Taste the World in Rhode Island

Cover the continents with these restaurants serving regional classics – plus suggestions for first-timers


Are you familiar with the Global Scavenger Hunt? It’s an annual travel competition where teams of two embark on culturally oriented treasure hunts in 10 surprise countries, all hoping to be named the World’s Greatest Travelers. While most of us aren’t likely to circumnavigate the globe on such an adventure, Rhode Island is full of culinary destinations that will make you feel as though you have – with no passport required. We’ve planned our own hunt within the state, finding representative restaurants from every continent. We hope this gastronomic guide can introduce you to just a few of the many options there are in this small but mighty state. Take the adventure and try a new cuisine!

If we missed your favorite, let us know at Marketing@heyrhody.com.




France  →  Newport

Stoneacre Brasserie

28 Washington Square

Originally inspired by French wines and the foods that were paired with them, Stoneacre Brasserie offers casual cafe vibes by day and elevated dining by night. From the patterned floor tiling to the flying buttresses, the French-inspired architecture will make you feel as though you’ve just left the Eiffel Tower.

Classic Cuisine: French classics are given a contemporary American twist. For example, Duck Confit with pan jus, a traditionally rich dish, is paired with a light polenta and a salad of locally sourced produce. Or sample French-style scallops, prepared traditionally, but instead of a cheesy sauce, it’s served with apple and pear puree. Pro-tip: try one of their weekly specials.

Recommendation for Newcomers: Gooey cheese and homemade croutons make French Onion Soup a staple for this country’s cuisine and a well-loved comfort food. The Croque Monsieur is also a good option, which is essentially a fancy grilled cheese sandwich, upgraded with Gruyere, parmesan, and ham. And don’t forget to ask the team about wine pairings. White Burgundies are a great place to start this season.


Italy  →  Wakefield

Pasquale’s Pizzeria Napoletana

The Village at South County Commons

Originally from Naples, owner Pasquale Illiano has assembled a savory menu of pizza (more on that below), salads, piatti (sharing platters), sandwiches, antipasto, and sfizi – a bit of this and that – including cozy faves like Pasta e Faglio soup, and Pasta e Patate (pasta with potatoes and cheeses).

Classic Cuisine: The Neapolitan Pizza, or Naples-style pizza, is from the birthplace of pizza itself. Pasquale’s pizza has achieved a prestigious VPN status, meaning it is considered Verace Pizza Napoletana (“true Neapolitan pizza”). These pizzas have a thin bubbly crust and are made with the freshest ingredients, including tomatoes from the slopes of Mount Vesuvius. Unlike American-style pizza, these aren’t pre-sliced. They are cooked the Italian way, in a special oven, and have earned a spot in the Top 50 Pizzas USA.

Recommended for Newcomers: Margherita, the “basic” pizza, is made with San Marzano tomatoes, basil leaves, fior di latte mozzarella (although it’s worth upgrading to the Buffalo mozzarella). In Italy, you can gauge how good a pizzeria is by their Margherita pie. Let this be the standard you hold all other pizzas to.




Venezuela  →  Pawtucket

La Arepa

582 Smithfield Avenue

Owned by Nohemi Rodriguez, La Arepa is the perfect place to enjoy Venezuelan flavors, ambiance, and traditional music. If the restaurant came with a mood, the joyful atmosphere here says it all. In addition to traditional fare, you’ll find a selection of vegetarian and vegan options, making this a perfect spot for diners of all kinds.

Classic Cuisine: Along with the Cachapas, Tequenos, and Empanadas, try the Pabellon Criollo – a traditional Venezuelan dish served with white rice and black beans, ripped meat called carne mechada, sweet fried plantain, avocado, and white cheese.

Recommendation for Newcomers: The arepa! Arepas are a staple in Venezuela that can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Made from white cornmeal (and therefore gluten free), cooked or fried in oil, and stuffed with a wide variety of fillings, Venezuelan arepas are unique because they can be filled with almost anything: cheese, jam, avocado, marinated meat, beans, shrimp – whatever your heart desires.


