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Favorite Restaurants?

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posts: 3,501
reviews: 81
Favorite Restaurants?

I'm in the midst of happily planning a pre-Boston trip to Newport (June 28th - July 1st) for the Mr. & I. It will be our first trip and I'm super excited to see gorgeous Newport! :0)

I was wondering what the locals, regulars, and DE's consider a 'not to be missed' restaurant? Right now I have the following on my 'radar' as possibilities:

Mama Luisa or Lucia

Black Pearl

The White Horse Tavern

Brick Alley Pub

I based these choices on TA and YELP reviews. Sadly we'll only have three lunch and three dinner opportunities, so I want to make the best possible choices! :D

Thanks in advance!

Exeter, Rhode Island
posts: 512
reviews: 59
1. Re: Favorite Restaurants?

Well, this is a good question. You are visiting during the busy season, so it's good you are planning this now.

You didn't mention budget........

So, our current favorites in Newport in no particular order:

1.) Scales and Shells - I just posted a new review on TA. Seafood only!

2.) 22 Bowen - for steaks. very expensive

3.) Castle Hill - very expensive but great view

4.) Brick Alley pub - I also posted a review on TA. Moderate pricing

5.) Moorings - consistently good food and has a nice view from the outside dining area

6.) Drinks only - Pineapples on Goat Island - great outdoor views

7) Fun lunch - Marina Pub on Goat Island - oudoor tables fabulous views

8.) One of the tour boats was advertising a lobster dinner followed by a sail. That would be terrific in July. It was on Goat Island.....I will try to find this

I haven't been to Mama Luisa in a while but we did like it there. White Horse is overpriced with average food IMHO.

Where are you staying?

Exeter, Rhode Island
posts: 512
reviews: 59
2. Re: Favorite Restaurants?


The lobster dinners are on Goat Island followed by the cruise on the Aurora. I haven't done this but it sounds great!

Edited: 2:17 pm, January 08, 2013
posts: 3,501
reviews: 81
3. Re: Favorite Restaurants?

Thanks Emily for your list of favs. I can't wait to read the reviews. :D We love seafood and definitely plan to eat our fair share while visiting New England!

We don't really have a food budget per se, we generally enjoy a few splurge meals while on vacation, but also enjoy simple things (soups, sandwiches, burgers, pizza, etc.) that are unique (no chains!) to the area. It tends to all even out money wise in the end. ;-)

I'll have to do some research on Goat Island. It sounds like a place the Mr. and I would enjoy visiting.

As for where we are staying.... well that will probably be the only disappointment of the whole 11 day vacation. I made the mistake of using PRICELINE for a hotel, which is something I've done many times before with GREAT results, including for the Boston leg of our trip, but this time I think I goofed. I ended up 'winning' The Newport Harbor Hotel & Marina. The reviews are very mixed but the majority indicate it could be a dump. I'm trying to stay positive and just hope that the reviewers were being extra picky.... ;0/ <sigh> If not, well.... it's not like like we go on vacation to hang out in a hotel room.

Thanks again for your in depth replies! I'm off to read up on your suggestions.... :D

Edited: 7:47 pm, January 08, 2013
Newport, Rhode...
Destination Expert
for Newport, Providence
posts: 2,267
reviews: 4
4. Re: Favorite Restaurants?

Definitely stay positive, the location is perfect especially for that time of year. You are walking distance to all of the shops, restaurants, harbor activities etc...

As I live here, I have not seen any of the rooms in a while, but frequent the Hotel often for various events (Winterfest, Christmas in Newport, etc) Their outside bar Pier 49 is a great location on the harbor....being very busy, the rooms I'm sure get turned over a lot so they might be worn in places, but I would be hard pressed to describe it as a "dump"...I could certainly show you some of those.

I wouldn't stress about it at all.

In addition to Emily's suggestions, I'd add:

Fluke, Clarke Cooke House, Black Pearl, Pero Saldo, Diegos.H20 for drinks on the harbor and live music

A new restaurant Mid-Town Oyster Bar will be up and running by then....the decks that they are building that overlook Thames Street and the Harbor should be fun.

For a fantastic view of the harbor, head to the roof of the Vanderbilt Grace Hotel for some drinks at sunset.

For some off the beat places up on Broadway (more local than touristy, but getting popular with tourists in the know)

5th Element, Norey's, Fast Net (for Irish pub drinks) and Salvation Cafe.

Edited: 8:32 pm, January 08, 2013
posts: 3,501
reviews: 81
5. Re: Favorite Restaurants?

Thanks MM for both the reviews and the encouraging words. While the reviews concerning the condition of the rooms/bathrooms are mixed for the Newport Harbor Hotel & Marina EVERYONE agrees the location is fabulous! Maybe we'll luck out and get a room with a view! If not, in the end it's just a place to shower, change, & sleep.

I can't wait to read the reviews and study the menus of your picks. I'm sure we'll have more places on our list then we could possibly ever enjoy. Sadly, that's usually the case. So many restaurants and so little time! :-)

posts: 743
reviews: 79
6. Re: Favorite Restaurants?

When we are in the mood to splurge, we love bouchards

posts: 3,501
reviews: 81
7. Re: Favorite Restaurants?

Thank you MakeupArtist for your suggestion. I'll read up on it! :D

Dublin, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Mexico City
posts: 653
reviews: 81
8. Re: Favorite Restaurants?

You may also want to consider taking a culinary tour of Newport.


I purchased some for my parents (who live in RI but not in Newport) via group on & they enjoyed it. My mother has food allergies and has had 2 knee replacements and really enjoyed it, the walking is slow, the food great and they found it to be very fun.

New York City, New...
posts: 237
reviews: 30
9. Re: Favorite Restaurants?

1) White horse Tavern - historical - If you don't make it there for dinner have a drink at the bar

2) Castlehill Inn - dining experience

3) Scales and shells (not to be missed) - great, fresh seafood

4) The Deck

5) Clarke Cooke House

7) Black Pearl - nice lunch

I have been to Newport many, many times over the years and continue to go frequently. Was disappointed twice in 22 Bowen's and the Mooring. If you want more info, feel free to in-box me.

Rhode Island
Destination Expert
for Newport
posts: 873
reviews: 71
10. Re: Favorite Restaurants?

My suggestions are mostly budget-oriented:

Flo's Clam Shack (a few inches over the line in MIddletown): clam cakes, chowder and a beer for about $7. BEST clam cakes in RI, and they are a "must-try".

Nicholas Pizza on Memorial Blvd. They have more than just pizza. I love their "grinders", especially meatball and provolone. RI has a large Italian and smaller Greek population, so Italian and/or Meditarranean dishes are usually dependably very good.

The Red Parrot: nothing fancy but dependably GOOD! at a moderate price.

Bouchard's: if you want a romantic French meal that will knock your socks off, this is it! NOT a good place to take the kids!

Black Pearl: excellent chowder. Great place to have lunch when "doing the wharf".

White Horse Tavern: great middle-of-the-road pick. Good steaks, seafood, pretty much everything. Everyone should eat a meal in the oldest restaurant in the US at least once. Will probably go there Valentine's Day.

I concur about the above reviewers views on The Mooring. I've heard many sing it's praises but my own experience has been extremely mediorcre (twice). I have enjoyed a fish sandwich at The Landing, which has the benefit of semi-reasonable prices and a KILLER view of the harbor. But it is NOTHING special aside of the view. But the view is incredible!