Restaurants in Providence, RI

Providence is the heart of New York System hot dogs, a style of weenie and weenie service unknown elsewhere. They are little dogs in little buns dressed with ultrafine-grind chili sauce, mustard, and onions, plus a sprinkle of celery salt. Counter men prepare them systematically by lining up all the dogs in buns and dressing them assembly line style. The line-up may be along a prep area, but the way an old-time dog man does it is to array a dozen of the dogs from wrist to shoulder, adding chili, mustard, and onions to each with lightning speed. Hence the common local description of New York System dining: “wieners up the arm.” The only proper accompanying libation is coffee milk. For seriously good Italian-American food, there are few places in the Northeast with more and better choices than the area in the heart of Providence known as Federal Hill.

Providence’s Most Famous Dishes

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

Coffee Milk

Two bunned hot dogs topped with chili, mustard, and chopped onions

New York System Hot Dog

Bakery-fresh loaf of Italian bread, resting on the bag it was sold in

Bread & Rolls

A single jonnycake, topped with melting butter, exhibits a fine, crisp edge.

Jonnycake

Providence’s Best Restaurants

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