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Good, reasonably priced lunch Downcity Providence?

OK, I've only been working in downtown Providence (across from the Mall) for a few months, and I'm already sick of everywhere, finding the places either mediocre, or overpriced, or both. I've been to Cuban Revolution (pretty good sandwiches, slow service, overpriced), Tacqueria Pacifico (liked this OK, but thought my burritto was very garlicky--I need to try again), everywhere in the Mall food court (ugh), the Arcade (didn't like the pizza there, and didn't think anything else looked good--is it?), Jimmy Joe's sandwiches (or whatever it's called, not bad but a glorified Subway), Eddie and Sons Diner (just OK, and not cheap), and finally 3 Steeple St., where I had the best burger I've had in a long time, but it's not fast or cheap.

So, is there anywhere in walking distance where I can get a decent slice of pizza? Any good Indian food? There must be more, please tell me what I'm missing!


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  1. Sounds like you're looking for quick, cheap ethnic downtown, and that really doesn't exist right now...

    Did you try New Japan for Japanese? It's on Washington. Otherwise, for ethnic, you'll need to go a little farther. MuMu Chinese on Federal Hill, Bombay Club (Indian) on Federal Hill, Parakang Thai on South Main...

    Downtown is just crying out for more ethnic, you're right...

    - Garris
    Providence, RI

    1. Well if you were willing to drive a couple miles there is awesome pizza slices at Antonio's pizza on Thayer Street (near Brown University). They make the most creative and tasty slices. As far as great Indian goes, Not Just Snakes on the west end of Hope Street is excellent. I realize though that you want to walk to somewhere for lunch, but just thought I would throw this out there incase you get desperate.

      Also, don't give up on AS220, have had some really good food on my visits.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Jenkins

        Not Just....Snakes!? heh, I know what you meant.

        I really like Parkside, but it's not a realistic everyday work lunch place----worth checking out, though. La Greque in the Arcade is good for a gyro. Agree on Antonio's (although if I'm schlepping myself there and parking, I always get something from Gordito instead). I'll have to ask my husband----there's a sandwich place that he really likes, possibly on W-minster.

        1. re: Moonpie1

          Doh! Snacks not Snakes of course. See, as far as Gordito goes, I much prefer Taqueria Pacifica at AS220. To each their own, of course...

      2. i actually think johannson's in the arcarde is pretty good. and for about 6 bucks you get a sandwich, side, drink, and a brownie!

        i work downtown as well (across from the arcade) and am not very satisfied with the lunch options either- so i usually just bring leftovers...!

        2 Replies
        1. re: tomatosoup

          Can you tell me what the Arcade is... isAS220 the same thing?

          1. re: harryharry

            the arcade is a shopping "mall" with entrances on weybosset street and westminster, next door to the turkshead building. it is actually the oldest mall in the country. anyway, it has some kitschy shops on the second floor, but the first floor is a food court with a deli, cookie place, greek food, chinese, hot dogs. most of the places aren't very good though.

        2. If you just want a sandwich or a bowl of soup, try the Corporate Cafe (in the Textron Tower). No ambience to speak of but high quality deli food at fair prices. Cafe 101 (above Cappriccio's) has a more limited menu, but quality food, excellent service and a very cozy feel.

          Mama Teresa's does good red sauce Italian.

          Cafe Chokad for upscale sandwhiches.

          Tommy's for greasy food, very fast and very cheap.

          In terms of ethnic, Garris is right. Downtown is very limited and I suspect will remain so for the time being. The bulk of the downcity lunch time demographic is not particularly adventurous.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Frobisher

            New Japan is one of the Best places in town. Super quick service, great food and awsome prices. There is a reason why they have been there for close to 20 years!

            As for Pizza, your going to have to get in your car and drive to either the hill or Thyer.

          2. Although I prefer Taqueria Pacifica, there's also Cilantro for burritos and other quickie cal-mex type foods. It's on Weybosset.

            1. try cilantro grill, which is next to jimmy john's (which my bf from pennsylvania has informed me is a chain there). you get about five pounds of food in one burrito (so you get a couple meals out of one order if you don't mind crisping up soggy leftovers) and it's pretty good. i think it would qualify as cheap.
              i second whoever said johansson's cafe in the arcade. it's where the johnson & wales culinary students go to practice, so it's much cheaper than elsewhere, and it's good basic lunch. i actually ordered a birthday cake there once and it was great.
              also, try mazy grace cafe, which is right across from textron on the side street off of weybosset. it's in a sort of basement-level place but there should be a bright yellow sign out front--it's on the same street that pot au feu is on. i really like their sandwiches (crab cake sandwich, seared tuna, roasted veggie, steak, along with your regular ham & cheese etc.) and homemade bakery stuff.
              if you walk down south main street all the way to wickenden street (a ten minute walk at most), you have access to sakura sushi (sushi lunch specials, including a bowl of miso or a salad, run about 7-8 dollars), fellini's pizzeria (where you can get a decent slice of pizza, thin chewy crust), and taste of india for indian food, where they have a $7 all you can eat buffet at lunch.
              walk down dorrance street, pass under the 195 bridge, and you are in the jewelry district, where you can get good cheap sandwiches at nobody's deli on basset street. there's also rue bis, a sort of lunch place extension of rue de l'espoir, but i find the food and prices there very hit-or-miss, much like rue de l'espoir itself.
              jewelry district and wickenden street aren't exactly downcity, but they should be close enough if you don't mind walking for a few minutes.

              8 Replies
              1. re: ginqueen

                Does the Red Fez do lunch? Great dinner place, anyways. Funky and moderately to low priced fare.

                1. re: Jenkins

                  i don't think they do, unfortunately, which sucks since they are pretty much my favorite place to go on a regular basis.

                2. re: ginqueen

                  Good recommendations. Nobody's deli is great----a favorite of the husband.

                  I love the coffee and general feel at Tazza----don't know if they do lunch, or if it's good. It's on W-mister, though.

                  1. re: Moonpie1

                    Tazza does do lunch and in fact recently changed their menu. While the atmosphere is great, the food is average for the price, and the service is inconsistent tending toward slow and inattentive.

                    1. re: Frobisher

                      We tried Tacqueria Pacifica again yesterday, and it was better, and probably the best bet I've found downtown so far. We stopped in Mama Teresa's, and the food really didn't look appetizing to me. I may try it again, as it looks like many of the entrees may change.

                      Has anyone been to Calypso Cafe? It said it was under new management, and the menu looked promising, but there weren't many people there (it was close to 2:00, however.

                      1. re: winedude

                        I agree about Le Greque in the Arcade, I LOVE their Souvlaki sandwiches...

                        1. re: winedude

                          I agrfee--for a quick, good lunch, there's really nothing downtown nearly as good as the Tacqueria. Unfortunately, and as much as I love them and the folks that work there, they are widly inconsistent, and often undersalted.

                          The lack of decent lunch places downtown really is bizarre, but it's very real.

                          1. re: winedude

                            Calypso isn't bad. I like their hummus and pita, and falafel sandwiches, and my coworker really likes their portabello panini. It is pretty empty most of the time, and a little slow, and a tiny bit overpriced.