Sandwich from the Grange in Providence, RI

25 best restaurants in providence, ri

(Last Updated On: July 2, 2021)

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I’m a bit biased when it comes to Providence, Rhode Island – I grew up here, after all. Providence may be a small city in the smallest state, but it certainly packs a punch when it comes to the local culinary scene. Providence is a highly underrated US city with a dense concentration of superb restaurants. It’s also a super-easy day trip from Boston or New York! Whether you’re visiting the city or living as a local, you’ll have no trouble figuring out where to eat in Providence. Here is the definitive guide to the best restaurants in Providence, RI.



los andes

Seafood cevice from Peruvian restaurant, Los Andes in Providence, RI.

Ask any five Rhode Islanders about the best restaurants in Providence, and undoubtedly four of them will excitedly tell you about Los Andes. Los Andes is a Peruvian and Bolivian-inspired restaurant that is one-of-a-kind in Providence. They offer a widespread array of diverse ingredients and inherited indigenous cooking techniques, both of which make it something truly special. The owners of Los Andes pair traditional South American fare with a fusion of Latin spirit, resulting in eclectic, mouthwatering dishes and a high-energy restaurant.

what to order

lomo saltado, lobster paella, ceviche

broadway bistro

Homemade gnocchi dish with bread crumbs and pesto from Broadway Bistro, RI.

While all of the restaurants listed in this article are worthy of inclusion, I can safely say that Broadway Bistro is my personal favorite. The chef couples familiar dishes with contemporary flavors and high-quality ingredients, resulting in a culinary finesse that is unparalleled anywhere else. When you take into consideration the extremely reasonable prices, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better place to eat in Providence. The menu rotates and is based on seasonal ingredients from local farms. You can often find popular favorites make encore appearances – lookin’ at you, ribs and grits.

what to order

ribs and grits, bucatini primavera, seared hake

chengdu taste

Chengdu style green beans, from Chengdu Taste, where to eat in Providence, RI.

We love our ‘Chinese’ food in Rhode Island. There is no shortage of Chinese-American restaurants to choose from, no matter where in the state you are. They all offer the same, generic dishes that can hardly be differentiated from one another. However, behind the unassuming doors at Chengdu Taste, you’ll find something truly special. An authentic Szechuan eatery, Chengdu Taste is where you want to go for unique dishes with zero hint of pretention. You can find familiar Chinese-American fare, such as Sweet and Sour Chicken or Mu Shu Pork, but for the more adventurous eaters, the chef specialties will leave you coming back again and again. Try Dry Sautéed Pork Intestine with Red Chile, Prawns with Peppery Pickled Vegetable, or Spicy Pig Trotters if you’re feeling up for it.

what to order

dan dan noodles cheng du style, cheng du style green beans, smokey hot cayenne chicken

el rancho grande

Food and drink on a table at El Rancho Grande, one of the best places to eat in RI.

Ahh, another tried-and-true favorite. El Rancho Grande (ERG as it is affectionately known among locals) has developed quite the name for itself over the course of the past thirteen years and become one of the best restaurants in Providence. What started off as a hole-in-the-wall place in an ‘undesirable’ area of the city now has lines around the block on a weekend night, all in search of the best Mexican food in Rhode Island. Since 2007, Chef Maria has been taking guests beyond the confines of Providence, all the way to Pueblo, Mexico, bringing Cochina Poblana to this humble RI city.

With perfectly calibrated spices, your senses will never be overwhelmed, while at the same time getting that Mexican heat that comes with the territory. In addition to unforgettable Mexican fare, you can also enjoy some world-class cocktails made with the finest quality tequilas and mezcals. The bar staff knows what’s up – cocktail snobs will not be disappointed.

what to order

pork belly tacos, any specialty mezcal cocktail, crema chipotle enchiladas, cochinita pibil

chez pascal

Slow roasted duck at Chez Pascal in Providence - where to eat in Providence, RI.

If you’re looking for a combination of French bistro and German beer hall, look no further than Chez Pascal. With dishes that are more reminiscent of Alsatian versus Parisian fare, and their famed ‘Wurst Window,’ you get the best of both worlds. Still, you can order traditional French foods such as Escargots and Confit de Canard. A surprising highlight is the meatloaf sandwich, which, while neither French nor German, complements the menu perfectly.

what to order

escargots, slow roasted duck, meatloaf sandwich

big king

Dish of Asian inspired food at Big King, one of the best restaurants in Providence.

