It's officially patio season in Newport! What better time to experience the area's outdoor dining scene than when the weather is warm and the sea breeze hits just right.
Post COVID-19, restaurants that once had limited or no outdoor seating have amped up their creativity, opening new patios and al fresco dining areas on city sidewalks, parking lots, and even on some streets (hint: Broadway). From dreamy outdoor spaces in Jamestown to a beer garden in Warren and under-the-radar hideaways in Newport, here are the best outdoor spots for award-winning cuisine and some of the best grub around on The Classic Coast.
Visiting in the colder months? Check out restaurants with heated outdoor seating here.
When you're ready, we can't wait to welcome you back to The Classic Coast. Rest assured, the safety and well-being of both visitors and locals remains our top priority. The mask mandate requiring face coverings in Rhode Island has been lifted, however local businesses may ask you to wear a mask when visiting their establishments. Please be prepared for individual business mask policies. Additionally, shops, attractions and tours are monitoring the number of guests at any given time and may ask you to socially distance to enter.
All we ask when you land on these shores is that you play your part in keeping everyone safe. Please be kind, adhere to guidelines and maintain social distancing.
A classic harbor-side restaurant with al fresco seating, indulgent food and sophisticated charm, 22 Bowen's is situated amid the buzz of Bowen's Wharf. Opt to dine on their patio, or head across the cobblestone path to Portside (open seasonally), the restaurant's open-air, harborside bar serving up cocktails and bites.
Tucked away on Waite's Wharf overlooking the harbor is @ The Deck where a casual atmosphere and fresh, local seafood reign supreme. Their waterfront patio serves up lighter fare like fish & chips and RI calamari, alongside a selection of craft cocktails.
From the owner of Alex and Ani and Carolyn's Sakonnet Vineyard comes Bar and Board Bistro, an upscale, chic restaurant located in a former bank and known for New England cuisine with a Mediterranean twist. The restaurant's open-air pergola sits on bustling Thames Street in the heart of downtown and features electric heaters while the outdoor patio offers a collection of propane heaters.
As for the menu, think seaside staples: calamari, mussels, and raw bar offerings alongside burgers and sandwiches, pasta, and of course, a bistro board offering seasonal cheeses, cured meats, breads and spreads.
Overlooking Newport's historic Washington Square, Bar 'Cino is the latest addition to the Newport Restaurant Group portfolio. This informal neighborhood spot operates with an open kitchen concept and runs railroad-style, in single file, with tight banquette tables running parallel to stooled bar seating. The star of the show here is the grilled pizza, made extra, extra thin and served with shears for cutting, just like your favorite Italian grandmother would.
This dockside cafe tucked away in Newport Shipyard (an actual working shipyard) is often referred to as one of Newport's hidden gems, and with good reason. The 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 seasonally)
A Newport staple for more than 40 years, Brick Alley Pub is no stranger to accolades, including Rhode Island Restaurant of the Year, Best Newport Restaurant, Best Bar Statewide, and the list goes on. With 25 beers on tap, award-winning nachos, seasonal cocktails, sandwiches, pasta and everything in between, their extensive menu can accommodate even the pickiest of diners. Make your way to the back of the restaurant to find their lively patio for outdoor dining.
This waterfront lawn spotted with Adirondack chairs overlooking the bay at Castle Hill Inn is another Newport icon and summer staple. Offering panoramic views, classic New England fare and warm-weather cocktails, you might find it hard to leave.
Step outside onto the patio adorned in a sunset-inspired palette and soft flowing draped fabric panels commissioned from a local sail-maker for an ethereal experience. Like something out of a dream, The Cafe at The Chanler overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and First Beach below. Enjoy a Mediterranean-inspired menu with classic New England fare for lunch and dinner.
Local art and chill vibes are the centerpiece of Caleb & Broad, where everything you think about the Newport dining scene is eradicated. The eccentric eatery on Broadway recently underwent an extensive renovation, now boasting two murals by local artist Badway Creative and Ry Smith. They also recently expanded their outdoor dining area onto Broadway, which includes heaters and a canopy of Edison bulb string lights overlooking the bustling Broadway District.