Colombia  →  Central Falls

La Casona

768 Broad Street

La Casona first opened just down the street from its present location in May 2006, and has been in its current spot for 13 years. “When people visit this restaurant, we want them to feel like they are visiting Colombia, like they are experiencing a little bit of Colombian tradition,” says Esteban, one of the bartenders. Open for lunch and dinner, the restaurant is filled with families, couples, friends, birthdays, laughter, and celebrations. La Casona’s bustling bakery just next door offers the freshest bunuelos and pasteles, so be sure to take some home!

Classic Cuisine: The Plato Montanero is a large, oval-shaped platter filled with rice and beans, chorizo, chicharron (fried pork belly/rind), sweet plantain, a corn arepa, a fried egg, and your choice of beef, pork, chicken, or ground beef. Come hungry! The hefty portion recalls the dish’s origins as a meal to fuel people’s work day, and the combination of indigenous and Spanish ingredients makes this a classic mestizo dish. La Casona takes its cue primarily from Medellin, the capital of Colombia’s Antioquia department.

Recommendation for Newcomers: Empanadas. Although this staple may be familiar in other types of Spanish or Latin American cuisine, these savory empanadas – a half-moon filled with your choice of beef or chicken – are made with corn flour, deep fried to a perfect crisp, and served with a cup of aji for dipping. If salsa and chimichurri had a baby, it would be aji: thin in consistency, herby, with a little spice from the aji pepper.




China  →  Peace Dale

Jayd Bun

1202 Kingstown Road

This Chinese take-out window in South Kingstown is creating quite a stir, earning the #1 spot on Yelp’s “Best 100 Places to Eat in New England” and appearing on the news because owners Annie and Joe Parisi have been donating meals to families in need. There’s no question that this is the place to go for authentic Chinese comfort food.

Classic Cuisine: Jianbing, the “Chinese walking street pancake.” Annie grew up eating this every day in Tianjin (north of Beijing). Made from ground mung bean powder, it is filled with egg, scallions, crispy wheat crackers, sesame seeds, turkey dog (optional), sriracha mayo, and sweet bean sauce. Eaten like a burrito, this dish has all the tastes and textures you could want: crunchy, crispy, sweet, and spicy.

Recommended for Newcomers: The buns. These perfectly pan-fried buns are their trademark, made fresh daily with your choice of pork, chicken, or vegetable filling – moist, crispy, and full of flavor, you can’t go wrong.


India  →  Providence


1060 Hope Street

For nearly 30 years, this restaurant has been serving Indian food on Hope Street in Providence. As trailblazers, they required a spirit of adaptability in the early days, offering fusion items such as ravioli with masala sauce in order to appeal to more people. With the surge of cosmopolitan travelers and food lovers, however, they’ve been able to recreate their menu – especially with the arrival of chef Baldev Signh in 2017. With an expanded vegetarian and vegan menu, weekly specials, and new recipes, if you haven’t visited in a few years, it’s time to return and experience the authentic flavors of northern India. 

Classic Cuisine: Tandoori Chicken. Named for the clay oven in which it’s baked, this dish is hard to replicate at home. Each half-bird is double marinated – first in citrus and then in a tandoori marinade consisting of yogurt and spices – for a total of 48 hours, then slow-cooked on a grill, resulting in a crispy exterior that holds a succulent, juicy, and flavorful smoked meat. Enjoy it with a side of naan – a soft, flat bread – and zesty potatoes.

Recommendation for Newcomers: For those who are wary of too much spice, kabobs are a great option: your choice of meat (anything from sirloin to swordfish) or paneer (a type of cheese) marinated and grilled, served on a skewer with veggies. Other popular classic dishes include chicken tikka masala and saag paneer.



Nigeria / Yoruba  →  Pawtucket & Providence

The Village

200 Main Street, Pawtucket
100 Fountain Street, Providence

For 15 years, The Village in Pawtucket has been serving West African cuisine, and just a few years ago, a second location opened in Providence, owned and operated by URI college student Olubunmi Olatunji, who grew up working alongside her mother in Pawtucket. “By the time I was 12 years old, I did everything: washing dishes, cooking, serving – both me and my siblings,” she says. Although sharing food is important to Olatunji, what really drove her to want to open another location is the desire to create a space for community, particularly as a Black-owned business. While take-out is available, sitting and savoring is encouraged.

