Choosing the best bars in Providence, Rhode Island, wasn’t the easiest task. There’s a wide range of watering holes, taverns, and taprooms to choose from in this capital city. But after much deliberation, we finally narrowed it down. Whether you’re visiting Brown University, checking out the historic East Side, or heading downtown, there’s a bar on this list that you should check out. Some of them feature creative, handcrafted cocktails from professional mixologists. Others are perfect for watching a game with friends. So, whatever the occasion and wherever you find yourself in Providence, these are the best places to enjoy a beverage.
Justine’s is relatively new to Olneyville Square, but it brings old-fashioned vibes. This unpretentious speakeasy is hidden behind the storefront for a lingerie shop. Behind a thick, back curtain, you’ll find a dark bar serving up unique handcrafted cocktails like The Sunny Days, a blend of whiskey and apricot liqueur. It’s one of my personal favorite beverages and a must-try if you love whiskey beverages.
The Avery is part of West Side’s “Beer-muda Triangle,” and it’s a must-visit if you have a soft spot for craft beers. They usually have at least forty beers available in this cozy neighborhood bar. If beer isn’t your favorite, The Avery also sports a lengthy whiskey list featuring over sixty types of whiskey for you to try. Their cocktails are all reasonably priced and decently strong, making this a great place to spend the evening with friends.
Sitting between Hill and Broadway in a surprisingly residential area, Cortland Club is a strange but awesome mix of Italian eatery and hipster bar. It’s relaxed and low-key, with cool vintage decor and an amazing gourmet snack menu. Hand-made cocktails using fresh ingredients make going to this bar an incredible experience. And if you end up with the munchies, their rotating menu of unique snacks (like pastrami-spiced goldfish crackers) is sure to hit the spot.
A few blocks from the Providence River sits the city’s best dive bar – Nick-A-Nees. This honky-tonk style watering hole is dog-friendly and casual complete with funky decor and a curated beer list. You’ll find local brews alongside big-name favorites. Nick-A-Nees also features live music several nights a week, creating an atmosphere that’s fun and friendly.
Ladder 133 Kitchen & Social
Located in Smith Hill, Ladder 133 is a full-service restaurant and sports bar. It’s big and open, with plenty of TVs, making it the perfect spot to watch the game with a cold one in hand. They have 16 regular draft lines featuring well-known favorites, like Guinness and Heniken, alongside a series of rotating draft lines. They also make amazing handcrafted cocktails. House Cocktail No.3, a blend of lemon juice, lavender, and gin, is a must-try, in my opinion.
If you’re looking for a dark, divey bar in the Fox Hill area, Wickenden Pub is it. You can ogle the quirky decor while enjoying a beer from their mile-long list. Really, Wickenden Pub has 99 beers available from all over the world, plus seasonal selections. You can sign up for a Beer Club card if you’re game. Try all 99 beers, and they’ll add your name to the “Wall of Shame.”
Ogie’s Trailer Park
Ogie’s Trailer Park is a little hipster, a little retro, and overall just plain cool. It features a variety of beers and cocktails catered to millennial taste buds. Within the industrial-feeling, trailer-park-themed space in Federal Hill, you’ll find local brews, like Whaler’s, on tap. You’ll also find a selection of nostalgic tiki cocktails featuring plenty of rum and pineapple. So if you like sweet, tropical drinks, this is your new favorite place.
The Eddy is an intimate bar with a speakeasy feel where you can experience high-end craft cocktails from master mixologists. Located in the heart of downtown, it’s a great spot to take a date or meet up with a friend after work. Though they have a small selection of craft beers and wines, the cocktails are where they shine. The house punch is especially worth trying if you’re feeling those vintage vibes.
The Dean Bar
Tucked inside the Dean Hotel in downtown Providence, this swanky and mysterious gem is the perfect spot to grab a late-night beverage. They offer a decent selection of high-end, local beers like Proclamation’s Tendril IPA. They also offer a curated selection of wines. But cocktails are where this bar shines. Try their Mango Caipirinha for something exciting and different.
Why should you trust us?
We use our own local experience and contacts in the city to know which places to include in our lists. We also researched the web and read 3 reputable blogs and websites, including rimonthly.com, tripadvisor.com, and providencejournal.com. So that you can be sure you’re receiving the best of the best. We compiled all the results in one spot and ranked them according to how frequently they were referenced.