If you've passed Corner Cafe on any given weekend morning, chances are you've witnessed the eager crowds gathered outside. This cozy, intimate cafe often comes with a wait, but their extensive menu loaded with crave-worthy offerings is worth every second. From the pesto and fresh mozzarella omelette (The Jimmy Pesto Especial, for future reference) to sweet bread French toast with maple pecan butter—this is the spot where your brunch dreams come true. Plus, they recently expanded their outdoor seating, adding heaters to keep warm into the chillier months along with additional seating.
A working raw bar and three floors of dining complete the experience at Benjamin's Raw Bar on Thames Street. Make your way to the third floor to check out their open-air bar and dining area known as the "Crow's Nest."
Pro Tip: Stop at the raw bar every Tuesday for your choice of $1 oysters, $1,25 shrimp and $.75 clams.
Situated just off historic Bellevue Avenue is this casual, trendy cafe where ingredients are sourced locally and breakfast is served all day. For brunch, you can always count on the tried and true staples: egg sandwiches, breakfast burritos, and avocado toast, alongside more eclectic offerings like chicken & biscuits or Irish smoked salmon with fried egg and corned beef hash. Round up your cru (see what we did there?), and head over for a BYOB brunch—just bring the booze, they supply the juice.
Welcome to the place where the food has just as much character as the atmosphere, laden with string lights, Day of the Dead skulls, and a Buddha or two strewn about. The menu here boasts California-style Mexican dishes contrived with fresh ingredients and homemade, to-die-for sauces with bold flavor. Grab a seat on the outdoor patio for a lively experience in the heart of downtown Newport.
Pro Tip: Do not skip the blood orange margarita *chef's kiss*
Step inside this traditional Irish pub for a journey through the heart of Ireland. Well, it'll feel like it anyway. Named for the southernmost lighthouse in Ireland, Fastnet Pub offers 30 draft beers and an expansive outdoor patio equipped with plenty of seating and multiple areas of game play. Enter through the back entrance (there's free parking in the back) to enjoy outdoor ping pong, foosball and pool; or head indoors for darts and indoor pool.
"Life gave us all lemons, so we made a beer garden," reads the website for the new Outer Element. This long-time dormant parking lot/gas station turned outdoor beer-garden-esque dining area neighbors its parent restaurant, The Fifth Element, and was constructed in response to COVID-19 dining restrictions to serve as a cheerful place for guests to dine in accordance with new regulations. Adorned in potted plants and vibrant picnic tables under a canopy of Edison-bulb string lights, Outer Element is tied together by a mural that reads out "HOPE" on the back wall commissioned by a local artist.
The menu is comprised of Fifth Element favorites including pizzas, burgers, sandwiches and more.
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 armchairs. Soak in the sights while sipping on signature cocktails.
The Vanderbilt's outdoor oasis features cozy sofas amid meticulously manicured flowers and greenery for an experience both vibrant and relaxing. Savor signature cocktails alongside light meals and snacks.
Located at the new Hammett's Hotel in downtown Newport, this freestyle Italian restaurant is the first solo venture from renowned Executive Chef and Rhode Island native Kevin O'Donnell. His original take on Italian dining comes complimented by a carefully crafted bar program offering a mix of classic and reinvented cocktails, beer from local breweries and a predominantly Italian wine list. As for the menu, think small but robust, with offerings including Ricotta Love Letters, Tagliolini and Corn Found on an Italian Street (AKA the only corn we want.)
A quick ride to Goat Island (don't worry, you can drive or walk) will land you at Gurney's Newport Resort. When it comes to outdoor dining at this chic seaside hotel, you have your fill of options. Choose between Showfish, the newest addition to the Gurney's dining scene delivering fresh fish, ripe vegetables and hand-selected specialties with both indoor and outdoor seating options; The Lounge & Firepit, offering light bites, cocktails and entertainment alongside a collection of outdoor fire pits overlooking the bay; and The Pineapple Club (open seasonally), a casual gathering spot situated on the bay offering specialty cocktails.
The fairly new Humming Bird on Broadway specializes in home-style Caribbean food and casual grub. Think: Jerk chicken, Oxtail hot plates, crispy fish wraps, and more. Their newly created outdoor patio features high-top seating and heaters for cozy dining into the cooler months.
