Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau

Downtown Providence

Downtown Providence — Washington, Westminster & Weybosset

The busy city streets of Washington, Westminster and Weybosset are central to downtown Providence and at the hub of commercial and retail growth. Notable companies call the city home, as do many restaurants, theaters and institutes for higher education, such as Johnson & Wales University and a campus of the University of Rhode Island. The Dunkin’ Donuts Center, Rhode Island Convention Center and numerous hotels are located along these roads, with residential living juxtaposed against this bustling scene. Stroll the streets and enjoy a city alive with creativity.  

Visitors will be awestruck by the art deco style and architecture of the state’s tallest skyscraper aptly nicknamed “The Superman Building, located on Westminster Street. While exploring the streets, public art is visible in many forms, from larger-than-life photos highlighting the diversity of the city, to colorful sculptural art, to a mural by RI School of Design graduate and famed artist Shepard Fairey.

Where to Shop

Carmen and Ginger, a staple of the Arcade for many years, has expanded beyond clothing and jewelry...

Places to Dine

Stop into Ellie’s Bakery, a Parisian inspired bistro serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and delectable...

Things to Do

Check out an exhibit, performance or gallery show at AS220. The AS220 Main Stage hosts more than...

Where to Shop

Flanking both Westminster and Weybosset, the Arcade Providence is the oldest indoor mall in the country. Now a mix of apartments, condos and retail, the Arcade is home to New Harvest Coffee & Spirits, Livi’s Pockets and more. Carmen & Ginger, a staple of the Arcade for many years, has expanded beyond clothing and jewelry to housewares and accessories, and also spurred a larger vintage movement in the area. While strolling through the building, be sure to check out the Lovecraft Arts & Sciences Council and learn all about H.P. Lovecraft and NecronomiCon, the conference focused on the life of the Providence writer.   

 

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Stop into Homestyle for an incredible selection of books, candles and home décor. You will also find a few personalized items including the "Home" tee and a local favorite — the PVD-branded baseball cap. Craftland showcases jewelry, clothing and home goods, much of which is made in the 401. Looking for a keepsake from Rhode Island? This is the place to find it. Nearby, Cellar Stories Bookstore boasts the largest selection of used and rare books in the state, with approximately 70,000 volumes crossing all categories and themes.

 

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Places to Dine

Stop into Knead Doughnuts for a delectable vanilla bean, sour cream old-fashioned, or indulge in a peanut butter-glazed, jelly-filled doughnut. If traditional with a twist is more your style, Ellie’s is a Parisian inspired bistro serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and delectable pastries.  Stop into Ellie’s on Washington Street and choose from flaky homemade croissant or some decadent macarons or enjoy salad Nicoise or a buttery cassoulet.  (Check their hours; they take a short late afternoon break to prep for dinner.)    

 

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The city’s vibrant food scene is thanks in part to the influence of Providence’s Johnson & Wales campus.  Tori Tomo on Washington Street specializes in ramen and donburi.  Choose from ramen varieties including pork belly, pulled chicken, veggie miso, tomato broth or kimchee and customize it with a range of extra toppings like black garlic oil, egg, beansprouts and tofu. Capriccio is a Providence landmark, dating back to 1977. Its sophisticated menu includes steak Diane, flambéed tableside. Located on Mathewson Street in downtown, Berri is a new wine spot that serves small bites.  Inspired by immigrant nostalgia, the seasonally curated menu reflects Latin American influences of owner Siobhan Chavarria’s Costa Rican heritage.

If pizza is what you’re craving, Figidini Chef Frankie Cecchinelli crafts Neopolitan style pizzas using a traditional wood fire oven.  He begins by mixing dough made with flour from Naples, features DOP San Marzano tomatoes, Mozzarella di Bufala and toppings like house made ‘nduja.  Offerings include mouthwatering marinated eggplant, coal roasted beets and charred RI squid.  Their flavorful wood fire grilled boneless chicken thighs are a must try.

Things to Do

Providence is rooted in religious freedom and signs of this are visible throughout the city. The Beneficent Church is one of the oldest churches in the state, dating back to 1743. Its Christian worship takes place weekly and tours are granted upon request. Grace Episcopal Church holds weekly mass and is open daily to visitors for worship and tours. The Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul is a Roman Catholic Church with daily mass offerings.  

Head over to the Providence Public Library for a tour of this Venetian Renaissance building. Dating back to 1900, the building is on the National Register of Historic Places. 

Perhaps take in a play at regional theater Trinity Rep (Trinity’s annual interpretation of “A Christmas Carol” is a must see!). Trinity features the last permanent resident acting company in America. Nearby, the Providence Performing Arts Center brings an array of Broadway shows and contemporary performances to Providence. 

Check out an exhibit, performance or gallery show at AS220. The AS220 Main Stage hosts more than 10 events a week. Additionally, the artist-run organization offers printshop workshops, electronics workshops and many drop-in classes. 

Rhode Islander’s love to give directions by telling where something used to be.  Seek out the downtown spot where Lupo’s was once located and find The Strand.  This historic theater has been a gathering place for locals to hear music acts and concerts for decades.  Stop by Trinity Brewhouse’s outdoor beer garden or visit the skating center for some outdoor bumper car fun.  These fun-for-all-ages bumper cars spin on ice in winter months and pavement the rest of the year.                         

 

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The late-night scene offers something for everyone. Take in a spectacular view of the city from the Rooftop of the Providence G. Enjoy a signature cocktail (and stay warm by one of the fire pits), as the rooftop is open year-round. Stop into The Salon for a game of ping pong or pinball, and a beverage. We recommend a Pickleback or a Dirty Shirley (Temple). Murphy's — a Providence institution since the 1920s — is a comfortable Irish pub. 

The Boombox in The Dean Hotel has a lounge and private karaoke party rooms. Fortnight is an intimate wine bar, which serves naturally and biodynamically produced wines and small batch beers. The Dark Lady and The Stable, both favorites of the LGBTQ crowd, often have live music, DJs and dancing. After a night out, a burger from the Haven Brothers food truck or a treat from Friskie Fries' downtown storefront will satiate your late-night craving for some fried goodness. 

Seasonal activities include: June’s PVDFest, an arts extravaganza of music, performances and creative expression, which takes over downtown; summertime outdoor Movies on the Block; and outdoor ice skating during the winter at the Alex and Ani City Center.

The city is easily bikeable, and there is plenty of on-street metered parking, as well as convenient lots and garages.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Providence became a bustling manufacturing town and by the late 19th century, the city was the... Learn More ›

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Insider Tip
Downtown

Rick M. lives downtown and recommends a stop into The Malted Barley for a pretzel and glass of the seasonal craft brew offered on tap. With menu offerings that include an everything pretzel, a pretzel burger and pretzel grilled cheese, who can resist?