Road Trip: Providence

Sure, Boston dining is amazing, but sometimes you want a bit of an adventure. Pile in the car, kids. It’s time for a road trip. Today we’re not going too far, just a mere hour or so away on the Commuter Rail to Providence, RI.

It’s easy to like Providence. The city has an amazing theatre company, New England’s best mall, and, if Wikipedia is to be believed, the nation’s highest concentration of doughnut/coffee shops per capita. Take that, Seattle! Providence also features an excellent restaurant scene with an intriguingly different character than Boston’s. Head down to our tiny neighbor to the south for a day and indulge in some damn fine food. Below, four of your best bets.

•Providence probably wouldn’t be the first city you’d expect to feature excellent Mexican food at a restaurant named Taqueria Pacifica, but this world is full of surprises. Taqueria Pacifica used to operate out of a truck (as so many of the world’s best eateries do), but a little while ago, it moved to AS220, a nonprofit community arts center. It may no longer be mobile, but it still serves up some damn fine tacos, burritos, and quesadillas to hungry Providencers.
•The West Side of Providence: so hot right now. See what all the fuss is about with a meal at Julian’s. This shabby chic bistro boasts a great wine list and a seasonal menu that easily moves from naan bread to Cajun grilled zucchini.
•A tip to bargain hunters: while Rue De L’Espoir is pricy-pricy at dinner time, breakfast finds the restaurant offering much more favorable prices and a laid back atmosphere without sacrificing excellent service and great food. Go ahead, indulge in lemon and ricotta griddle cakes with a popover and strawberry butter on the side. It’ll only set you back $11.
Al Forno has been serving up obsession-worthy food for 27 years now. Isn’t it time you checked it out for yourself? The wood-oven grilled pizzas are the thing here: don’t miss the pizza bambina.

Taqueria Pacifica [Official Site]
Julian’s [Official Site]
Rue De L’Espoir [Official Site]
Al Forno [Official Site]

Road Trip: Providence