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A city street with a mix of architectural styles, including the marquee of a theater reading “Providence”
Downtown Providence
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The 33 Essential Restaurants in Providence

From a historic landmark diner to a modern tea house, to the original grilled pizza, and a homecoming for Narragansett Brewery, here’s where to eat and drink in Providence

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Downtown Providence
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Rhode Islanders love bragging about the state’s great food scene, which punches well above its weight for the smallest state in the union. The “official state appetizer,” Rhode Island-style calamari, even stole the show during the virtual roll call at the 2020 Democratic National Convention.

The state’s capital city has a lot going for it culinarily: easy access to top-quality produce and seafood from nearby farms and waterways; a world-class culinary school in Johnson & Wales; and tons of quirky regional specialties like coffee milk, stuffies (stuffed clams), clam cakes, and Del’s Lemonade. Plus, rents on restaurant spaces tend to be cheaper than in nearby Boston, drawing talented chefs who want to venture into first-time ownership. Home to the Rhode Island School of Design and many working artists, Providence also has an indie, artsy feel to it, which has trickled into the ethos of many of its restaurants.

Update November, 2021:

Providence’s food scene was thriving before the pandemic wreaked havoc on restaurants, shutting down many kitchens for months in 2020 and others for good. In recent months, restaurateurs have had to deal with inflated prices for ingredients, staffing shortages, and supply chain disruptions. Despite the challenges, many owners have found ways to make it work by offering takeout (some for the first time) or setting up year-round outdoor tables on streets, sidewalks, and patios. Some businesses also now require a negative PCR test or proof of vaccination for indoor dining, so come prepared to dine.

Still, even a pandemic can’t suppress the city’s bubbling culinary energy and hometown pride, evident in every bite at Providence’s 33 best restaurants.

Note: The inclusion of restaurants offering dine-in service should not be taken as an endorsement for dining inside. Studies indicate a lower exposure risk to COVID-19 outdoors, but the level of risk is contingent on social distancing and other safety guidelines. Check with each restaurant for up-to-date information on dining offerings. For updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit the Rhode Island Department of Health.

Jenna Pelletier is a Rhode Island-based writer and editor. A former food editor at Boston Magazine and a staff writer at the Providence Journal, Pelletier has also contributed to The Boston Globe, Food & Wine, and Time Out New York.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Olneyville New York System Restaurant

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18 Plainfield St
Providence, RI 02909
(401) 621-9500
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This spot serves the quintessential Rhode Island treat known as the hot wiener (also known as a “New York system” for its Coney Island origins). Order one “all the way” and you’ll get a pork and veal hot dog enveloped in a steamed bun and slathered with meat sauce, mustard, and onions, plus a sprinkle of celery salt. Pair your wieners with a coffee milk for the ultimate savory-sweet combo. Operated by the Stevens family for 75 years, Olneyville New York System has received a James Beard America’s Classics Award and many local accolades. Often busy after the bars close, the restaurant is open until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 2 a.m. every other day of the week.

2. Troop PVD

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60 Valley St
Providence, RI 02909
(401) 473-2900
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If you could turn a block party into a restaurant, you’d end up with Troop. Inspired by hip-hop culture, skateboarding, and street food from around the world, this colorful, graffitied restaurant is run by a group of partners, including chef Jason Timothy and Revival Brewing owner Sean Larkin (whose beers are on tap). The food menu features several vegan options, such as spicy-sweet wok-charred cauliflower and a fried tofu banh mi. For carnivores, there’s an oversized cheeseburger and fall-off-the-bone jerk chicken. Drinks include the tequila-based BLM Cocktail, with $4 from each sale benefiting a local nonprofit dedicated to diversity and inclusion.

A light-filled restaurant interior with industrial style chandeliers with exposed bulbs, a bar with leather swivel seats, leather booths, a mural on one wall and colorful decorations throughout
Inside Troop
Troop PVD

3. Los Andes

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903 Chalkstone Ave
Providence, RI 02908
(401) 649-4911
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Los Andes serves Peruvian and Bolivian cuisine in a lively setting filled with plants and the thrum of live acoustic guitar. Perpetually packed, it’s co-owned by brothers Omar Curi and executive chef Cesin Curi. Crowd favorites include the ceviche clasico, lomo saltado, and lobster paella. Bartenders craft well-made pisco sours and caipirinhas to wash it all down.

A restaurant interior, with a large stone face for decoration, a fish tank, and pendant lights, above empty tables
Inside Los Andes
Los Andes

4. Nicks on Broadway

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500 Broadway
Providence, RI 02909
(401) 421-0286
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Don’t let the name Nick confuse you; chef-owner Derek Wagner is at the helm here. Almost 20 years ago, fresh out of Johnson & Wales culinary school, then 24-year-old Wagner bought the diner from its longtime owner. He kept the name but freshened up the kitchen with a modern menu and local sourcing. It’s been one of the busiest restaurants in the city ever since, so expect to wait for a table or make a reservation, especially for weekend brunch. Nab a counter seat to get a front-row view into the open kitchen where you can watch Wagner and his crew crank out everything from eggs Benedict to house-made chicken pate to cornmeal-fried Rhode Island scup. Pair your order with a side of crazy-good grilled bread.

