Providence, RI "must-eats"

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quijote
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2008/01/21 20:25:36 (permalink)

Providence, RI "must-eats"


Hi Everyone,

I'll be living in Providence for two months (Feb/Mar), and I look forward to some good culinary explorations.

A search on past threads has yielded names of some intriguing restaurants (Al Forno, NY System Hot Dogs, etc.), but the last such thread ended in 2005.

Can anyone provide some "must-try" places in Providence or environs, three years later?

Also, what are some "typical" RI foods I must try? I've read about coffee milk, and the clams from RI are legendary.... Anything else?

Many thanks for your feedback!

quijote
#1

23 Replies Related Threads

    Frankman
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    RE: Providence, RI "must-eats" 2008/01/21 20:33:51 (permalink)
    Try the restaurant search. There should more places there.
    #2
    Robearjr
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    RE: Providence, RI "must-eats" 2008/01/21 21:54:07 (permalink)
    I ordered some coffee syrup years ago after seeing the product on food network. This weekend I was up at my parents house, where they are cleaning out the kitchen, and I came across a bottle in their refrig.

    It really isn't that great. It is very sweet. I taste more like corn syrup than coffee. It reminds me of the taste of cracker jacks or poppycock.
    #3
    buffetbuster
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    RE: Providence, RI "must-eats" 2008/01/21 22:10:58 (permalink)
    quijote-
    Our expert on the Providence area and all of Rhode Island is wanderingjew. Hopefully, he will be posting again soon and chiming in on this thread. He will be able to give you lots of good advice.

    Meanwhile, besides the NY System hot dog places and the Italian food on Federal Hill there are two places I really recommend.

    Allie's Donuts are some of the best in the nation.
    http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Writeup.aspx?ReviewID=62&RefID=62

    and just across the Massachusetts line is an outstanding restaurant, Marguerite's, which is a great place to get Stuffies!
    http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Writeup.aspx?ReviewID=237&RefID=237

    I also love Gray's Ice Cream, but I believe they are seasonal and won't be open while you are living there.
    #4
    quijote
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    RE: Providence, RI "must-eats" 2008/01/21 22:28:11 (permalink)
    Sounds great! I don't expect coffee milk to knock my socks off, but I do want it to transport me back to a time and place that I never knew.... Buffetbuster, thanks for the tips. The only time I'll have a car is on the occasional weekend when I rent one, but I do hope at least to get to the donut shop. It's one of those nostalgia things that's hard to explain.... By the way, I read about your recent visit to Milwaukee; very impressive!!

    quijote
    quote:
    Originally posted by buffetbuster

    quijote-
    Our expert on the Providence area and all of Rhode Island is wanderingjew. Hopefully, he will be posting again soon and chiming in on this thread. He will be able to give you lots of good advice.

    Meanwhile, besides the NY System hot dog places and the Italian food on Federal Hill there are two places I really recommend.

    Allie's Donuts are some of the best in the nation.
    http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Writeup.aspx?ReviewID=62&RefID=62

    and just across the Massachusetts line is an outstanding restaurant, Marguerite's, which is a great place to get Stuffies!
    http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Writeup.aspx?ReviewID=237&RefID=237

    I also love Gray's Ice Cream, but I believe they are seasonal and won't be open while you are living there.
    #5
    Jimeats
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    RE: Providence, RI "must-eats" 2008/01/22 08:32:44 (permalink)
    A great city with many dineing options. Just to touch on a few, Federal Hill is a great area for Italian food and markets. Johnson and Wales has a food court where the students sell their products. One must is a food trailer that sets up by city hall every night Allen Bros?. Great, well good burgers but an institution in downtown Providence. Chow Jim
    #6
    acmalcolm
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    RE: Providence, RI "must-eats" 2008/01/22 16:44:34 (permalink)
    Lots of good Italian food on Federal Hill.On Atwells Ave. there is also a real good Chinese spot called Mu Mu Cuisine 220 Atwells Ave. (401) 369-7040. For an excellent Italian market with a great selection of prepared food try Venda Ravioli at 265 Atwells Ave. (401) 421-9105.Also on Federal Hill is a fine cafe,Pastiche 92 Spruce St.(DePasquale Sq.) (401) 861-5190.Enjoy
    #7
    essvee
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    RE: Providence, RI "must-eats" 2008/01/22 22:30:01 (permalink)
    Second the stuffies. I can't vouch for anything else at Marguerite's, but I've eaten dozens of their stuffies: the very best I've tasted. My buddy has a summer home in Westport, and we stop by and get them by the sack to heat up at home.

