I remember going to Salvation Cafe as a kid, when it was something of an outpost. Sue Lamond (founder and longtime owner) had some serious vision – and guts – and deserves a lot of credit for unlocking Broadway’s culinary potential,” explains Newport Mayor Xaykham “Xay” Khamsyvoravong of the popular Broadway spot that closed in 2021. “What’s evolved since is a culinary and creative corridor where one can walk from one end to the other, on any given night, year round, to the sounds of live music and the smells of dishes served in restaurants that have a neighborhood feel. Walking into Broadway’s restaurants makes you feel like you’re surrounded by friends and family, even if it’s your first day in town.”
For those new to the lively street, here’s a sampling of eateries from top to bottom. Of course Broadway is also dotted with unique small businesses perfect for visiting before or after dining.
Newport is filled with delicious food and drink destinations – if we missed your favorite, let us know at Marketing@ProvidenceOnline.com
Parlor Bar & Kitchen
The century-old turreted building at the corner of Broadway, Gould Street, and Dr. Marcus Wheatland Boulevard feels like the unofficial starting line of Broadway’s busiest, and most delicious, district. With a two-story mural by artist Chris Wyllie taking up an entire side of the building and Rhode Island’s first permanent rainbow crosswalk installation footsteps from the entry leading to Equality Park, Parlor (as locals simply say) has good vibes before you even open the door. Inside, Parlor is a curious amalgam of identities – part dive bar, eclectic eatery, chic space, and music venue, proving pool tables, chandeliers, tufted booths, and industrial design cannot only co-exist but harmonize, with the common denominator being next-level hospitality, as everyone is welcome here. Insider’s tip: don’t miss the Gobi Manchurian (fried cauliflower) or traditional Filipino lumpia, which you can’t get at any other restaurant in the city. But if you’re craving wings, pizza, or a burger, Parlor’s got you covered, too.
Ben’s Chili Dogs
Many a hot dog fan has walked through the doors of the flashback-in-time Ben’s Chili Dogs since it opened its doors in 1969. The menu is simple: Chili Dog with Coney Island sauce, Chourico and Pepper Dog, Kraut Dog, a Bean Dog for the vegetarians, a plain dog and some combinations of the aforementioned, and the most popular, the Chili Cheese Dog. Ask for “The Works” if you want mustard, onion, and celery salt added. The fries and onion rings are crispy – and keep an open mind when it comes to the specials.
Leo’s might be Newport’s most #IYKYK (If You Know, You Know) eatery. At the back of the market, past the wall of spices from around the world, shelves stocked with fresh baked pastries and an impressive variety of hot sauces, there’s the kitchen. When Alba and Juan Carlos Campos first opened the market a few doors down more than a decade ago, hot food wasn’t even a consideration, but the Salvadorian couple indulged customer demands after a larger, neighboring space became available. From morning to night, people flock to Leo’s for their homemade, traditional Latin American cuisine made using authentic recipes, either to go or enjoyed in the spacious adjacent dining room.
Caleb & Broad
After a series of restaurant concepts didn’t stick at the corner of Caleb Earl Street and Broadway, Newport local Rich Willis knew exactly what this densely populated part of the City by the Sea needed: a fun and funky place with an interesting menu that stops short of eclectic and offers a solid cocktail menu, seasonal dishes, and weekly specials (on Mondays, all entrees are $10; on Tuesdays, get half-price wines with an entree), cool bar snacks, weekend brunch, and an interior punctuated by pop art, street art, and…Mexican wrestling masks. This time of year, Caleb’s front patio space is the place to be, with a couple of hightops and handful of tables in the heart of the action.
One of the OGs of the North Broadway neighborhood that helped solidify this quadrant being dubbed “restaurant row,” Norey’s has evolved since first opening in 2000. Though the restaurant always had a next-level wine and beer list featuring tons of small, interesting producers, the restaurant now touts itself as a brewpub with tons of interesting craft beers. At press time, Norey’s was still closed for its winter break.
