The Best Restaurants on Block Island

best restaurants on Block Island
Image Source: blockislandferry.com

The Best Restaurants on Block Island

The Island of Seafood Dishes in Different Cuisines and Add Ons

What does Block Island have to offer? Well, there is no other person to ask but Brian MacQuarrie as he wrote in The Boston Globe that, “This pork chop-shaped island has gorgeous beaches, stunning ocean vistas, 32 miles of hiking trails, 250-foot-high coastal cliffs, a deep sense of history, and a lively night scene” (2007). What MacQuarrie did not mention is the restaurants on Block Island is definitely one of the reasons why you must visit Block Island because the island is free of chain stores with the exception of a Ben & Jerry’s and a tiny Starbucks — I mean, who can live without these two stores, anyway? Giving up ice-cream and coffee? I don’t think so. In this post, I will reveal what I believe to be the best restaurants on Block Island.

I. All About Block Island

Block Island
Image Source: independentri.com

This rural town of southern Rhode Island was discovered by Giovanni da Verrazzano way back in 1541, but it was named after the explorer Adriaen Block after visiting it in 1614. It’s population grew in 1661 when people from Massachusetts started coming in. The Block Island was only considered to be a part of Rhode Island in 1664. The Rhode Island assembly also changed the town name into New Storeham. Since its previous town name is still being used, I guess Block Island just has that ring to it, don’t you think?

You can learn more about the history of this town in the Block Island Historical Society Museum’s shop and gallery. Now that we’ve talked plenty about Rhode Island physically and its history, it is prime time that we know where exactly is this place so we can enjoy the scenes, the coastline, and especially the food of standalone (non chain) stores.

What is the Weather at Block Island

In January and February, it is at an average of 34 degrees fahrenheit. But it then starts to heat up each month until it peaks in July and August at an average of 70.5 degrees. It then declines to 37.5 degrees fahrenheit in December (U.S. Climate Data, 2020). 
So, if you want to come at the winter times, the start and end months of the year are the perfect times to go. As for summer, if you want to enjoy the beach and the sun beating down on you, the month July and August should be cleared on your calendar.

Where is Block Island

As the country’s smallest state’s smallest town (based on its population), this 25 square km of land can be found approximately thirteen miles south from the coast of Rhode Island. Okay, we now know how to point Block Island on the map. How about we discuss how you can actually get there?

II. How to Get to Block Island

take the Block Island ferry
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To get to Block Island, you can either ride a short 12-minute flight via New England Airlines from Westerly to the Block Island State Airport, or take a ferry boat.

Block Island Airlines

New England Airlines has been Block Island’s Resident Airlines since 1970. Flights start every day from 7:30am and close at 5:00pm at the earliest. To make a reservation flight, you must call 1-401-596-2460 or 1-800-243-2460. Remember that a one-way trip costs $64 and a round trip costs $118 per adult. As for a child, it costs $55. While a senior costs $59. For more information and queries, email the airlines through or check their website at http://blockislandsairline.com/index.php/block-island-flights/.

Block Island Ferry

As for a ferry, you first need to choose a port that you can go to. The choices are Pt. Judith at 304 Great Island Road, Narragansett, RI 02882; Newport at 39 America’s Cup Avenue, Newport, RI 02840; and, Fall River at 1 Water Street, Fall River, MA 02721. Then, you need to choose between the Traditional Ferry that will take around 1 to 2 hours to arrive at Block Island or the Hi-Speed Ferry that’ll only take 30 mins. Next, you need to make a passenger ticket reservation to avoid the hassle of waiting in a long queue at the port. When the day that you’ll finally be visiting Block Island, you need to be there 1 hour before departure time to avoid any regrets (i.e. missing the ferry).

Can I Take My Vehicle to Block Island?

Getting your motorized vehicle into and out of Block Island is no walk in the park. You have to find which port you prefer, make reservations, pay up, arrive to the port one hour early before the departure time, wait 30 minutes to 2 hours and 15 minutes for the vehicle to be shipped, find your vehicle in the parking lot, pay up for that, and finally drive away from this chaos to meet yet another chaos. Getting around this small island town can be quite difficult in a car because the roads are narrow and often full of runners, bikes and mopeds. So, unless you really need or want your car after all that hassle, go right on ahead. But if not,there is an alternative!

If possible, just leave your vehicle at home and rent a car, bike or moped in Block Island instead. Block Island Bike & Car Rental on Ocean Avenue rents out cars and bikes. While The Moped Man on Water Street rents out bikes and mopeds. It is best that you also make a reservation rather than walking in. To reserve a vehicle or bike, call 401-466-2297 for Block Island Bike & Car Rental, and 401-466-5444 for The Moped Man.

