What are the five best Providence food experiences?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Melanie Nayer

Providence is ripe with interesting and authentic food experiences. Here are Forbes Travel Guide’s inside tips for tasting your way through Providence:  

1. Seafood. Thanks to Providence’s location near some of New England’s best fishing banks, the seafood here is top-notch. Head downtown to Hemenway’s for New England-style clam chowder.

2. Italian. Providence’s Little Italy is one of the oldest Italian neighborhoods in the country. Federal Hill, the city’s Italian district, has Italian groceries and novelty stores, as well as a slew of bakeries and restaurants where authenticity reigns supreme.

3. Hot dogs. Rhode Islanders like to keep things simple, which is why N.Y. System hot dogs are one of the best foodie finds in the city. The restaurant serves its hot dogs on a steamed bun and tops them with meat sauce, onions and mustard. Known around town as “gaggers,” these dogs are a Providence staple. 

4. Pizza. Almost every city has its own version of pizza, and Providence is no different. Legend has it that Al Forno’s in Providence was the first place in America to serve grilled pizza (thin pizza cooked on a grill). While we can’t verify that’s true, we can confirm that the pizza here is worth a visit.

5. Raw bars. Whether you’re at the beach in Newport or sitting in a fine dining restaurant in downtown Providence, it’s likely you’ll be near a raw bar thanks to Providence’s location on the water. Shuck an oyster, crack a crab claw or throw back a shrimp shooter while you’re in town.

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