It’s not easy to be the new guy in a space that was a beloved neighborhood restaurant for nearly 30 years, but Cabana is hitting its stride since opening last summer. With a seafood-centric starter menu (sake-steamed littlenecks, ceviche, tuna tartare, and sweet and spicy calamari) but plenty to please both vegetarians and landlubbing carnivores alike, Cabana’s a great spot for everything from date night to girls night out. Insider’s tip: the Spicy Watermelon marg hits perfectly on the back patio. Fact.
The Fifth Element
Since changing ownership in the fall of 2021, The Fifth has been straddling a place that honors its deeply rooted past while reshaping its future. Newport might have erupted into a riot if staples like the spinach balls with balsamic vinaigrette, poutine, Element salad, margherita pizza, Fifth burger, fries with Grana Padano parmesan, and of course, it’s legendary sticky toffee pudding, went anywhere. But new additions like the Nashville hot chicken sandwich and drink tower menu (88-ounce beverage cylinders filled with mimosas, Palomas, margaritas, or the draft beer of your choosing) – the only one of its kind on Aquidneck Island – are quickly winning over the masses.
The Hungry Monkey
When the Food Network got wind of The Hungry Monkey’s King Kong Challenge, a 15-egg, five-pound stuffed omelet that if finished in an hour will land diners on the restaurant’s Wall of Fame, they descended on the restaurant to tell its tale. But you don’t need a gargantuan appetite to enjoy breakfast and lunch at this reliable Broadway staple. You might catch Mayor Khamsyvoravong sitting at the counter enjoying a club sandwich while reviewing his notes before a City Council meeting. Insider’s tip: look up on the blackboard above the open kitchen where you’ll find awesome specials, like Churro Stuffed French Toast.
If you have any trouble finding the Corner Cafe, just look for the swarms of people milling about outside on any given weekend (and in the summertime, weekdays), waiting to get their breakfast on. With hearty breakfasts (one of the few places in town to serve breakfast all day) like the Irish-inspired Fitzy’s Fry Up with two eggs, bangers (sausage), rashers (bacon), black and white pudding (we’ll let you Google it), grilled tomato, Irish brown bread, and a well-rounded lunch menu, it’s no wonder Corner Cafe has a cult-like following.
Jamaican-born chef Dezna Bowen has been sharing her authentic recipes passed down through generations at Humming Bird, named after Jamaica’s national bird, with her husband Abraham Parkes, since 2018. Traditional jerk chicken and jerk shrimp, curried goat, and tender oxtail served in a rich gravy exemplify the flavors of their homeland for lunch and dinner, while meat patties – flaky turnovers stuffed with seasoned beef or chicken – make great handheld snacks when on the go. Insider’s tip: while lines for breakfast form nearby, Humming Bird’s breakfast is a hidden gem. Don’t miss the omelets, sandwiches, fluffy buttermilk pancakes, and French toast or chicken and waffles.
If you want to make the perfect slow-motion pull-apart gourmet grilled cheese sandwich reel for Instagram, look no further than Scratch. Open daily for breakfast and lunch, the menu on the chalkboard gives you the inside scoop on what from-scratch soups are served daily, in addition to the mondo breakfast burritos, stuffed French toast, bennies, and grilled cheese frittatas.
Known for their stunning charcuterie boards and grazing tables (if you haven’t been at a get together with a grazing table, plan a summer soiree of your own STAT), Bellevue Boards crafts the perfect picnic provisions, hostess gifts, and party platters, all available for preorder. Owner Jackie Connor also offers grab-and-go cups with a variety of cheeses, charcuterie, berries, and nuts.
UMI Asian Cuisine
Lo mein, pad Thai, egg rolls, sesame chicken, a selection of sushi and sashimi in addition to special fusion rolls and hibachi dinners round out this diverse menu of Asian dishes. Also enjoy tasty bubble teas like mango, strawberry, and peach, and smoothies. UMI stays open until 10/10:30pm and delivers within a three-mile radius for a small fee.
