March 21, 2023

Are you able to name a go to to Philadelphia full with out making an attempt a cheese steak or a gentle pretzel? Are you able to go to Maryland and never eat crab muffins? What about New Orleans? Should you go to New Orleans with out having beignets at Cafe du Monde, you might be lacking a significant piece of the expertise. Attempting native or regional meals is an enormous a part of touring.

Since making an attempt native meals is such an important a part of a journey expertise, I like to spotlight the “should strive” meals from cities or areas the place we journey. What higher place to start out than Rhode Island meals — from the quirky and distinctive, the road meals and the home-cooked. That is definitely not a whole listing of Rhode Island meals, however these are a couple of highlights that you just simply can’t miss.

Once I moved to the Ocean State over 20 years in the past, these Rhode Island meals have been new to me and a few of them took somewhat getting used to and others I liked from the beginning. Now I can’t think about consuming something however Rhode Island-style calamari and consuming stuffies, clamcakes, and doughboys in the summertime, washed down with a Del’s Lemonade. These are only a few of my picks for should strive Rhode Island meals.

10 Should Strive Rhode Island Meals

If you’re questioning what to eat in Rhode Island, begin with these scrumptious Ocean State favorites.

1. Calamari

Calamari from Pane e Vino | 10 Must Try RI Foods
Photograph credit score: Pane e Vino Restaurant

In contrast to different elements of the nation, Rhode Island calamari may be very evenly battered, then fried or sautéed and served with a mixture of garlic butter and scorching cherry peppers; and it’s scrumptious.

In reality, RI-style calamari is the official state appetizer. I hardly ever have a nasty plate of calamari so you actually can’t go improper at any of the superb eating places round Rhode Island; however if you’d like a stand out serving, strive ordering it at Pane e Vino in Windfall.

Should you love seafood, head all the way down to Matunuck Oyster Bar for each the calamari and the locally-farmed oysters — my favourite within the state!

2. Del’s Lemonade

Rhode Island Foods - Del's Frozen Lemonade

Based mostly on Italian lemon ices, Del’s gives frozen lemonade (like a lemon slushy) and is ubiquitous in Rhode Island through the summer season from everlasting stands to roadside carts at common sights. Del’s is now accessible in a wide range of flavors together with mango/peach and watermelon.

3. Lobster Ravioli

Whereas many eating places serve it, most of them supply lobster ravioli from the masters – Venda Ravioli.

Positioned in Depasquale Sq. in Windfall’s Federal Hill district, Venda Ravioli is a gourmand Italian market, full with a sidewalk cafe. Should you can’t get a desk there, strive their sister restaurant Constantino’s simply throughout the sq..

You’ll be able to even purchase frozen variations in lots of native markets, akin to Dave’s Market.

4. Clam muffins

Dune Brothers clam cakes
Clamcakes from Dune Bros. in Windfall

A clamcake is a egg-sized combination of fried dough with small items of clams inside. I consider it like a fritter however clearly some disagree!

Clam muffins are a kind of meals that folks swear by one vendor’s versus one other; however if you wish to strive two nice examples, head all the way down to Narragansett to strive Iggy’s and Aunt Carrie’s.

Nevertheless, I’ve not too long ago been transformed to assume the very best clam muffins in Rhode Island are at Dune Brothers Seafood meals truck in Windfall. Their secret? Cooking them in beef fats. It provides this additional layer of taste that units them aside.

5. Doughboys

Iggy's doughboys

When you are down at Iggy’s, you must also choose up some doughboys. Each area appears to have its personal model of fried dough (funnel muffins, NJ-style zeppolis…), and doughboys are Rhode Island’s.

Doughboys are flat, sometimes-plate sized items of fried dough. Others are smaller and also you get them by the half-dozen. Served scorching out of the fryer, you will get them plain or with sugar.

6. Pizza strips (aka Social gathering Pizza)

RI Pizza Strips | 10 Must Try RI Foods

Once I first moved to Rhode Island, I didn’t perceive these cheeseless pizza strips that turned up at each social gathering. I typically heard, “I’ll deliver social gathering pizza!” This oddity has since grown on me and now I’m generally the one bringing the social gathering pizza.

Pizza strips are strips of focaccia-like dough topped with a thick tomato sauce. They’re served at room temperature and can be found at most native bakeries and markets.