    And one can't go to Westport without stopping at Butler's Colonial Donuts. Some of the finest and most original donuts around. I love their apple-filled with vanilla icing the best, but they make a couple dozen kinds. I've never had the long johns because I'm only there in the summer.

    In Providence, Fellini's Pizza is pretty good. There is a coffee house that sells coffee by the pound across the street, really good coffee.
    Snail salad is something I dream about out here in CA. It's made from scungilli, I think.

    Al Forno is a must. One of the very best restaurants I've been to, and I have been fortunate enough to visit many top-notch restaurants like Chez Panisse and The French Laundry, to name a few. I'd rather go to Al Forno than either of those two places.
    #8
    Jimeats
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    RE: Providence, RI "must-eats" 2008/01/23 07:44:34 (permalink)
    How does a poster here have zero posts? Well welcome to Roadfood anyway.
    Scungilli is conck not snails, very tastey.
    Al Forno is outstanding, I think it's the home of the first grilled pizza.
    Chow Jim
    #9
    quijote
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    RE: Providence, RI "must-eats" 2008/01/23 16:09:34 (permalink)

    Lots of great ideas here--keep 'em coming!

    The stuffies really do sound quite delectable. Is that an item found on menus throughout the region, or is it scarce? It sounds like I'll have to squeeze in a trip to Westport while I'm in RI.

    Also, it seems like RI/Mass is the buckle of the Donut Belt. I'm not going to complain about that. :)
    #10
    agnesrob
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    RE: Providence, RI "must-eats" 2008/01/23 16:30:06 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Jimeats

    How does a poster here have zero posts? Well welcome to Roadfood anyway.
    Scungilli is conck not snails, very tastey.
    Al Forno is outstanding, I think it's the home of the first grilled pizza.
    Chow Jim

    I think essvee is not new but has somthing wrong with the counter on his account.
    #11
    brickie
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    RE: Providence, RI "must-eats" 2008/01/23 17:54:08 (permalink)
    Here's a couple from Hollyeats,
    http://www.hollyeats.com/WrightsFarmRestaurant.htm
    http://www.hollyeats.com/HavenBrosDiner.htm
    Have fun!
    #12
    Twinwillow
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    RE: Providence, RI "must-eats" 2008/01/23 18:17:37 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Jimeats

    How does a poster here have zero posts? Well welcome to Roadfood anyway.
    Scungilli is conck not snails, very tastey.
    Al Forno is outstanding, I think it's the home of the first grilled pizza.
    Chow Jim


    Jim, it's, Conch. Not conk. However, it's pronounced, "conk". And, I agree. It's great eating!
    #13
    ayersian
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    RE: Providence, RI "must-eats" 2008/01/23 18:56:43 (permalink)
    quijote, I defer to Wanderingjew -- who'll chime in anytime now -- for all things Rhode Island. We first met him on his RI tour back in September of last year, and he took us around to some fabulous area places:
    • Jigger's Diner
    • [url='http://www.georgesofgalilee.com/']George's of Galilee[/url]
    • [url='http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Overview.aspx?RefID=5006']Champlin's Seafood[/url]
    We love [url='http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Overview.aspx?RefID=90']Iggy's[/url] on Oakland Beach in Warwick; the [url='http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Overview.aspx?RefID=3981']NY System[/url] hot dog stand; [url='http://www.angelosonthehill.com/']Angelo's Civita Farnese[/url] on Federal Hill in Providence, and any other place that WJ suggests. He will not steer you wrong!

