Restaurants in Rhode Island

Seafood is outstanding in the Ocean State: lobster shore dinner, unique creamy-pink chowder with clam cakes on the side, garlicky snail salad that is a local passion. Rhode Island has a hot dog culture that is unique. Little franks served in what are known, obscurely, as “New York System” eateries get topped with spicy meat sauce and are eaten by fours and sixes. A full-bore chicken dinner eaten in an immense dinner hall is a weekend must. At almost every level of dining, breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all well-accompanied by griddle cooked corn pancakes known as jonnycakes (or johnnycakes). Whatever and wherever you eat, have a glass of the official state beverage: coffee milk.

Rhode Island’s Most Famous Dishes

Scoops of strawberry, pistachio, and vanilla ice cream accompany a slice of 4-layer chocolate cake.

Ice Cream

Two glasses: coffee milk shake on the left, coffee milk (no ice cream) on the right

Coffee Milk

Chewy bits of snail wallow in garlic & veggies

Snail Salad

Fresh pastas, ready to boil


Rhode Island’s Best Restaurants

Brickley’s Ice Cream & Cakes


Ice Cream Machine


The Daily Scoop


Bocce Club




Gray’s Ice Cream


Allie’s Donuts


Champlin’s Seafood Deck


Iggy’s of Narragansett


Olneyville N.Y. System


Jigger’s Diner






Aunt Carrie’s


Evelyn’s Drive-In


Wein-O-Rama | Rhode Island’s Unique Weenie


A single jonnycake, topped with melting butter, exhibits a fine, crisp edge.
J.P. Spoonem’s | Rhode Island Cornmeal Jonnycakes


Iggy’s Doughboys And Chowder House


O’Rourke’s Bar & Grill


Wrapped fry bread taco on a plate ... native-American tacos
Fry Bread House


Bowl of soup with beef, corn, and squash ... Apache burger
Wickiup Grill


Rhode Island Articles & Guides

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Top 12 favorite Ice Cream Scoops

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a pile of donuts at Holy Donut

Yankee Doughnut Dandies

In New England, doughnuts are an art. We needn't argue their humble virtues in contrast to such upwardly mobile pastries as scones and croissants or the meretricious muffins that...

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Pancakes make people happy. Arriving at the table in the form of short stacks or lofty towers, or fanned out like a haul of soft gold medallions, they are...

East Greenwich Rhode Island

In a varnished wooden booth at Jigger's one autumn day so cold that the windows cloud with steam, we ask the waitress for a cup of soup followed...

A lobster roll with a ramekin of butter, ready to drizzle

Northeast Seafood Crawl

For a mouthwatering summer road trip to sleeves-up joints surrounded by magnificent scenery, you can’t beat a seafood-eating expedition along New England's coast. At waterside picnic tables and roadside drive-ins, in...

The One Must-Eat Food in Each State, and Where To Get It

Unique Regional Dishes After 40 years and 5 million miles spent on the road looking for America's best regional food, we've assembled a list of the quintessential, must-eat food in...

Lobster roll

6 best restaurants in New England

Looking for some stops along your Road trip?  Check out our picks for the 6 best restaurants in New England.  This is New England, so there is a plethora...

Picnic table holds a plastic cup with a balance of lemonade and ice tea ... Maine lobster roll

Yankee Grape-Nuts

Originally marketed in 1897 to compete with granula, which was the predecessor to granola, Grape-Nuts is an unlikely fun dessert. But in the world of Yankee cookery, the little...

Rhode Island Chicken Dinner

The Ocean State is known for seafood. It also happens to be chicken-dinner country. (The Rhode Island Red Hen is the official state bird.) All around Woonsocket, in the...

Coffee Milk Love in Rhode Island

Twenty-eight states have an official state drink. For several in dairy country, it is milk. In California, it is wine; in Maine, Moxie; in Indiana, water. Dine around Rhode...

Beautiful Vintage Diners

The term diner has come to mean almost any inexpensive cafe that serves breakfast. But true diners are an elite class of eatery. They are mid 20th century design...

Destination Donuts

Donut devotion as fervid as the commitment devotees have for barbecue. Everybody has a favorite kind. From robust cake sinkers to featherweight glazed, styles vary dramatically. In our experience,...

Maine Diner - Indian Pudding

Yankee Indian Pudding | Roadfood Bests

Indian pudding is one of New England’s fundamental comfort foods. Despite its name, it is not a native American dish adapted by colonist cooks. Early settlers considered just about...

America's Best Hot Dogs

There's no point getting into a flame war over which American hot dog is best. It's impossible, because the nation's hot dogs are so diverse.  However, we will go...

Yankee Donut Destinations

A donut’s very shape is satisfying. It is complete, a whole circle, nice to lift and easy to dunk. Almost any recently-made donut from a national chain offers the...

Rhode Island Snail Salad

Snail salad is ubiquitous in the Ocean State. It is on Italian menus, seafood menus, and chicken dinner hall menus, a spotlight hors d'oeuvre at waterside picnic shacks as...

Lobster roll on a round bun

New England Shore Dinner

Along the Northeast's Atlantic coast, the term "shore dinner" doesn't just mean some seafood on a plate. Descendant of Algonquin clambakes in which clams and corn were layered in...

Rhode Island New York System

New York system hot dogs are unique to Rhode Island: little weenies in little buns dressed with ultrafine-grind chili sauce, mustard and onions, plus a sprinkle of celery salt....

Great Rhode Island Recipes

A plate of calamari from Roadfood Recipe

Calamari Recipe | Recipes from the Road | Rhode Island

Stack of thin, plate-wide gingerbread pancakes is topped with a globe of butter.

Gingerbread Pancakes


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