Although most Brown students don't leave Brown's campus, there are many neighborhoods in and around College Hill, all of which have their own personalities. Wickenden is a hipster haven. Downtown has the mall. Wayland Square's asset is its charm.
Less than a mile from Brown's campus, Wayland Square has all the charm of a suburban downtown within the confines of Providence. It's also a great place to go if you need to get away from college kids. Pack a bag and head out to one of these spots in Providence's coolest neighborhoods.
1. Teas and Javas
Food: Great. This coffee shop offers a wide variety of food for breakfast, lunch, and snack time, making it a great location to spend an entire day. Make sure to get a Greek yogurt parfait while you're here. They are made to order with whatever fresh fruit you like, unlike some other coffee shops (I'm looking at you Starbucks).
Caffeine: Perfect for both coffee and tea lovers alike with a wide selection of teas and coffees. The best part is that when you order tea, you get an entire pot, not just on cup, maximizing the amount of tea that you can drink.
Ambiance: This place takes on a hipster diner vibe with 1950's style chairs and granite tables. On nice days, the restaurant becomes
Food: The food at L'Artisan is quite literally artisanal. Although their to-go food is great, get something freshly made if you're staying for a while. Pastries are the specialty at L'Artisan. The best one is either the dark chocolate lava cake (warmed up, of course) or the peanut butter fudge bars. Take your pick.
Caffeine: Although their tea selection is small, L'Artisan makes up for it by serving Illy coffee. Illy coffee is so smooth that even the "I like coffee with my milk" people can drink it black.
Ambiance: If its warm enough, sit outside. The front porch area of L'Artisan is beautiful and a great place to people watch. If you have to sit inside, pick a seat far away from others because people like to talk really loudly here.
3. Wayland Square Diner
Food: Everyone needs a go-to greasy diner. Wayland Square Diner should be the go-to for every Brown student. The specialty here is a "Waker Upper," a combination of savory breakfast foods like eggs and sweet brunch specialties like pancakes. You get the best of both worlds at this joint.
Caffeine: Although the coffee isn't anything special, its unlimited. Yes, you read that right. Unlimited free refills. This spot is perfect for those days where you need about 100 cups of coffee to wake up.
Ambiance: Although Wayland Square Diner is only 5 years old, its predecessor, Rufful's, has been a community standard since 1957. Wayland Square Diner has brought that old school diner feeling into the 21st century with bright lighting and cheery pictures.
4. Salted Slate
Food: Salted Slate takes its food very seriously. Although its a pricier option, this place will fulfill any foodie's dreams. If you're with a friend, go for the cheese plate and have snacks for days. Otherwise, go for whatever seafood dish looks best.
Caffeine: Taking pride in their work doesn't stop at the food for Salted Slate. You can get your coffee dripped, poured over, or french pressed. And don't worry - it's all fair trade.
Ambiance: Salted Slate is always busy because of its amazing food, so this is not a quiet study spot. The gorgeous interior is right in line with its New American Style, with lots of exposed wood and open windows.
Seriously? Don't go to Starbucks if you're in Wayland Square. You have way better options available to you if you're in the neighborhood. The one thing that this Starbucks has over the one on Thayer is that it is almost always less crowded.Still itching to explore PVD? Check out these links: 7 Spots in Providence That Put the Ratty to Shame 10 Restaurants to Hit Before Graduating College in Providence Eat Your Way Through Providence on a College Budget