Classic Cuisine: Ayamase (pronounced “ah-mah-shay”) roughly translates to “designer stew.” It’s made with all different cuts of cow – beef, liver, kidney, tripe, skin, leg – cooked into a green pepper-based sauce and smoked palm oil. This menu item is served with a boiled egg, white rice, and plantains. Iyan is a pounded yam, mashed into a gummy, chewy, soft consistency, similar to a rice cake. It’s best enjoyed alongside a stew, such as the Egusi Riro (made with African melon seed) or Efo Riro (literally spinach stew or vegetable stew).

Recommended for Newcomers: Jollof Rice is another staple food in West African cuisine. The Nigerian version is cooked in a flavorful tomato-based sauce with onions, peppers, and an array of spices.


Cape Verde  →  Pawtucket

10 Rocks Tapas Bar & Restaurant

1091 Main Street

Just over the Providence line in Pawtucket, 10 Rocks has been serving customers Cape Verdean culture since 2015 via inventive tapas (octopus over arugula!), cocktails, and atmosphere that can include live music in the genres of traditional Cape Verdean, reggae, R&B, and open mic jazz.

Classic Cuisine: Cachupa can be found on the brunch menu as The Hungry Cape Verdean. Cachupa is the country’s national dish, a stew made of corn, beans, vegetables, and a protein – meat or fish, depending on what is available in that region. When served as a breakfast item, the liquid is reduced and it’s pan-fried, acting as a base for fried eggs with linguica (sausage) on the side.

Recommended for Newcomers: The Fried Goat Cheese. Anyone can get behind fried cheese. This goat cheese is tossed in panko breading, fried, and topped with honey and a side of guava paste. The Pastel Cabo Verde – traditional Cape Verdean empanadas that are flaky on the outside and filled with tuna, served with house sauces – is also a great choice.



Mexico  →  Central Falls

Tuxpan Taqueria

355 Broad Street

This humble, family-owned Mexican kitchen made history this year by becoming the first restaurant in Central Falls to be named semifinalist for a James Beard Award. This prestigious national award recognized Tuxpan Taqueria as one of the 2024 Best New Restaurants. Despite all of the attention, the Alcantars are determined to not let it get to their heads. “It doesn’t end there,” Eddi Alcantar says. “We want to keep putting good food out there and make people happy.”

Classic Cuisine: Named for the Tuxpan Michoacan region, this is a take-out restaurant inspired by street food, and the most classic option is the taco. Served on a freshly made tortilla with your choice of meat, these soft tacos are served warm with onion and cilantro.

Recommended for Newcomers: The Gordita. This isn’t your typical Taco Bell variety – handmade daily, this Mexican empanada is served in a giant crisp shell and filled with your choice of meat, refried beans, shredded cabbage, cotija cheese, sour cream and guacamole. It’s one of the most popular menu items, and Eddi’s personal favorite is the Al Pastor.


Jamaica  →  Newport

Humming Bird

104 Broadway

Named after Jamaica’s national bird, Humming Bird is owned by chef Dezna Bowen and her husband Abraham Parkes, who have been serving up traditional recipes since 2018. Locals know their breakfast is not to be missed and a hidden secret around town.

Classic Cuisine: Signature entrees include savory dishes like slow-braised oxtail with Jamaican herbs and spices, Jamaican Mutton, and Whole Snapper. To cool things down, don’t miss the Mango Passionfruit Smoothie, made fresh and best enjoyed with eyes closed for optimal vacation vibes.

Recommended for newcomers: The Jerk Chicken is served with rice and beans, cabbage salad, and fried sweet plantains. It gives first-timers a taste of the Caribbean, specifically Jamaica. The mix of flavors is a true reflection of the culture: heartwarming with a kick of spice and a hint of sweetness to balance the entire meal.




Australia  →  Providence

Sydney Cafe

400 Exchange Street
& 300 Thayer Street

There’s more to the Land Down Under than kangaroos and koalas. According to general manager Hanna Dennett, Sydney Cafe is where Australian inspiration meets local ingredients and a passion for quality – not to mention, all of their food and drinks are genuine eye candy. Recently, their all-day cafe began transforming into an after-dark boutique espresso martini bar on the weekends, with plans to expand in the future.

