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One Week in Providence RI, Bakeries?

Hello everyone!!

I am traveling to Providence Rhode Island next week for 5 days, and it is my first time in the area! I was looking for a couple recommendations, since I can’t seem to find any restaurants online that aren’t super (fine fine dining) expensive. I really want to check out Al Forno since I have their cookbook, and I hear that “Federal Hill” has a lot of good places to eat! Are there any great Indian food restaurants? Neat lunch spots?

One of the main things I want to seek out… bakeries! I have somewhat of an obsession with bread and pastries, and was wondering if anyone knows of some bakeries in the area that I shouldn’t miss!

Thank you in advance, and sorry for my vague “What’s Good?!” post! :)

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  1. for bakeries, you'll want to stop by Seven Stars bakery on Hope street (which is near Not Just Snacks, a yummy Indian restaurant) and Olga's Cup and Saucer on the corner of Richmond Street and Point Street in the Jewelry District (which also qualifies as a neat lunch spot). I also have a soft spot for Silver Star Bakery on Ives Street, which sells lots of very sweet and almost cakey Portuguese sweet bread (and huge eclairs, lemon bars, brownies, and other old-fashioned bakery treats).

    3 Replies
    1. re: ginqueen

      Don't forget Pastiche for a bakery. And there's also that newer one on Atwells: Nancy's Fancies Cakes.

      1. re: fullbelly

        Sorry, I tried cupcakes from Nancy Fancies and not very impressed. They give you alot of butter cream frosting on a pretty normal size cupcake. TOp heavy and hard to eat. I like the frosting but the cupcakes was dry and the price of $5 each has my hubby still hollering about sending him there to get me one.

        1. re: Cammie

          I strolled in there one day right before she opened in the spring... the owners are a very friendly mom-daughter duo, with the daughter the mastermind behind the cakes. Her mom is a local who ran a little restaurant on Federal Hill for years... she seemed to be a wealth of information on how the neighborhood has evolved.

          That being said, I must ask to see if I understand: do they honestly charge FIVE DOLLARS for a single cupcake???

    2. If you want to keep the entree price point under $20 try Bravo, Red Stripe, Julians, Blaze (my personal favorite), and if you are up for bbq LJ's BBQ on in Pawtucket, but right on the Providence line. Also in that same strip mall is Rasoi, a new Indian place that has new and creative options compared to more typical Indian places.

      1. Seconding the above posts. If you can only go to one bakery go to the versatile, quality obsessed Seven Stars.
        Pastiche is even better but it is dessert only.
        Silver Star has the only jelly donuts that I have found worth eating in years but if you have not yet tried Portuguese sweet bread run don't walk.

        Do not fail to seek out the most precious RI bakery treasure of all, at an old school Italian bakery. Bread, rolls, pizza strips and calzones ( I seldom like the sweet stuff in these places but you might). Best I know is Buono on Hartford Ave, westbound side near Glenbridge I think. Almost as good is Palmieri's at the end of Tobey street north of Broadway.

        You are going to love it here LetThemEatCupcakes!

        2 Replies
        1. re: atheorist

          Has the Seven Stars on Hope St reopened yet?

          1. re: ccferg

            Yes!

            It's as good as ever, with the addition of some very tasty pre-made sandwiches. Although I must admit I'm not a fan of their new decor. It's a lot fancier than it was and the acoustics are terrible (maybe intentionally, to encourage the hordes to get their coffee, pay their money, and get out). I'm still hooked, though. Can't keep me away.

        2. I just left Providence and can't rave enough about the food. If at all possible - splure at Al Forno - its worth it. Seven Star gets my vote too - but try some local spots on the West Side or near the Armory District. You'll find some little local spots
          also - my daughter lives there and wrote this - try it
          $10 and Under

          Are you constantly searching for something delicious and affordable? Maybe it’s something in between two pieces of bread for say $10? Then turn here, because what follows is a list of great grinders, wraps and pressed sandwiches for a mere 10 bones. So, go ahead, search the streets. Tell your friends and start eating. It’s lunch time.
          Murphy’s Delicatessen

          55 Union Street Providence, RI

          This Providence landmark is smack dab on one of the busiest corners in downtown. It’s been around since 1929 and still serves up their famous corned beef and mountain high sandwiches. They offer everything from potato skins and burgers to fried chicken and clam chowder (on Fridays). The prices are low, especially the combination sandwiches at only $7.50. Sit at the L shaped bar for an authentic experience and seal the deal with something refreshing on tap. You won’t be disappointed!

