Unlike speedy in-and-out coffee shops, cafés indulge fantasies of sneaking off through misty European streets paved with pain au chocolat and lined with biscotti parking meters. Indulge in savory streetside fare with today’s Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of Italian fare and drinks at Caffe Dolce Vita, located in the DePasquale Plaza on Federal Hill.
With its vibrantly colored stucco exterior, spacious outdoor patio, and tomato-based menu, Caffe Dolce Vita pays homage to owner Gianfranco Marrocco's native Italy. Early morning strollers can enjoy scrumptious breakfasts of freshly made crepes ($8.95) filled with Nutella and bananas sautéed in Frangelico hazelnut liqueur while lunch and dinnertime diners can inspect the extensive menu and feast on the panino dei panini ($11.95) made with imported Parma prosciutto, house-made mozzarella, vine-ripened tomatoes, and fresh basil. Other options include the linguini con gamberi fra diavolo ($13.95), pasta tossed with shrimp that's coated in a hot, spicy plum tomato sauce. To cap off an authentic Italian café meal, indulge in the coppa maria ($8.95), a melted piece of peanut butter pie with two scoops of chocolate gelato, peanut butter chips, and whipped cream that's sculpted in the shape of Luciano Pavarotti.
Saddle up to Caffe Dolce Vita's black marble bar for wine and cocktails amid the Italian Modernism-inspired dining room—glowing with copper and bronze colored walls, sage green leather banquettes, and pink-infused lighting. And with Caffe Dolce Vita open until 1 a.m. on Fridays, their lengthy menu of sandwiches and pastas is perfect for late-night noshing. Nibble on a nourishing snack or enjoy a quick coffee pick-me-up before an all-night staring contest with a Great Horned Owl.
- We went here 3 out of 4 meals during our brief stay in RI. The atmosphere is wonderful; I felt very European sitting on the outside patio, watching the big fountain splash down and people stroll by. – Kelsey M., Yelp
- I had ordered the Gnocchi's stuffed with Ricotta Cheese and Spinach in a rich tomato gravy. The Gnocchi's were nice and fresh and very delicious. – Orlando R., Yelp
Caffe Dolce Vita
When Gianfranco Marrocco left Italy for America, he had big dreams. But his high hopes for what he’d do with his new life were coupled with nostalgia for the outdoor cafés in his native country. Confident that the people of Providence would also enjoy the cosmopolitan atmosphere he longed for from back home, he decided to open an authentic Italian caffé. His dream was realized with the opening of Caffe Dolce Vita, situated in the heart of the picturesque DePasquale Plaza on Federal Hill.
Inside Caffe Dolce Vita, warm tones of copper and bronze showcase contemporary Italian style, along with sage-green leather banquettes (fondly referred to by many Americans by their pet name, “booths” or "great hide-and-go-seek spots"). The kitchen team brings out brunch, lunch, and dinner feasts of savory Italian dishes, such as veal parmigiana. Double espressos and cappuccinos perk up guests, along with specialty drinks at the bar, where servers pour popular Italian liqueurs such as Sambuca and Limoncello.