The Rhode Island Food Encyclopedia

A cultural history of our state’s favorite edibles


If one is to believe in sentimental clichés, then home is where the heart is, and the fastest way to someone’s heart is through their stomach. 18th century French foodie Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin once expressed: “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.” 

So what does our state’s trademark cuisine say about its people? The following is a collection of iconic Rhode Island foods and where to find them. As far as stereotypes go, one could make the assumption that native Rhode Islanders are seafood and sausage loving citizens with a penchant for icy cold, sugary beverages who are fiercely family oriented and loyal to their (often Italian) heritage. A wicked fair assessment? You be the judge.

Clam Cakes

Fried balls of quahog-dough

Rhode Island Style Chowder

Perfect for clam-cake dunking

Del's Lemonade

Wash it all down with a Del's

Johnny Cakes

The settler's travelin' food

Coffee Milk

Rhode Island's state drink

Pizza Strips

So simple, so tasty

Rhody Style Calamari

No frills, just peppers


Westerly's meat is hard & thick

Awful Awful

Awful big, awful good

NY System Wieners

We heart hot weiners

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