Single-serving rolls of babka on a grate over a baking sheet
Chocolate babka for brunch
Nicks on Broadway / Facebook

5. The Industrious Spirit Company

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1 Sims Ave #103
Providence, RI 02909
(401) 414-7901
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Come for the drinks, stay for the terrific food pop-ups. The owners of this distillery — Providence’s first since Prohibition — in the booming Valley neighborhood make gin, vodka, and bourbon on-site. They currently serve their spirits fashioned into cocktails on a spacious, open-air patio outside the distillery. On weekends, pair them with food from rotating pop-ups such as Bintimani West African Kitchen and the Afro-Indigenous Vegan.

An outdoor patio, as seen through a chainlink fence, beneath an industrial awning, with trees lit by colored lights and patrons gathered at tables
The patio beneath string lights
The Industrious Spirit Company

6. Venda Ravioli

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275 Atwells Ave
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 421-9105
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Run by Alan Costantino since the 1970s, this Italian food emporium is an ideal place to kick off a jaunt through famed Federal Hill, Providence’s historically Italian enclave. Like a smaller, mom-and-pop version of Eataly, Venda is filled to the brim with gastronomic delights, including hunks of Parmigiano-Reggiano and aged Asiago, fresh and frozen pasta (try the popular lobster ravioli), and pantry staples. If the weather’s nice, order an Aperol spritz and margherita pizza from the restaurant arm of the business, Costantino’s, to enjoy by the fountain on Venda’s outdoor patio in DePasquale Square.

A full margherita pizza, with large globs of cheese, on a steel platter
Margherita pizza at Costantino’s
Costantino’s

7. Big King

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3 Luongo Square
Providence, RI 02903

When his first restaurant, North, outgrew its original location and moved downtown, chef-owner James Mark held onto the space and created something special in its place. Named for the chef’s grandmother, Big King offers an ever-changing six-course set menu — which Mark personally handwrites every day — that incorporates produce, fish, shellfish, and poultry from, as the chef describes it, “people we know.” Many of the dishes draw upon Japanese techniques or ingredients, including excellent tempura and nigiri, and you can opt for sake pairings.

Fried chicken thighs on a ceramic plate with garnishes
Chicken thigh with scallion and fermented shishito
Christopher Almeida

8. Knead Doughnuts

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55 Cromwell St
Providence, RI 02907
(401) 865-6622
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Fried dough is at its finest at Knead Doughnuts, where bakers transform butter, sugar, and flour into glorious old-fashioned, brioche-style, and cake doughnuts. Since opening in 2016, the business has been steadily growing by delivering its artisan sweets to many coffee shops around the state. Pair an airy vanilla-glazed brioche or a dense chocolate chip old-fashioned with a Bolt Coffee nitro cold brew (Bolt co-owners Todd Mackey and Brian Gibb are part-owners of Knead). While the Elmgrove Avenue outpost has a neighborhood coffee shop feel, stop by the West End’s Cromwell Street location on the weekend to get a peek at the production space.

Doughnuts in various flavors, glazes, and toppings on a baking sheet
Vegan doughnuts in vanilla, piña colada, and blueberry brioch and chocolate cake
Knead Doughnuts / Facebook

9. Tricycle Ice Cream

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70 Battey St
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 741-3549
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Tricycle Ice Cream transforms childhood treats like Push-Up pops, dipped cones, and Choco Tacos into gourmet desserts. Co-owners David Cass and Gio Salvador started their business as a three-wheeled vending cart selling gourmet ice cream sandwiches in flavors like Callebaut chocolate ice cream on salty pretzel cookies and Thai tea ice cream on toasted coconut cookies. After a few years, they expanded their sweet vision into a storefront in 2019, giving Salvador a chance to mastermind even more creative combinations.

A hand holds a waffle cone taco shell filled with ice cream and topped with fruity pebbles
Caramelized Fruity Pebbles Choco Taco
Tricycle Ice Cream

10. Bayberry Beer Hall

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381 W Fountain St
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 383-9487
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A New England interpretation of a German biergarten in a sleek, plant-filled space, Bayberry offers 14 tap lines that continuously rotate between top-quality craft producers including Rhode Island microbrewery Tilted Barn, Connecticut’s Fox Farm Brewery, and Virginia’s Triple Crossing Brewing. Owners Tom and Natalie Dennen also offer a selection of about 50 canned beers, plus an eclectic food menu with options like barbecue pork belly, burgers, and mapo tofu.

