Here's the back story: A few years ago, I took two frenemies of mine to a restaurant in Providence that had just opened. They liked it. A lot. But instead of simply saying 'Thank you for suggesting.', they said something like 'How do you know about this place? We figured you were boring now because you're married and live in the suburbs." (I'm paraphrasing here, but you get the gist.) Now, my reason for re-telling this is purely altruistic (WINK.) - I want to help you impress your frenemies, friends and family alike by looping you in on all the niftiest places in RI to take them. So they'll think you're awesome sauce, aka, the sh*t. With that in mind, today's post is all about three way cool coffee places to visit in PVD.
The Shop On Wickenden
My first real visit to The Shop was actually yesterday, to meet up with someone you'll be seeing soon on the blog. It's a small-ish but bright, unfussy space. Lots of 20-somethings, but I didn't feel ancient or at all weird, probably because the staff behind the counter was welcoming and approachable - a definite plus and not always the case at other coffee houses around town. Also, it's a favorite of the someone I was with because the coffee is direct trade, the diary is sourced from grass fed cows, and all the pastries are made by hand by a local baker.
Celebrity Factor: TBD, but I hear the owners hail from NYC
What To Order: My latte was on point. I also had an avocado with a side of ciabatta bread. As Madonna says in the video for Human Nature, absolutely no regrets. Other people rave about their cold brew, which is known for being smoother and less acidic than traditional iced coffee.
Parking: Unless you're one of those lucky people who always finds parking on Wickenden and the East Side (or you're a gifted parallel park'er), walk, have your friends drive or take an Uber.
Olga's Cup & Saucer
Olga's is a fabulous place to go and sit outside on the patio this summer, or into the fall while the temps are still mild. The cottage and garden exterior almost make you forget you're right smack in the middle of the Jewelry District. It's cozy and cute...I had an iced coffee and a kid's pizza while there last week, but really want to go back for a latte and a pastry or sandwich. (I tend to get distracted and overwhelmed when ordering from menus posted on the wall, after having waited in line. My bad. Something I need to work on I guess.)
Celebrity Factor: Some famous peeps who have been eyed at Olga's include Alec Baldwin, Cameron Diaz and Tia Leoni.
What To Order: People rave about everything from their ginger scones to the salmon salad. Again, I had the pizza from their kid's menu and an iced coffee, in an effort to cool off after having run down Point Street in heels. (See the Parking Section below to find out more.)
Parking: Bring plenty of quarters for the metered street parking along Point Street. Last week, after realizing I had no change on me whatsoever, I panicked and ducked into a nearby vet clinic up the block. (For the record, "they" were kind enough to help me out.) Then, just as I was running back down the street to my car, quarters in hand, there was the meter maid...about to give me a ticket. Thankfully, he refrained once he looked up and say me, running (again, in heels) frantically toward him, waving the quarters.
Bolt Coffee Co.
Take your peeps to Bolt which is essentially the lobby of The Dean downtown, the boutique hotel - and former strip and then rock club, and church - that's been written up most recently in both GQ and the WSJ. Your friends will all be super impressed by the clean, modern vibe and art deco touches and definitely won't dismiss you as a bland, blah suburbanite anymore. Pinky promise.
Celebrity Factor: While we were at Bolt yesterday, a man stopped in for a coffee to-go. When the barista asked him what he had planned for the rest of the day (an ice breaker the barista had asked us as well btw), he said he was in town from Cali and had planned to spend the day golfing. Did I mention he was the lead singer of Earth, Wind & Fire? (Yup, Phillip Bailey, who was in town for the annual Jeffrey Osbourne Celebrity Weekend.)
What To Order: Their coffee menu is solid. I got a little crazy and had a Cortado (a classic Spanish style coffee where the expresso is cut with warmed milk...a fav of my friend Guisela), instead of my usual latte. They have baked goods too, but by the time we arrived, around 11:30am, it looked like they were completely sold out.
Parking: The good news is there's valet, courtesy of The Dean. The bad news is it's $7. **Sigh**
Ciao for Now,
Photo Credits: First photo of Olga's was found on YELP. All other Olga's photos are courtesy of Ashley Farney. Photos of The Shop and Bolt Coffee are courtesy of Patty J.