A self-described ‘small, weird’ restaurant, Big King is a sort-of Japanese-inspired restaurant that serves up local produce and meats raw, grilled, or fried. The food is almost indescribable, but surprisingly sophisticated. Go an hour before you get hungry so you won’t commit murder while waiting for your table – there are a meager 20 seats in this place. Hop across the street for a killer drink from The Avery. If you’re not a fan of Sake, be prepared to go thirsty – save for a few whiskey highballs.

what to order

barbecue zucchini onigirazu, kabocha tempura, caramelized miso cake


Pasta con i funghi at Bacaro in Providence, RI.

Somewhere on the precipice of traditional Italian and modern fine dining lies Bacaro, a dual-concept restaurant located in Fox Point.  The two different stories of the restaurant have completely different energies – the ground floor boasting a large, wrap-around oak bar and salumeria, while the upper level caters to romantic dates and high-end business dinners, complete with stunning river views. 

There are two menus at Bacaro – one, a traditional restaurant menu, with salads, appetizers, entrees, etc.  The second is fun and innovative – you receive a pencil and can check off different charcuterie items you’d like to build your own charcuterie board.  There are meats, cheeses, and tapas-style dishes such as Bolognese-stuffed fried olives or Arancini.  Bacaro is one of the highest priced restaurants on this list, but the food is phenomenal.  Still, if you’re not looking to break the bank, come for an Aperol Spritz and a ‘BYOC’ – build your own charcuterie – for a more reasonably priced experience.

what to order

pasta con i funghi, cioppino, spicy corn pizza, crispy chicken over pasta fagioli


Heaping plate of food from Gracie's in Providence, RI.

In addition to Bacaro, Gracie’s is another fine dining option on this list. Gracie’s has long set the standard in Providence in terms of James Beard-caliber food, immaculate service, and opulent ambiance. Many people will confidently tell you that this is one of the best restaurants in Providence, if not the best.. In addition to a seasonally rotating menu, the chef offers tasting menus each night. Years ago you could choose how many courses you wanted, but it seems that in the days of COVID there is only the 5-course tasting menu available. The menu is priced at $95 per person, or $150 per person if you want to include the wine pairings. If you’re going to splurge on dinner one night, this is where to go.

what to order

The menu frequently changes, but always opt for a tasting menu. You can convey any dietary restrictions to the chef.


Plate of food with shaved fennel salad and herbs from Persimmon, RI.

Since Persimmon took it to the next level, moving their modest East Bay eatery to the East Side of Providence, the esteemed restaurant has only improved – as if that were even possible. With succulent meats, vibrant vegetables, and an atmosphere of community, Persimmon is by far one of the best restaurants in Providence, if not the whole of RI.

The menu, instead of being partitioned into different courses, is separated into vegetables, meat, seafood, pastas, etc., allowing diners to immerse themselves in a variety of flavors without the risk of overindulgence.

what to order

venison tartare, confit duck, crispy tempura soft shell crab

new rivers

New Rivers burger oozing with cheese, great place to eat in Providence, RI.

Situated in a restored mill building on Steeple Street, New Rivers is a classic, upscale American bistro, brimming with twinkling lights and cozy seating. Chef Beau Vestal is passionate about local and sustainable products, made-from-scratch pastas, and seasonal creativity. Come here for one of the best burgers in all of Rhode Island.

what to order

new rivers burger, gnocchi with tomato and squash

nick’s on broadway

Duck confit benedict at Nick's on Broadway, a great place if looking for 'where to eat in Providence'

While many Providence-dwellers come to Nick’s for a mouthwatering dinner, it’s my personal favorite spot for brunch. The menu, like many others on this list, rotates according to seasonality and availability of ingredients, though you’ll often find some combination of past menu items. The tour de force is by far the cassoulet, with simmered white beans, a variety of farm-fresh meats, delicate herbs, and grilled bread, perfect for sopping up the delicious stew, topped with poached eggs for good measure. Nick’s doesn’t accept reservations for brunch, so be sure to get up early on a Saturday or Sunday morning unless you’re ok with an epically long wait.

what to order

cassoulet, black beans and eggs, duck eggs benedict

apsara (public st. location)

Bowl of Vietnamese noodle soup from Apsara Asian Restaurant in Providence, RI.