A beer hall interior, with a large green wall, kitchen visible in the back, light filled bar, concrete walls, and large picnic tables
Inside Bayberry Beer Hall
Bayberry Beer Hall

11. Gracie's

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194 Washington St
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 272-7811
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Since Ellen Gracyalny opened Gracie’s in 1998, her romantic and refined restaurant has been one of Providence’s top spots for a special-occasion meal. Try executive chef Matthew Varga’s five- or seven-course tasting menus, which often include produce grown in the restaurant’s rooftop garden. Pastry chef Leanna Greene, a recent Johnson & Wales graduate, shows off skills beyond her years in desserts such as goat cheesecake with pistachio, rhubarb, and brown sugar ice cream.

A bowl of fruit and various baked items in bright colors
A colorful dessert at Gracie’s
Gracie’s / Facebook

12. Kin Southern Table + Bar

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71 Washington St
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 537-7470
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After getting laid off during the pandemic, Julia Broome took a leap of faith in early 2021 by opening her first restaurant. Providence doesn’t have too much Southern cuisine, but Broome has been garnering rave reviews for her dense biscuits, delicate fried catfish, and deeply flavorful collard greens with smoked turkey. Be sure to check out the “dranks” menu, which includes options like the Black Girl Magic with peach vodka and lemonade, and the Pass the...Henny! *Busta Rhymes Voice, with sweet tea and orange liqueur.

Various dishes displayed on a wooden tabletop
Wings, mac and cheese, candied sweet potatoes, and collard greens
Kin / Facebook

13. Johnny's Chimi's Place

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986 Broad St # 2
Providence, RI 02905
(401) 270-9431
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South Providence’s popular Dominican chimi trucks were on the road long before food trucks had their own TV shows. The trucks specialize in chimi (short for chimichurri): Dominican beef, pork, or chicken burgers slathered with sauce and served on crusty Caribbean pan de agua. Johnny’s Chimi Place, opened by Ramon Morales in 1993, serves a version that stands out among competing sandos.

14. Fortnight Wine Bar

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187 Mathewson St
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 572-3355
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Head to this co-op wine bar for small-batch, conscientiously crafted wines by the bottle and glass. You’ll find spontaneously fermented assyrtiko from Santorini, La Garagista’s Grace & Favour sparkling wine made in Vermont with the hybrid La Crescent grape, and other fun options. Fortnight also offers an adventurous craft beer selection, as well as chef Nikhil Naiker’s food waste-conscious snacks menu (think cabbage and potato pakoras).

15. Oberlin

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186 Union St
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 588-8755
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Chef-owner Benjamin Sukle made a name for himself at his first restaurant, Birch, where he served thoughtful, labor-intensive, New England-by-way-of-Noma dishes. That restaurant closed during the pandemic, but the chef is still at work with Rhode Island seafood and produce at his more casual second restaurant, Oberlin. The menu centers around hand-crafted pastas and just-caught local fish, such as fluke and scup. They’re sliced raw and garnished minimally with a sprinkle of salt and a drizzle of olive oil, or served whole, grilled or roasted. Sukle’s dishes are designed for sharing, so you’ll want to round out your order with a veg (try the Tokyo turnip Caesar) and a seasonal pasta, like summertime’s lumache with sweet corn, lonza, shishitos, and mint. 

A chef grates cheese onto a finished dish of pasta on a wooden kitchen counter
Topping off with some fresh cheese
Oberlin

16. New Rivers

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7 Steeple St
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 751-0350
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A pioneer in the local farm-to-table movement since 1990, this romantic bistro located in a historic warehouse has stood the test of time. Current chef-owner Beau Vestal learned the ropes from its first proprietor, chef Bruce Tillinghast, before taking over the restaurant with his wife, Elizabeth, in 2012. The house-made charcuterie, Vermont cheddar-topped burger, and lemon tart are longtime favorites, and the intimate setting offers a cozy backdrop for date night.

Strips of thinly sliced meat topped with sauce and herb garnish
House-made charcuterie
New Rivers

17. Dune Brothers Seafood

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239 Dyer St
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 480-1269
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Imagine a classic seafood shack by the beach, update it, and bring it to the city. That’s essentially what chefs Jason Hegedus and Nicholas Gillespie did a few years ago when they opened Dune Brothers, currently operating as a long-term pop-up out of an adorable red shack on wheels. Their takeout menu is built around traceable local seafood and includes indulgent options like buttery New England clam chowder with deep-fried clam cakes, two types of fish sandwiches, and both lobster and crab rolls. There’s outdoor seating, or you can take your briny bounty to go.

