Food News

Sip This

The East Side is overflowing with little-known and one-of-a-kind beverages


The East Side is a cosmopolitan place, full of off-beat bistros and global cuisine. You could taste the flavors of five continents before you even left Thayer Street, and the same goes for beverages. Still, many of us find ourselves at the same cafes, ordering the same coffee over and over. If you’re jonesing for something new to sip, here’s a splash of lesser-known libations – hot and cold, sweet and savory – available only from these neighborhood venues.

Coffee and Whiskey
Most people know the cafe as New Harvest, but its full name is New Harvest Coffee & Spirits. That’s because the downtown cafe – housed inside the Arcade – doubles as a bar, where the backlit shelves are crammed with colorful bottles. Here, you’re welcome to pair regular and blended coffees with a rotating list of whiskies from around the world – or mix them together. 65 Weybosset Street

Dave’s Coffee Milk
Autocrat was once the reigning champion of coffee milk (RI’s official state drink). But not long ago, Dave’s Coffee created its own coffee syrup, which is both served in-house and available for purchase in a handsome bottle. 341 South Main Street

Funky Monkey
Cafe Zog is Wickenden’s go-to diner, and there’s plenty of coffee, hot chocolate, and Italian soda to go around. For a sweet twist, try their Funky Monkey, a double espresso with cocoa, steamed milk, and a half-shot of banana syrup. 239 Wickenden Street

Mango Lassi
All across India, locals treat themselves to the “lassi” yogurt smoothie to cool themselves down on a hot day. The Mango Lassi at Taste of India is a perfect sample of the traditional (and nutritious) beverage. The restaurant also features a full bar with a range of beers and cocktails, including the original Taste of India Martini. 230 Wickenden Street

Strawberry Cheesecake Vegan Frappe

How do you make a cheesecake frappe without dairy? Wildflour Bakery found a way, using vegan ice cream, cream cheese, strawberry, and graham cracker crumbs. 727 East Avenue

Almost everybody has heard of sake, but Korean soju is less well known. This clear liquor is also distilled from rice – or sometimes other starches, such as wheat or potatoes – and is traditionally sipped. Sound enticing? Den Den Korean Fried Chicken serves soju in multiple flavors, from grapefruit to blueberry. 182 Angell Street

Not surprisingly, Tea in Sahara is well known for its variety of teas, which are served in traditional North African pots. The coffee selection, too, is all-organic and sourced from New Harvest Coffee Roasters. But you can also find the Za’zaa, a delicious Moroccan smoothie made from milk, dates, banana, avocado, and walnuts. 69 Governor Street