Our favorite part about summer? Outdoor indulgences. These al fresco patios, cozy rooftop bars and sprawling seaside lawns all maintain the holy trinity of summertime R&R: sunshine, sunsets and an exceptional cocktail.
15 POINT ROAD
15 Point Road is known for upscale menu items (think: sweet potato salmon and grilled native swordfish) in a casual setting. Their menu is largely influenced by local offerings and their back patio overlooks the Sakonnet River making for a serene experience in Portsmouth.
Pro tip: Opt for the Mount Hope Seafood entree - it's a classic crafted with lobster, shrimp, tarragon and scallions sauteed in a wine cream sauce served over a puff pastry.
The LOBSTER BAR
Located at the end of historic Bowen's Wharf, you'll be hard-pressed to find a seat closer to the harbor than on the deck at The Lobster Bar. This waterfront restaurant offers scenic bay views and a menu made for lobster lovers. Lobster rolls? Check. Baked stuffed lobster? Got it. RI lobster bake? Got that too. Not a lobster fan? Not to worry, their menu offers plenty of other delights from the sea.
This dockside cafe tucked away in Newport Shipyard (a working shipyard, as you might have guessed from the name) is often referred to as one of Newport's hidden gems, and with good reason. Belle's Cafe's outdoor seating is situated next to some of Newport's most impressive boats and yachts, not to mention we've heard people say the pancakes are some of the best they've ever had. We won't deny it. Open March through December.
The charming eatery is located in downtown Bristol overlooking Independence Park and Bristol harbor. Order from their menu boasting sweet and savory farm-to-table treats like the Beehive Biscuits and orange ricotta pancakes, then make your way outside to the patio or upstairs to the balcony for scenic bites. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
THE BLACK PEARL
The Black Pearl is somewhat of a Newport icon. It opened in the 1920s and has been serving award-winning chowder since. Their waterside patio is located smack dab in the middle of Newport's historic Bowen's Wharf, serving up scenic harbor views and of course, decadent food.
Pro tip: Don't skip the chowder. Like we said, it's kind of world famous.
BLOUNT CLAM SHACK
Recently named the best cheap eats in RI by Travel & Leisure, Blount Clam Shack's menu may lack dollar signs, but nothing else. The award winning, waterfront seafood shack opened back in 1943 and has since been serving up seafood favorites with a twist, like clambake chowder crafted with all the best parts of a clambake in a delicious soup; or their giant lobster roll, made with 1/2 pound lobster chunks. Seafood lovers, rejoice. Not to mention, the quaint shack is located right on Warren's scenic waterfront.
BLUEWATER BAR & GRILLE
This family friendly, farm-to-table restaurant in Barrington dishes locally sourced, contemporary meals with a unique twist. Savor decadent entrees like gnocchi mac & cheese (not a typo), burrata ravioli and more, all served on their vibrant outdoor patio.
Named among the most scenic restaurants in the country by OpenTable, Boat House combines all the best things about New England into one fine dining experience: fresh seafood, an ocean breeze and nautical charm. Savor fresh, local seafood along the Sakonnet River.
THE LAWN AT CASTLE HILL INN
This seaside lawn spotted with Adirondack chairs overlooking the bay at Castle Hill Inn is another Newport icon and summer staple. Offering panoramic seaside views, classic New England fare and warm-weather cocktails, you might find it hard to leave. Kick your feet up and enjoy the sea breeze in one of many first come, first serve Adirondack chairs, or relax at an outdoor table seven days a week, Memorial Day through Columbus Day.
THE CAFE AT THE CHANLER
The Cafe at The Chanler is like something out of a dream. Step outside onto the patio adorned in a sunset-inspired palette with sculptural furniture and soft flowing draped fabric panels commissioned from a local sail-maker for an ethereal experience. Not to mention, it overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and First Beach below. Enjoy a Mediterranean-inspired menu with classic New England fare for lunch and dinner.
