Let's talk about happy hour deals in Providence. In a city that has more restaurants per capita than any other in the country, it can be hard to narrow down your top choices for your "where to dine next" list. PVD has an incredible array of food — especially when it comes to Italian, seafood and farm-to-table restaurants — and if you want to try to them all, you're going to have to do some serious belt-loosening and budget-tightening.

One of the best ways to try new places is at happy hour. Restaurants offer deals as a way to get people in the door at off-hours, and to entice them to stay for dinner. The upside is that happy hour dining is a great way to get the vibe of a place without committing to a full meal. The downside (if you're under 21) is that you're generally expected to sit at the bar and purchase a drink.

A quirk about happy hour in Providence though (and in a city that's nearly 400 years old, you have to expect some quirks) is that because of old laws that are still on the books, restaurants aren't legally allowed to discount alcohol during a specific time of day. Instead, they discount "happy hour" food instead. Here are some of the most delicious happy hour deals in Providence.


One of the city's newer Italian restaurants, Rosalina was an instant classic as soon as it opened. It serves fresh pasta in creative preparations, an unconventional but to-die-for Eggplant Parmesan, and olive oil from the family's farm in Greece.

Happy Hour Deal: Half priced apps at the bar from 4pm-6pm Monday-Friday. Recommended appetizers include the Eggplant Parm and their Pizzette Frite, which is like a savory doughboy pizza.

Mill's Tavern

At the foot of College Hill, Mill's Tavern serves American classics in a historic building that evokes the city's Colonial history. The restaurant is especially known for steak and seafood.

Happy Hour Deal: Monday-Friday from 5pm-8pm, Mill's offers a Happy Hour Raw Bar with $1 oysters, littlenecks and cocktail shrimp. 

Fleming's Prime Steakhouse

Fleming's Prime Steakhouse in the Omni Hotel is best known for its giant steaks (with giant price tags) and its wine selection, serving dozens of wines by the glass. Don't sleep on the bar menu, though, which offers sandwiches (like the sliders above, which come in Prime, Mushroom-Farro and California) and Fried Olives that are a must-try.

Happy Hour Deal: The bar menu is available 5pm-7pm Monday-Friday, at the bar and lounge tables, at significantly less than the dining room menu.

Providence Oyster Bar

Providence Oyster Bar, on Federal Hill, is one of the city's most popular seafood restaurants and has an extensive "Appy Hour" menu available every day, which has everything from (really good) sushi to Wasabi Calamari and Buffalo Scallops, plus $1 oysters and $2 shrimp cocktail. 

Happy Hour Deal: The Appy Hour menu is available Monday 3pm-6:30pm, and Tuesday-Sunday 4pm-6:30pm. 

Federal Taphouse & Kitchen

The sister restaurant to Providence Oyster Bar, Federal Taphouse & Kitchen is directly next door and serves comfort food with a gourmet sensibility. Their Flights & Bites menu offers a rotating selection of beer flights and discounted appetizers like Cowboy Sliders, Chicken Wings and Tempura-Fried Cauliflower.

Happy Hour Deal: The Flights & Bites menu is available at the bar and bar tables Monday-Friday 3pm-6pm. 

McCormick and Schmick's

Located inside the Biltmore, McCormick & Schmick's serves seafood so fresh that they print a new menu every day according to what's in season and available locally. Their bar menu is unique for several reasons: 1) it's available late night, 2) it changes every day, and 3) it's available with a minimum drink spend of $3.40, which means anyone can enjoy it, with or without alcohol. Choose from $3 bites like Truffle Fries, $5 Munchies like Crispy Fish Tacos, $7 Goodies like an Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl and $9 Bites like Chilled Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail.

Happy Hour Deal: The Happy Hour menu is available in the bar area from 4pm-6pm and after 9pm daily (even on weekends).

Harry's Bar & Burger

Harry's Bar & Burger has two Providence locations—one on Federal Hill and North Main Street—and serves a menu that's all crazy-creative sliders and hot dogs, accompanied by a well-curated beer list and boozy milkshakes (yes this is real). The happy hour is unique in that it's available throughout the restaurant, not just at the bar, and every day.

Happy Hour Deal: Half-price sliders every day from 3pm-5pm. 

India Restaurant

Just across from Lippitt Memorial Park on the East Side, India Restaurant serves authentic Indian food (and slightly less authentically Indian, though no less excellent, margaritas). 

Happy Hour Deal: Get 20 percent off dinner checks at the bar, except on Friday and Saturday nights after 6pm.

Bar Louie

Bar Louie serves turned-up pub food and has about a million televisions, which make it an excellent game day spot. Plus, its central location (next to Waterplace Park and close to the mall) means you can stop there and easily walk to your next destination.

Happy Hour Deal: Monday-Friday from 4pm-7pm, the downtown restaurant offers half-off select appetizers and flatbreads. 

New Rivers

One of the city's most respected fine dining institutions, New Rivers, serves locally-inspired cuisine on a menu that changes with the seasons. Chef/owner Beau Vestal is particularly known for his his creative charcuterie and commitment to nose-to-tail cooking (aka he uses the whole animal).

Happy Hour Deal: On Tuesdays, local oysters are $1 each at the bar.