Classic Cuisine: Their signature, house-made Lamington is a twist on the classic Australian dessert made of a butter sponge cake coated with an outer layer of chocolate sauce and rolled in desiccated coconut flakes. It tastes similar to a Samoa cookie.

Recommendation for Newcomers: The Avocado Smash! This isn’t just a millennial dish, although you’ll definitely want to take a photo before you eat it. Thick-cut country toast is covered in smashed avocado, seasoned with lemon zest, salt and pepper, and topped with feta, heirloom tomatoes, a drizzle of olive oil, and microgreens. You can add prosciutto, smoked salmon, or a local fried egg. Their specialty drinks also should not be missed! Try an iced rose matcha latte or an Aussie-inspired flat white: three espresso shots with steamed milk.


To Market, To Market

Bring global spices and delicacies home with these specialty grocers

By Patty J

Spice up your home entertaining with imported oils and authentic kielbasa from international markets and emporiums boasting prepared foods, specialty pantry items, and hard-to-find brands. A culinary adventure taking you to regions all over the world is only as far away as these must-try grocers.

Bubbie’s Market + Deli

The first day Bubbie’s opened their doors on Hope Street, they sold out of bagels (and lox) within hours. Neighbors and out-of-towners alike enjoy shopping for candies from Israel, pre-packaged foods, and a kosher deli menu of corned beef, pastrami, pickles, potato salad, and more. 727 Hope Street, Providence

European Food Market

This shop in Rolfe Square is all about Eastern European staples and delicacies. Grab everything from Russian dolls and collectibles to cookies and jarred borscht. You can also shop frozen goods and locally cooked Polish, Ukrainian, and Bulgarian eats like burek (flaky pastry filled with meat). Friendly and helpful staff make exploring all the more fun. 102 Rolfe Square, Cranston

Istanbul Gourmet Market

This family-owned micro-grocery on Mineral Spring Avenue stocks a variety of tempting Turkish teas, coffee, and spices, along with freshly made falafel and gyros, hummus, baba ganoush, and stuffed grape leaves from the kiosk area. Regulars also sing praises of their imported candies (Turkish delights, anyone?) and unexpected flavors of soda. 1706 Mineral Spring Avenue, North Providence

Leo’s Market + Restaurant

This no-frills Mexican kitchen-meets-grocery is where those in the City by the Sea go for authentic Latin food, along with a treasure trove of international goodies. In search of a nice bottle of Lizano, a sweet and spicy sauce popular in Costa Rica? How about a can or two of Tiky, a pineapple-flavored Guatemalan soda? Then it’s Leo’s for the win! 162 Broadway, Newport

Main Street Market, Inc.

Open since 1987, Main Street is a one-stop shop for Cape Verdean (they pride themselves on stocking a variety of corn products popular there), West African, and Hispanic goods. Their inventory of prepackaged foods is also full of brands you probably won’t find anywhere else in Lil’ Rhody. Don’t leave without bringing home some pastelitos, a Cuban puff pastry with sweet or savory fillings. 919 Main Street, Pawtucket

Mi Rae Market

This small market has been delighting shoppers for years with its vast assortment of Korean and Japanese products, especially those deemed hard to get. They stock everything you could ever want for at-home sushi making (including sushi rice, pickled ginger, and bottled sauces), not to mention frozen dumplings and meats, canned goods, veggies, coffee, soda, and snacks. 602 Reservoir Avenue, Cranston

Neapolis Food Emporium

Who says you can only go to Atwells Avenue to experience an authentic Italian market? Opened by the award-winning chef behind Pasquale’s Pizzeria (see main article), Neapolis has locals ecstatic over their homemade pasta, gelato, and tiramisu, as well as a selection of imported coffee, olives, and more. Shopping there is the closest you’ll get to being on holiday in Roma in South County. 60 S County Commons Way, South Kingstown

Polonia Market

Folks travel from all over New England just to bring home a taste of Poland from this Pawtucket market. Whether you’re craving pierogies, kielbasa (yes, you can sample), or chocolates, Polonia is the place to find the best of the best. Complete the immersive experience by browsing imported sundries like greeting cards, magazines, and grooming products, too. 736 Broadway, Pawtucket