A stack of large fried fish on wax paper on a plastic tray, beside a paper cup of slaw and a small container of dipping sauce, all on a wood bench in front of wild flowers
Beautifully battered fried fish
Dune Brothers Seafood

18. Plant City

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334 S Water St
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 429-2029
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Created by globetrotting California-based chef Matthew Kenney in collaboration with local owner Kim Anderson, this vegan village packs four restaurant concepts, plus a cafe and a market section, under one roof. At Mexican-themed Besina, choose between jackfruit pastor tacos or nachos slathered with cashew crema and vegan queso, or try Kenney’s signature raw lasagna paired with a truffle pizza at Double Zero. The buzzy spot is filled with other treats, including plant-based burgers, vegan macarons, and nitro cold brew made by a local favorite, the Nitro Cart.

Layers of tomato, cucumber, sprouts, and cheese in a pool of sauce in a white bowl
A tower of veggies
Plant City

19. The Hot Club

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25 Bridge St
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 861-9007
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Hot Club is a no-frills bar and a Rhode Island institution. Overlooking the Providence River from the boiler room of a former steam engine factory (hence the name), the bar has been offering good times to locals from all walks of life since the early 1980s. Outdoor movies on the sprawling deck, karaoke, and trivia nights cement it as an excellent hangout spot. It even made a cameo in There’s Something About Mary.

An outdoor patio where customers sit and stand while drinking and eating, with a neon sign for the restaurant in the background
The patio at The Hot Club
The Hot Club / Facebook

20. Al Forno Restaurant

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577 S Water St
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 273-9760
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Perhaps no Rhode Island restaurant is as beloved as Al Forno, opened by chef Johanne Killeen and her late husband chef George Germon in 1980. From the menu to the decor, it’s a study in rustic Italian elegance. You can’t go wrong with the grilled pizza, which the couple is widely credited with inventing (it helped earn them a James Beard Award in 1993), though the bubbly baked pasta with tomato, cream, and five cheeses is also worth an order. For something sweet try the made-to-order fruit tarts. Since the pandemic, takeout and reservations for parties under six people have become available.

21. Ceremony Cafe & Market

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406 Brook St
Providence, RI 02906

Michelle Cheng, who grew up in China before moving to Rhode Island at age 13, got her start in beverages by selling ethically sourced high-quality teas from China, Taiwan, and Japan through her wholesale business, Leafy Green. In 2019, she expanded her business into Ceremony, a modern tea house where you can book a tea ceremony to taste through the oolongs and senchas on offer, or pop by to pick up a hand-whisked strawberry matcha latte to go. The cafe recently added alcohol, including natural wine, sake, and makgeolli.

From above, a hand holds a plastic cup with a bright pink drink, garnished with a large floating ice cube in the shape of a teddy bear
Strawberry tea drink with teddy bear ice
Ceremony Cafe & Market / Facebook

22. Dolores

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100 Hope St
Providence, RI 02906
(401) 409-2075
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Chef Maria Meza arrived in the U.S. in 1992 with a dream to open a restaurant. Almost 30 years later, she runs two successful eateries in Providence with her son Joaquin. While their first restaurant, El Rancho Grande, is small and casual, Dolores is like a sophisticated younger sister. Here, the Mezas cook meals inspired by Maria’s childhood in Oaxaca and Puebla: complex, long-simmered moles; hand-ground heirloom corn tortillas folded into pockets and filled with cheese to make tetelas; and an array of tamales that are also available frozen to take home. Joaquin runs the bar, which is stocked with Oaxacan mezcal and other regional spirits.

From above, a bowl of mole with pieces of charred pineapple, plantains, and sprouts rising from the surface of the stew
Manchamanteles mole
Dolores

23. Persimmon

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99 Hope St
Providence, RI 02906
(401) 432-7422
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Fancy without being fussy, chef Champe Speidel’s new American bistro stands out among the area’s many chef-driven restaurants. Speidel, who owns and operates the space with his wife, Lisa, focuses on shareable dishes made with locally sourced ingredients, including standout pastas such as chestnut agnolotti and seafood dishes like pan-seared local scallops with apple. The drinks are also top-notch; ask sommelier Steffen Rasch to recommend the perfect pour, or try one of bar manager Kevin O’Connor’s exemplary zero-proof creations.

A bowl of fish, shellfish, and vegetables in a light broth
Rhode Island sea robin, clams, mussels, potato, tomato and saffron in sea broth
Persimmon / Facebook

24. Little Sister

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737 Hope St
Providence, RI 02906
(401) 642-9464
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Little Sister owner Milena Pagán first won over Rhode Islanders’ stomachs with her artisan bagel shop Rebelle. Her second venture, Little Sister, is primarily a daytime cafe, offering flavor-packed lunch options and expertly made baked goods. The menu is inspired by the flavors of Latin America and Puerto Rico, where she grew up. Favorites include chicken empanadas, Cubano sandwiches, and dulce de leche cake. Decorated with tropical flair and plenty of plants, the inviting cafe offers the perfect place to escape, especially during long New England winters.