Diego's is known for Mexican dishes with modern flare on Bowen's Wharf in downtown Newport. Fresh ingredients meet homemade, to-die-for sauces and bold, vibrant flavors. Their outdoor patio offers an energetic atmosphere, making this casual eatery perfect for soaking up some sunshine.
Pro Tip: Do not skip the blood orange margarita.
EVELYN'S DRIVE IN
This family owned seafood shack is located on Nanaquaket Pond in quaint Tiverton and has been a fixture of Rhode Island since its inception more than 40 years ago. Aside from scenic views, you'll find all your seafood favorites, like fried clams and traditional RI clam chowder, plus a few items with a twist, like lobster chow mein.
Pro tip: Keep an eye out for Evelyn’s BIOBUG, a diesel VW Bug powered by clam cakes and their partnership with Newport Biodiesel. Newport Biodiesel picks up the used fry oil produced by Evelyn's fried offerings, processes it, and then fills the BIOBUG with biodiesel. In 2010, Evelyn’s recycled 27,000 lbs of fry oil!
FLO'S CLAM SHACK
Featured on Food Network's Best of Rhode Island and touting more than 40 years of experience, Flo's Clam Shack is renowned for life-changing seafood served in a casual, oceanfront setting.
Pro tip: Food Network's Chris Cosentino named the fried clam roll the best thing he's ever eaten. Don't skip it.
THE PAVILION AT FORTY 1 NORTH
Located right on Newport Harbor, the Pavilion at Forty 1 North is a modern outdoor bar overlooking the iconic Newport Bridge and offering a scenic spot to savor classic fare or lounge on area sofas and arm chairs. Soak in the sights while sipping on signature cocktails.
ONE BELLEVUE AT HOTEL VIKING
Modern culinary treasures from the land and sea meet flavor and freshness at One Bellevue at Hotel Viking. Their outdoor patio situated directly on world-famous Bellevue Avenue seats 50 and offers enchanting views of some of Newport's favorite historic sights.
TOP OF NEWPORT AT HOTEL VIKING
A good thing got a lot better last season when Hotel Viking revamped their rooftop bar + kitchen, Top of Newport. Enjoy a full menu and a full bar alongside tables and plush couches. They also offer live entertainment and daily specials.
Located dockside at the end of Bowen's Wharf, The Landing offers commanding views of Newport Harbor and the Newport Bridge. Savor a variety of seafood, raw bar options and more from their outdoor deck overlooking the water.
MARINA CAFE & PUB
Marina Cafe & Pub is owned and operated by former mayor of Newport, Richard Sardella. The pub offers raw bar selections, soups, salads, sandwiches and various entrees including seafood and pasta from its location on Goat Island.
MIDTOWN OYSTER BAR
Midtown Oyster Bar has two outdoor decks, one overlooking bustling Thames Street and the other overlooking Newport Harbor, plus the areas largest working raw bar, and three floors of dining space.
This classic Newport restaurant offers panoramic views of Narragansett Bay from every seat on their outdoor Mahogany deck with pristine water views and locally sourced food.
Pro tip: Lobster roll croissant. Enough said.
Arguably the best pizza in town, Nikolas Pizza offers handcrafted pizza, homemade lasagna, spinach pies, meatballs, ribs and more from their location on Memorial Boulevard. Savor it all from their outdoor patio while soaking up some sun.
O'Brien's outdoor garden patio is a favorite among locals and visitors. Since its opening in 1979, the patio has grown to seat over 175 people and is the perfect place to meet for cocktails, lunch or dinner.
Bonus: It's dog friendly.
This eclectic restaurant is set in a historic, 18th-century Naval officer’s home turned casual and boisterous gathering space. Perro Salado serves fresh, authentic Mexican cuisine, and their outdoor back patio rests beneath a charming pergola adorned in enchanting lights. Perfect for a warm-weather evening of margaritas and authentic Mexican eats.
