Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > All New England Archive >
Jun 21, 2008 08:05 PM

Best foodie places in Providence RI, looking

for bakeries, farms, ice cream shops, and places for lunch and dinner,not fancy but wholesome food. Tell me you secret spots please. It is s special occasion and we will be ther for 4 days, and anything that might be fun, thanks

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I have not been, but Farmstead on Wayland Square is supposed to be great local cheeses - they have a small restaurant too. Also, Local 121 downtown is supposed to be good local food as well.

    For dessert/bakeries, Pastiche on Federal Hill cannot be beat.

    4 Replies
      1. re: Lauren3581

        I went to Local 121 tonight for the first time, I loved it. First of all, it is beautiful inside. The food was a dining experience!

        1. re: Alica

          OP, if you do a search, you'll find Local 121 to be rather unpopular on this board. There are many detailed reviews, including one of my own. I think it's gorgeous, and has great drinks, but the food was abysmal. To be fair, we only ate there once, a year ago, but almost every dish was so unflavorful and ill-prepared that we decided never again.

          I've lived in Providence for ten years. Here are some gems I've learned about along the way.

          1) Hudson St. Market- The best (and biggest) sandwiches you can imagine. Seriously, that bread is some amazing stuff. If you don't phone in your order, the wait can be up to an hour at times. An hour wait for a sandwich? Oh yes, but sooo worth it.

          2) Chez Pascal- Our special occasion restaurant. Everything from service to quality of ingredients is of the utmost importance here. This place seems to be run by people who really care about what they do, and must love it, since I've never had even a remotely disappointing meal here. I believe they do a $30 prix-fixe before 7:00pm, and they always have a very reasonable priced vegetarian tasting menu. Save room for the (Farmstead) cheeses!

          3 and 4) Julian's and Nick's for breakfast. Obviously. If you arrive at either before 10, there's never a wait. We always sit at the bar at either place and watch the controlled chaos in the kitchen.

          5) The Ivy Tavern- The best low-key spot in the city to grab a beer, watch the game and eat much-better-than-average bar food. The Accidental Purist (veggie burger, melted brie, green apple and onion jam) is better than any pub fare I've had in the city, and the drinks are made well. Service is great, but the space is teeny, so go early.

          6) Palmieri's- This is a small spot on Tobey St., at the West Edge of Broadway/Federal Hill. Their bread is fantastic, as are the sfogliatelle. Apparently they're know for their pizza strips (a RI thing), but I don't dig those, so I can't rec.

          7) Bombay Club- This unassuming spot, just off Atwells, is really the best Indian in the city. The owners aren't afraid of heat, and if you ask for a dish spicy, they won't disappoint. Bombay Club is the bar by which I measure every other Indian place in the city (Rasoi, K/C, India (ick!), N.J.S.), and nothing comes close. The service is usually pretty bad, but I think it's because they're understaffed or something. Anyhow, it's worth the mediocre service for Indian this flavorful and complex.

      2. Wickenden Street is home to my favorite Providence restaurants, in part because it's right down the street from me:

        The Blue Elephant is a great breakfast/ brunch place and they also have cool handmade jewelry- excellent banana pancakes

        The Brickway on Wickenden is also great for breakfast and lunch- try their awesome S-Pet sandwich

        The Coffee Exchange has the best coffee in town and also had delicious & healthy smoothies- try mango with a banana

        A Taste of India is unpretentious and yummy, my favorite palak paneer in all of Providence...

        1. I recently went to Farmstead in Wayland Square and it was DELICIOUS! What a cute little spot with all organic food and a VERY wide array of cheeses. You may need to wait is the only thing...but it was worth the wait. I also highly recommend Al Forno ( - call ahead for a reservation now, but you won't beat the food in Providence or really anywhere to be honest. Also, for a fun, easy dinner, try Vendi Ravioli on Federal Hill. It has a great selection of Italian food and you can either eat there or get to go for a picnic somewhere else...

          1 Reply
          1. re: lzglenn

            Al Forno only takes reservations Tuesday-Thursday, and only for parties of 6 or more.

          2. My favorite lunch in town: Gesualdi's, a little storefront diner on Hartford Ave a few blocks east of Killingly St. Simply excellent food, daily menu, prices like the good old days.