For many of us, the summer of 2020 was about neighborhood patio gatherings and takeout. But thanks to vaccinations, this summer can be different.
Here’s my roadmap for fun from now through September — and maybe even October — with 21 food and drink adventures for 2021. While the offerings promise to be delicious, many of them will also come with stunning waterfront views.
Cheers to summer. We missed you.
No. 1: Have lobster rolls at the beach
The Easton’s Beach Snack Bar is home to the popular twin lobster roll deal. The 2021 price is $19.97 for two. You can order online for pickup or beach blanket delivery. They have other seafood as well. Order online at https://twinrolls.square.site/ or call (401) 855-1910.
The beach speaks for itself. First Beach, as it is also called, is located on Memorial Boulevard at the start of the Cliff Walk. It’s lovely.
No. 2: Get away to Block Island
It’s just so easy to hop on the ferry at Point Judith and get off on Block Island, make sure you do it this year. You can walk around town and enjoy everything from pub food to doughnuts. It’s just tastes better when you travel for your food and drink.
If you can stay overnight, a dinner at the Hotel Manisses will be memorable with all the atmosphere a boutique hotel can magically whip up. Manisses Restaurant & Bar, 251 Spring St., (401) 466-9898, hotelmanisses.com/dine/.
For breakfast, The 1661 Inn has a lovely setting and a Champagne breakfast at 5 Spring St, (401) 466-2421, blockislandresorts.com.
No. 3: Discover Sims Ave., Providence
So much is happening on this small corner of Providence. The new Farm Fresh Food Hub is there at 10 Sims Ave. in a 60,000-square-foot building that houses their popular Saturday farmers’ market each week from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Soon, New Harvest will move in with their coffee café and bar.
Next door at 50 Sims St. is Sean Larkin’s new Lost Valley Pizza and Brewery, lostvalleypizza.com.
Across the street is The Industrious Spirit Co., ISCO, which has a lovely space for their tasting room at 1 Sims Ave., (401) 626-4696.
And for artists, the Steel Yard is next to ISCO giving the street that wonderful eclectic vibe.
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No. 4: Iconic Newport dining
Few spots have the cache of the Castle Hill Inn, especially in summer. The stellar service and the setting make it unique. A visit here doesn’t have to break the bank. You can simply have a drink and enjoy the Adirondack chairs that face the bay and the bridge. Or you can lunch on the patio if you want to go all out. Chef Lou Rossi makes it worth your while to dine.
Details: 590 Ocean Drive, Newport, (401) 849-3800, castlehillinn.com
No. 5: Dine above the Cliff Walk
The Café at the Chanler is a most wonderful restaurant that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. They’ve made it very comfortable on the outdoor, covered terrace. It’s now open year round with new heating and siding. The public can dine, with reservations for lunch or dinner. The magic of being high over the water, yet shielded from the elements is special. Don’t miss it. Details: (401) 847-2244.
No. 6: Shop at a Farm
Local farms aren’t just about fresh lettuce and tomatoes. Some do a lot of baking, others have prepared foods and stock their farm stores with local products. This has made them one stop shops. Plus, going to them makes for a fun, scenic road trip.
Check out the baked goods, prepared foods and other treats at these six farm stores: Emma Acres, 143 Ten Rod Rd., Exeter, (401) 294-7555, on Facebook as EmmaAcres; Mapleville Farm, 544 Victory Highway, Burrillville, (401) 568-0544, maplevillefarm.com; Sweet Berry Farm, 915 Mitchell’s Lane, Middletown, (401) 847-3912, sweetberryfarmri.com; Young Family Farm, 260 West Main Rd., Little Compton, (401) 635-0110, youngfamilyfarm.com; Jaswell’s Farm: 50 Swan Rd., Smithfield. (401) 231-9043, jaswellsfarm.com (curbside); and Pelloni Farm, 56 Ashaway Rd., Hopkinton, (401) 377-8975, on Facebook.
