The Insider’s Guide to Providence, Rhode Island

5 November, 2019

For the perfect Autumn escape look no further than Providence, Rhode Island. Situated between NYC and Boston, this small New England city packs a whole lot of design and culinary punch! And who better to ask for the hottest spots in town than native son Ari Heckman, Founder and CEO of ASH NYC, the Brooklyn-based firm behind one of the Ocean State city’s newest and coolest hotels, The Dean. Grab your overnight bag and hop aboard the next train! 

  • Where to Snooze

    The Dean Hotel: Located in the heart of Providence’s historic downtown, the 52-room hotel is housed in an early 20th century brick building that was lovingly restored by Heckman and the team at ASH NYC. Come prepared with your go-to list of songs to belt out at the Boombox, the property’s private karaoke bar!

  • Where to Dine

    Oberlin: “The Monday spot ’cause everywhere else is closed. It’s in the heart of Downcity and operated by the owner of the haute tasting menu restaurant Birch. Think Rhode Island-meets-Italy-meets-the sea!”

    Ellie’s: “This beloved French bakery has moved to a flagship corner on PPAC Square in another ASH building and now offers dinner, cocktails and cooking classes—and of course, their signature macarons!”

    Berri: “An intimate, minimalist restaurant in the Downcity neighborhood in a building that our team at ASH recently renovated. Operated by the former owner of the much-loved Flan y Ajo, local ingredients are used in novel ways with a touch of Spanish and Mediterranean influence.”

    Big King: “A new project by James Mark, owner of North and The Dean Bar at The Dean Hotel, featuring local ingredients filtered through an Eastern lens with a side of Sake and Japanese whiskey.”

    Al Forno: “The grande dame of Providence Restaurants and what put the city’s culinary scene on the map! They’re famous for their grilled pizzas and superb cocktails.”

    Far West: “A hidden jewel of a cocktail spot tucked discretely into a rehabbed building in an unexpected neighborhood.”

  • What to See & Do

    Waterfire: “The long-running seasonal public art project by Barnaby Evans in which the Providence River is lit ablaze and opera music pervades the downtown air.”

    Rhode Island State House: “This spectacular McKim, Mead & White building has one of the largest unsupported domes in the world.”

    Providence Ferry: “Take the ferry from Providence to Newport for a beautiful voyage and relatively convenient transit.”

    West Side galleries: “The West Side and Olneyville are Providence’s answer to Brooklyn. More affordable and diverse than the East Side and full of artist residences, galleries and artsy bookshops.”

    Sailing: “Rent sailboats by the hour at India Point Park and sail them around Narragansett Bay.”

  • Where to Stroll

    Prospect Terrace: “Nestled into the top of College Hill near RISD and Brown, this small park is known for its huge statue of Roger Williams (the founder of Rhode Island) and dramatic views of the State House and rest of the downtown.”

    Benefit Street and College Hill: “Providence has many historic districts, but these two areas are probably the most unique. They contain one of the greatest concentrations of preserved and restored Colonial-era housing—all of which was nearly lost forever during during Urban Renewal in the 1950s.”

    Federal Hill: “The city’s Little Italy neighborhood is worth a stroll, especially on a weekend night due to its numerous restaurants and speciality food stores.”