7. Zeppole

10 Must Try RI Foods - Zeppole from LaSalle Bakery

Once I was speaking about doughboys, I discussed NJ-style zeppolis, that are small balls of fried dough (unusually sufficient, in regards to the dimension of a clamcake).

These are offered by the dozen or half-dozen, and topped with powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar. It was a favourite deal with of mine when visiting the boardwalk on the Jersey shore.

So once I moved to RI, I heard about this vacation referred to as St. Joseph’s Day, which was celebrated by consuming zeppole. I used to be excited till I went to the bakery and located that the zeppole offered in RI are literally a creampuff-like pastry crammed with a custard-type cream or different choice, and topped with cream and normally a cherry.

Yummy, simply not what I used to be anticipating. Sadly, zeppole are principally discovered round St. Joseph’s Day in March so if you’re visiting at one other time, you may miss out.

However if you’re fortunate sufficient to be on the town on the proper time, I’d advocate stopping by LaSalle Bakery in Windfall (additionally choose up considered one of their wonderful purple velvet cupcakes if you are there.)

8. Espresso Cupboards and Espresso Milk

In RI, a cupboard is not only a spot to retailer issues, it’s espresso beverage made from espresso ice cream, espresso syrup and milk. I’m undecided if it’s the official state drink, nevertheless it must be. You don’t see them too typically anymore, however it’s one thing the long-time Rhode Island residents nonetheless learn about and they’re nonetheless served at Newport Creamery.

Nevertheless, espresso milk is one thing you continue to see round, or at the very least you should buy espresso syrup available in the market. Espresso milk is made by including a sweetened espresso focus referred to as espresso syrup to take advantage of, the identical approach you make chocolate milk.

 9. Stuffies (aka Stuffed Quahogs)

Stuffies (aka Stuffed Quahogs) | 10 Must Try RI Foods

Stuffies are one other well-known Rhode Island meals that I by no means heard of earlier than I moved right here however now order or serve typically. Stuffies are a type of a stuffed clam that’s unique to Rhode Island.

They’re filled with a breading that features chopped quahogs (the RI state mollusc), herbs, and bits of peppers and chourico sausage.

Stuffies are one other factor which you could get nearly anyplace and my favorites are literally from my native Dave’s Market; however in the event you would relatively eat them out, strive Finn’s Harbourside in East Greenwich.

10. New York System Scorching Weiners

10 Must Try Foods when Visiting Rhode Island #10 Hot

I needed to put this one final as a result of after 11 years in RI, I nonetheless don’t perceive why locals tout a meals that was named after one other state. I additionally lived in NY and I don’t get the connection. My guess is it goes again to Coney Island fashion scorching canine though I’ve seen related choices on the Upstate Eats Path in New York on the best way to Buffalo.

However, that mentioned, these scorching canine are a basic RI meals so if you wish to strive it, head over to considered one of Olneyville N.Y. System’s areas.

The standard wiener is made with a small, skinny frankfurter made from veal and pork, giving it a special style from a standard beef scorching canine. It’s served in a steamed bun, and topped with celery salt, yellow mustard, chopped onions, and a seasoned meat sauce.


Rhode Island is a foodie state and Windfall is a foodie metropolis. So whereas I can listing the entire greatest meals in Rhode Island, there are a couple of honorable mentions that I merely can’t pass over.

  • Donut Cake. Yup, that could be a should strive meals that I’ve solely seen in RI and you’ll solely get them at Allie’s Donuts in North Kingstown, however you higher order upfront.
  • Gregg’s Chocolate Cake. Sure, you will get chocolate cake anyplace. However are you able to get this thick, wealthy, moist, additional chocolatey cake like you possibly can at Gregg’s restaurant.
  • Johnnycakes. These cornmeal pancakes are discovered round, however not as prevalent anymore.
  • RI-style clam chowder. In contrast to New England clam chowder, RI has a transparent broth.
  • Dynamites. Hamburger meat with peppers, onions and tomato sauce – type of like a sloppy joe.

Wish to study extra? Simply learn the feedback…my fellow Rhode Islanders have passionately chimed in with their favorites and added a couple of I omitted.

Questioning The place to Eat in Rhode Island?

Strive these:


10 Must try foods in Rhode Island

Discover this convenient? Share it!