Welcome to Jo's American Bistro where the atmosphere is convivial and the food is an elevated casual. American cuisine is the highlight here, with items like the Jo's Burger and steak frites taking center stage. Their patio overlooking Memorial Boulevard in the center of downtown is outfitted with heaters for chilly-weather dining.
Seafood lovers, this is your spot. Knot Norms originally opened doors in Norwalk, CT and recently expanded to a second location on Newport's Thames Street in the former Vieste location. The menu at this neighborhood eatery is full of staples from the sea, including one of the most popular lobster rolls around. For a bite out of the ordinary, opt for the lobster bowl: fresh lobster claw, knuckle, and tail served over sushi rice, various pickled veggies, yuzu aioli, sesame, and tamari.
Formerly known as The Newport Casino, the building occupying La Forge Casino Restaurant was originally constructed in 1880 as a result of a bet between James Gordan Bennet JR., owner of the New York Herald, & his guest, British Cavalry Officer, Captain “Sugar” Candy. Today, it maintains shops, galleries and restaurants, including La Forge Casino Restaurant, which neighbors the International Tennis Hall of Fame and offers outdoor seating overlooking the establishment's historic grass courts where legends have played.
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.
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.
A good thing got a lot better when Hotel Viking revamped their rooftop bar + kitchen, Top of Newport. Enjoy a full menu and a full bar alongside tables and plush couches. (Open seasonally)
You'll be hard-pressed to find a seat closer to the harbor than on the deck at The Lobster Bar. This waterfront restaurant at the end of historic Bowen's Wharf 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 family-owned restaurant on Broadway opened in 2012 and is known for Irish-influenced fare alongside the 31 beers they offer on draft, single malts and Irish whiskeys. In addition to an eccentric lineup of entrees, you'll find tapas-style selections. They recently constructed an outdoor dining area in the front of their restaurant offering bustling city-street vibes, and another in the back for a more quiet, tranquil experience.
Midtown Oyster Bar has two outdoor decks, one overlooking busy Thames Street and the other overlooking Newport Harbor, plus the area's largest working raw bar, and three floors of dining space.
A three-time Best of Newport County winner, every dish at this 40+ year-old pizzeria is made from scratch from family recipes passed down through generations. Savor pizza, homemade lasagna, spinach pies, meatballs, ribs and more from their outdoor patio overlooking Memorial Boulevard.
O'Brien's outdoor patio is a top pick for chill vibes and casual grub in an informal setting on Lower Thames in downtown Newport. Since its opening in 1979, the patio has grown to seat over 175 people and is the perfect place to meet for lunch, dinner or drinks. If you're dining with kids, the two-tier fountain filled with water toys is sure to keep them occupied while you enjoy a cocktail (or two). Speaking of cocktails: For the complete experience, order a mudslide. Trust us
Welcome to Pasta Beach where the Spaghetti Pomodoro is piled high and the pizza is crafted with homemade dough by chef Gianluca who hails straight from Sardegna, Italy. The emphasis here is on simplistic, approachable Italian cuisine, with dishes that mimic those you might eat in Italy. The restaurant's outdoor patio offers both fire pits and outdoor heaters
Tucked away on Charles Street in a historic, 18th-century Naval officer’s home turned casual gathering space is this authentic Mexican restaurant where pops of lime green and colorful string lights accent your experience. The menu offers a robust dining experience with signature dishes like the sticky pork ribs and perfectly battered fish tacos served alongside some of the best margaritas of your life (For an off-menu option, ask for the Prickly Pear). Make your way to the outdoor patio set beneath a charming pergola for an enchanting evening.
The Reef is your spot for a piece of tropical paradise without leaving New England. Set on the harbor overlooking an impressive collection of boats, their outdoor patios are outfitted with palm trees, lounge seating, a collection of fire pits and three bars. The menu here is all about celebrating international flavor, inspired by the travels of sailors to ports around the world. Think: lobster rolls, sea scallops, Moroccan crusted salmon and more.
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.
Saltwater at Newport Harbor Hotel 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) all with a waterfront view.
The decor isn't the only thing eclectic about this casual eatery located in Newport's Broadway district. Salvation Cafe's outdoor patio is equipped with a full bar, cozy seating and features an expansive menu with cuisines from around the world like their beloved pad thai, their signature short rib burger, and cajun jambalaya.
