“There aren’t really any places that specialize in soup,” says Emily Medizza, the part-owner of Little Shop of Soups in Providence’s Financial District. “My dad came up with the name – we’re big fans of musicals.” The menu is built around traditional favorites. “Our Chicken ‘Not’ Pie soup is very creamy. We add chicken bits, carrots, peas, mushrooms, potatoes, celery, and onions. We also have a New England-style clam chowder with quahogs straight from Narragansett Bay.”
Medizza looks forward to students returning and the cool months that follow. “I definitely expect an increase in sales around soup season, starting in October,” she says. The tiny shop also offers sandwiches including BBQ pulled pork topped with coleslaw and an Italian Caprese. At age 20, Medizza knows she is young to be operating a restaurant. “I’m learning a lot about adult things, as I call them, like electric bills, setting up internet, answering email, and communicating with people. It’s been challenging, but it’s put me on a path of growth, which I’m very grateful for. It’s a rare experience for someone my age.” Providence, LittleShopOfSoups.com
Industry veteran Brittany Fox recently opened Queen of Cups, named after “a tarot card that continually showed up for me when I was aspiring to create this warm and welcoming community space. The card signifies kindness and compassion, to yourself and others, which I think is the perfect message for my vision,” explains Fox. Located across the street from Narragansett Town Beach, the shop serves locally roasted coffee from Empire Tea and Coffee in Newport. “Our cold brew, iced coffee, hot coffee, and espresso beverages are all amazing, but we also have a great selection of teas and refreshing drinks if coffee isn’t your thing,” she adds.
The most popular products on the menu are the homemade pop tarts in fun flavors. Breakfast sandwiches, including the garden egg sandwich, made with egg, arugula, tomato, avocado, cheddar, and house-made sriracha aioli is a customer favorite. “We have a couple of house-made simple syrups – lavender and brown sugar cinnamon; those are both a hit. We are also making a lot of maple lattes and mochas, and our guests love workshopping new flavor combinations with the baristas.” Narragansett, QueenOfCupsRI.com
At Mother Pizzeria, chef/owner Kevin O’Donnell begins with an ingredient shared by all great pizzas: the dough. “The sourdough pizza, made with local, stone-ground flour, is definitely the star of the show,” says O’Donnell, who named the restaurant for the sourdough starter. Less than a 10-minute walk away, O’Donnell also owns Giusto, an award-winning restaurant and longtime Newport favorite. “At our core are exceptional ingredients and low-intervention farming/sourcing practices.”
The menu leads off with starters including Nduja Croquettes, Octopus Salad, and Narragansett Creamery Burrata. Beyond the appetizers, it’s all pizza and house-made gelato at the Long Wharf Mall establishment. Popular picks include the Rhode Island Party Pie, a spicy delight with tomato, estratto di pomodoro, Sicilian oregano, and chili flake. “The Margherita pizza seems to reign supreme but seeing what guests order when they build their own is also pretty fun,” O’Donnell adds. “We built a place that we would want to eat and drink at. It’s most rewarding when other people enjoy what you’ve created.” Newport, MotherPizzeria.com
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