Thayer Street Providence

Thayer Street, in the heart of the Brown University neighborhood, is a vibrant and constantly evolving area. With dozens of unique businesses, the neighborhood caters to the college crowd but is also beloved by academics and locals. Thayer consistently refreshes its offerings to stay current and engaging in the community.

From annual festivals to the Granoff Center for the Creative Arts on adjacent Angell Street, which shows outdoor films and produces various exhibits, Thayer Street is always dynamic. Thrillist called Providence one of “The best American cities for creatives” and a visit to Thayer is an apropos way to experience a bit of that creative aura.

Where to Dine

Thayer Street restaurants serve up global flavors, including Thai, Korean, Greek, Mexican, American, Vegan, Indian, Middle Eastern, French, Italian and sushi.

Where to Shop

There’s a lot to see and do on Thayer Street. Brown Bookstore has much more than books for the college set. Spend time browsing titles while enjoying a cup of Blue State Coffee or attend one of their book readings or a children’s story hour.

Enjoy the many independently owned shops and boutiques on Thayer. Established in 1967, Spectrum India is a bohemian shop offering services such as henna tattoos, tarot readings, and astrology, as well as clothing, jewels, incense, candles, and geodes. Owner Jagdish enjoys sharing his Indian culture and warm hospitality with others. Visitors will leave feeling a bit more Zen.

Berk’s Shoes & Clothing has been an institution on Thayer Street for more than 40 years. Known for their stylish offerings and reliable brands — Doc Martens anyone? — Berk’s is the go-to place for the best selection in footwear. 

Looking for curious and unusual gifts? Pleasant Surprise is a whimsical shop with everything from cool RI tees to funky socks to hilariously punny books, and everything you don’t need but want. Because who doesn’t need bacon-flavored toothpaste?

Thayer also houses convenient services, including FedEx, printing and more.

Places to Dine

Restaurants serve up global flavors, including Thai, Korean, Greek, Mexican, American, vegan, Indian, Middle Eastern, French, Italian and sushi. Stop into Andrea’s and experience authentic Greek cuisine. With staple items such as double-fried crispy chicken wings in flavors of soy garlic, spicy and lemon cream, Den Den’s Korean Fried Chicken is authentic Korean comfort food. Craving a gyro? Then head to East Side Pocket for a selection of Middle Eastern tastes that include falafel, kibbeh, and kebabs, made to order and served on Syrian bread.   

Try an alternative to your afternoon coffee run with a visit to Ceremony, a modern tea house, or Kung Fu Tea for a bubble tea. Insomnia Cookies is open late nights and serves up warm cookies to order and they also deliver their sweet treats.

Things to Do

A landmark on Thayer since 1938, the Avon Cinema will transport moviegoers with its art deco feel, while independent, documentary and foreign films stream across the screen. The live theater auditorium has the screen onstage and is flanked by velvet curtains, which will leave viewers feeling nostalgic. Another nod to the past, the modest concession stand offers real popcorn with butter and soda in glass bottles.


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For gents, The Barbershop is not your dad’s barber. This funky salon with a pool table and flat-screen TV make it the perfect hangout and spot for a cut and shave. 

The street features bike racks and a bike repair station is located on Olive Street. Street metered parking is an option, as is a paid parking lot (nearby businesses offer validated parking).

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Insider Tip

Thayer Street

Stephanie C. tells us Sneaker Junkies has the kicks all the cool kids want. The selection is broad and prices are reasonable. Sign up for the email list — they have some awesome pop-up events. (We’ve been told that pro sports players even shop here for their footwear.)