A sampling of some of the Westerly-Pawcatuck area restaurants
There are good eats all around the Westerly-Pawcatuck area, from casual cuisine to sophisticated dining. Here is a sampling of some of the restaurants that The Day has reviewed in recent years. Try any one of these eateries or visit one of the many others that help to make the Westerly-Pawcatuck region such a great dining destination.
The Cafe, 3 Canal St., Westerly
Right in the thick of things in downtown Westerly, The Café is a great addition to the local food scene. We have enjoyed lunch, dinner and cocktails at this eatery that’s connected to the next-door United Theatre, and have yet to be disappointed. Our absolute favorite item on the menu is the Crispy Fried Artichokes with harissa aioli, $13, but there are plenty of other good options. There’s a dry-aged sirloin, a crispy skin-on chicken breast, the house burger, a fish sandwich, and a daily pasta. We got the Miso-Marinated Cod, $28, more than once, and the same for the Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf, $25. The online menu doesn’t include costs so the prices noted are based on our last visit.
Cinder, 169 Main St., Westerly
This is a great place to visit, now that the weather has warmed up and it’s hospitable to sit outside on the patio overlooking the nearby Pawcatuck River. Cinder serves up small plates of slow-cooked proteins combined with unusual and inviting fixings. The menu changes, but there are options like spicy lamb, brisket, duck, meatballs, tofu, and chicken, served on naan or a gluten-free rice cake. Those proteins may be mixed with pickled carrot and daikon, cabbage slaw, jalapenos, lentil sunflower pate, or many other fixings. There are sides and salads, too, and pretty much everything is priced $5 to $12.
Bomb Burritos & Bowls, 240 Post Road, Westerly
This place is quick, easy and delicious. It’s a lot of food in a bowl or tortilla, and the staff who fixes your order couldn’t be friendlier. You decide bowl or burrito, they are both $12, and then pick your own fixings. There are choices like white, brown or cauliflower rice, black or pinto beans, beef, chicken, pork or vegan chorizo, cucumbers, shredded cheese, red onions, spicy carrots, and more, like guacamole. It’s a great place to stop for lunch or dinner, and not far from some of Rhode Island’s best beaches, for nourishment after a day at the shore.
Vetrano’s, 130 Granite St., Westerly
We noted when we visited Vetrano’s to write our review that local police and emergency services personnel were stopping in to pick up take-out. When you see that happening, you know the food is good. We have many favorites but would recommend the Eggplant Parmigiana, $18, the Shrimp Riviera, $23, or the Gamberi Alla Fra Diavlo, $23. The last dish is a combination of jumbo shrimp sauteed in a hot spicy marinara sauce served over linguini. Chicken Vetrano ($23) is also a top pick, with fresh spinach, prosciutto and mozzarella. Go hungry.
C.C. O’Brien’s, 8 Mechanic St., Pawcatuck
Around for more than a quarter century and able to survive the COVID upheaval and shutdown, C.C. O’Brien’s is a local institution. In addition to food, adult beverages and many, many televisions tuned to sports, they serve up billiards, darts, and live music. A frequent weekly special is the Roast Beef Sandwich, $11.95, and it is delicious. They fix it with Swiss cheese, raw onion, and horseradish sauce and the beef is thin sliced and piled high. House favorites include the Philly Cheesesteak Grinder, Pub Fish & Chips, and the Chicken Caser Wrap; all are $12.95.
Hoof’s, 59 West Broad St., Pawcatuck
This place is always busy with regulars and newcomers who have heard the positive reviews about the food. For starters, you can’t go wrong with either the Two Meatballs, $8, or the Eggplant Rollatini, $10. There is just something about homemade meatballs and sauce served with fresh ricotta. There are multiple choices for entrees, but among our favorites are Chicken Parmigiana, $21, and the Pork Chop Calabrese, $27. It’s a 16-ounce chop served with sauteed onions, cherry peppers, spinach, and fried potatoes. You’ll think you are in Italy.