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A Foodie Weekend in Providence, Rhode Island

A Foodie Weekend in Providence, Rhode Island

Little Sister Rhode Island

Rhode Island’s capital, Providence, often overshadowed by top-tier colleges and its popular New England neighbors, has quietly emerged as a foodie mecca in recent years.

Coupled is its thriving arts scene, with installations like the Steel Yard and WaterFire Providence, that color the river with flames every summer. Plus, there’s a certain spell in strolling down canal-like footpaths and marveling at Victorian homes without stepping foot in Europe. With this combo in tow, Providence has uniquely found its footing, rivaling many other American cities that are often first to get a mention.

Rhode Island Waterfire

We were recently tickled by Providence’s culinary scene, one that is unexpectedly creative yet somehow still rooted in tradition. Sure, it’s also home to a few food oddities like coffee milk or calamari with fried jalapenos, but that only adds to the city’s charm. Like many passion projects, a new wave of high-caliber restaurants was born in PVD during the pandemic. We’ve taste-tested some of Providence’s best establishments for you. Here’s where you should eat first:


Irregardless Biscuit

For a taste of the South, start your day at Irregardless (no it’s still not a real word, but we love their use of it) for their crispy, buttery biscuits. This cult favorite pandemic pop-up turned brick-and-mortar location still has lines out the door even months after its opening. You’ll find locals and visitors alike ordering biscuits with homemade strawberry butter, sausage gravy, and tomato aioli. Made with co-owner James Dean’s grandmother’s recipe in mind, Irregardless’ biscuits call for a fine-textured flour, specifically the kind that hails from North Carolina, where Dean makes his quarterly trips to secure the goods. The beverage program nods to the restaurant’s Southern influence, expect to find coffees served with a Moravian spiced cookie, alongside hibiscus teas and chicory cold brews. We like to stack a hash brown in the Phil’s Biscuit with fried chicken and sausage gravy and drizzle it with a dollop of their hot honey or vinegar-peppery hot sauce. Don’t forget to grab a fork – you’ll need it.

Irregardless Biscuit Providence

Little Sister

Little Sister serves up a Puerto Rican-inspired brunch in a colorful space, adorned with bright wallpaper accents and charming floral arrangements. It’s peppered with trinkets and viny green plants that make it feel like home. A meal here is akin to Sunday night dinners with family, even during brunch. Inside you’ll find Chef/Owner Milena Pagan, whose lively energy mirrors the vibrant space she’s curated. Here she cooks up dishes like the iconic Mofongo Benedict which replaces the English muffin with a smashed plantain patty and is paired with pernil, a Puerto Rican-style roasted pork shoulder that’s shredded and braised overnight. The dish is topped with achiote hollandaise sauce and crispy Cuerito cracklings – and we can guarantee you haven’t had a benny like this one before. Little Sister has also perfected the art of the pastry, with offerings like the Cardamom Knot or the Dulce de Leche Short Bread Cookies, influenced by Latin American flavor profiles. More than just a restaurant, it’s a space that breeds community at a time when we’re all longing for more connection. Little Sister hosts weekly wine tastings and a monthly wine club, where you can unpretentiously enjoy dishes paired with natural wines hand-sourced from around the world in great company.

Angelos and Little Sister
(Left) Dish from Angelos, (Right) Dish from Little Sister
Little Sister Rhode Island
Little Sister Rhode Island


Angelo’s Restaurant

In a town teeming with Italian eateries, Angelo’s has remained a timeless favorite in Providence’s Little Italy. Celebrating 100 years since opening, Angelo’s once catered to the working class, and still thrives on serving classic Italian dishes in generous, family-style portions, at affordable prices today. Whether you’re dining with two or twenty-two, every meal feels like coming home to your big Italian family every time. The menu still reflects the restaurant’s history, with many dishes dating back to the days of the Great Depression when Angelo’s would offer half-portion orders or bang-for-buck menu items. Today, dishes marked with an ‘A’ can still be ordered in half portions, while those labeled ‘99’ hail from the original 1924 menu. One of those dishes is the veal and peppers, a stew with suntan peppers simmering in its own sauce for hours each day. Or try the signature 8-layer lasagna, crafted with three types of cheese, it is worth writing home about.