THE PIER RESTAURANT
The Pier offers a selection of fresh surf and turf, plus entertainment with outdoor waterfront seating on Newport's Howard's Wharf.
THE PORT SEAFOOD GRILL & BAR
Casual dining meets waterfront views of Newport Harbor at The Port where you'll enjoy New England favorites like lobster rolls and clam rolls, plus American classics like burgers and BLTs.
Pro tip: Visit Thursday - Sunday for live music on the patio.
PORTSIDE AT 22 BOWEN'S
Portside is like 22 Bowen's little sister restaurant: an open-air, harborside bar serving up cocktails and bites amid the liveliness of Bowen's Wharf.
Founded in 1954, Quito’s started as a local fish market. Today, it operates as one of Bristol's most beloved eateries for cozy dining and delicious seafood. Their patio offers beautiful sunset views of Bristol Harbor for a dining experience both scenic and savory.
SALTWATER AT NEWPORT HARBOR HOTEL
Saltwater combines New England charm and cuisine in a lively atmosphere. Enjoy classics like deconstructed New England clam chowder and buckets of waffle fries (not an exaggeration, they really are served in buckets) all with a waterfront view.
SALVATION CAFE RESTAURANT
The decor isn't the only thing eclectic about this casual eatery located in Newport's Broadway area. Salvation Cafe's outdoor patio is equipped with a full bar, cozy seating and features unique menu offerings like their beloved pad thai, Salvation short rib burger, and cajun jambalaya.
SARDELLA'S ITALIAN RESTAURANT
Sardella's Restaurant, recognized as the best Italian restaurant by Rhode Island Monthly and Newport Life Magazine, was founded in 1980 by former Newport Mayor Richard Sardella. Sardella's specializes in Northern and Southern Italian cuisine, and recently made major renovations to their outdoor patio, amplifying the restaurant's outdoor dining scene on Memorial Boulevard.
Simpatico Jamestown features six outdoor dining spaces, making it a prime location for al fresco dining. Lights intertwined in tree branches, illuminated globes and sheer drapes conjure the notion of eating in an ethereal tree house. Savor an eclectic menu on the North Deck in the open air with a water view; in the Green Room surrounded by plants and greenery; under the pergola adorned in charming lights; on the patio at the outdoor bar or one of two communal tables; or in the terrace featuring a raw bar and quiet, cozy dining space.
SKIFF BAR AT NEWPORT MARRIOTT
The outdoor deck at Skiff Bar at Newport Marriott overlooks Newport Harbor and offers a menu of craft and local brews, specialty cocktails, and delicious appetizers including flatbread pizzas, signature wings and more. Lounge at one of the tables or comfy seats and savor the sea breeze.
Smokehouse is a laid back, rustic, open-air eatery boasting backyard barbecue flavors. Enjoy slow-cooked barbecue, brisket and handcrafted cocktails in the heart of downtown.
Trafford is located on the site of the former Sears Coal Mill in Warren’s historical district overlooking the waterfront. Their menu offerings include a variety of selections from the land and sea.
GARDEN TERRACE AT THE VANDERBILT
The Vanderbilt's outdoor oasis features cozy sofas set amid meticulously manicured flowers and greenery for an experience both vibrant and relaxing. Savor exquisite cocktails, light meals and snacks from the Conservatory menu while you're there.
ROOFTOP AT THE VANDERBILT
Grab a glass of champagne or a carefully crafted specialty cocktail while enjoying a scenic sunset over Newport Harbor from atop Newport's Vanderbilt. Located in downtown Newport, you'll have gorgeous views of Newport's bustling neighborhoods and the iconic Newport bridge.
Savor artisanal cheese and lunch fare while enjoying a glass of wine or craft beer among the rolling vines at Taproot, the new onsite brewery at Newport Vineyards. Locally-sourced ingredients and a farm-focused menu make this cafe an essential lunch spot for casual al fresco dining with a view.
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