We asked our staff about their favorite restaurants in Providence. They had so many suggestions that we couldn’t fit them all into one blog post. This is part 1 of 2. You can read Part 2 Here.
We work with food. A lot. We are pulling weeds from the rooftop garden in June, harvesting mushrooms in September, curing bacon weekly, and scaling fresh fish nightly. Putting energy into this is what we love, and we hope to share that love with every dish and every treat that leaves our kitchen. We also love to visit other restaurants, and enjoy the creativity and passion that our colleagues share with their guests.
Sharing the joy of food, and guiding people to great restaurants is one of the benefits of our work. There is such a great feeling when someone has thoroughly enjoyed a restaurant you suggested to them. The Providence restaurant community is filled with wonderful and delicious destinations, but which Providence restaurant is our favorite?
Is there a Providence restaurant that I MUST try?
We put this question to our staff at Ellie’s Bakery, and at Gracie’s. Everyone named at least two restaurants, and a few of us had trouble slowing down even after naming five or six. To quote Ellie’s manager Ashley, “Can I go on forever?”
This is hardly an exhaustive list of many of the great places to eat, and the food trucks are absent from this list – we’ll have that in a later post. This sample “favorite Providence restaurant” list is in no particular order, but almost every place listed was mentioned by several people.
The Favorite Providence Restaurant List:
El Rancho Grande, located at 311 Plainfield St. is renowned for their mole sauce, and for Chef Maria’s “amazing, authentic, from the soul meals…and tequila. Their margarita is the best ever, made with fresh lime juice.” El Rancho Grande is small, intimate, and delicious.
Los Andes, at 903 Chalkstone Ave, is the place to go for Peruvian food. “I love the ceviche appetizer and the paella! And the beef heart! And the Pisco Sours! The service is amazing, the portions are huge, and the prices are good.” They also have a few outdoor tables, which make for a lovely summer evening of a slow meal, and watching the neighborhood go by.
Apsara is easy to miss. It is at 716 Public St., just off Elmwood Ave. in South Providence. It is tiny, and tucked into a triangular, corner lot, but well worth the search. “I love that the menu covers northern thai/lao homestyle cooking.” “The menu is filled with gems, and it’s BYOB.” This is the kind of place where you can talk to your neighbors at the next table, and enjoy a social dinner.
Andino’s Italian Restaurant in the heart of Federal Hill, at 171 Atwells Ave. has “awesome Italian food. Their sauce is almost as good as mine. 🙂 I love their veal parmesan and seasonal squash flowers. They have a great, friendly staff – especially the bartender, Stephanie.” (ed. note – we love Andino’s, but we’ve never met an Italian cook who will admit that any restaurant is better than their home cooking. I think “almost as good as mine” is the highest compliment possible under these circumstances.)
North, at 3 Luongo Memorial Square, is a favorite for the “inventive, personable, and fun” food, plus you can eat with chopsticks. The dining area is tiny, and the wait on a weekend night can be pretty long. This isn’t as bad as you might think, though. Once you put your name on the waiting list, they give you a beeper, and you can head across the street to The Avery for a drink. The staff at North, will page you when your table is ready.
Broadway Bistro is at 205 Broadway. Gracie’s bartender Kristi loves their “Ribs & Grits!! Small, local/seasonal menu, they have Crabbies ginger beer, dim lighting, Ribs & Grits, friendly, west side, and outside seating. The garlic oil they give you with bread (this is one of the places I will actually eat bread before dinner) and did I mention the Ribs & Grits?!?! One of my go to spots on my off time.”
Thee Red Fez, in downtown Providence, is part bar, part restaurant, and completely delicious. Their menu changes regularly, but the Old Bay seasoned fries with spiced aioli, are a mainstay, and with good reason. The beer list is reasonably sized and reasonably priced, they don’t skimp on the mixed drinks, and their menu is vegetarian friendly. There is nothing fancy about the Fez, but that pub comfort food and a good pint is good for the soul. They also play some great music. The Fez is located at
AS220(food) is also downtown, on Empire St. Like the Fez, this is a multi-faceted space. It is part eatery, part bar, part art space, and part performance space. “I love AS220(food) because of the atmosphere, and the healthy options on their menu.” You won’t here any commercial music in this bar/art/food space, but there is no shortage of local and small touring bands on the playlist. Come for dinner, stay for a drink, then enjoy a show in the performance space.
What is your favorite Providence Restaurant?
These are some of our favorites, and we will have more in the next blog post. Have you eaten at any of these restaurants? Do you have a favorite that we didn’t mention here? Let us know in the comments. Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I need to go get some lunch!