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No. 7: Go strawberry picking
A freshly picked strawberry is better than any candy. But in New England, the season is short. So waste no time watching for strawberry news in June.
These six spots managed to offer pick-your-own berries last year during the pandemic, so they will no doubt be at it again this year. They are: Quonset View Farm, 895 Middle Rd., Portsmouth, (401) 683-1254; Four Town Farm, 90 George St., Seekonk, (508) 336-5587, fourtownfarm.com; Salisbury Farm, 11 Peck Hill Rd., Johnston, (401) 942-9741, salisburyfarm.com; Goodwin Brothers Farm Stand, Providence Pike and Greenville Road, North Smithfield, (401) 765-0368, on Facebook; and Brandon Family Farm, 592 Fairgrounds Rd., West Kingston, (401) 932-6481; and Sweet Berry Farm, 915 Mitchell’s Lane, Middletown, (401) 847-3912, sweetberryfarmri.com.
No. 8: Seasonal dining at the Weekapaug Inn
This gorgeous inn has dining open to the public. In in summer, they add an outdoor option where you can watch the martins come and go from their birdhouse.
Beginning June 19, Weekapaug Inn’s Bathhouse opens daily at 8 a.m. for breakfast and 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with lunch featuring salads, wraps, sandwiches and new this year, pizzas. The deck offers al fresco dining with water views. No reservations are accepted as it’s first come first served. The Weekapaug Inn is at 25 Spray Rock Rd., Westerly. (888) 565-5023, weekapauginn.com.
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No: 9: One-stop winery, brewery and restaurant
What the Nunes family has built there in Middletown is nothing short of amazing. What started as Newport Vineyards has now expanded to include a brewery and dining along with their winery. You don’t even see that in Napa Valley.
If you haven’t been there lately, you haven’t been there.
Though their Brix restaurant has been closed since COVID, they are serving their food in the Taproot Brewery and the winery. Reservations are required.
The menu includes charcuterie, local beef, fresh fish and pizza. Brix executive chef Andy Teixeira has been growing fresh produce and herbs for the restaurant.
There’s lovely outdoor seating by the vines as well. All the better to sit and sip a flight of beer or wine.
Details: Newport Vineyards , 909 East Main St., Middletown, (401) 848-5161 newportvineyards.com
No. 10: Rooftop dining in Providence
What’s more fun than dining outdoors in the summer? Dining up high on a roof of course. There aren’t that many spots to do this in RI. The first was at the top of the Hotel Viking. Midtown Oyster added several decks to their building for a similar effect.
In Providence, there are two rooftops that offer outdoor dining with city views. They are at The Rooftop at the Providence G, 100 Dorrance St., Providence, (401) 632-4904, rooftopattheg.com and Mare Rooftop , 229 Waterman St., Providence, (401) 336-6273, marerooftop.com.
You’ll also find rooftop dining at the remarkable Matunuck Oyster Bar which is on Potter Pond at 629 Succotash Rd, South Kingstown, (401) 783-4202, rhodyoysters.com.
No. 11: Clam cakes at a city beach
Oakland Beach in Warwick offers waterside dining, thanks to Iggy’s. You can enjoy signature clam cakes at their clam shack, Iggy’s Doughboys and Chowder House, or at their casual restaurant Iggy’s Boardwalk. Then you can take a walk on the beach.
Details: Iggy’s Boardwalk Restaurant, 885 Oakland Beach Ave., Warwick, (401) 737-2895, and Iggy’s Doughboys and Chowder House next door at 889 Oakland Beach Ave., (401 ) 737-9459. Find their menus online at iggysri.com.
No. 12: Pick your own blueberries
The season for highbush blueberries generally starts in July. It can run well into August because many farmers have planted different varieties that ripen later than others. Picking your own is fun, and delicious. Who doesn’t love a blueberry pie?
