Brown students and faculty (including residents!). A great place to head for a quick swim after work.
    • Newport Beaches: Drive down to Newport (45 minutes away) and take your pick from any of their gorgeous, broad sandy beaches. Perfect for a lazy weekend, or get adventurous with a windsurfing or kayaking lesson.
    • Narragansett Beach: Rent surf boards and even take a lesson!
    • Matunuck Beach: A hot spot for local surf. Grab your board and catch some waves on your day off.

    Sailing - Whether you are a seasoned sailor or looking to learn the ropes, Rhode Island has it all when it comes to sailing.

    • Providence Community Boating Center: Take lessons, rent sail boats or get a year-long membership in Providence's Indiapoint park. Less than 2 miles from downtown and Rhode Island Hospital, your hospital-to-sail time will consistently be less than 30 minutes.
    • Sail Newport: Located in Newport, this sailing club offers similar amenities to Providence's local scene, or stop by to watch a sailing regatta.

    Kayaking - Rhode Island offers numerous places to rent or put-in your own boat.

    • Providence Community Boating Center: Offers rentals to explore the Providence bay and Providence River. Or put your own boat in and paddle up-river to enjoy a free summer concert at Water Place.
    • Narrow River: Paddle down this scenic lazy river in southern Rhode Island which opens onto the beautiful coast line

    Hiking and State Parks - Though Rhode Island may not have much elevation to offer, there is no shortage of places to get your nature-fix.

    • Lincoln Woods State Park: A small lake with a network of trails. Come here for mountain biking, walking, kayaking, or take a dip in the lake.This is a superior place for bouldering and picnicking in the grill areas.
    • Arcadia Land Management Area: A 30 minute drive south of Providence, this 14,000 acre region is the largest recreational area in Rhode Island and offers mountain biking, horse trails, kayaking and canoing, as well as cross country skiing in the winter.
    • Beavertail State Park: Located on the coast, this park offers scenic coastal views, short hiking trails and great fishing.
    • Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge: Free parking, easy walking trails, rocky beaches and tital pools overlooking the ocean.
    • North-South Trail: Longest contiguous hiking trail in Rhode Island.
    • Newport Cliff Walk: Famous walk along the ocean cliffs and beside gilded age mansions.
    • See RI's State Park Website for more beautiful natural areas: http://riparks.com/index.html

    Block Island- Rhode Island's beautiful and iconic coastal retreat, Block Island, is an hour's ferry-ride from Southern Rhode Island. Bring your bike and sunscreen! Whatever you are searching for, Block Island has it: art galleries, beaches, sailing, hiking, fishing, bars, food and shopping are all available within arm’s reach, and you’ll be no farther than a 20-minute bike ride from the southern and northernmost points of the Island.