Ask a Local: An Insider’s Guide to Providence, Rhode Island

What to do, where to go, and what to eat (and drink) in Providence, Rhode Island.

This is Spilling the Beans, where plugged-in baristas give us the lowdown on where to go, what to do, and what to eat (and drink) in their hometown.

Diana and JP Murton, owners of delightful cafe The Shop in Providence, Rhode Island, met while they were still living in New York. They both worked for Blue Hill (“It was a crazy time,” said Diana) but were drawn back to Diana’s hometown by a growing food scene and what JP called a “magic sauce of a location”: close to upper New England, New York, and Boston. Well, that and the beach, old-school Italian served at a VFW hall, karaoke, and bacon that knows no rival. Let the Murtons be your guides to Providence—the ideal summer getaway.


The front desk at the Dean Hotel. Photo: Christian Harder

Where should we stay?
The Dean Hotel. It’s along the lines of an Ace Hotel. The rooms aren’t spacious, but they are very well-appointed. In the lobby, there’s a Bolt Coffeekiosk, a German beer hall, a dark-and-sexy cocktail bar, and the only karaoke bar in Providence. If you’re staying in an Airbnb, we’d say to stay on the West Side or just outside of College Hill, where there are beautiful former mansions carved into smaller apartments.


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