Keep an eye on these farms which usually offer PYO: Rocky Point Farm, 130 Rocky Point Ave., Warwick, (401) 732-6206, rockypointblueberries.com, on Facebook; Jaswell’s Farm, 50 Swan Rd., Smithfield, (401) 231-9043, on Facebook and Instagram; Harmony Farms, 387 Saw Mill Rd., Glocester, (401) 934-0741, harmonyfarmsri.com; Pinecrest Farms, 1 Pinecrest Rd., Richmond, (401) 364-3793; Sweet Berry Farm, 915 Mitchell’s Lane, Middletown, (401) 847-3912, sweetberryfarmri.com; Smith’s Berry Farm, 320 Shermantown Rd., North Kingstown, (401) 295-7669, on Facebook; Dame Farm, 91 Brown Ave., Johnston, (401) 949-3657; Boughs & Berry Farm, 255 Peckham Rd., Little Compton, (401) 635-8582; and Goodwin Brothers Farm, 458 Greenville Rd., North Smithfield, (401) 765-0368, on Facebook.
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No. 13: Go to a seafood festival
The Charlestown Chamber of Commerce annual Seafood Festival is back for 2021 and set for Aug. 6-8 at Ninigret Park. There will be local restaurants serving some of the best local seafood around in a country fair setting.
Bookmark charlestownseafoodfestival.com/festival-information/ as they upload the schedule of events, or call (401) 364-4031.
No. 14: Sail away with a drink
Newport has a few options for special sails including from these two companies.
Sailing Excursions offers a Newport cocktail cruise and a Dark & Stormy Schooner Cocktail Sail on Schooner Adirondack II. Learn more at sail-newport.com, 23 Bowen’s Wharf, (401) 847-0000.
Sightsailing offers daily scheduled public sailing cruises out of Bowen’s Wharf in Newport. Enjoy being on the water in Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay, They have a Champagne Sunset sail and Mimosa brunch sail. Find them at 32 Bowen’s Wharf Newport, (401) 849-3333, sightsailing.com
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No. 15: Have ice cream with a view
The Sweet Spot offers divine ice cream with an equally divine water view in Galilee, right next to Champlin’s Seafood on the breachway. You might even think you are sitting on the water when you eat on the patio. It’s at 256 Great Island Rd., Point Judith, (401) 782-1646. On Facebook.
Other favorites for ice cream are Brickley’s Ice Cream, 921 Boston Neck Rd., Narragansett, (opening May 20) and at 322 Main St., Wakefield, (401) 782-8864, now open; and Sunshine Creamery, 305 North Broadway, East Providence, (401) 431-2828, on Instagram @sunshinecreameryri.
Also, Gray’s at Tiverton Four Corners. There, at 16 East Rd., (401) 624-4500, graysicecream.com; Inside Scoop at 30 Ten Rod Rd., North Kingstown, (401) 294-0091, theinsidescoopri.com and The Ice Cream, 4288 Diamond Hill Rd., (401) 333-5053, Cumberland, icecreampie.com.
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No. 16: Visit a seasonal RI clam shack
Rhode Island’s iconic clam shacks are all going to please with their food.
But if you like to sit almost on the water, you can’t do better than Quito’s Seafood Restaurant & Bar, 411 Thames St., Bristol, (401) 253-4500, quitosrestaurant.com; Johnny Angel’s Clam Shack, 523 Charlestown Beach, Charlestown, (401) 419-6732; Blount Clam Shack on the Waterfront, 335 Water St., Warren, (401) 245-3210, blountretail.com; Evelyn’s Drive-In, 2335 Main Rd., Tiverton, (401) 624-3100, evelynsdrivein.com and Champlin’s Seafood Deck, 256 Great Island Rd., Narragansett, (401) 783-3152, champlins.com.
For the most historic of the clam shacks, visit Aunt Carrie’s, 1240 Ocean Rd., Narragansett, (401) 783-7930, auntcarriesri.com.
