Coffee Milk Love in Rhode Island

40 MILES | 56 min | by Michael Stern
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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 Island and it becomes apparent what the Ocean State’s official drink is: coffee milk. It is mild stuff — more milk than coffee, and more sweet than caffeinated. Food historians speculate that Rhode Islanders’ passion for the pale tan beverage (as well as for coffee ice cream) owes to an Italian heritage and the old country tradition of gentling strong coffee with milk and sweetener. Add a scoop of ice cream to coffee milk, as can be done at Gray’s, and you have a coffee cab (short for coffee cabinet) At Olneyville New York System and Wein-O-Rama, it’s just the right beverage to accompany the state’s unique wieners up the arm, and at the down-and-dirty food truck known as Haven Brothers, it pairs well with a 3am murderburger.

1

Gray’s Ice Cream

Grand and dignified ice cream at Gray's includes such New England flavors as Grape-Nuts and frozen pudding. Ginger ice cream is made from real ginger root.

2

Haven Brothers

Haven Brothers is a food truck that pulls up to Providence, Rhode Island's City Hall every night about 5pm and dishes out wicked-good burgers.

3

Olneyville N.Y. System

Serving Rhode Island's distinctive little hot dog since 1930, Olneyville offers wiener-up-the-arm service. To drink: the locals' favorite, coffee milk.

4

Wein-O-Rama

Wein-O-Rama is a full-menu, breakfast-and-lunch diner specializing in hot weiners, the unique Rhode Island way with franks. Correct beverage: coffee milk.