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What's delicious, local, and cheap in Providence?

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Hi all,

I'm visiting Providence from July 9-12 for a convention. Since I'm the "foodie" of our group, I'm trying to suss out dining locations in advance so we can avoid eating at chain restaurants. We've got a couple of picky eaters, and one vegetarian, and I'm trying to keep everyone's preferences in mind. I'd like to stick to basic and inexpensive choices, like diner food, Italian, or Chinese. Personally, I'd love to try some good seafood as well. (Is it possible to get good fried clams in Providence or is that more of a Massachusetts thing?) Hole-in-the-wall places are fine - I value food over atmosphere. (We're all on a tight budget, so dinners at less than $20 a person and lunch around $10 would be great.) We'll be driving to Providence from our hotel in Seekonk, MA and aren't limited to a certain section of town.

Thanks so much!

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  1. hortons seafood on the eastside has great fried clams,and all types of seafood too,and its in you budget.

    1. the red bridge tavern in east providence serves excellent seafood as well as some of the locally beloved portugese-american favorites. DO NOT MISS their stuffed quahog clams, a true symbol of RI!

      4 Replies
      1. re: sarabean

        Thanks for the suggestions so far! The Red Bridge Tavern sounds great. I can't wait to try that place.

        Any other suggestions for Italian or Asian? One of my friends wants to try Mainelli's because it was on Restaurant Impossible, but I'm betting there are better places than that.

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        Mainelli's Restaurant
        1366 Chalkstone Ave, Providence, RI 02909

        Red Bridge Tavern
        22 Waterman Ave, East Providence, RI 02914

        1. re: ech2002

          If you want red sauce Italian, my top choice would be Reali's in Johnston. Its easy to find and about 10 minutes away from Mainelli's. Family owned and operated, great service and wonderful food. A close second would Mike's Kitchen in Cranston.

          Asian. Try Angkor for Cambodian, Pho Horns for Vietnamese or Thai Star for Thai all in Providence. Lucky Garden in North Providence is great for Dim Sum.

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          Mike's Kitchen
          170 Randall St, Cranston, RI 02920

          Mainelli's Restaurant
          1366 Chalkstone Ave, Providence, RI 02909

          Thai Star Restaurant
          1088 Chalkstone Ave, Providence, RI 02908

          Pho Horn's
          50 Ann Mary St, Pawtucket, RI 02860

          Lucky Garden
          1852 Smith St, North Providence, RI 02911

          1. re: ech2002

            You want Italian and you're watching your expenses, go to Mike's Kitchen in Cranston.

            1. re: ech2002

              We did Reali's last wednesday with a Restaurant.com certificate. Excellent! Wines are also inexpensive. A good deal.