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. It 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.
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 outdoor tables or plush seats and savor the sea breeze.
When the sweet smell of BBQ hits, you know you're close to Smoke House. This casual, rustic, open-air joint boasting backyard barbecue flavors typically closes down come mid-Autumn, but their slow-cooked brisket and handcrafted cocktails are worth the wait for their annual May 1 opening.
From the owners of Stoneacre Brasserie in Newport's Washington Square comes the new Stoneacre Garden located in Swineburne Row (the old Barking Crab if you remember the days). The design is inspired by the gardens and grounds of the Stoneacre Estate, with a cheerful yellow and red awning reminiscent of a circus tent from days gone by. Your whimsical al fresco experience comes adorned in lush greenery hung from the outdoor awning. Make your way through the open garage doors at each end of the interior and past a collection of eccentric furnishings, up to the rooftop bar overlooking America's Cup Avenue for a craft cocktail. And on the menu? Expect seasonal farm-to-table fare similar to that of Stoneacre Brasserie.
Welcome to the best people watching spot in Newport. Located on the side walk of America's Cup Avenue overlooking Newport's downtown area, The Shack menu pretty much runs the gamut with everything from tacos, bowls and sandwiches to light snacks like French fries and tenders. The star of the show, however, is their pizza; cooked inside Surf Club's Marra Forni brick pizza oven, it's crafted with crisp thin crust and topped with Newport Sea Salt.
The former Thames Street Kitchen traded in its farmhouse vibes and contemporary American cuisine for a moody, bistro-like scene at the Revolving Door location. Chef-owners Chad Hoffer and Tyler Burnley now operate a long-term residency here, where an open kitchen concept and a uniquely ever-changing menu full of earthy, decadent dishes are the hallmarks of this intimate restaurant located on Lower Thames.
This Italian eatery previously located at 515 Thames Street moved down the block to open at 580 Thames Street, the location formerly occupied by Lorusso's Cafe, Reclaimed Cafe and Yagi Noodles. The interior is inspired by the coastal town of Viesté in the Apulia region of southeast Italy, the family home and heritage of owner Anthony Lorusso. Their menu offers classic Italian dishes like eggplant rollatini, gnocchi al pomodoro and spaghetti and meatball while their outdoor courtyard is outfitted in heaters and string lights.
A stroll through Bowen's Wharf in downtown Newport will land you at The Wharf Southern Kitchen where southern-style cuisine is served up with New England ingredients. Think: fried oyster po-boys and seafood jambalaya. Their patio area is outfitted with heaters and vinyl siding for outdoor dining well into the chillier months.
Featured on Food Network's Best of Rhode Island, Flo's Clam Shack has been a staple for life-changing seafood in Newport since 1936. Grab a menu and place your order at the counter—we recommend the award-winning clam cakes—then grab a seat on either floor of this casual, oceanfront shack. For a worthwhile view, head upstairs to the front sun room overlooking Newport's First Beach.
Pro tip: Food Network's Chris Cosentino named the fried clam roll the best thing he's ever eaten. Don't skip it.
Johnny's is located on the historic grounds once owned by John Clarke, the founder of Newport. Part of the Wyndham Newport Hotel in Middletown, the restaurant is an homage to the iconic beachfront restaurant that was opened in 1938 at the Atlantic Beach Club. The menu is eclectic with offerings ranging from seafood to pasta and sandwiches, and their outdoor patio comes equipped with scenic views of the reservoir.
15 Point Road in Portsmouth is known for upscale menu items (think: pesto crusted salmon and cajun pan-seared native swordfish) in a casual setting. Their menu is largely influenced by local offerings and their expanded front and back patio overlooks the Sakonnet River making for a serene experience.
Dinner at Simpatico conjures the feeling of dining in an elaborate tree house. String lights and ethereal white linens drape from greenery-adorned pergolas and lush trees outside while intricate light fixtures and electic decor line the interior of this gem in Jamestown. Each of its seven different areas offers up a different experience, each whimsical in their own right.
Named among the most scenic restaurants in the country by OpenTable, Boat House in Tiverton 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.
This family-owned seafood shack open seasonally 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. Reservations Monday - Thursday only (must be made same day as dining experience). All parties limited to 5 or less guests.
