Going To Newport? Stop By The Locals’ Best Spots For Day-Drinking

Photo: Courtesy of Dave Hansen.
Newport, RI, is fancy. Sure, the Hamptons are fancy and Palm Springs is fancy, but Newport takes things to the next level with beach cottages that are actually sprawling mansions — and yachts as far as the eye can see. But, even if you don't own a 200-footer or a house with a view, that doesn't mean you can't enjoy the charm of this quaint New England town.
And, after you hit Newport Folk Festival, or tour The Breakers, or enjoy the breathtaking scenery from the Cliff Walk, it's nice to take a breather and enjoy a few cocktails (and an oyster or two). You may not be a millionaire, but you can drink among them in Newport at the swanky bars ahead.
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Photo: Courtesy of Christie's.
Christie's
The old-fashioned, seaside charm of Newport is sweet and all, but sometimes we crave something a little more modern. That's where Christie's comes in. This sleek restaurant-cum-bar serves up crazy-good burgers and simple cocktails (Dark & Stormy, anyone?) that you can enjoy in the chic dining room (surrounded by larger-than-life bathing beauties) or on the patio. Try to get one of the tables with swing seating.
Christie's, 351 Thames Street, Newport, RI; 401-846-8018.

Top of Newport Bar
It's a scientific fact that cocktails consumed on a rooftop taste exponentially better. The bar atop The Hotel Viking is a perfect example of Newport's fancy beach scene. Sip a crisp Sauvignon Blanc, snack on some appetizers, and enjoy some people-watching. In town on a Wednesday? Check out the recurring Spirits and Stogies event, and enjoy a menu of cocktails, small plates, and cigars.
Top of Newport Bar at The Hotel Viking, 1 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI; 401-847-3300.
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Photo: Courtesy of Newport Restaurant Group.
Portside
After shopping your way through Newport, take five and grab a drink al fresco at Portside, an open-air bar located harborside. Gaze out at the bay, sip the local pirate punch (really), and let the stress of city life melt away. If you want to extend the day into an evening out, make a reservation at Bowen's 22 for a steak dinner. Looking for something a little lighter? Order a bucket of clams and a cold brew and don't move an inch.
Portside, Bowen's Wharf, Newport, RI; 401-841-8884.

The Barking Crab
A trip to the New England coast would not be complete without some fried clams and a lobster roll. We have a soft spot for the Connecticut version of the classic sandwich (skip the mayo in favor of butter). There's no better summer meal, especially when you throw in a cold beer (May we suggest one of the local brews?). Grab a spot on the patio and enjoy the gorgeous views.
The Barking Crab, Brick Marketplace II, Newport, RI; 401-846-CRAB.
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Photo: Courtesy of Newport Restaurant Group.
The Lawn at Castle Hill Inn
It's okay that you don't have a gigantic mansion with a sweeping lawn — you can just pretend you do, while enjoying a drink at the Castle Hill Inn. Grab an Adirondack chair, order an oyster martini, and chitchat about how killer Jack White’s set was.
The Lawn at Castle Hill Inn, 590 Ocean Drive, Newport, RI; 401-849-3800.

Pour Judgement
So, you've just enjoyed fancy cocktails among the fancy folks in fancy Newport. You need a break from all that posh-ness and a chance to revel with the hoi polloi. That's where Pour Judgement comes in. Saddle up to the bar, order a 'gannset (that's local-speak for a Narragansset) and a basket of chicken wings, and shed that upper-crust snobbery you may have caught after a weekend among the one-percenters.
Pour Judgement, 32 Broadway, Newport, RI; 401-619-2115.
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Photo: Courtesy of Dave Hansen.
Fluke Wine Bar
Everyone who's anyone goes to Fluke's. The wine bar on the third floor of the centrally located restaurant has been recommended by folks from The New York Times to David Burke. And, you definitely can trust both the Gray Lady and an award-winning chef to steer you right. After a day at the beach, is there anything better than a Fluke Rum Punch? We don't think so.
Fluke Wine Bar, 41 Bowens Wharf, Newport, RI; 401-849-7778.

White Horse Tavern
This is the oldest bar in the U.S. — of course you want to have a drink here. We love the tongue-in-cheek tagline, "Serving farm to table since 1673." Come for a beer and enjoy some oysters from the raw bar. We recommend making a reservation and staying for dinner; after all, Boston Magazine named the Tavern one of the best restaurants in Rhode Island.
White Horse Tavern, 26 Marlborough St, Newport, RI; 401-849-3600.
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