          Nobody’s Deli
          18 Bassett Street Providence, RI

          Tucked away on Bassett Street in downtown Providence is this reliable, local deli. The place is small and efficient with a deli display, a few tables and specials board. Next door is Nobody’s Bar, an equally entertaining joint all in itself; but we’re here for the sandwiches. Their French bread is the perfect backdrop for all things grinder related and their homemade tuna and chicken salad is far superior to any Willow Tree variety. Try one of there signature combinations like the EZ Rider with roast beef and cream cheese or a Land Quest with chicken salad, American cheese, honey mustard, lettuce, bacon and hot sauce all on toasted rye. The best part? A large grinder will set you back less than $7.00, proving that “Everybody is somebody at Nobody’s.”
          East Side Pockets

          278 Thayer Street Providence, RI

          Thayer Street would not be the same without this East side institution. They are open late night (1 AM on weekdays, 2 AM on weekends) and serve up food quicker than you can order it. $4 gets you the biggest falafel wrap around, smothered with Middle Eastern topping such as hummus, tzatziki, tahini and their home made hot sauce. They also offer toppings such as grape leaves, tabouleh and feta cheese, all which come standard on a wrap with “everything.” $6 can get you a chicken, kafta or gyro wrap or the salad variation served with Syrian bread. “If you like it, tell your friends.”

          Cuban Revolution

          50 Aborn Street Providence, RI

          In there new location off Washington Street downtown is Cuban Revolution.

          They claim to have the worlds best Cuban sandwich with roast pork, Swiss cheese, salami, ham, pickles, mustard and mayonnaise all pressed between homemade Cuban bread. They also offer some great appetizers such as empanada’s, fried yucca and ham croquettes called croquetas de jamon. The sandwiches range between $6 and $9 and most of the appetizers don’t exceed $5. Just be cautious of the drinks here because, they don’t offer free refills and the mixed drinks are over priced, so stick with the beer. If you have the time, take a seat in the new dining room. The walls are plastered with new, over sized artwork and the booths are rather comfortable.

          Meeting Street Café

          220 Meeting Street Providence, RI

          You’ll find this award winning café upstairs from Spiritus Fermenti (it’s a liquor store) and right off the ever famous Thayer Street. Here, they are known for their large portions, quality ingredients and famously large cookies (they are the size of your head, promise!). They offer a huge selection of interesting sandwiches, including a large selection of vegetarian options. Some favorites include the quad - with hot roast beef, cheddar, coleslaw and Russian dressing and the veggie Reuben with steamed broccoli. A full sandwich here will put you back about $9, but you can opt for a half sandwich at $5.75. Whatever you do, don’t forget about the cookies –

          1 Reply
          1. re: getmett

            Do you have the recipe for those great cookies at Meeting Street Cafe in Providence?

          2. I think it's a fairly widely held (though by no means unanimous, so don't clobber me for saying that) view that Al Forno is well past its prime. The grilled pizza may still be worth it, maybe grab that and a glass of wine early and then bar and then jet. Most Federal Hill spots I've tried in the past were pretty so-so.

            I would recommend Chez Pascal or La Laiterie for splurgier spots. Chilangos or Taqueria Lupita for Mexican, Mumu for great chinese, Nick's for brunch, Pho Horn's for Pho. Search the board for other stuff, there are loads of great places to eat.

            1 Reply
            1. re: celeriac

              Ditto on Al Forno; the bakery suggestions are good; at Silver Star, the Pao de Milho (the NONsweet Portuguese bread) is a traditoinal item, too. Recipe to make it, if you like it, on my blog. Bravo is a great spot for lunch or early dinner.
              www.littlecomptonmornings.blogspot.com