Local hidden gem restaurants

: Sammy Croteau, Arts & Culture Editor

Vans Spa

Located on a side street near downtown Bristol is a cozy breakfast nook with the exterior similar to that of a convenience store. When you open the door to the deceiving restaurant, your nose fills with the aroma of sweet bacon and seasoned hash browns. The walls of the small café are plastered with newspaper clippings, ranging from local news stories over the decades to Bristol resident’s obituaries. The paper decorations provide an entertaining visual while you enjoy a delectable bacon, egg, and cheese on a grilled bulky bun or a juicy signature cheese burger. A plus: the casual breakfast joint has accommodating prices for college students. It is a perfect destination for a late Sunday morning breakfast with friends. Ditch Dunkin and head to Vans Spa for an A+ meal at a cheap price.

Empire Coffee

The chain coffee shop is located in downtown Bristol and set on the water, creating the ideal view to admire while you sip on your morning latte. The small store specializes in flavored lattes, baked goods, and other yummy foods. Their menu includes both breakfast and lunch food, with their avocado toast being a popular option. The drink menu is extensive and pleases every type of coffee lover. The café also makes refreshing iced teas to enjoy on a sunnier day. The location is great to visit on a warm morning because you can take your coffee to go and stroll along the water right outside. With its calming views, Empire Coffee is also a great study spot as it is normally on the quiet side, especially during the weekdays.

Perella’s Ristorante

This hidden gem, located in Warren, Rhode Island, provides tasty Italian dishes in a quaint and homey setting. The tiny restaurant is easy to miss by size, but its bright yellow exterior attracts hungry customers. Perella’s is perfect if you are craving authentic Italian food, from saucy lasagna to buttery pastas. The diverse menu is packed with choices of various salads, soups, grinders, seafood, and meat platters. The wide menu can please anyone, making the customer appreciate a meal that tastes home-cooked. Perella’s is especially great for college students who miss their mom’s homemade dinners. Despite the restaurant’s small size, it delivers big portions that will leave you nothing but satisfied.

Quito’s Restaurant

This Bristol seafood eatery and raw bar gives you the ultimate New England experience, as it is set right on the water. The lunch and dinner restaurant provides delicious seafood platters, such as fried clams and lobster rolls. Quito’s will definitely fast forward you to summer mode while you enjoy fresh fish next to the ocean front. There is even outdoor seating during the warmer months on the restaurant’s deck. Quito’s is on the more expensive side for college kids, so it is a supreme spot to celebrate special occasions with friends. Price aside, this is an excellent restaurant choice if you’re looking to enjoy a marvelous scenery over an overflowing plate of fried calamari.