My husband and I were very fortunate to move to Providence, RI right before our wedding in 2015. We have been amazed at the beauty of the city but also fascinated in the thriving food culture. As someone with many food restrictions but LOVES food, this weird city has welcomed me in to their kitchens with open arms. Each day I discover a new amazing restaurant or cafe that has menu items that I can not only eat but also enjoy. For all my New Englanders who live in Providence or can easily make a trip to the city, I wanted to write a little round-up of my favorite food spots that make it easy to enjoy a meal out even with food intolerances and restrictions.
I want to emphasize that if you have food allergies (nuts, celiac, etc) please contact each location before going and make sure the food isn’t cross contaminated.
Top 10 Providence, RI Food Spots for the Food Sensitive
- Wildflour Vegan Bakery and Juice Bar – This place is one of our favorite bakeries and juice bars of all time. Wildflour is a bustling shop in Pawtucket (right outside of Providence but basically Providence) that makes tons of delicious baked goods that are all vegan but many are also gluten-free. There are several options that are also soy-free. They serve amazing vegan chili, vegan and gluten-free lasagna and they have a great juice menu. There’s often a line here but it goes quickly and let’s be real, it’s so worth the wait. (Note: I was able to eat that delicious looking chocolate tartlet below! It was the best).
- Like No Udder – Like No Udder started as a dairy-free ice-cream truck that RI’ers have always adored. They just opened up a brick & mortar location on Ives St. I was super excited because the truck served ice-cream that was soy-based which I unfortunately couldn’t eat. Now the store location serves mostly ice-cream that is nut-based (note to my nut-allergy friends). I just indulged in “Peanut Butter Chunk” and “Thai Iced Tea” ice cream a few days ago which were both nut-based, dairy-free and gluten-free. There’s nothing more exciting than finally being able to enjoy a few scoops of ice-cream just like everyone else can!
- Small Point Cafe – Small Point Cafe is a charming little cafe in Downcity that has funky tables and spots to sit, eat and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee. I love their tea selection and they always have a few different vegan and gluten-free treats to enjoy. I love their energy bites which usually have peanut butter, oats and a dried fruit. They do have food here but please note that they use the same preparation table for salads and sandwiches so there is a lot of cross-contamination.
- Birch – Birch is a splurge but maybe one of the best dinner spots we’ve ever been to in our lives. Most of the food on their menu can accommodate the top 10 food allergies and it’s also incredibly delicious and unique. It’s a pre-fixe menu and usually 4 courses for $49. You can also include wine pairings if you’re looking to go big that night! Please make reservations because they only have about 14 seats and they usually fill up.
- Chez Pascal – We stumbled upon Chez Pascal a few weeks ago and were enticed by their unique German wine menu. We were looking through the menu and noticed that they were really adamant about making food available for people with food allergies and restrictions. The bartender said it’s a really important thing for the restaurant and the kitchen accommodates most restrictions. Great find!
- Nice Slice – When I found out there was a place that served vegan AND gluten-free pizza, I knew I was in love. I recommend the margarita with the vegan cheese and vegan/gluten-free crust.
- The Grange – The Grange is a vegan/vegetarian restaurant that emphasizes locally sourcing their ingredients. When I told the waitress that I had a few intolerances she said “hit me with them” and was completely unphased by my laundry list. The chef manipulated my dish to fit my restrictions and it was delicious. Bonus points for the cool live music they have during the week and the overall great vibe of the restaurant.
- The Shop – This little cafe is on Wickenden Street and it’s the cutest place. I was a excited when I was able to actually order breakfast here and enjoy a delicious tea. They often have great oatmeal/quinoa breakfast options and some of their baked goods are gluten-free.
- Pizza J – Of course I found another spot that has both gluten-free and vegan pizzas. Pizza J is owned by the same folks that own Julian’s which I have yet to visit. It’s a really good open set-up and the pizzas are gigantic. I do have to say the vegan cheese they use is not the best and if you’re not lactose intolerance, I would recommend getting the regular cheese on your pizza.
- Red Fin Crudo– Last but certainly not least, I love Red Fin Crudo in Downcity. This was one of the first places we went out to eat in Providence. Most of their food is tapas style which for me can be super difficult when sharing with a group of people. However, when I went there with five other people, the chef was able to make most of the dishes work for my sensitivities and taste amazing for everyone else on the table. Sometimes a simple ask of “putting the cheese on the side” can make the difference. Food and service were both phenomenal here!
I have fallen in love with Providence and the amazing food options here. It’s also an easy commuter rail ride or short drive from Boston! Come visit PVD.