When I came to Providence for the first time, everyone raved about Thayer Street and Westminister Street. And while they're are both great and have a lot to offer, I found that Hope Street really sparked my interest.
Not many of the students from Johnson & Wales University venture up that way, but there is so much to do. To get to Hope Street, you can drive or take the RIPTA (Bus #1 or #3).
Where to Eat
Hope Street is home to many different types of restaurants from casual to fine-dining to cafés, etc. Whether your looking for brunch, a crusty flavorful baguette or homemade ice cream, Hope Street is the place to go.
The perfect place for Sunday brunch, mimosas, and having girl time is Cook & Brown. They rotate their menu seasonally and use local, fresh ingredients.
For brunch, no entree is over $13, which makes it an affordable alternative to on-campus food. Brunch options include Brioche French Toast, Lamb Hash and Huevos Rancheros.
Award-winning, and community oriented are just two terms that describe Seven Stars. Known for it's fresh bread baked daily, and a great selection of coffee drinks, Seven Stars dominates the Providence (and basically Rhode Island) bread scene.
With three locations, Hope Street, Rumford and Broadway, you are never far from flaky, buttery croissants and flavorful baguettes. Seven Stars also gives back to the community through fundraisers and monthly donations to different charities.
Voted one of the best ice cream shops in Providence and Rhode Island, Three Sisters is definitely not a spot to miss. Not only do they offer ice cream but they offer breakfast as well—and at a low-cost which is perfect for a student on budget. I highly recommended trying their coffee drinks as well.
If your big into Thai or Vietnamese food, Apsara Palace is the spot for you. It's one of the least expensive places to eat on Hope Street, as they offer lunch specials on many favorites. Some of their best menu items include Thai Chicken Spring Roll, Kaing Kai Soup and Lemongrass Stir Fry.
French-inspired cuisine on Hope Street is offered at Chez Pascal. Using locally-sourced ingredients, their menu changes seasonally. Their most beloved menu items include watermelon salad, grilled skirt steak, and duck leg.
What's unique about Chez Pascal is it also operates The Wurst Kitchen, a small open kitchen in Chez Pascal that features cured meats and house made sausages.
Owned by Stock, Pizzico has been in Providence for about 20 years. Pizzico offers fresh, dynamic, upscale food in a relaxed, casual atmosphere.
They offer Rhode Island favorites such as stuffies and local littlenecks and Italian favorites such as Risotto and Bolognese. Pizzico also has a list of specialty drinks such as the Toasted Coconut Martini, the Pistachio Martini and pitchers of Sangria.
Where to Shop
Like eating, shopping is one of my favorite things to do. And Hope Street is home to many local vendors and funky shops. From clothing stores to gift shops, and presents for your furry friend, there is something for everyone.
From funky little presents to quirky "Rhody Journals," Frog & Toad has gifts for everyone and on a student budget. A personal favorite is their "hip-hop" air fresheners that feature the faces of rappers such as Ice Cube and Easy-E.
This is a great local business that really showcases Lil Rhody and all of its unique characteristics.
For the Baking & Pastry and Culinary students, Stock is the place for you. Stock is a store that sells all types of culinary tools, and hosts events and fundraisers.
Their brands are not the typical Wilton or Farberware products but instead unique brands such as Riedel, Kitchen Papers and Romertopf. Stock also supports local business such as Dave's Coffee, Dot Dot Workshop and Garrison's Chocolate.
Probably one of the cutest and trendiest dog boutique's in Rhode Island, The Cheeky Hound offers a bakery, self-service dog wash and all the pet essentials to make your furry friend happy.
They offer dog toys shaped like vegetables, healthy dog treats, and sensitive dog shampoo. The Cheeky Hound also has events such as make your own custom pottery dog bowl.
If you are a commuter student or recent grad who has stayed in RI, then this place is for you. Kreatelier offers custom home decor, unique home gifts and even sewing workshops. They also carry accessories such as scarves, children's products and a variety of books.
Where to Play
Take a break from class or work and watch a show, exercise, and much more. Besides shopping and dining, Hope Street offers more than a few ways to relax after a stressful week.
Affiliated with Providence Performance Arts Center and The Vets, Festival Ballet is bringing performing arts to the East Side. Festival Ballet is very community involved and hosts workshops and classes for hundreds of children each season. Upcoming performances include Hansel & Gretel, The Little Prince, and Cinderella.
Core Studios rivals Soul Cycle. What better way to work off the weekend’s toxins then a nice, intense spin class?
Core Studios offer Personal Training, Indoor Cycle, CORE Circuit, CORE Body Barre, Pilates, and if you are in a rush, a quick 30-minute class. They have a wide variety of instructors, to fit everyone’s wants and needs.
A great park right on the end of Hope Street, Lippitt Park is a great place for an afternoon stroll. Lippitt Park also has events such as the Hope Farmer's on Saturdays and Music in the Park during the summer.
Mani-pedi’s are one of my favorite stress reliving activities. They focus on making your nails healthy and keeping them healthy. Some of their services include a spa mask pedicure, spray tanning, and acrylic sets.
Hope Street is truly a unique place for and is perfect for students, families, etc. From award-winning restaurants to quirky little shops, there are so many fun things to do and see while supporting local businesses.