[Providence, RI] Looking for lesser known gems of PVD

Inspired by the discussion of Fall River and Narragansett dining that @passing_thru posted, I figured this board can put together some great but maybe lesser known places in Providence.

For example, I know Nick’s and Julians get brought up a lot for brunch, but there must be other places outside of Federal Hill that’s worth visiting?

DH and I stumbled upon Olga’s Cup and Saucer out of desperation, but it turned out to be an airy and bright outside space, and a full bakery and pastry shop inside. (And brunch was really great too! )

Bucktown is also a great lunch option that doesn’t seem to get brought up a whole lot. It is a counter service place with stellar Southern fares rarely done well in New England; and I’d like to eat those hush puppies with honey butter three meals a day if my arteries will let me.


I haven’t been for a while, but Chengdu Taste in Pawtucket was really good a couple years back. Really close to 95 as well.

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Is newish in the same ballpark as lesser-known? Yoleni’s opened up its first US location in Providence. The Boston Globe story about this Greek market-cafe-restaurant makes me want to give it a try.

Anybody been yet?



I saw that Globe story, too, and it immediately made me want to get myself down to PVD to check it out. As a spring onion, I remember peeking in often whenever we were downtown and thinking how grand it was (as is much of PVD’s architecture). I was so glad to see it resurrected as a temple to food (and I hope the wares match the grandness of the building).


Funny, I thought Yoleni’s just might be your kind of spot. The fast-casual aspect could also be friendly to a Spring Onion, I hope.


Thanks all for this thread ! We made a last-minute late-afternoon jaunt to see a Waterfire lighting yesterday and a quick board search turned this up. Even after more than a year the pointers were great.

First stop was Yoleni’s for second coffee and snacks and a bit of shopping (fantastic house Greek yogurt, among other things). They were prepping for dinner and it sure smelled good! Also stopped in at nearby Malted Barley (mentioned elsewhere) for take-out pretzels (not so much my thing but enjoyed by their target).

Found parking near RISD and joined the throngs for the lighting, something that’s been on my “I should see one of those some day” list for years. It was pretty, albeit loud and very crowded. Plenty of food stalls but none were calling so we climbed the steepish hill back to the car and went to Bucktown for a late dinner, figuring there’d be less traffic mayhem away from downtown.

Bucktown was just what our hungry, tired, and rumpled selves wanted, and the staff couldn’t have been nicer. I especially loved the fried oysters, chicken thigh sandwich, and cucumber salad (nice and vinegary, plenty of dill). Washed it down with the house hibiscus tea and shared a canonical banana pudding for dessert. I agree that they’re a rare NE example of good Southern fare and expect we’ll be back at some point.

I’m not familiar with PVD (or RI in general) and think it’s time to change that. If y’all have any more lesser-known more-casual area gems to share I’d love to hear about them.


big king in the (or least was) good when I tried. Former north location.

Lekker. Pretty good, not many examples of this type of steamed cooking here. Bbq is just okay,
Lamei hot pot is pretty decent.