If you really insist on taking the ferry as a passenger and/or with your vehicle, dial 1-866-783-7996 EXT 3 or 1-401-783-7996 EXT 3 to make reservations right away. They accept reservation calls from 9am to 4 pm on weekdays and 9am to 1pm on weekends. If you want to contact them through email, do so through info@blockislandferry.com. To buy your tickets online, get to their website at https://www.blockislandferry.com/purchase-tickets and select your preferred port to get started.

III. Top 3 Block Island Restaurants

best restaurants on Block Island
Image Source: blockislandtimes.com

Now that we’ve finally made it to this island, let’s treat ourselves with fresh seafood! In the past, this town got its economic capital from fishing and farming, which they now use to attract tourists and resort activities. It’s attractions include the tall Mohegan Bluff clay cliffs towering before the coastline, the Old Harbor nature reserve in front the waterfront and ferries, New Harbor boating.

To show that Block Island truly means business from out-of-towners, they have an airport. However, they also have enough restaurants, diners, cafes, pubs and dining spots that can satisfy their visitors’ bellies just as they do with their ever hungry travelling desires.

Block Island offers daily caught seafood and/or local specialties and some even offer  spectacular views to pair with the amazing eat. Additionally, almost no food store in the town requires reservations. In this small town, you just see, come, and conquer…the menu. But don’t think that this place is like a visit to your grandparent’s town where everything starts closing up by 8pm. Block Island also has pubs, taverns and cafés that stay up after sleeping hours.

Here are the best restaurants in Block Island according to TripAdvisor, Yelp, and list of award winning restaurants in the town:

3. Beachead Restaurant – A Taste of the Sea…plus a little bit of everything else

Beachhead Restaurant Block Island
Image Source: frolichawaii.com

You guessed it. This restaurant is at the beach. Specifically, at 598 Corn Neck Road which has a view of the ocean and the Crescent Beach. This gorgeous restaurant, which seems to mirror that ocean in front of it, only serves lunch and dinner from 11:30am to 9pm.

This beachside restaurant produces traditional New England dishes, Sushi Bob Takeout, Family Style Takeout, fresh seafood, and old classics with a twist. Their signature dish is called Lobster Bake which consists of 1 1/4 lb. steamed lobster, little neck clams, mussels, corn on the cob, chorizo & red bliss potatoes. With an average of 4.67 rating across Yelp, TripAdvisor and Facebook, I would say that their food is Delicious, and yes, with a capital ‘D’!

2. Kimberly’s Restaurant – Asian and American Seafood and Dishes

Block Island restaurants
Image Source: blockislandtimes.com

Kimberly Ward’s restaurant is known for, well, Kimberly! She is the restaurant. She makes sure that you have the best service you can get. As of August 2020, their restaurant review on TripAdvisor has 5 solid stars for their service.

From the outside, the restaurant looks like a regular, brick house with way too many windows. When you look inside, you will see a bar, wooden tables, and, most likely, Kimberly herself. They serve seafood, Asian fusion, and American food such as the shrimp tacos, red curry, and pan seared salmon. To try them out and meet the charismatic Kimberly, you can dine here for dinner any day from 5pm to 9pm. 

1. Mohegan Restaurant & Bar – All Out American Style

best restaurants on Block Island
Image Source: blockislandtimes.com

This indoor and air conditioned restaurant serves lunch and dinner at the heart of Water Street. They purely serve American and seafood dishes, focusing their quality on one cuisine. So, don’t be too shocked to see lots of french fries and hamburger-like presentations of the dishes.

On the outside, it almost looks like a fast food joint. But inside you are greeted with a handsome bar with some blue and brown themed booths and tables. On the back wall, some bottles are sitting on the shelves that are lit up by so blue LED lighting. It might be beige and dull on the outside, but the inside reminds you that you are close to sea. Open at 11:30am for lunch and 4pm for dinner, try their take on American pub food featuring local and fresh seafood.

Aside from Block Island’s reputable dining establishments, this town also opens up a Farmer’s Market event of 2020 from June 27 until October 10. This is when everyone gathers at Legion Park on 10 West Side Road to eat and buy fresh goods. This is a great way to enjoy the aura of a small yet happy and easy-going community. 

IV. Main Takeaways (Summary)

Block Island Ferry
Image Source: blockislandferry.com

Before you book those reservations, call the aforementioned telephone numbers, and start packing for a trip to Block Island in Rhode Island, let us refresh your mind on what you should know and do before going and what you should do and go to when in this small island.

All About Block Island

  • Was discovered by Giovanni da Verrazzano in 1541.
  • Was named after the explorer Adriaen Block in 1614. I
  • Block Island was considered to be a part of Rhode Island in 1664.
  • The Rhode Island assembly changed the town name into New Storeham.