A hand holds a sandwich in front of a white ceramic plate on a blue table. The sandwich is made of sugar dusted sweet bun sliced in half and filled with rolls of ham and melted cheese
Ham and melted Swiss on Mallorca sweet bread
Little Sister

25. Pizza Marvin

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468 Wickenden St
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 262-3336
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Bartender Jesse Hedberg has put together many of the state’s top-rated cocktail programs over the last decade. Naturally his latest project, the retro-styled Pizza Marvin — operated with co-owner and chef Robert Andreozzi — serves drinks that you won’t find anywhere else in town. You can enjoy his takeout-friendly bottled pizza Negroni with one of Andreozzi’s charred New Haven-inspired pizzas and sides such as a salad of coppa and cantaloupe. For a taste of true luxury, pair an order of raw littlenecks, which are abundant in local waters, with a bottle of premier cru Champagne.

A slice of pizza topped with peppers and pepperoni on a paper plate beside a beer in a branded Pizza Marvin koozie, a bottle of Modelo, a basket of curly fries, and shaker of parmesan on a checkerboard tablecloth
Pizza, drinks, and curly fries at Pizza Marvin
Pizza Marvin

26. Chez Pascal & The Wurst Kitchen

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960 Hope St
Providence, RI 02906
(401) 421-4422
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Chef Matthew and Kristin Gennuso have helmed this charming neighborhood gem since 2003. It’s one part French bistro and one part German sausage shop, so you’ll be satisfied whether you’re in the mood for duck confit and escargots, or a house-made hot dog.

Savory tarts, with large mounds of red onion rising  from the dough, in ramekins on a metal work surface
Braised onion, blue cheese, thyme, and honey tarts
Chez Pascal & The Wurst Kitchen / Facebook

27. Avenue N Providence

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959 Hope St
Providence, RI 02906
(401) 270-3895
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Often seen cooking on local morning TV on The Rhode Show, chef Nick Rabar exudes so much love for Rhode Island cuisine that you’d never guess he actually grew up in New York. After spending years working in kitchens in Providence, Rabar opened his own restaurant, Avenue N, with his wife Tracy in East Providence about a decade ago. Like the original, this new Providence outpost brings fine dining flair to a generally approachable, something-for-everyone menu. Go casual with a steak and mushroom pizza or high-end with delicately fried local Walrus and Carpenter oysters dabbed with horseradish-mustard sauce. Also look for Rabar’s version of stuffies.

A server holds a metal tray lined with parchment paper, topped with a stack of glazed chicken garnished with sesame seeds and strips of green onion, alongside small cups of kimchi and aioli
Honey gochujang chicken wings
Avenue N Providence / Facebook

28. Tallulah's Taqueria

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146 Ives St
Providence, RI 02906
(401) 272-8226
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When he first arrived in the Ocean State, chef Jake Rojas ran a highly regarded farm-to-table restaurant in Newport with his wife, Kelly Ann. More recently, the Texas native has been using his cooking skills at his always-busy taquerias. Rojas’s quick-service mix-and-match menu invites you to choose from an assortment of fillings (chipotle-braised potatoes, al pastor, carne asada, lengua), toppings, and formats (tacos, burritos, tortas, bowls). No matter what you pick, it comes out of the kitchen fast and flavorful. Pair anything with a house mezcal margarita, and in warmer months eat on the restaurant’s string light-lined outdoor patio.

29. Aleppo Sweets

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107 Ives St
Providence, RI 02906
(401) 533-9019
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Youssef Akhtarini learned to bake as a teenager growing up in Aleppo, Syria. After fleeing the war-torn city and moving to Providence, Akhtarini opened Aleppo Sweets in 2019 with help from his wife, Reem. At this bakery-cafe you’ll find nearly a dozen different varieties of light and crunchy Syrian-style baklava, from a version with whole pistachios wrapped in purses of phyllo dough to one that is rolled ladyfinger-style with crushed nuts. Don’t overlook the savory side of the menu, which includes meze like smoky baba ghanoush and za’atar-dusted labneh, chicken and lamb kebabs, and red lentil soup. The cafe employs several other Syrian refugees who have made new homes in Providence.

A stack of pieces of baklava on a decorative glass plate, beside an ornate glass mug of tea and a copper teapot
Baklava at Aleppo Sweets
Aleppo Sweets

30. PVDonuts

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79 Ives St
Providence, RI 02906

“Treat yo’ self” is the mantra at PVDonuts, and it’s the perfect excuse for indulging in one — or more — of the gourmet doughnut shop’s over-the-top creations. Co-owned by Lori Kettelle, a Johnson & Wales-trained baker, and Paul Kettelle, the shop offers a 25-item menu that changes every month. You’ll find jumbo-sized brioche, vegan, and flourless varieties, in nostalgic flavors including cosmic brownie, samoas, and Dunkaroos. Also look for seasonal specials, including a savory Friendsgiving doughnut topped with fried chicken. 