Often described as fancy without being fussy, Persimmon embraces tapas-style plates and an impressive wine list to match. Reminiscent of a best-kept secret, the restaurant feels like it flies under the radar of top-notch dining. The inside is cozy and warmly lit and the service is attentive, bringing a wave of calm even on a bustling Friday night. The expansive menu is best enjoyed with friends, allowing you the opportunity to sample a little bit of everything. If you’re looking for an online version of the menu, good luck – it evolves on the regular. Small plates range from braised green croquettes to luxury dishes like the Rhode Island oyster with sea urchin and caviar. Dishes are plated with artistry and detail in mind, where even the ice cream feels luxurious. It’s really no surprise that Persimmon’s been a James Beard nominee six times.

Oberlin Providence Rhode Island
A smattering of dishes from Oberlin


Oberlin hits all the marks of a top-tier restaurant. The menu evolves around the seasons and leans into unsuspecting pairings that impress even the toughest critics. Whether you roll in for brunch or dinner, Chef Benjamin Sukle is a wizard who makes magic out of inventive pairings – think pappardelle paired with sweet carrot. With a stellar waitstaff that doesn’t miss a beat, this is a place where you can and should take your server’s recommendation. The menu evolves with the seasons – we’ve recently loved the wood-fired rack of lamb, served with cous cous and charred radicchio, or the mortadella on a baguette with pistachio and agrodolce. Their neighboring counterpart, Gift Horse, is a new raw bar-style addition to the block aimed at satisfying all your New England cravings. We’d highly encourage you to show up early so you can grab a few local oysters before our Oberlin reservation. Sample their Slack Tide tower, a seafood tower sporting littleneck clam, oyster, and mussel catches from around the state.

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For a nightcap, head to Marcelino’s, an upscale Middle Eastern cocktail bar where you can snuggle into a nook and munch on mezze platters. The ambiance here is speakeasy-esque: dark, intimate, and quite mysterious. The drinks are creative and spotlight a range of specialty Middle Eastern ingredients, think arak, beets, sumac, and baklava to name a few. The Quince is our go-to, it’s a cilantro-forward drink, with tequila, mezcal, and grapefruit taking centerstage, rounded out with a kick of chili. They also serve up a mean food menu, with dishes like the Armenian flatbread topped with a garlic herb ricotta and balsamic glaze.

Marcelinos Providence
Interior of Marcelino’s, Providence

Where to Stay

With all that eating, you’ll want to land somewhere cozy each night. We recommend Omni Providence Hotel, a reliable option that’s conveniently located within strolling distance to many of the spots recommended in this article.

While it may not be the swankiest hotel in town, its convenience is unmatched and you’re always able to extend your check-in/out times hassle-free. The linens are plush, and the room service offers a crab roll for your late-night dose of New England. The hotel just welcomed a chic rooftop bar, Fleur, where their Flight to Paris martini tower is a worthwhile nightcap.

Inside the Omni Providence Hotel overlooking Rhode Island State House

Souvenirs to Take Home

While a weekend in Providence only leaves you with a tiny taste of the culinary surface here, we’ll indulge in a good take-home treat just as much as the next visitor. Stock up on Venda Ravioli’s stuffed pasta, the frozen lobster ravioli is worth bringing a cooler for. The gourmet grocery store houses an array of authentic pasta, cheese, oils, and more for your heart’s content. Anchor Toffee makes a fantastic hand-crafted almond butter toffee that somehow finds the perfect balance of sweet and salty. For a clever gift idea, Industrious Spirit Co. distills Ostreida Oyster Vodka,  which is made from oysters. With elements of the salty ocean in each sip, the only way to describe this vodka’s flavor profile might be “it’s like a dirty martini.” And if you’ve spent a weekend in PVD, you’ve surely heard about KNEAD Donuts, their PB&J donut is a must for the journey home – you’ll thank us later!

ISCO Vodka
ISCO’s Ostreida vodka, made from oysters
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