Weather at Block Island

  • In January and February, it is 34 degrees fahrenheit.
  • In July and August, it is 70.5 degrees fahrenheit.
  • In December, it is 37.5 degrees fahrenheit .

Location of Block Island

It is approximately thirteen miles south from the coast of Rhode Island.

Going to Block Island

Either fly via New England Airlines from Westerly to the Block Island State Airport, or ride a ferry boat.

Block Island Airlines

  • Flights start every day from 7:30am and close at 5:00pm at the earliest.
  • For reservations, call 1-401-596-2460 or 1-800-243-2460.

Costings of Flight Tickets

  • Adult one-way trip costs $64
    • Adult round trip costs $118
    • Child one-way trip costs $55.
    • Senior one-way trip costs $59.

Block Island Ferry

Ferry Ports

  • Pt. Judith at 304 Great Island Road, Narragansett, RI 02882;
  • Newport at 39 America’s Cup Avenue, Newport, RI 02840;
  • Fall River at 1 Water Street, Fall River, MA 02721.

Types of Ferry Rides

  • Traditional Ferry takes 1 to 2 hours to arrive at Block Island.
  • Hi-Speed Ferry takes 30 mins to arrive at Block Island.

Transporting your Motorized or Moped Vehicle into Block Island

  1. You have to find which port you prefer,
  2. make reservations,
  3. pay ticket fee,
  4. arrive at the port one hour early before the departure time,
  5. wait 30 mins to 2 hours and 15 minutes for the vehicle to be shipped,
  6. find your vehicle in the parking lot, and
  7. pay parking fee.

If possible, just leave your vehicle at home and rent a car, bike or moped in Block Island instead.

  • Call Block Island Bike & Car Rental at 401-466-2297 to reserve and rent cars and bikes.
  • Call The Moped Man at 401-466-5444 to reserve and rent bikes and mopeds.

            For ferry ride reservations

Top 3 Block Island Restaurants

1. Mohegan Restaurant & Bar – All Out American Style

  • 213 Water St, New Shoreham, RI 02807
  • Serves American and seafood dishes.
  • Open at 11:30am for lunch and 4pm for dinner.

2. Kimberly’s Restaurant – Asian and American Seafood and Dishes

  • 238 Ocean Ave, New Shoreham, RI 02807
  • Serves seafood, Asian fusion, and American food.
  • Open for dinner every day from 5pm to 9pm. 

3. Beachead Restaurant – A Taste of the Sea…plus a little bit of everything else

  • 598 Corn Neck Rd, New Shoreham, RI 02807
  • New England dishes, Sushi Bob Takeout, Family Style Takeout, fresh seafood, and old classics with a twist.
  • Serves lunch and dinner every day from 11:30am to 9pm.
  • Farmer’s Market event of 2020 from June 27 until October 10 to eat and buy fresh goods and minge with the local community. 

References

Allan, D. G. (2009). On Tiny Block Island, Summer Lasts Longer. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/11/travel/escapes/11block.html.

U.S. Climate Data (2020). Climate Block Island – Rhode Island. Retrieved form https://www.usclimatedata.com/climate/block-island/rhode-island/united-states/usri0005.

Appendix

Figure 1  |  The Top 5 Restaurants in Block Island, Rhode Island

RankTripAdvisor (Top 10)Yelp! (Best Restaurants in New Shoreham)Block Island Reservations (Top Award Winning Restaurants)
1Kimberly’sPersephone’s KitchenBlock Island Scones
2Winfield’s RestaurantPoor People’s PubClub Soda
3The Beachhead RestaurantKimberly’sThe Harbor Grill
41661 Inn RestaurantThe BeachheadThe Mohegan Cafe & Grill
5Eli’sMohegan Restaurant & Bar 
6Dead Eye Dicbk’sEli’s 
7Poor People’s PubThe National Hotel Tap & Grille 
8Block Island Oyster and GrillWinfield’s 
9The OarThree Sisters 
10The Mohegan Restaurant and BarTigerFish 
WebsiteRetrieved on August from https://www.tripadvisor.com.ph/Restaurants-g54061-Block_Island_Washington_County_Rhode_Island.htmlRetrieved on August from  https://www.yelp.com/c/new-shoreham-ri-us/restaurantsRetrieved on August from  https://www.blockislandreservations.com/activities/dining

Figure 2  |  Ranking of the Top 5 Restaurants in Block Island, Rhode Island

RankRestaurantsAveraging of rank
1The Mohegan Restaurant & BarTop 10 + Top 5 + Top 4 = 19 / 3 = 6.33
2Kimberly’sTop 1 + Top 3 = 4 / 2 = 2
3The BeachheadTop 3 + Top 4 = 7 / 2 = 3.5

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