We’ve all been there. It’s 12:45am and the bouncers are starting to usher everyone out the door. Bartenders have begun ignoring orders as they start to close up. They too are probably hungry after eating nothing but maraschino cherries for the past three hours in between drink requests. A sea of bar-goers floods the historic Thames Street in downtown Newport, RI. The city’s relatively early ‘last call’ of 1am means that it’s time to leave West Deck, Dockside, SpeakEasy, Newport Blues Cafe, O’Brien’s and all the other iconic Newport bars. But thanks to Newport’s growing late night food scene, last call doesn’t mean the night has to end just yet. You may not realize it, but when it comes to satisfying your late night Newport munchies, you actually have more options than you thought.
Of course, you’ve seen the long lines outside of Crazy Doughs Pizza and Via Via Pizza. These two joints are popular for a reason: They are inexpensive and they serve by the slice, but most importantly they are both open until 2am on the weekends. This means you have a full hour after last call to walk, run or crawl to a piping hot slice of pizza. They are also both located conveniently on Thames Street, like lighthouses that will guide you into safety and melted cheese. While this also means long lines, especially after last call, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. Waiting in line can be a fun way to meet some new people, exchange snapchats or get an afterparty going once the bars are all closed.
But maybe you don’t want to wait in line or maybe you have a finer palate than these two street-scene pizza joints can appease. In this case, I’d suggest heading up towards Bellevue. As is often the case in Newport, things get nicer the closer you get to Bellevue Ave. First, let’s take a look at Nikolas Pizza on Memorial. These guys are open until 2am as well, and in my opinion they have some of the best pizza in town. While you’ll certainly be paying a little more than you would at Via or Crazy Doughs, you may be able to avoid long lines and you won’t be disappointed in the quality.
Maybe you remember when a speeding driver plowed through Mama Leone’s last year, forcing them to close down for repairs. Well, they’re back now and in a new location in the Stop and Shop plaza on Bellevue Ave. I loved their food in the previous venue, and now that they are open until 2am on weekends as well, I’m sure I’ll be stopping by for a late night slice.
But hey, maybe you’re not into the whole pizza thing. Maybe you’re lactose intolerant like me and you force yourself to eat pizza at 2am just to fit in. Fear not, because there is now a non-pizza late night option in Newport. In the past year or two, Broadway has really become revitalized with interesting restaurants and offbeat bars to accompany local favorites like Pour Richard’s. One of these places is Binge Barbecue. This is hands down my new favorite food stop in Newport, and not just for late night food. At Binge Barbecue, they’re serving fried chicken sandwiches, macaroni croquettes, ribs, house made sausage, braised collared greens and much more. While their menu speaks for itself, they’re also one of Newport’s few BYOB locations. What better way to enjoy smokey meats than with an ice cold IPA that you picked up at Bellevue Wine & Spirits on your way downtown? Even better, Binge Barbecue is open until 2am on weekends (starting March 10th).
So next time you find yourself roaming the streets of Newport after last call, belly empty and vision blurry, don’t settle for the slowly rotating 7/11 hot dogs that seem like such a good idea in the moment. Make your way to any of these late night joints to satisfy your hunger for all things Newport.