Sonia’s Near East Market + Deli

A popular lunch spot, Cranstonians cite their falafel wraps, chicken gyros, and hummus as perennial faves. Their market area is equally terrific and has devoted fans flocking to their selection of Middle Eastern spices, nuts, dried fruit, canned goods, honey, baklava, and fresh Syrian bread made daily, plus plenty of vegan prepared dishes to choose from. 816 Park Avenue, Cranston



More international flavors to explore around the state:

Brazil: Fogo De Chão, Providence

Cambodia: Apsara, Providence

Cape Verde: Cantinho Bar & Grill, Pawtucket

China: Chengdu Taste, Providence

China: Y Noodle & Bar, Providence

China & Japan: Yagi Noodles, Newport

Dominican Republic: El Valle Restaurant, Providence

France: Ellie’s, Providence

France: Le Bec Sucré, Middletown

France: Plouf Plouf Gastronomie, Tiverton

French Polynesia: The Kitchen at The Surf Shack, Narragansett

Greece: Andrea’s, Providence

Greece: Estiatorio Fili, Providence

Greece: YiaYia’s Cafe, Middletown

Guatemala: Maya Bakery, Providence

Guatemala: Mi Ranchito, Providence

International: Guytanno’s International Cuisine, Westerly

Ireland: Kelley’s Deli, Westerly

Ireland: O’Rourke’s Bar and Grill, Warwick

Italy: Al Forno, Providence

Italy: Bottega Bocconi, Middletown

Italy: Galleria Dolce, Narragansett

Italy: Mirabella’s Italian Cucuina, Warwick

Italy: Perella’s Ristorante, Bristol

Italy: Roberto’s Restaurant & Cafe, Bristol

Japan: Sakura, Providence

Korea: Den Den Cafe Asiana, Providence

Korea: Mokbon, Providence

Korea: Sun and Moon Restaurant, East Providence

Korea: Wok & Pot, Providence

Mexico: Caliente Mexican Grille, Providence

Mexico: Casa Azul Taquería, Providence

Mexico: Don El Diablo, Smithfield

Mexico: La Herradura Taqueria Mexicana, Central Falls

Mexico: La Piñata Mexican Bar & Grill, Providence

Mexico: Maiz, Wakefield

Mexico: Viva Mexico Cantina Grill, Providence

Mexico & Peru: Pisco & Tequila, Bristol

Middle East: Prince Ali’s Kebab, Barrington

Middle East: Gansett Wraps

Pan-Asia: Tiger Fish, Block Island

Portugal: Beirao, Central Falls

Portugal: Campino’s, East Providence

Portugal: DJP Churrascaria Marques, Cumberland

Portugal: Galito Restaurant, Pawtucket

Portugal: O Dinis Restaurant, East Providence

Portugal: The Portuguese Pantry, Cranston

Portugal: Serra De Estrela, Cumberland

Portugal: Tugas Restaurant and Catering, Pawtucket

Puerto Rico: Little Sister, Providence

Spain: Madrid European Bakery & Patisserie, Providence

Spain/Mediterranean: Spain Restaurant, Cranston & Narragansett

Sweden: Cafe Choklad, Providence

Syria: Aleppo Sweets, Providence

Thailand: Heng Thai & Rotisserie, Providence

Thailand: Noodle Revolution, Westerly

Vietnam: Pho Horn’s, Pawtucket


World Showcase

Federal Hill has long been known as Providence’s Little Italy, with mainstay establishments including Angelo’s Restaurant, Joe Marzilli’s Old Canteen Italian Restaurant, Cassarino’s, and many others. Today, a walk along Atwells Avenue not only reveals some of the best Italian restaurants and markets in the state, but also a range of multi-cultural cuisine, from Japanese sushi at Nami to Middle Eastern fare at Opa, and others. For a full list, visit FederalHillProv.com.


Continental Combos

Eateries serving up fantastic fusions of cultural cuisines:

Asian + Latin = Dos Mundos Restaurant in Cranston

Chinese + Peruvian = Brasa & Chifa in Providence (opening soon)

Dominican + Japanese = Helado Taiyaki in Providence

Guatemalan + Portuguese = Aguardente in Providence

Italian + New England = Pizzico Oyster Bar in Providence

Italian + Asian = Mr. R Fusion in Newport

Korean + Cajun = Hanju Kitchen (inside The Royal Bobcat) in Providence



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