If you find yourself taking a trip to New England, stopping at Providence is an absolute must. With several major colleges—including Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design—this small city is full of creative and hip spots.
Bearing the nicknames “Creative Capital” and “Renaissance City,” Providence is the perfect combination of old school New England, urban chicness, and collegiate creativity. This makes it the ideal location to scope out unique and fashionable places that are still hidden from the masses.
As a college town, one of the best aspects of Providence is its thriving restaurant and bar scene. There is a wide range of pubs and cocktail bars where you can soak up the fun nightlife that the city has to offer (and without the hefty prices of a larger city, I might add).
After extensive research, I narrowed down a list of the best bars in Providence that represent the greatest that this city has to offer. Check out my list of the best bars in Providence below!
Best Bars in Providence
- The Avery
- Ladder 133 Kitchen & Social
- The Eddy
- Courtland Club
- Ogie’s Trailer Park
- The Dean Bar
- Free Play Bar Arcade
- Wickenden Pub
- The Malted Barley
11 Olneyville Square, Providence, RI 02909
This sexy speakeasy will awaken all of your flapper girl fantasies. Sneakily tucked in the back of a lingerie store in the artsy Olneyville neighborhood, this classy cocktail bar will be sure to provide you with a sensual and adventurous evening.
In terms of menu, this bar features some classic and scrumptious cocktails, including Manhattans, Sloe Gin Fizzes, and Ward 8s. Not only are their drinks fantastic, but they come at a fraction of the prices you would see at a New York City cocktail bar.
Stop by Justine’s for an after-dinner cocktail and to soak in the cozy and luxurious atmosphere.
18 Luongo Square, Providence, RI 02903
For another speakeasy-style cocktail bar, be sure to check out The Avery on the West Side. The exterior of the building looks residential, and the windows are darkened, so patrons may be surprised when they walk in to find a gorgeous cocktail lounge with wood-carved walls and velvet booths.
The Avery has a fantastic selection of fancy cocktails and craft beers—they boast a list of 40 beers and over 60 different whiskeys. With friendly bartenders who commit to quality drink making, you can be sure to have a good time in this vintage neighborhood bar.
Fun fact: this is an authentic speakeasy, and the location has featured a bar since the Prohibition era.
Ladder 133 Kitchen & Social
133 Douglas Ave, Providence, RI 02908
Ladder 133 is the perfect restaurant and pub to grab some drinks with friends and watch the game while in a casual, college-style atmosphere.
This restaurant and bar have Italian, American, and classic pub foods, all paired with a fantastic selection of beer and cocktails. Originally a fire station, the Ladder 133 building is urban, industrial, and trendy, with tons of funky decor suitable for a college pub.
If you go with a group of friends, I recommend going in together for a Mega Mule, a giant pitcher of the popular vodka cocktail. For those who prefer beer, Ladder 133 has a nice range of draft beers as well as craft cans.
95 Eddy St, Providence, RI 02903
The Eddy is a classy, small cocktail bar in the center of downtown Providence. I love this place for its constantly rotating menu, serene atmosphere, and fancy bar food options.
Step in from the New England cold to enjoy a handcrafted cocktail made by an expert bartender. Some of my personal favorites on their menu include the French Pearl (Hayman’s Old Tom Gin, St. George Absinthe, mint, and lime) and the Ruby Tuesday (hibiscus-infused pisco, Aperol, mango, and lime).
As far as food goes, you can’t go wrong with some classic Rhode Island seafood or a highly curated charcuterie board. Bon appetit!
51 Courtland St, Providence, RI 02909
For a mischievous social club with a warm and lively atmosphere, you can’t go wrong with the Courtland Club. Located in a nondescript building (Providence sure does love its speakeasies), this space serves as both a cocktail bar and performance venue.
Enjoy a sophisticated bar menu with items like a “funky shrimp cocktail” or a pork cutlet sandwich. The cocktail menu is abuzz with new and original flavors, and the Courtland Club’s beer and wine selection are fantastic.
If this sounds like your kind of scene, stop by on Sunday for the live jazz night and enjoy a decadent cocktail while soaking in the cozy exposed brick aesthetic.