Apsara has been a family favorite for years. Word has quickly spread about this Southeast Asian eatery in the South Side of Providence, and long waits are the norm. They have a dauntingly long menu, yet I still return to the same familiar favorites each time (see ‘what to order’ below). To avoid waits, come for lunch on a weekday or call your order in to pick up to-go. There are two locations, apparently parting relations after a family feud. I prefer the Public St. location, but I do have friends who like the location on Hope St. as well.

what to order

crispy shrimp with black pepper, nime chow, spicy crispy wings, na tang (available upon request), vietnamese noodle soup

great northern bbq

Plate of BBQ food and traditional sides, mac and cheese.

For reasonably priced BBQ in Providence, you can’t beat Great Northern BBQ. Compared to other places on this list, Great Northern BBQ is relatively new to the PVD food scene. It opened in 2016 but has made lasting impressions on local residents over the course of the past few years. If you’re looking for authentic, slow-cooked brisket, tender ribs, house-made sausages, and crispy wings, Great Northern BBQ has you covered.

what to order

brisket, homemade pickles, pulled pork

great northern bbq on facebook

the eddy

Sliders from The Eddy in Providence, RI alongside a cocktail in a lowball glass.

Though the highlight of The Eddy is undoubtedly the world-class cocktail menu, if you’re looking for more of a snack instead of a sit-down dinner, this is the place. Grab some sliders or charcuterie and indulge in one of the best cocktails you’ll ever drink. Owner and head bartender, Jay, uses his expertise to fuse unique bitters, local herb-infused simple syrups, and foreign spirits to curate expressive and innovative libations. You can also get classics, such as an Aviation or Gin & Tonic (on tap, for that matter!).

what to order

cuban sliders, craft cocktails, duck rillette, walrus & carpenter oysters

dune brothers

Lobsster roll from Rhode Island

Most of Rhode Island’s seafood superstars are located in South County, down by the ocean. If you’re confined to the city, however, you can still get some Rhode Island favorites served up from Dune Brothers. Dune Brothers sources their seafood from local fishermen, giving it the quintessential Rhode Island flavor. Their chowder is unique in the state – while Rhode Island chowder is clear and New England chowder is creamy, this is some hybrid of the two, lending it qualities all its own. They also add whole clams to the chowder, another special treat.

what to order

clamcakes and chowder, lobster roll, cape shark fish n chips

troop pvd

Interior decor of Troop in Providence, RI a unique and eclectic place to eat.

Upon walking into Troop, you’re sure to be immediately struck by the retro décor. Towers of boom boxes, neon signs, exposed brick walls, disco balls, and astro turf rugs make Troop feel like a truly unique spot in Providence. But aside from its eclectic, hipster ambiance, the food at Troop is genuinely delicious. The menu is touted as being reminiscent of varying types of international street foods, with ten to fifteen dishes per night. As with most of the other best restaurants in Providence, the menu changes according to seasonality and availability of local products.

what to order

banh mi, troop burger, noodle bowl

ogie’s trailer park

Bloody Mary and Mimosa bar at Ogie's Trailer Park in Providence, RI.

Similar to Troop’s ambiance (read: fun and kitschy), Ogie’s Trailer Park has been on the scene a bit longer. There is a seamless amalgam of trailer park-chic and new age Jetsons décor, paired with delicious offerings from Granny Boo’s kitchen. The food is a collection of upscale American comfort foods, such as mac & cheese croquettes, grilled PB&J, and gourmet tater tots. If you come for brunch, be sure to try the Bloody Mary & Mimosa bar. It’s a super-fun place to relax with friends over some cocktails and bites, particularly if you visit in the summer and grab a picnic table on the trailer park-themed patio.

what to order

fried chicken sandwich with slab bacon, mac & cheese croquettes, 600 minute chili

olneyville n.y. system

Hot weiners from Olneyville NY System in Providence, RI.