    Hey, and you'll only an hour away from our corner of CT...so drop us a line when you decide to visit! We're always up for a RF excursion! Chris
    #14
    JoeEats
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    RE: Providence, RI "must-eats" 2008/01/23 19:34:37 (permalink)
    All good suggestions here. The two best NY System places are in Olneyville (not a great neighborhood) and on Smith Street near Providence College. If you were here in the Summer, I'd recommend Evelyn's in Tiverton. Also:

    Breakfast:
    Nick's On Broadway (259 Broadway in Providence)
    Modern Diner (364 East Ave., Pawtucket)
    Classic Cafe (865 Westminster Street, Providence)

    Pizza
    Casserta's (Spruce Street on Federal Hill) uniquely Rhode Island, try a Whimpy Skippy
    Fellini's (foot of Wickenden Street, Providence) - Pricey, but good

    Lastly, you should make a trip to Venda Ravioli at DePasquale Square on Federal Hill. A great Italian market and cafe.
    #15
    JoeEats
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    RE: Providence, RI "must-eats" 2008/01/23 19:37:32 (permalink)
    Sorry for any I repeated. I should also mention that the busiest, but best time to hit Modern Diner is on Saturday and Sunday. They have some truly creative specials and the diner is a classic 1941 Streamliner: http://www.dinercity.com/riDiner/modernExtM.jpg
    #16
    tacchino
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    RE: Providence, RI "must-eats" 2008/01/24 00:01:25 (permalink)
    All Rhode Islanders know about Twin Oaks Restaurant in Cranston (close to Providence). It is straight out of a time warp, with the red leather banquettes, waiters in white shirts and black bow ties, old Italian American specialities like veal and chicken parmigiano, along with all the different kinds of seafood you would expect. Very reasonable prices.

    I had some of the best clam chowder ever in my life there, along with good stuffies, excellent onion rings, fish, etc.
    #17
    wanderingjew
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    RE: Providence, RI "must-eats" 2008/01/24 08:36:18 (permalink)
    Here is a list I comprised a few years back on a different thread
    titled "top 10 in your neck of the woods" some of these places are already listed- hope this helps.

    1- Frank and Johns, East Greenwich RI- Great little Italian Joint with old school Italian Dishes and Pizza
    2- Mike's Kitchen, Cranston, RI- Another Good Italian place located in an American Legion Hall (reviewed by the Sterns)
    3- The Big Cheese and Pub, Cranston RI- A greek owned Pizza Place with fantastic Eggplant Parm
    4- Ward's Publick House, Warwick, RI- A Traditional Irish pub, located in a building over 200 years old. Great Fish n Chips, Stuffies (Stuffed Clams) and burgers (the Erin Burger with Cheddar Cheese and Irish Bacon is the Bomb!)
    5- Champlins, Narragansett RI- a casual seafood joint right on the ocean. Everyone goes there for the fried seafood, I go there for the stuffed flounder and stuffies
    6- Aunt Carries, Narragansett RI- another quintissential seafood shack to get your clamcakes and chowder on the beach.
    7- Jiggers Diner, East Greenwich RI- The Best Jonnycakes on the Planet
    8- Modern Diner- Pawtucket, RI- Another great breakfast place. Ignore the menu and pay attention to the two dozen specials listed on the chalkboard as you wait on line.
    9- TA Restaurant- Fall River, MA- Great Portuguese with generous servings.
    10- Brickleys ice cream- Narragansett RI- The Best Ice Cream in Rhode Island

    I concurr with many of the places other posters have listed, the noted exception is Haven Brothers. If you must- go for the history, otherwise the food is extremely underwhelming

    Here are some other suggestions...however I won't mention any places that are seasonal

    1- Stadium Fish n Chips- Cranston- only open Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays (very close to Providence) Not only is the fish
    made to order, but the fries are fresh cut. The red chowder is also delicious

    2- Stanley's Burgers- Central Falls- Great Sliders in a not so great part of town (go during daytime hours)

    3- Stuffies Bar and Grill- North Providence- You don't have to go as far as Westport to find great Stuffies- they have 3 styles here - Seafood Stuffies, Regular Stuffies and "Fall River Style"

