Cafe Paragon
Cafe Paragon

Cafe Paragon

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://paragonandviva.com/
  • Phone: 4013316200
  • Hours of Operation:
    Sunday: Brunch: 10:00am - 3:00pm,
    Monday - Thursday: 11:00am - 1:00am,
    Friday & Saturday: 11:00am - 2:00am
    kitchen open till midnight 7 days
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary European
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Cafe, Dancing, Delivery, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access
  • Private Party Facilities: Thank you for choosing Cafe Paragon / Viva Restaurant located at 234 Thayer Street, in the heart of the East Side for your private function needs. We have a variety of private menus to choose from to make your occasion and business function a memorable one.
  • Private Party Contact: Manager 4013316200

Getting there

  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from Cafe Paragon
Café Paragon in Providence was first to open it’s doors in 1994. We started serving our valued guests in a friendly European Bistro/Café style atmosphere with a comfortable 32 seats, full bar, and a limited menu. In 1997 we expanded to create Viva offering a more sophisticated dining experience including Mediterranean Mezes, specialized martinis, and extended bar selections in our comfortable lounge. On weekend nights the restaurant transforms with club music. Over the years we have won several awards in RI Monthly and the Providence Pheonix, among them for Best Burgers, Best Salad and Best Octopus and in addition we have been written up in several publications such as Yankee Magazine Travel, Providence Journal, and Vanity Fair.
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Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Brunch
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Lunch
Cafe Paragon reviews from OpenTable diners
24 reviews since April 30, 2014
Overall Rating3.7
  • Food3.8
    Service3.8
  • Ambiance3.3
    Noise LevelModerate
88% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (12)great for lunch (11)good for groups (9)great for outdoor dining (8)late-night find (7)fit for foodies (6)vibrant bar scene (5)great for brunch (5)notable wine list (5)special occasion (4)kid-friendly (4)hot spot (3)romantic (3)scenic view (2)Show More
  • Brunch good
    CruiseVIP
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    This was our first time at Cafe Paragon. The food selection was very good. Our service was poor until we complained to the manager. Our waitress was moved to a private party and did not seem to be aware that pancakes were a special order that she was supposed to give to the kitchen. I was told to give my order to the man at the carving station, he said that the waitress is supposed to write it down and give the order to the kitchen. He got the manager for me and he took my order for the kitchen and also spoke with the waitress. She apologized to the people at the table when I was up front waiting for the pancakes. We had to hunt her down for drink refills. We will probably try it again as long as we do not get the same waitress.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good
    Hungryman
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Good food and good service and the valet was fast.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Needs a make over
    BriggsyVIP
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    Paragon is getting a bit old, dirty and needs a good cleaning or remodel. The back half of the restaurant smells musty and dank and is not very inviting to eat a meal. The men's room also smelled horrible. Food was okay, nothing spectacular. Service was good. This is not a fine dining restaurant.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A great restaurant on Thayer
    Anonymous
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    This was our second visit to Cafe Paragon. Our food was great and our server was personable and attentive. The Bruschetta appetizer was so delicious. The only reason the food receives a 4-star is because my husband ordered a pepperoni pizza and it was pretty greasy. The other food at our table was all fabulous.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • David
    Dined on 5/30/2014
    Visit Cafe Paragon regularly, and tried a sirloin steak special this evening. Sirloin steak was covered in cream of corn, and it was fantastic!! Very different dish with many different flavors from the bacon crumbles, sweet corn, and steak flavor. Told the chef and manager that it was amazing, and it should be a regular on the menu!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • overall opinion
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 5/26/2014
    Paragon is an absolutely outstanding restaurant, in every aspect. The menu, service, and management is 1st class. Pano is particularly to be commended, always. It is a pleasure for me and my family to dine at Paragon. Thank you! Fr. Barry Meehan
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, scenic view, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Apps were good
    CatherineprovVIP
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    Honestly we come here it's a place you go to for mediocre food. Hummus is good as is the scallop app. The salads aren't creative move like they throw a large amount of arugula on a plate and handful of toppings, don't dress it and then whatever side you ask for is usually lost in the massive amount of greens. We got shrimp as ours and the shrimp were so small and over cooked they were shriveled to a dime size. We will be back for apps and that's all. Service was great.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, great for lunch, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 17 ratings-only reviews submitted since April 30, 2014
    • Overall Rating3.8
    • Food3.9
    • Ambiance3.3
    • Service3.8
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 66 reviews are from the Cafe Paragon reviews archive.