Ogie’s Trailer Park
1155 Westminster St, Providence, RI 02909
Check out Ogie’s Trailer Park in the Federal Hill neighborhood for a funky, eclectic time. Hit up Granny Boo’s Kitchen Window for some craving-satisfying bar comfort food, and then head over to the bar for a cocktail or pint of beer.
Ogie’s Trailer Park has a bit of a tropical twist, so their cocktail menu features beverages like Mai Tais, Pina Coladas, and Blue Hawaiians. When it gets colder outside, be sure to try the Mexican hot chocolate with rum.
This place is a top pick for letting loose at night, but Ogie’s also has a great brunch menu if you’re ever looking to plan a boozy mid-morning get-together.
The Dean Bar
122 Fountain St, Providence, RI 02903
Located inside The Dean Hotel, a high-end hotel in the city’s historic district, the Dean Bar has a cool European vibe and that perfect intimate cocktail lounge aesthetic that you love to see in hotels.
This is the place to go if you want to feel like you are on a romantic getaway in Ireland or Paris. Enjoy an old-school cocktail while chatting quietly with friends (or lovers). One of my favorite drinks of theirs is the Mango Caipirinha, a fruity cocktail that incorporates West African rum.
Although Providence is a smaller city, there is still quite a bit of global culture, and the Dean Bar demonstrates that. Head over to this moody cocktail lounge for a taste of worldly sophistication.
75 South St, Providence, RI 02903
Just around the corner from the Providence Children’s Museum is the city’s most popular “dive bar.” Okay, so it’s probably a little too well-known at this point to constitute a true dive bar, but the fun vibes are still there.
Shoot some pool and listen to live music while you sip on a craft brew, or hey, maybe just your favorite popular brand—you won’t be judged here. The music scene is especially good for bluegrass fans, even more so when paired with bar food and friends.
Other additional perks to Nick-A-Nees are a jukebox, which gives a fantastic retro vibe, and with their dog-friendly policy, it’s an inclusive and joyous space.
182 Pine St, Providence, RI 02903
If you’re not yet familiar with the bar arcade concept, now’s the time. Remember when you were little, and you loved to play arcade games and snack on pizza? Okay, well, add your favorite cocktails and beer, and you have a bar arcade.
Free Play Bar Arcade has a wonderful range of nostalgic arcade games and an equally wonderful selection of craft brews. Kick back with a pint and a pizza, and see if you still have what it takes to be a pinball champion.
This bar also has regular special events, including retro dance nights with a DJ. For those further up north, Free Play has a location in Worcester, Massachusetts.
320 Wickenden St, Providence, RI 02903
This wood-lined pub is a cozy and classic take on a neighborhood bar. Wickenden Pub isn’t trying to pose as a trendy cocktail lounge; it is simply a warm place where you can have a beer and spend some good times with your loved ones.
But don’t let the old-school charm fool you: this spot has a reliable rotation of unique craft beer on draft and in cans. You can stick with a reliable favorite or experiment with something wacky like a strawberry beer.
Most of all, Wickenden Pub has a quaint atmosphere. This dark bar is lit up with a warm fire, and equally warm bartenders are attentive and welcoming, always ready with a drink suggestion and an offering of snacks.
The Malted Barley is a celebration of all things artisanal. This means handcrafted beer, freshly made food, and dedicated people.
The Malted Barley’s major attraction is the Malted Barley Brewing Company, which makes beer exclusively for the restaurant. It doesn’t get better than locally made beer. Some of their best include the “Dipahh,” an American Double IPA, and the “Dangerine,” a tangerine kettle sour.
For food, be sure to try one of their famous pretzels. Available in eight different zesty flavors and served alongside a lengthy list of dips, you can’t leave Providence without sampling these tasty baked goods.
Whether you’re looking for a sophisticated speakeasy or a casual pub, Providence has a great range of bars to choose from. From up north in Providence to down south in Tampa, exploring a city’s bars is one of the best ways to learn about the people and the culture.
Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave us a comment, and we’ll check it out!
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