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Rhode Island Best Restaurants 2012

Yankee Magazine chooses Rhode Island’s best restaurants for 2012.

Julian’s, Providence
Vegetarians crave Julian’s for its deviation from the default gardenburger (try the black-bean burger instead). Hipsters pay homage to its aesthetic touches–a television in the bathroom, PEZ dispenser and Star Wars figurine collections–plus the debut of its food cart: the double-decker Omnibus. Brunch Entrées: from $8; dinner Entrées: from $14.50. 318 Broadway. 401-861-1770;

Eli’s, Block Island
Awaiting homemade pasta staples and creative pairings (like ahi-tuna nachos), a line snakes outside this no-reservations clapboard cottage; a special vegetarian menu is also available. Its walls are splashed with art by locals who moved here for the island’s ethereal light. Entrées: from $17. 456 Chapel St. 401-466-5230;

Tucker’s Bistro, Newport
There’s rococo decor by the yard-sale-devotee owner and an eclectic menu that earns the exclamation points at the ends of the names of certain dishes. Try the Thai shrimp nachos. Entrées: from $20. 150 Broadway. 401-846-3449;

The Salon, Providence
Ping pong, pinball, picnic tables, Nutella sandwiches, s’mores, and pickleback shots are the right ingredients for this hipster hangout. Sip a Cabernet and Coke upstairs or hit the dance floor below. Cocktails: from $5. 57 Eddy St. 401-865-6330;

Provender, Tiverton
With names like “The Freudian Slip” and “The Scarlet Letter,” these sandwiches may sound cute, but they’re all business. Try the turkey with cranberry or the curried chicken salad with mango chutney, and save space for a homemade almond-marzipan torte or lemon-buttermilk cake. Sandwiches: from $8.25. 3883 Main Road. 401-624-8084;

Duck & Bunny, Providence
The owners call it a “snuggery,” the British term for a cozy place. With a fireplace, white-marble cool, couches, and a garden patio, the decor alone is worth a trip to this parlor/tea room. If you need another reason, try the Almond Joy and banana-Nutella cupcakes. (Flavors change daily, but they all sound great.) 312 Wickenden St. 401-270-3300;

El Paisa Restaurant, Central Falls
Carnivores delight in the tripe at this Columbian restaurant, as well as the blood sausage and tongue of the rarest quality. Entrées: from $6. 598 Dexter St. 401-726-8864;

The Atlantic Inn, Block Island
Gatsby would have been at home at this white-clapboard inn with wraparound veranda and horseshoes on deck. With a hilltop view of Old Harbor from an Adirondack chair and a post-croquet cocktail, happy hour is redefined. Drinks: from $7. 359 High St. 800-224-7422, 401-466-5883;

Wildflour Bakery, Pawtucket
Start with a nutritious green smoothie or lavender lemonade; finish guilt-free with a peanut-butter brownie at this gluten- and animal-fat-free bakery. One bite of the banana-coconut-raspberry cake and you may swear off dairy. Desserts: from $1.95. 727 East Ave. 401-475-4718;

Salvation Cafe, Newport
The tiki bar has gotten balmier with a new version on the roof. Sip under the stars with a forkful of sailor’s delight: chocolate banana purses with ginger ice cream. Entrées: from $15. 140 Broadway. 401-847-2620;

Please Note: This information was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

Updated Monday, April 23rd, 2012

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