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Five Great Places to Eat in Charlestown, Rhode Island

When you buy a home in Charlestown, RI, you'll spend your days exploring attractions like the Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge, Burlingame State Park, Charlestown Town Beach, East Beach, and the Frosty Drew Observatory.

After your time in the outdoors, it makes sense to experience some local cuisine and, luckily, Charlestown has some great restaurants to fit any budget.

The restaurants of Charlestown, Rhode Island, sit throughout the town, as some are along Route 1, while others are near the ocean or ponds.

No matter which of these dining options you choose, you're sure to love the food and atmosphere at these local gems.

The Nordic

Dining at The Nordic is more of an experience than a traditional meal because it has so much going on. The restaurant, which sits on the shores of Pasquiset Pond, features over 90 acres of manicured grounds, complete with firepits, hiking trails, a beach volleyball court, hammocks, and live outdoor entertainment. You're encouraged to stick around to enjoy the festivities after your meal, or while you wait for your table.

As for the food, The Nordic is an all-you-can-eat restaurant featuring high-end options like lobster, crab, scallops, shrimp, clams, oysters, sole, prime rib, pork ribs, tenderloin, filet mignon, fruit, vegetables, and dessert. You'll pay a flat rate at The Nordic, and from there, you're free to order as much as you want during your two-hour dining window.

Non-alcoholic drinks are included in your meal cost, and they also have a bar where you can get signature cocktails, beer, and wine. The restaurant opens for the year in mid-April, and keep in mind that it gets incredibly busy on weekends. Reservations are only available for large groups, so you might have to wait if they're busy.

The Charlestown Rathskeller

Just east of The Nordic is The Charlestown Rathskeller, a prohibition-era speakeasy that first opened its doors in 1933, and is now a tavern and restaurant in a forested area along Old Coach Road. While the original venue has received renovations and restorations over the years, it retains its vintage charm and provides a great night out in Charlestown.

When you dine at The Charlestown Rathskeller, you can eat either indoors or outdoors, as both areas have tables and separate bars. In the summer, there's a live music venue in the property's backyard, so you can enjoy your meal and some drinks while taking in the sounds of a local band.

The restaurant features an American-style menu with seafood, burgers, steaks, chicken, soups, and salads, in addition to a raw bar. There are happy hour and kids' menus, too. Overall, The Charlestown Rathskeller has outstanding food and a lively atmosphere, making it well worth a visit in the summer.

Wilcox Tavern

The Wilcox Tavern is recognized as the second oldest restaurant in all of Rhode Island, as it sits in a historic house constructed by Joseph Stanton II in 1730. The home was also the birthplace of General Joseph Stanton Jr., a hero of the American Revolution and one of the first two senators to hail from Rhode Island. During the Revolution, Stanton brought George Washington to the home, and it's likely that he even spent the night in one of the rooms.

Today, the tavern is open in the spring and summer and features both indoor and outdoor dining areas. The menu is diverse, featuring seafood, chicken, steak, burgers, pasta, salad, soup, and small plates to enjoy, and the talented chefs prepare the meals in a way that keeps people coming back time after time.

You'll find the Wilcox Tavern on Route 1 in the western part of Charlestown. It's almost impossible to miss the venue because you'll see the General Stanton Monument, which sits just outside the building's doors.

The Breachway Grill

On the east side of town, just north of Charlestown Town Beach, The Breachway Grill provides a more traditional dining experience. This grill doesn't have all-you-can-eat or sit in a historic venue, but it does have an outdoor seating area, outstanding seafood, and a fully-stocked bar, which come together to create an enjoyable dining experience.

The menu at The Breachway includes everything that you'd expect from a New England favorite, like seafood, burgers, steak, chicken, soup, and salad, but it's the pizza that really separates it from the rest. You see, The Breachway offers the only New York-style pizza in Charlestown, and you can either select one of their concoctions or create your own pie. They serve calzones, too, if you're looking for something a little lighter.

You'll find a kids' menu at The Breachway that has all of your little one's favorites, and the bar has a selection of local draught to enjoy after your day in the sun.

Gemelli Bistro

At the Gemelli Bistro, you'll find perhaps the best Italian food not only in Charlestown but all of South County, making it a worthwhile stop for lunch or dinner. The great thing about the Gemelli Bistro is that it's a quick-serve venue, so you can promptly pick your food up and take it home or enjoy it in a nearby park. The restaurant even has a drive-thru, making it even faster to grab your meal.

The menu at the Gemelli Bistro includes a selection of Italian grinders, in addition to salads, frittatas, and soup. For dinner, the restaurant has pasta, eggplant parmesan, chicken parmesan, and Italian sausage, and there is a kids' menu with two kinds of pasta, as well.

The Gemelli Bistro is just off Route 1 on Falcone Lane, and is an outstanding choice if you need a quick meal but don't want to sacrifice on the quality.

Enjoying a Night Out in Charlestown, Rhode Island

Despite having a population of just 7,000 people, Charlestown, Rhode Island, is full of fantastic dining options that cover a variety of different tastes. These restaurants provide great atmospheres and excellent quality of ingredients that are sure to keep you returning time after time.

You don't have to head to a big city to find a tasty meal because Charlestown's restaurant scene has something for everyone.


Published February 27, 2020 in Local Information, Exploring South County