  • I don't normally write reviews!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    As an alumni in town for the weekend, our group reserved a table as this location was a fan favorite in college. After this experience, you need to pay me to go back! 1) I personally ordered the French burger (because I love Boursin cheese) and was given a burger without the French (Boursin) and was told that they had run out of the cheese when the burger was in front of me. 2) We had a number of issues that were not addressed and handled by the management appropriately. The server and the managers were not working in cooperation with one another, which needs to be fixed. 3) We waited over 45-60 minutes just to pay and get our check adjusted after our numerous issues, which led to more frustration than what needed to happen.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • superb brunch
    thebraz
    Dined on 4/20/2014
    the true meaning of Brunch...everything you could possibly want, done the right way.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Too noisy
    Bridge3
    Dined on 4/12/2014
    Obviously a place for young college students. Food was ok (got burgers) - fries were terrible - limp and soggy (both potato and sweet potato fries)...just fair. Noise was so loud (Sat night at 7pm) that we could not hear friends sitting across from us. Really, really noisy. Perhaps this is a place for young college students who don't care about conversation. Not fit for middle age friends wanting a decent meal and time to connect.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Seafood very well prepared,
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 4/12/2014
    Seafood very well prepared, and a great winelist. Thank you.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good, but not Great
    nw1025
    Dined on 3/28/2014
    I will begin by saying that I loved the 64 oz Sangria tower. In fact, that is what brought us to Cafe Paragon. The food was ok, but not great. The sirloin was extremely dry and the steamed vegetables could probably have been steamed for a little bit longer.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Could use some maintenance
    Lisa
    Dined on 3/22/2014
    While the food was good, it would have been nice to receive our orders correctly. 3 out of 4 dinners were incorrect as described on the menu, with wrong sides and sauces. Two people in our party ordered salads and they arrived AFTER our entrees had arrived. The food did taste good, however, and the server kindly brought out the correct items when we brought it to her attention. She said something about someone new in the kitchen. The location is great, but I am guessing Cafe Paragon caters to the neighborhood college crowd, because the place could use some general maintenance and paint. I would recommend for lunch.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Pleasant and Convenient
    constancemartin
    Dined on 3/8/2014
    I brought my parents recently for a quick bite before an event at Brown, and found the service outstanding. The menu had a lot of choices, and our food was good. We were in a hurry so the valet parking was helpful. The noise level was very high but my father uses a cane so it was easier to sit near the kitchen than to climb elsewhere.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Brunch is 'the thing'
    CAG2
    Dined on 3/2/2014
    Brunch and Bloody Mary's (spicy) were on the menu. Food was plentiful; well served - and tasty. Lots of young people - representing the various universities.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Mussels appetizer very tasty
    BirgsVIP
    Dined on 2/28/2014
    Mussels appetizer very tasty with lots of sauce for dipping the delicious bread. Just the right portion for sharing, too. Rigatoni pasta dish very cheesy but delicious. Seafood zuppa special rich with clams but could have used some pasta...maybe order a side of angel hair?
    Special Features:
    late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Loved that the waitress brought
    diner
    Dined on 2/24/2014
    Loved that the waitress brought over a little Happy Birthday surprise dessert for my sister without even asking!!!!!!!
    Special Features:
    scenic view, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Valentine dinner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    We went for valentines dinner and it was very crowded. Our reservation was for 9 but we didn't get seated until 9:25. The lobster ravioli was wonderful with shrimp and swordfish on top.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Awful
    Diner
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    We were seated 45 minutes after our reservation time. Ordered lobster Mac and cheese but was mistakenly given baked ziti; rather than just asking me to wait a few minutes for the correct dish, the cooks and my server attempted to trick me by dumping cold lobster on top and giving it back. Horrible from start to finish.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good food,good service
    Jegs
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    All together I would say everything was very good,except for the fact that even with a reservation,we still had to wait 45 minutes for a table.Other then that,everything else was very good
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Busy Night out
    Kingly
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    It was valentine's day, so i expected it to be busy. We showed up 10 minutes before our reservation, and there was a large group of people waiting to be seated, but we got a table right away. We got a table for two between two other tables with couples already seated, and we were so close together it was hard not to eavesdrop. Crab cakes for an appetizer were tasty, we both got pasta dishes which were excellent, and the flourless chocolate cake was like fudge. The waitress was a little slow on drinks, but it was busy. Overall a great night for around $60.