Pro tip: Keep an eye out for Evelyn’s BIOBUG, a diesel VW Bug powered by clam cakes and 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!
The Beach House is situated along the East Bay Bike Path in Bristol boasting scenic waterfront views of Bristol Harbor. Their outdoor patio is adorned in enchanting string lights, high-top seating and a spacious outdoor bar. As for the menu, think contemporary American meets classic New England: Clam chowder, clam cakes, flatbreads, pasta, burgers and more.
The Beehive Cafe has been a staple of the Bristol dining scene since opening in 2007. A small, two-story cafe with cozy seating and an upstairs balcony for al fresco eating, the intimate cafe overlooks Bristol's Independence Park from is home on Franklin Street. Order from their menu of locally sourced coffee alongside sweet and savory farm-to-table treats like the Beehive Biscuits and orange ricotta pancakes. Once it's ready, make your way outside to the patio or upstairs to the balcony for scenic bites.
Bristol Oyster Bar is nestled in downtown Bristol in an 1857 brick building that was previously used as a Customs House, Post Office and YMCA. Its inviting atmosphere (think: open kitchen and massive windows for lots of light) and charming outdoor patio overlooking historic Main Street are the perfect scene for the classic New England fare that spans their menu. Savor $1 oysters served Monday - Wednesday.
Located in what was previously the 1818 DeWolf Rum Distillery on Thames Street Landing is DeWolf Tavern, a harborside restaurant with entrees you would expect of a restaurant located on the bay: stuffed lobster, swordfish, and salmon, to name a few; but you'll also see a good deal of Indian influence thanks to Chef Sai Viswanath. Think: Lobster cooked in a tandoor oven (a cylindrical clay or metal oven), chickpea battered shrimp pakora with sweet chili sauce and pakora battered cauliflower manchurian. Their outdoor seating is situated under a large tent overlooking the harbor for picturesque views.
Make your way over to The Lobster Pot for a taste of classic New England flavor. Opened in 1929, this seaside eatery offers traditional New England fare with a menu largely based on what's fresh from the market. Seafood lovers, feel free to build your own raw bar plate complete with oysters, littlenecks, shrimp and lobster cocktail to your heart's content. Did we mention its located right on the harbor? Grab a seat on the back patio, a bowl of quahog clam chowder (it'll change your life) and watch the boats bobble along the bay.
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. Reservations only.
Enjoy outdoor dining on the deck overlooking Bristol Harbor at Thames Waterside Bar and Grille. The menu offers fresh local seafood and classic comfort food dishes like pulled pork sliders, flatbreads and lobster Mac and cheese.
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 lb. lobster chunks. Not to mention, the quaint shack is located right on Warren's scenic waterfront.
Bywater recently turned its former 4-table patio into a full outdoor dining scene with a firepit, benches equipped with blankets, and individual heaters at each table. As for the menu, this seafood and farm-to-table meets comfort food, with plates like cioppino and scallops served over fresh pasta with pancetta. The atmospheres gets a charming boost from twinkle lights hanging overhead.
How much burger is too much burger? The limit doesn't exist at Chomp, where heaping burgers topped with everything from mac and cheese to friend jalapeno chips is the norm. Their outdoor tented beer garden is a chill destination for burgers and beers under a canopy of string lights. Think you can hang? Get your hands on The Cheeeeseburger - garlic bread grilled cheese buns, melted onions, tomato jam, american and cheddar cheese, and bacon aioli. Arrive ravenous.
Waterdog Kitchen & Bar opened earlier this year with a laid-back atmosphere and a robust menu. The restaurant, situated on Water Street, offers a variety of snacks and shareable, seafood options, sandwiches, hot dogs (well played), grilled cheeses and more. Their patio offers umbrella topped tables and benches for al fresco eating.
This recently renovated waterfront restaurant was established in 1955, but the building and surrounding wharf date all the way back to the 1700s. You'll be hard-pressed to find a seat closer to the water than here, where the menu maintains a focus on fresh-from-the-sea offerings alongside a collection of boards, sandwiches, tacos and specialty cocktails. Make your way to the rooftop bar (seating available first come, first serve) outfitted in couches and cozy seating for the best view in the house.
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