    4- Crows Nest- Warwick- Another reasonably priced sit down seafood restaurant- many senior citizens come here for their early bird specials

    5- Olneyville NY System- Providence & Cranston (two locations)- my favorite of the NY System shops

    6- Trinity Brew House- Go for the locally crafted brew- the Food is Secondary

    7- The Old Canteen and The Blue Grotto- Providence- 2 more fine Italian Restaurants on Federal Hill

    8- Andrea's-Providence- Decent Greek cuisine on the Eastside near Brown

    9- Parkside Rotisserie- Providence- close to downtown- Not Roadfood- but excellent food- As close to "Soho" as you're going to get in Providence

    10- Coffee Exchange- Providence- Across the Street from Fellini's- this is the Place Essvee was thinking of- the best Coffee in Rhode Island bar none

    11- Gregg's Restaurant- Local Chain (there's one on North Main St in Providence) the food is ok, however their pies and cakes are outstanding- my favorite is the Carrot Cake

    Places to avoid- Any Chinese or Asian Cuisine- for the most part- Rhode Islanders have no concept of what good Asian Cuisine is. I would be confident to say that there are probably less than a handful of exceptional Asian Restaurants in the entire State of Rhode Island.
    #18
    tacchino
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    RE: Providence, RI "must-eats" 2008/01/24 22:07:40 (permalink)
    WanderingJew:
    I agree about Gregg's cakes and pies...but my favorite is that delicious white cake with raspberry filling and vanilla frosting...I am not a lover of sweets in general, but I think I could eat an entire one of those cakes (which given the average size of Gregg's cake slices, IS pretty much an average size cake!).

    Gregg's made me think of one of Spumoni's, one of those other local Italian-American/seafood joints in Pawtucket (actually, it may be over the state line in Attleboro). The prices are great, and I have had some delicious seafood there. Have you ever been?
    #19
    Paulie
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    RE: Providence, RI "must-eats" 2008/01/25 09:34:53 (permalink)
    A don't miss is Angelo's Civita Farnese on Atwells Avenue on Federal Hill. Classic red-sauce Italian, excellent and dirt cheap. Andino's, next door, is a bit more upscale but in the same vein. It's hard to get a bad meal on the Hill, but these two, along with previously mentioned Venda Ravioli, are definitely Roadfood.

    Another Roadfoodish spot is Eddy & Son, an old lunch room on Weybosset Street downtown (or downcity, as they call it here for some reason). Weekdays only.

    For a wide variety of funkier choices, head for Wickenden and Thayer Streets on the East Side, near Brown.
    #20
    buffetbuster
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    RE: Providence, RI "must-eats" 2008/01/25 09:48:37 (permalink)
    I have very much enjoyed my meals at Angelo's Civita Farnese, but don't be surprised if they sit other customers at your table with you. I didn't mind at all, as I met some nice people, but I know that might bother some here.
    #21
    wanderingjew
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    RE: Providence, RI "must-eats" 2008/01/25 09:56:54 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by tacchino

    WanderingJew:
    I agree about Gregg's cakes and pies...but my favorite is that delicious white cake with raspberry filling and vanilla frosting...I am not a lover of sweets in general, but I think I could eat an entire one of those cakes (which given the average size of Gregg's cake slices, IS pretty much an average size cake!).

    Gregg's made me think of one of Spumoni's, one of those other local Italian-American/seafood joints in Pawtucket (actually, it may be over the state line in Attleboro). The prices are great, and I have had some delicious seafood there. Have you ever been?


    I've never been to Spumoni's, then again, I can probably count on one hand the number of restaurants I've been to in Attleboro and Pawtucket combined!
    #22
    Baah Ben
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    RE: Providence, RI "must-eats" 2008/01/26 17:58:45 (permalink)
    I've read so much about Al Forno..Supposed to be one the best Italian restaurants in the entire country.
    #23
    waltpiii
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    RE: Providence, RI "must-eats" 2008/01/27 10:18:01 (permalink)
    While we have never been to either Al Forno or Angelo's, Denise and I have always enjoyed our meals at Cassarino's. We go there annually on the Columbus Day weekend.

    Walt
    #24
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