Though it’s the smallest state in the US, Rhode Island has more than 400 miles of coastline, where people gather seaweed and stroll, and where fisherman farm oysters and hoist up traps full of lobsters. These staples are what make Rhode Island a foodie attraction each summer.
These staples are what make Rhode Island a foodie attraction, and at food and wine festivals you can sample seafood, sip on local craft beer and wine, and get a taste of what the Ocean State is all about.
A Family Meal to fight hunger on the border
A group of chefs who are native to El Paso, Texas are reuniting for a weekend of live-fire cooking under the beachscapes at the Fort Getty Pavilion in Jamestown on Sunday, July 16. The chef line-up includes Jake Rojas of Tallulahs Taqueria. Tickets to the “Family Meal” are $250 per person, which includes a beach reception, oyster bar, and a six-course meal with wine pairings. All proceeds will benefit El Pasoans Fighting Hunger. 1050 Fort Getty Road in Jamestown, elpasofamilymeal.com.
Providence Restaurant Weeks
Enjoy two weeks of dining specials during Providence Restaurant Weeks, from Sunday, July 9 through Saturday, July 22. Participating restaurants will offer prix fixe menus, deals, and special items for lunch and dinner. goprovidence.com.
Ocean House Lobster Boil & BBQ
With views of the Atlantic Ocean, Westerly’s Ocean House will host multiple traditional New England Lobster Boils this summer with fresh seafood from local fisherman, classic BBQ, and live music. Ocean House, 1 Bluff Ave. in Westerly, oceanhouseevents.com.
Craft Brew Race and Festival in Newport
The Craft Brew Races return to Newport July 22, where runners follow a 5K roadmap around Fort Adams State Park before enjoying a pint of craft brew. All runners (or walkers) and festival-goers receive a pint glass and koozie. Live music, food trucks, and beer sampling will be onsite. Fort Adams State Park, 84 Fort Adams Dr. in Newport, craftbrewraces.com/newport.
Charlestown Seafood Festival
Lobster. Steamers. Chowder. Clam cakes. Fish and chips. Lobster rolls. A raw bar. This favorite festival, the 37th annual Charlestown Seafood Festival, has it all. For three days, Aug. 4-6, Ninigret Park will be filled with live music and countless food vendors. Ninigret Park, 5 Park Lane in Charlestown, 401-364-4031, ext. 3, charlestownseafoodfestival.com.
Farm Fresh Rhode Island Local Food Fest
This festival at the Castle Hill Inn will feature local growers and food producers, dozens of local farms paired with chefs from some of the top restaurants around the region. The Aug. 15 event runs from 4 to 8 p.m. and will benefit Farm Fresh Rhode Island, a nonprofit that helps farmers, fishers, and the food businesses of the northeast. Tickets start at $200 each. Castle Hill Inn, 590 Ocean Drive in Newport, 401-849-3800, farmfreshri.org.
Rhode Island Calamari Fest
The Rhode Island Calamari Festival, which takes place on Sept. 16, typically draws thousands of people from across Southern New England to Narragansett, where more than 3,000 pounds of calamari are served. It’s hosted by the Narragansett Chamber of Commerce and past competitors included the Coast Guard House, Georges of Galilee, Mariner Grille, and The Mews. Admission is $20, but kids under 12 years old are free. 35 Ocean Road in Narragansett, 401-783-7121, narragansettcoc.com.
Rhode Island Seafood Festival
The Rhode Island Seafood Festival had its inaugural event in 2011, and ever since has hosted a massive waterfront event each September at India Point Park. On Sept. 16 and 17, you’ll be able to sample the classics like scallop or lobster rolls, littleneck clams, oysters, and chowder. But some vendors, like the local farms and donut shops, will arrive with some unexpected treats. Also: leashed dogs are welcomed. India Point Park, 201 India St. in Providence, riseafoodfest.com.
Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival
The Annual Newport Mansions Wine and Food Festival this year will focus on intimate, educational tasting experiences where the weekend’s schedule, from Sept. 22 to 24, will include events like a 50-person wine and spirits seminar, a Saturday night Vintner Dinner, and an elegant Sunday Brunch at Rosecliff. Rosecliff, 548 Bellevue Ave. in Newport, events@NewportMansions.org, newportmansions.org.
Bowen’s Wharf Seafood Festival
Honoring the “Harvest of the Sea,” the Bowen’s Wharf Seafood Festival, from Oct. 14 to 15, will offer a bounty of local seafood in all forms — from stuffies, chowder, and lobster rolls to oyster, clams, and scallops. There will be live entertainment and proceeds from the festival will benefit the Oliver Hazard Perry, a 200-foot official sailing educational vessel. Admission is free. Bowen’s Wharf in Newport, bowenswharf.com/annual-seafood-festival.