From above, an assortment of doughnuts with different toppings on a marble countertop
An array of doughnuts
PVDonuts

31. Rasoi

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727 East Ave
Pawtucket, RI 02860
(401) 728-5500
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Just a few steps over the Providence line, in a strip mall in Pawtucket, you’ll find some of Rhode Island’s best Indian food. Run by chef Sanjiv and his wife Vandana Dhar, who also own three other restaurants in the state, Rasoi offers expertly made classics like samosas, tandoori chicken, lamb vindaloo, and naan right out of tandoor. There are plenty of vegetarian options, including the restaurant’s must-order “cauliflower 65” appetizer, aka Gobi 65, a South Indian bar snack of fried florets with a spicy sauce.

A metal dish of saag paneer in a tray beside a pile of rice
Saag paneer
Rasoi

32. Narragansett Brewery

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271 Tockwotton St
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 437-8970
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Long before Rhode Island’s flourishing brewing scene, there was Narragansett Beer. For about a hundred years, starting in 1890, the brand’s iconic lager was made in the Providence area until nonlocal corporate ownership moved operations. It was a big deal when, after decades in exile and about 15 years of planning, current owner Mark Hellendrug returned the beer to its birthplace in 2021 with a shiny new brewery. The brand’s first female head brewer, Lee Lord, now makes a wide range of styles, including fruited sours and juicy IPAs.

An industrial style bar interior with patrons seated around a central bar with many taps, metal ceiling and lights, and an illustrated sign reading “Narragansett Fresh Catch” with an image of a lobster
Inside the bar at Narragansett Brewery
Narragansett Brewery

33. Modern Diner

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364 East Ave
Pawtucket, RI 02860
(401) 726-8390
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“Modern” is in the name, but this diner serves up pure nostalgia. Take a seat at the counter or a booth, soak up the old-timey atmosphere, and order up some custard French toast, a Western omelet, or one of the more than 20 specials offered each day. Rhode Islanders love diners because they are said to have invented them; the restaurant genre can be traced back to Walter Scott, who sold sandwiches out of a horse-drawn covered wagon outside of the Providence Journal offices in the 1870s. Modern Diner is equally noteworthy: the Sterling Streamliner-style building, first manufactured in the ’30s, was the first diner listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

A Streamliner-style diner restaurant, with a sign bearing its name
Outside the classic Modern Diner
Modern Diner

1. Olneyville New York System Restaurant

18 Plainfield St, Providence, RI 02909

This spot serves the quintessential Rhode Island treat known as the hot wiener (also known as a “New York system” for its Coney Island origins). Order one “all the way” and you’ll get a pork and veal hot dog enveloped in a steamed bun and slathered with meat sauce, mustard, and onions, plus a sprinkle of celery salt. Pair your wieners with a coffee milk for the ultimate savory-sweet combo. Operated by the Stevens family for 75 years, Olneyville New York System has received a James Beard America’s Classics Award and many local accolades. Often busy after the bars close, the restaurant is open until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 2 a.m. every other day of the week.

18 Plainfield St
Providence, RI 02909

2. Troop PVD

60 Valley St, Providence, RI 02909
A light-filled restaurant interior with industrial style chandeliers with exposed bulbs, a bar with leather swivel seats, leather booths, a mural on one wall and colorful decorations throughout
Inside Troop
Troop PVD

If you could turn a block party into a restaurant, you’d end up with Troop. Inspired by hip-hop culture, skateboarding, and street food from around the world, this colorful, graffitied restaurant is run by a group of partners, including chef Jason Timothy and Revival Brewing owner Sean Larkin (whose beers are on tap). The food menu features several vegan options, such as spicy-sweet wok-charred cauliflower and a fried tofu banh mi. For carnivores, there’s an oversized cheeseburger and fall-off-the-bone jerk chicken. Drinks include the tequila-based BLM Cocktail, with $4 from each sale benefiting a local nonprofit dedicated to diversity and inclusion.

60 Valley St
Providence, RI 02909

3. Los Andes

903 Chalkstone Ave, Providence, RI 02908
A restaurant interior, with a large stone face for decoration, a fish tank, and pendant lights, above empty tables
Inside Los Andes
Los Andes

Los Andes serves Peruvian and Bolivian cuisine in a lively setting filled with plants and the thrum of live acoustic guitar. Perpetually packed, it’s co-owned by brothers Omar Curi and executive chef Cesin Curi. Crowd favorites include the ceviche clasico, lomo saltado, and lobster paella. Bartenders craft well-made pisco sours and caipirinhas to wash it all down.

903 Chalkstone Ave
Providence, RI 02908

4. Nicks on Broadway

500 Broadway, Providence, RI 02909
Single-serving rolls of babka on a grate over a baking sheet
Chocolate babka for brunch
Nicks on Broadway / Facebook

Don’t let the name Nick confuse you; chef-owner Derek Wagner is at the helm here. Almost 20 years ago, fresh out of Johnson & Wales culinary school, then 24-year-old Wagner bought the diner from its longtime owner. He kept the name but freshened up the kitchen with a modern menu and local sourcing. It’s been one of the busiest restaurants in the city ever since, so expect to wait for a table or make a reservation, especially for weekend brunch. Nab a counter seat to get a front-row view into the open kitchen where you can watch Wagner and his crew crank out everything from eggs Benedict to house-made chicken pate to cornmeal-fried Rhode Island scup. Pair your order with a side of crazy-good grilled bread.

500 Broadway
Providence, RI 02909

5. The Industrious Spirit Company

1 Sims Ave #103, Providence, RI 02909
An outdoor patio, as seen through a chainlink fence, beneath an industrial awning, with trees lit by colored lights and patrons gathered at tables
The patio beneath string lights
The Industrious Spirit Company

Come for the drinks, stay for the terrific food pop-ups. The owners of this distillery — Providence’s first since Prohibition — in the booming Valley neighborhood make gin, vodka, and bourbon on-site. They currently serve their spirits fashioned into cocktails on a spacious, open-air patio outside the distillery. On weekends, pair them with food from rotating pop-ups such as Bintimani West African Kitchen and the Afro-Indigenous Vegan.

1 Sims Ave #103
Providence, RI 02909

6. Venda Ravioli

275 Atwells Ave, Providence, RI 02903
A full margherita pizza, with large globs of cheese, on a steel platter
Margherita pizza at Costantino’s
Costantino’s

Run by Alan Costantino since the 1970s, this Italian food emporium is an ideal place to kick off a jaunt through famed Federal Hill, Providence’s historically Italian enclave. Like a smaller, mom-and-pop version of Eataly, Venda is filled to the brim with gastronomic delights, including hunks of Parmigiano-Reggiano and aged Asiago, fresh and frozen pasta (try the popular lobster ravioli), and pantry staples. If the weather’s nice, order an Aperol spritz and margherita pizza from the restaurant arm of the business, Costantino’s, to enjoy by the fountain on Venda’s outdoor patio in DePasquale Square.

275 Atwells Ave
Providence, RI 02903

7. Big King

3 Luongo Square, Providence, RI 02903
Fried chicken thighs on a ceramic plate with garnishes
Chicken thigh with scallion and fermented shishito
Christopher Almeida

When his first restaurant, North, outgrew its original location and moved downtown, chef-owner James Mark held onto the space and created something special in its place. Named for the chef’s grandmother, Big King offers an ever-changing six-course set menu — which Mark personally handwrites every day — that incorporates produce, fish, shellfish, and poultry from, as the chef describes it, “people we know.” Many of the dishes draw upon Japanese techniques or ingredients, including excellent tempura and nigiri, and you can opt for sake pairings.

3 Luongo Square
Providence, RI 02903

8. Knead Doughnuts

55 Cromwell St, Providence, RI 02907
Doughnuts in various flavors, glazes, and toppings on a baking sheet
Vegan doughnuts in vanilla, piña colada, and blueberry brioch and chocolate cake
Knead Doughnuts / Facebook

Fried dough is at its finest at Knead Doughnuts, where bakers transform butter, sugar, and flour into glorious old-fashioned, brioche-style, and cake doughnuts. Since opening in 2016, the business has been steadily growing by delivering its artisan sweets to many coffee shops around the state. Pair an airy vanilla-glazed brioche or a dense chocolate chip old-fashioned with a Bolt Coffee nitro cold brew (Bolt co-owners Todd Mackey and Brian Gibb are part-owners of Knead). While the Elmgrove Avenue outpost has a neighborhood coffee shop feel, stop by the West End’s Cromwell Street location on the weekend to get a peek at the production space.

55 Cromwell St
Providence, RI 02907

9. Tricycle Ice Cream

70 Battey St, Providence, RI 02903
A hand holds a waffle cone taco shell filled with ice cream and topped with fruity pebbles
Caramelized Fruity Pebbles Choco Taco
Tricycle Ice Cream

Tricycle Ice Cream transforms childhood treats like Push-Up pops, dipped cones, and Choco Tacos into gourmet desserts. Co-owners David Cass and Gio Salvador started their business as a three-wheeled vending cart selling gourmet ice cream sandwiches in flavors like Callebaut chocolate ice cream on salty pretzel cookies and Thai tea ice cream on toasted coconut cookies. After a few years, they expanded their sweet vision into a storefront in 2019, giving Salvador a chance to mastermind even more creative combinations.

70 Battey St
Providence, RI 02903

10. Bayberry Beer Hall

381 W Fountain St, Providence, RI 02903
A beer hall interior, with a large green wall, kitchen visible in the back, light filled bar, concrete walls, and large picnic tables
Inside Bayberry Beer Hall
Bayberry Beer Hall

A New England interpretation of a German biergarten in a sleek, plant-filled space, Bayberry offers 14 tap lines that continuously rotate between top-quality craft producers including Rhode Island microbrewery Tilted Barn, Connecticut’s Fox Farm Brewery, and Virginia’s Triple Crossing Brewing. Owners Tom and Natalie Dennen also offer a selection of about 50 canned beers, plus an eclectic food menu with options like barbecue pork belly, burgers, and mapo tofu.

381 W Fountain St
Providence, RI 02903

11. Gracie's

194 Washington St, Providence, RI 02903
A bowl of fruit and various baked items in bright colors
A colorful dessert at Gracie’s
Gracie’s / Facebook

Since Ellen Gracyalny opened Gracie’s in 1998, her romantic and refined restaurant has been one of Providence’s top spots for a special-occasion meal. Try executive chef Matthew Varga’s five- or seven-course tasting menus, which often include produce grown in the restaurant’s rooftop garden. Pastry chef Leanna Greene, a recent Johnson & Wales graduate, shows off skills beyond her years in desserts such as goat cheesecake with pistachio, rhubarb, and brown sugar ice cream.

194 Washington St
Providence, RI 02903

12. Kin Southern Table + Bar

71 Washington St, Providence, RI 02903
Various dishes displayed on a wooden tabletop
Wings, mac and cheese, candied sweet potatoes, and collard greens
Kin / Facebook

After getting laid off during the pandemic, Julia Broome took a leap of faith in early 2021 by opening her first restaurant. Providence doesn’t have too much Southern cuisine, but Broome has been garnering rave reviews for her dense biscuits, delicate fried catfish, and deeply flavorful collard greens with smoked turkey. Be sure to check out the “dranks” menu, which includes options like the Black Girl Magic with peach vodka and lemonade, and the Pass the...Henny! *Busta Rhymes Voice, with sweet tea and orange liqueur.

71 Washington St
Providence, RI 02903

13. Johnny's Chimi's Place

986 Broad St # 2, Providence, RI 02905

South Providence’s popular Dominican chimi trucks were on the road long before food trucks had their own TV shows. The trucks specialize in chimi (short for chimichurri): Dominican beef, pork, or chicken burgers slathered with sauce and served on crusty Caribbean pan de agua. Johnny’s Chimi Place, opened by Ramon Morales in 1993, serves a version that stands out among competing sandos.

986 Broad St # 2
Providence, RI 02905

14. Fortnight Wine Bar

187 Mathewson St, Providence, RI 02903

Head to this co-op wine bar for small-batch, conscientiously crafted wines by the bottle and glass. You’ll find spontaneously fermented assyrtiko from Santorini, La Garagista’s Grace & Favour sparkling wine made in Vermont with the hybrid La Crescent grape, and other fun options. Fortnight also offers an adventurous craft beer selection, as well as chef Nikhil Naiker’s food waste-conscious snacks menu (think cabbage and potato pakoras).

187 Mathewson St
Providence, RI 02903

15. Oberlin

186 Union St, Providence, RI 02903
A chef grates cheese onto a finished dish of pasta on a wooden kitchen counter
Topping off with some fresh cheese
Oberlin

Chef-owner Benjamin Sukle made a name for himself at his first restaurant, Birch, where he served thoughtful, labor-intensive, New England-by-way-of-Noma dishes. That restaurant closed during the pandemic, but the chef is still at work with Rhode Island seafood and produce at his more casual second restaurant, Oberlin. The menu centers around hand-crafted pastas and just-caught local fish, such as fluke and scup. They’re sliced raw and garnished minimally with a sprinkle of salt and a drizzle of olive oil, or served whole, grilled or roasted. Sukle’s dishes are designed for sharing, so you’ll want to round out your order with a veg (try the Tokyo turnip Caesar) and a seasonal pasta, like summertime’s lumache with sweet corn, lonza, shishitos, and mint. 

186 Union St
Providence, RI 02903

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16. New Rivers

7 Steeple St, Providence, RI 02903
Strips of thinly sliced meat topped with sauce and herb garnish
House-made charcuterie
New Rivers

A pioneer in the local farm-to-table movement since 1990, this romantic bistro located in a historic warehouse has stood the test of time. Current chef-owner Beau Vestal learned the ropes from its first proprietor, chef Bruce Tillinghast, before taking over the restaurant with his wife, Elizabeth, in 2012. The house-made charcuterie, Vermont cheddar-topped burger, and lemon tart are longtime favorites, and the intimate setting offers a cozy backdrop for date night.

7 Steeple St
Providence, RI 02903

17. Dune Brothers Seafood

239 Dyer St, Providence, RI 02903