No. 17: Drink ‘Gansett at the brand-new Providence brewery
Imagine enjoying a freshly brewed Narragansett beer while looking out on the water at India Point Park in Providence? The time has come. The official opening of the Narragansett Brewery & Taproom is Memorial Day weekend.
The new 18,000 square foot brewery will feature an indoor taproom and bar and outdoor patio as well. There is a parking lot and on street parking. Beer brewed on premises will be served, including in flights, along with snacks and sandwiches.
Follow along on their Instagram for the latest hours and opening news @GansettBeerPVD.
The launch of on-site beer to-go has begun. Available for sale online at biermi.com/store/Narragansett/store for pickup at the brewery are Prima Doppia (a hazy double IPA), Musik Express (a fruity but balanced IPA) and Pink Boots Pale Ale. That is a collaboration with the Pink Boots Society from new brewer Lee Lord.
No. 18: By the water in Watch Hill
If you’ve never been to Paris, one bite into a chocolate croissant at Sift Bake Shop in Watch Hill, and you’ll think you have. Crisp on the outside and soft on the inside with a chocolate filling that’s divine, it’s the perfect accompaniment to a hazelnut chocolate latte, made with housemade ganache. Food Network crowned chef/owner Adam Young, the “Best Baker in America” in 2018 and that’s when he opened the second outpost from his Mystic bakery.
The perfect summer morning starts with a pastry and coffee from Sift and sitting on Bay Street enjoying the harbor view.
Details: 102 Bay St., (401) 315-2655, siftbakeshopmystic.com
No. 19: Enjoy a food truck event
From vegetarian to tacos to waffles, food trucks in Rhode Island cook up a wide variety of cuisines. There are weekly dates (Carousel Fridays at the Roger Williams Park Zoo) and monthly events which feature a rotating group of the trucks and that means some fun dining.
You can find trucks on the water “Wednesdays in the Park” at Colt State Park on Rt. 114. in Bristol on the first Wednesday of the month. There’s “Good Eats at Goddard” at Goddard State Park, 1095 Ives Rd. in East Greenwich on the second Wednesday of the month starting on June 9.
For a full lineup, visit foodtrucksin.com/food-truck-events and see when and where you can get outside and eat.
No. 20: Go to Pawtucket
You can overlook the Blackstone River and sip some fabulous gin and cocktails at Rhode Island Spirits.
Your next stop should be Lorraine Mills. There’s a lot of great food and drink going on there at 560 Mineral Springs Ave.
The Miss Lorraine Diner is the place for a comfort food breakfast or lunch 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day except Sunday when they sleep in until 7 a.m.
You can pick up your Saturday sweets at Whisk Me Away from baker Morgan Gray after ordering online starting each Wednesday at whiskmeawayri.com.
Like beer? You’ll love Crooked Current Brewery and brewer Nichole Pelletier for her interesting flavors. Check out the lineup at crookedcurrentbrewery.com. Prefer spirits? There’s White Dog Distilling, a passion project from Carlo and Alecia Catucci. He’s a fulltime teacher and she’s a designer. They produce sophisticated “moonshine” and other spirits. Learn more at (401) 475-3789 and on Facebook.
That’s not all. Lorraine Mills is the home base for Ming’s Asian Street Food which is also putting in a takeout window. Follow them on mingsri.com to find where they are popping up. Masa Taqueria, the Mexican food truck also has a commercial kitchen there but their food truck pops up all around Providence. Follow them at masataqueriapvd.square.site and see their menu.
Also housed there in Lorraine Mills is the commercial space for Chi Kitchen where Minnie Luong specializes in handcrafted kimchi.
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No. 21: Dining out during WaterFire
WaterFire should be back with events in September, and that is still summer in RI. Dining outdoors on a WaterFire night is something special. You can sit right by the brazier show at the Capital Grill, Café Nuovo or the River Social. That is pretty nice.
But you can also pick up a sandwich or other finger food and sit along the river route and call it a picnic. People find private nooks and corners along the route while WaterFire blazes away.