Tijuana Burrito Grill
Directly across from Newport City Hall, Tijuana Burrito Grill serves up burrito bowls, tacos, quesadillas, empanadas, carnitas, barbacoa, nachos, and pupusas – a thick grilled flatbread filled with pork, cheese, and beans – plus street corn in a cup, Spanish-style rice, awesome guacamole, and even horchata, a traditional Mexican drink made out of rice, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. Pro tip: order and pay in advance online to save a little and skip the line as it’ll be there waiting for you.
“On any given morning you’ll find me at Mel’s Cafenio for a classic diner breakfast – two eggs over easy with toast,” says Mayor Khamsyvoravong. You’ll find regulars at this generations-old, family-owned spot when it opens at 6am daily. A fixture that’s been relatively unchanged for its 41 years, Mel’s is the oldest diner on Broadway. Serving both breakfast and lunch, expect omelets (like the gyro and feta), egg sandwiches, cheese steaks, burgers, and
Boru Noodle Bar
Classic and creative ramen takes center stage at this seemingly super casual, compact space, which has a hidden back dining room. The spicy miso ramen includes ground pork, corn sliced off the cob, and bean sprouts, while the black garlic beef ramen includes bok choy and seasoned egg. No meat? No problem – you’ll find a seasonal vegetable ramen on tap. Not a noodle fan? Share some basil chili chicken wings, Tokyo tater tots in takoyaki sauce, or the crispy brussels made with kimchi puree. And the pork buns. Get the pork buns.
If you’re wondering who’s bellying up to the bar at noon on a Friday, well, at Pour Judgement, the answer is: a lot of folks. Why? Because insiders know the food here is always on point. The blackened fish burrito with house-made kimchi. The hot pastrami and Swiss on rye. The fries swimming in gooey smoked gouda. The nori of the day served at night. All solid. With local beers on tap, including two of their own brewed by Grey Sail, how can you go wrong? Insider’s tip: don’t miss Closet Revival next door, an ultra cool consignment shop.
Empire Tea & Coffee
Empire has been Newport’s java joint for nearly two decades. Although you’ll typically spot plenty of regulars coming and going, or perched in the front window sipping lattes while they WFH, the coffee shop is deceptively cavernous with plenty of places to sit a spell and relax, scroll or read a magazine (ahem!). Coffee is roasted on site; a nearby second Newport location is at 112 William Street (perfect for people watching); and the third is along Bristol’s waterfront at 251 Thames Street.
Tavern on Broadway
One of the bigger restaurants on this Broadway block, Tavern is basically split down the middle, giving equal real estate to the bar and the restaurant, but there are a few window seats on the bar side that feel like the best of both worlds. The menu matches its pub vibe with plenty of indulgent apps, plus soups, salads, and sandwiches. The fig and goat cheese pizza with caramelized onion, arugula, and balsamic reduction is a local favorite, and Sunday brunch means Bloody Marys that should have their own zip code, but mark the calendar for Taco Tuesdays and buck-a-shuck Wednesdays, where oysters and clams are $1 from 5-9pm.
Newport’s only exclusively plant-based restaurant, Root is well known for made-to-order juices and smoothies, nearly a dozen coffee drinks and teas, breakfast bowls, grain bowls, toasts, and salads – and locals aren’t the only ones taking notice. Yelp named Root amongst the Top 100 Places to Eat in 2023 – one of just five restaurants in New England to earn the honor. Don’t know where to start? Try the Arriba! Bowl, which is basically a deconstructed healthy burrito with cumin black beans, sweet potato, onion, tomato, avocado, pickled jalapeno, cilantro, and agave lime dressing.
The Fastnet Pub
You might find a crowd with perfectly poured pints in hand at Fastnet as early as 8am here – but there’s a good reason for that. The Irish pub is well known for broadcasting rugby and football (soccer!) matches live from overseas, which can draw enthusiastic fans from far and wide. With more than 30 draft beers, live music, ping pong, pool, foosball, and darts, and dancing by night, Fastnet always feels fun. Insider’s tip: the back patio here is huge and perfect for families.
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