While Providence may be a small city, the food scene certainly is not. Constantly rated by several magazines as one of the top foodie cities in the country, Providence is definitely a hit for the foodies. The diversity and quirkiness of the food scene along with major events really drives people into Providence.

Many restaurants are Johnson & Wales University Alumni owned and operated which gives it a more personal touch. Here is a roundup of the yummiest new additions to the Providence food scene.

Tom's BaoBao

Hand-crafted and steamed as you wait-do I need to say more? If your wondering what bao is, it is Chinese street food that has been around for over 1,200 years. They can be filled with pork, beef, chicken, sweet potato, etc.

Tom's Baobao originated in Harvard Square and has made it's way down to The Creative Capital in the heart of Westminster Street. Fresh food never tasted so good. 


Definitely one of the most talked about food places in Providence this year was PVDonuts, Providence's first specialty gourmet donut shop. Starting out small, selling donuts at local shops, PVDonuts has grown tremendously this past year. They shared their first brick-and-mortar store with Sin Bakery on Allens Avenue and because of high-demand, moved into their current location on Ives Street.

Waiting in line is the norm, but it is definitely worth it. Don't know what flavors to get? Try Dave's Coffee Milk, Puppy Chow, Milk & Cookies & Cereal Milk. They also have vegan options as well offered on Wednesday's & Sunday's. 

The Malted Barley

Nothing beats craft beer and pretzels, especially on game day. With a variety of options, low prices and location, The Malted Barley is a key part of Downtown Providence. Originally starting in Westerly, The Malted Barley has hit a new niche in Providence with it's flavorful pretzels and refreshing beers.

Menu items include jalapeño and cheddar stuffed pretzels, BLT pretzel sandwiches and a waffle pretzels with Nutella and vanilla ice cream.


Persimmon is not new to Rhode Island, in fact, it was in Bristol, RI for 11 years. Just recently however, Persimmon made the move to Providence bringing in new flavor on Hope Street. Persimmon serves modern American cuisine that is globally influenced.

Moving to Providence meant more seating and new menu changes, and a new experience. Because they transitioned to using small plates, guests are able to try different things such as seared MA scallops, Venison Tartare and Carnarolli Risotto.


One of several new DownCity restaurants is Oberlin. Created by the owners of Birch, Oberlin is a small, cozy place that offers small plates and a wine bar. It is open Thursday-Mondays for dinner only. Menu options include cheese boards, potato gnocchi, grilled RI mushrooms and marinated mushrooms. Many of the wines offered are certified organic, certified bio-dynamic and natural. 

Pasta Beach

Quality pasta, pizza and sandwiches have finally hit Wayland Square. With locations in Newport & Boston, it was only a matter of time before Pasta Beach would hit Providence. With it's fun, relaxed interior, reasonable prices and good portions, Pasta Beach is the perfect addition to Wayland.

What should you get? Try the bruschetta made with homemade bread, Linguine Tropea, Risotto al Nebbiolo and the variety of pizzas such as the Margherita pizza, Prosciutto di Parma and the Pesto e Gamberi. Pasta Beach is great for lunch or dinner after a day of shopping.

Milk Money

Technically Milk Money opened October 2015 but 2016 has been the year it has taken flight. Located right behind the timeless Al Forno, Milk Money is definitely a fresh face to South Water Street. They have a full bar with rotating beer and wine and a tasty cocktail menu. Food options include kimchi deviled eggs, foie gras poutine, cast-iron swordfish and challah French toast. 

2016 has been a great year for food in the Creative Capital. More and more restaurants are opening and are offering new, authentic cuisines. If you are looking for new places to try after break, there are plenty of options.