Best Restaurants

Out of all the restaurants in a city, 10Best narrows the options to those places with the most appeal and the best reputations. We offer carefully vetted selections to let you explore Providence dining on your own. If time is really tight, though, and you don't have the leisure to look through all our offerings, we present our Providence Best Restaurants list. Here, we distill the best businesses down to a special selection of ten. These places promise a stellar experience and a taste of the city that you just can't miss.

9 Fire and Ice
When looking for a fun, unique, and creative dining experience, look no further than Fire & Ice. There is no set menu, rather, the concept can be called "improvisational" — you select exactly what and how much you want, and they do the cooking. Choose from a variety of seafood and meats, pastas, some 30 vegetables, and about 12 sauces; deliver your selections to the chefs stationed at a seven-foot grill and watch as they prepare your meal. Can't decide? Never fear — there are pre-printed recipes to kick-start your creativity. There's also a wealth of intriguing fruit-infused cocktails. And a word to the wise: local legend has it that the Greenberg sauce is an aphrodisiac! (401-270-4040)

8 Camille's
In every genre there are those who are held as the "wise ones," those from whom everyone else learns. Since 1914, Camille's has provided some of the best regional Italian in a wonderful dining area reminiscent of the great land herself. Menu favorites include citrus lacquered swordfish, champagne risotto with shrimp and asparagus, spaghettini gondola, which comes in a roasted eggplant boat. Several veal, chicken, and pasta dishes are available as well. After dinner choose from a good selection of grappas, cognacs, and cordials. (401-751-4812)

7 Andreas
Since 1966, this College Hill spot has been serving brunch with an international flair — Greek, Italian, French, and Spanish dishes such as spinach and feta cheese omelets and eggs Benedict. Large windows provide great views of the action on Thayer Street. Lunch and dinner options include pasta, Greek favorites such as souvlaki and gyros, and burgers. (401-331-7879)

6 New Rivers
Prized as much for its relaxed and intimate atmosphere as for its imaginative cuisine, New Rivers is a top choice for special occasions, dates, and times when relaxed elegance is in order. The seasonal menu may feature selections such as grilled squab with sage essence and pearl barley, grilled pork loin with soy-lime marinade, Moroccan vegetable tagine, and grilled salmon with black olive and fig relish. Popular desserts include huckleberry ice cream and New Rivers' cookies. Reservations suggested. (401-751-0350)

5 Aspire Restaurant
Occupying the former digs of L'Epicureo Ristorante, Aspire is an upbeat Providence hotel restaurant where the tidy New American menu features delightful renditions of Gloucester Cioppino (with lobster, fin fish, and shellfish), braised beef short ribs, and veal Bolognese served over pappardelle pasta. Outstanding wine list, and the bar serves small plates, pizzas, oysters and mussels from 3pm until late. (401-521-3333, 401-490-8119)

4 The Capital Grille
You could call The Capital Grille "power dining at its finest." The room commands attention with plush leathers and dark woods. Steak is the main draw here, but then you'll also find fresh seafood and veal dishes. In addition to the standard steak and seafood menu, the lunch menu features soups, salads, sandwiches, and pastas. Whether you wear a suit or not, be sure to bring a hearty appetite. (401-521-5600)

3 Pot au Feu
An elegant, special occasion room is available for private parties in the upstairs Salon. Here you'll find traditional French cuisine such as soupe a l'oignon with an ample Gruyere-topped crouton, filet mignon with béarnaise sauce, and crème brûlée. The downstairs bistro has a similar but more affordable menu and a decidedly more relaxed atmosphere open for both lunch and dinner. Notable wine list. (401-273-8953, 401-621-5700)

2 XO Café
The room and fare work together to create a fusion that is barely definable at this trendy favorite. Black leather, white linen, and signed graffiti walls complete the ambience. The Asian-Cajun-American menu includes a number of steak options, such as grilled filet mignon with foie gras, mushroom ragout, thyme scented potato anna, vidalia onion jam and sauce au poivre. Seafood selections are popular as well — try oven roasted cod with ginger scented carrot puree, golden roasted potatoes, snow pea shoots and pickled daikon. A true dining thrill. (401-273-9090)

1 Al Forno
It may be hard to believe, but Providence is home to one of the best Italian restaurants in the country. Be sure to order something smothered in their famous sauce — a heaping plate of your favorite pasta should do nicely. If you feel like heading a different route, then consider sampling a wood-grilled pizza or aquidneck oysters before moving on to "heavier stuff" like pepper-grilled chicken paillard, pumpkin-stuffed lasagna, or oven-roasted George's Bank scallops. You'll never forgive yourself if you don't save room for their made-to-order delights: lime-scented butter cake, orange marmalade tart and fresh banana ice cream sandwich, to name but a few. NB The restaurant accepts reservations for parties of six or more from Tuesday through Thursday and for parties of any size on certain occasions (for example graduation day or Valentine's Day). (401-273-9760)

From Our Partners


Maps and Directions

Fire and Ice 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Disabled Accessible, Non-Smoking
COST: $$
Camille's 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking
Cuisine: European, Italian
COST: $$
Andreas 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining, Non-Smoking
Cuisine: Ethnic, European, Greek
New Rivers 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms, Wine Cellar
COST: $$
Aspire Restaurant 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining, Disabled Accessible, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms, Smoking (outdoor area), Take Out
Cuisine: European
COST: $$
The Capital Grille 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Steakhouse
Dining Options: Disabled Accessible, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms
Neighborhood: Downtown
COST: $$$
Pot au Feu 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: European, French
Dining Options: Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms
COST: $$
XO Café 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Steakhouse
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Wine Cellar
COST: $$
Al Forno 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Disabled Accessible, Family Friendly, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms
Cuisine: European, Italian, Steakhouse
COST: $$