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Providence Restaurants Worth the Drive

Rhode Island’s capital city is home to a rich food culture and cutting-edge eateries.

providence restaurants

Providence, R.I., is known for its rich culinary heritage and thriving foodie scene. After all, the capital city is home to Johnson & Wales University, which churns out creative chefs at a hearty clip.

Explore the Renaissance City via your taste buds with our picks for charming restaurants. Bon appetit!

GRACIE’S

The food, service and ambiance at this AAA Four Diamond Rated restaurant are sublime, with a farm-to-table menu that changes seasonally. Recent dishes include a tasting plate of winter vegetables with Brussels sprouts, sauteed bok choy and roasted carrots with tabbouleh, and herb-marinated swordfish. Don’t miss the three-course dessert menu; executive pastry chef Melissa Denmark makes all the desserts in-house.

AL FORNO

In a city filled with legendary restaurants, this is perhaps one of the most well-known, gracing the banks of the Providence River since 1980. Perhaps you’ve heard of grilled pizza? The toothsome treat was said to be invented at this stalwart eatery, where you can get one topped with crispy calamari, pea green pesto, mushrooms, pepperoni or margarita-style with pomodoro sauce, cheese, fresh herbs and olive oil.

PERSIMMON

Cutting-edge cuisine and friendly, top-notch service are the order of the day at Persimmon. (In true Rhode Island speak, it’s located where Rue de l’Espoir used to be, with an updated decor that’s fresh, airy and bright.) James Beard-nominated chef Champe Speidel serves up smaller plates of veggies, fish, meat, chicken and game, as well as homemade pastas, so diners can sample a little of everything.

POT AU FEU

Pot au Feu has been serving up classic French cuisine in the city’s financial district since 1972. Its brick-walled bistro is cozy, unassuming and elegant, with muted lighting, linen tablecloths and bottles of wine lining the walls. It was said to be a favorite of Julia Child, and really, if you’re a French restaurant, does an endorsement get any better than that? It’s known for its pot au feu – a French Sunday dinner dish of beef and chicken braised with onions, carrots and potatoes.

Hungry for more food stories and restaurant reviews? AAA.com/Food

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