Olneyville NY System is where to go if you want to try Rhode Island’s claim-to-fame, Hot Wieners. Never heard of them? A Hot Wiener is sort of like a hot dog, topped with a finely minced meat sauce, yellow mustard, chopped white onions, and celery salt. If you want all of the toppings, you order them ‘all the way’ – otherwise, you can omit things according to your preference. But, unless you have any allergies or dietary restrictions, just get them as-is. You’ll thank me later. Grab a side of fries or onion rings as well.

what to order

three ‘all the way’

the grange

Sandwich from the Grange in Providence, RI

Are you vegan or vegetarian? If so, you’d be remiss to skip out on The Grange, Providence’s premiere veg-friendly establishment. Seriously, I eat meat and this place is amazing. The dishes coming out of this kitchen are so complete and balanced in flavor and texture, that you may as well forget meat even exists. The cocktails are also something to write home about. Occasionally there are live music performances in the small, living-room like setup, making it the perfect place to grab a drink and hear some of Providence’s local talent. A trip to The Grange is definitely worth it if you’re looking to dine at one of the best restaurants in Providence specializing in veg-friendly food.

what to order

oyster mushroom po’ boy, roasted veggie bowl, poutine

fellini’s pizzeria

Thanksgiving pizza from Fellini's Pizzeria in Providence, RI topped with turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy.

Providence has a number of great pizza joints, but Fellini’s will always be my numero uno. Their pies aren’t cheap ($20+, one size), but the creative combination of ingredients make it totally worth it. My favorite for the past fifteen or so years has been the Joasborg, which is a combination of chicken, broccoli, cheese, and parmesan peppercorn cream sauce, on Fellini’s signature thin wheat crust. If you happen to be in Rhode Island for Thanksgiving, be sure to pick up one of their Thanksgiving pies. These are offered only once yearly, on Thanksgiving Eve. You MUST pre-order – this specific pizza has received national acclaim, and they do sell out.

what to order

thanksgiving pizza, joasborg pizza, kitchen sink pizza, steak and scallion pizza

tallulah’s taqueria

Plate of tacos with cilantro and radish garnish from Tallulah's in Providence, RI.

When I want sit-down Mexican food with Mezcal margs, I go to El Rancho Grande. When I want to pick up some tacos to-go, I order from Tallulah’s. The tacos from Tallulah’s Taqueria are flavorful yet not overpowering, and topped with a tangle of cilantro and pickled radishes. You can opt form different types of meat, such as barbacoa, carnitas, chicken, fish, or black beans for a veg-friendly option. In addition to tacos, they prepare burritos, tortas, and quesadillas as well.

what to order

literally any type of taco, depending on your meat preference. I love the carnitas best

enoteca umberto

Plate of bruschetta from Enoteca Umberto in Providence, RI.

This Italian restaurant on Federal Hill has been widely talked about since its inception. Getting a reservation here is a bitch, but keep calling. The space is tiny, so you’ll want to call in advance. There is a set five-course menu that changes daily, but you can specify any dietary restrictions or preferences to your server. Despite its relatively young age, Enoteca Umberto is quickly becoming one of the best restaurants in Providence.

what to order

5-course set menu

enoteca umberto on facebook


Seared rare sesame encrusted tuna from Cav, RI.

CAV is an eclectic space located in the Jewelry District of Providence that has been making people happy since 1989! The décor is an organized mess of eclectic antiques, exotic furniture, and crystal chandeliers, making the space feel like you’re dining in your crazy, rich aunt’s house. The food is some of the best in Providence, as is evident by the restaurant’s longevity. My number one dish here is available for brunch only – scrambled eggs with lobster, brioche toast, and a sriracha aioli. It’s pure heaven.

what to order

lobster scrambled eggs with brioche toast, duck confit, chive dumplings, walnut encrusted brie

mokban korean bistro

Korean dumplings at Mokban Korean bistro, where to eat in Providence.

The closest thing you’ll get to legit Korean food in Providence. Even local Korean friends rave about this place. Their soups have rich, decadent broths, their bibimbaps are flavorful and satisfying. The restaurant is vegetarian / vegan friendly, making it a great option for group dining if someone in your party is an herbivore. The little side dishes that come with the meals are never the same, and are tasty little treats to look forward to each time I visit.

what to order

bibimbap, kalbi short ribs, korean meatballs


Dish of fresh pasta from Oberlin on a blue table, Providence, RI.

Oberlin focuses heavily on house-made pastas and seafood crudo. Located in downtown Providence, the menu is portioned and priced so that guests can enjoy a variety of foods without breaking the bank or overindulging. Oberlin has received international accolades from renowned publications such as Bon Appetite, The New York Times, James Beard Foundation, and Vogue. Be sure to grab a table there and try the combo crudo, whose components change based on the fresh catches that day.

what to order

chitarra cacio e pepe, piri piri duck, combo crudo

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