    Special Features:
    romantic, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great for any day, any time
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 1/29/2014
    I come here frequently for dinner and a movie kind of nights or for birthday parties. Great place for college students, families, or a hob who wants great service, tasty food, and a cool atmosphere. Affordable and interesting.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • TIMING OF FOOD
    RICH
    Dined on 12/31/2013
    FOOD WAS GREAT HOWEVER WE WERE NOT DONE EATING OUR APPETIZER WHEN OUR ENTREES WERE BROUGHT TO OUR TABLE SO THEY GOT COLD - IT WAS VERY SURPRISING. I EAT OUT A LOT AND I CAN'T REMEMBER THIS HAPPENING.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • It wasn't so good.
    Cav1VIP
    Dined on 12/7/2013
    The Calamari Was over cooked? And the Water Smelled and tasted Bad. Dinner was just ok.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Viva salad a nice combination
    BirgsVIP
    Dined on 12/6/2013
    Viva salad a nice combination of ingredients and delicious dressing. Margharita pizza could have used a little more than one piece of basil to divide among 6 pieces of pizza. Also pizza came out too soon, before we had finished salad course, but it was kept hot until we were ready for it.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Brunch
    Excellent
    Dined on 10/27/2013
    We went here for Sunday brunch. It was buffet style. The food was good, great selection and well worth the price. Not a big fan of buffets, but this was not bad at all. I would return in the future.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great time
    Mommam
    Dined on 10/26/2013
    We came with a large group, the service was friendly and extremely efficient. Meals came quickly and everything was delicious.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Drinks and Apps
    m3xgl
    Dined on 10/25/2013
    I had a great time with a small group of friends. Had drinks and apps in a cozy spot.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Not impressed anymore
    honeybee
    Dined on 10/25/2013
    Havent been to Paragon in probably 2 yrs. I always loved the food. Not sure if its under new ownership or management but the menu is lacking. The food was just ok ....nothing special. I was really disappointed. They have done better in the past.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointed that salad and
    BirgsVIP
    Dined on 10/12/2013
    Disappointed that salad and entree came out at the same time, but flatbread pizza was delicious and portion so large we couldn't finish all the salad which was also a substantial portion.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Everyone enjoyed
    BriggsyVIP
    Dined on 9/27/2013
    I've eaten at Paragon many times over the years. This visit was very nice. They were very accommodating, the service was good and everyone liked their food. It's a fun place to eat. I will definitely be back.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Calamari was great. Rigitoni
    paperclip
    Dined on 8/17/2013
    Calamari was great. Rigitoni Al Forno was good, chicken pesto poor. Nice area to sit at side walk table. Server was great.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Will Go Back Again
    JackVIP
    Dined on 8/7/2013
    Good restaurant, will have to go back a second time to have a better feel. They give you plenty of food.
    Special Features:
    late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A Paragon of Choices
    CapeGarlicVIP
    Dined on 7/24/2013
    We were very impressed with the variety of the menu which includes choices for both carnivores and vegetarians. Our party of three stopped for an early supper on the way back from the train station. We chose to share several Tapas items and all were excellent. We hope to return to sample other things from the extensive and varied menu.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food is excellent. Waitstaff
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 6/1/2013
    Food is excellent. Waitstaff not so much. They did there job bit obviously fake friendly.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Love the Appetizers at Cafe Paragon
    BobthebuilderVIP
    Dined on 4/5/2013
    Love the "Beat the Clock" appetizers such the Prime Rib Sliders nd the Hummus plate which has to be the best in RI.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • there for lunch. We both
    harley558
    Dined on 3/30/2013
    there for lunch. We both got salads with chicken. The salads were great, except for the chicken.. The chicken was dry and tasted like wood.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice variety of sides available
    BirgsVIP
    Dined on 3/9/2013
    Nice variety of sides available with sandwiches as well as entrees. Baked sweet potato served with yummy cinnamon butter - very nice!
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • One of the best spots on Thayer.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 2/23/2013
    One of the best spots on Thayer. I've been here several times, loved the food and drinks. Highly reccommend to friends.
    Special Features:
    late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • We all enjoyed our meals,
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 2/16/2013
    We all enjoyed our meals, although the filet looked small compared to the cauliflower potion on my daughters' plate. The waitress was great! She was attentive and friendly. The atmosphere vibrant and we enjoyed ourselves.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic