by Sara Mead

I’m going to Providence this week. I’m going to be pretty busy, so I don’t know if I’ll get much opportunity to check out any local food purveyors, but if I do have a chance, does anyone have any recommendations? The most helpful recommendations would be for things that are some combination of: minimally time-consuming, affordable, open late, and in the downtown area. Are there particular food products associated with Providence that I should be ashamed if I fail to consume? Other thank coffee milk, which sounds gross but also like something I might like?


12 responses to “Providence

  1. Well there’s Al Forno (, the people who claim to have been the first to grill a pizza – definitely a Providence claim to fame.

  2. Pizza: Nice Slice on Thayer
    Coffee: Coffee Exchange on Wickenden
    Tacos/Burritos: AS220 Taqeuria
    Sit down dinner downtown: Red Fez
    Drinks: Wild Colonial

    but the Most Important meal in Providence is BRUNCH. Try Nick’s on Broadway. Julian’s, also on Broadway, is good too.

  3. ah, providence…prob my favorite food town. lived there for almost a decade and gained many pounds because of the city’s fine offerings.

    so, for pizza, go straight to gourmet on hope street–order grilled, white, thin crust. try the simple peasant. then, for a different kind of pizza, go to wickenden and order a pepperoni pie at fellinis. whole wheat crust. amazing.

    after years without any good chinese food, prov now boats mu mu on federal hill. delicious, fresh, inventive chinese cooking.

    for italian, go straight to venda ravioli in the daytime, make yourself a picnic of incredibly good italian treats. the prepared food is out of this world.

    if you have time, best chowder is to be found at the black pearl in newport. a perfect spot for a winter’s lunch.

    have fun.

  4. Providence is a great food town. How are you on hot dogs? You should try a gagger — tastes better than it sounds! — at Olneyville New York System, 20 Plainfield Street. (And if you like coffee ice cream, you’ll probably like coffee milk!)

  5. I also love eating in Providence. From the previous comments, I would say the most important thing to eat is a sandwich from Venda Ravioli. If Anthony is there, ask him to make it for you.

    HOWEVER!: You must check out Eastside Pockets on Thayer street. It’s the best middle eastern wrap place anywhere. Try a chicken kebab. Delicious.

  6. I want to second Al Forno – my girlfriend and I go to Providence during the holidays every year and Al Forno is a perpetual highlight. Make sure to save room for a baked to order tart if you go.

  7. Go Providence! I’ve lived here for 15 years now, and I really think we have the best food in New England.

    Al Forno is Providence’s most famous restaurant, and it is good, but I think it’s a touch overrated. It’s good, to be sure, but the hands-down best food in Providence is at Gracie’s, located right downtown.

    For pizza, Al Forno is probably the best, but it’s spendy. Fellini’s on Wickenden is my choice.

    mlt’s recommendations are pretty good. AS220 should be good for open late and affordable. For dinner, The Red Fez, in particular, is a lot of fun. I’d say it and Julian’s are Providence’s main hipster restaurants.

    Chez Pascal is very good French food, although it’s not downtown (but really, nothing in Providence is very far from anything else).

    It’s hard to go wrong on Federal Hill, but Venda Ravioli is definitely worth checking out.

    Local 121 has a neat schtick but I’m not always crazy about the food.

    I could go on, but I’ll stop here.

  8. Also good for a nice dinner are Mill’s Tavern on North Main St which has a very good seasonal menu and CAV not too far from downtown in the jewelry district

  9. Thanks for the suggestions. We are actually working pretty late every night, so haven’t gotten to check out any restaurants. BUT if anyone has suggestions for a good place that does delivery, I’d GREATLY appreciate it!

  10. I grew up near Providence and return every few years, and while I definitely wouldn’t call it a favorite food city (way too small to take that title, I’m sorry), there are some great options.

    I’d second the suggestion of East Side Pocket (although it doesn’t look like they deliver, they’re very quick, open late, and they really are way above and beyond the typical take-out falafel place) and suggest Haven Brothers, a late-night only “diner” trailer that gets parked next to City Hall late at night. It’s a classic experience (googling it turns up reviews in Road Food, NPR, and more) and actually quite good late-night grub.

    Good luck!

  11. I don’t think it quite hits the combination you’re looking for, but I have to recommend La Laiterie.

  12. Sciallo Brothers bakery!!

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