Vacationing as a vegetarian certainly comes with some challenges. Finding something good to eat, beyond a basic salad, can be much like a scavenger hunt……In Rhode Island you can find some mouthwatering and flavorful options below:
THE GARDEN GRILL (Pawtucket)
In Rhode Island, there is a great vegetarian restaurant called “The Garden Grill” in Pawtucket. I especially love the roasted butternut squash quesadilla, because I eat cheese. For folks that prefer not to eat cheese or are vegan, they offer menu items such as black-eyed pea falafels and chipotle seitan. They even offer gluten free items, such as mushroom pad thai, gluten free mac and cheese, and other wonderful things. Their menu changes frequently, usually with the seasons, so check the website often. They are also kosher-certified by a local Rabbi since 2013.
In the heart of the former jewelry district in Providence at the site of the former Imperial Knife factory, you can find a charming, eclectic restaurant that is not vegetarian but is vegetarian friendly with vegan and gluten free options. I have never had a meal here that I did not just love. The decor is intimate, romantic, and chic with funky chandeliers. This place has been featured in “The New York Times” and “BonAppetit”. Definitely worth visiting for great food beautifully presented, great ambiance, and great service. On Wednesday nights they sometimes feature live jazz. Great for a different date night.
KING’S GARDEN (Cranston)
Rhode Island style Cantonese chow mein is delicious here, although this is a very simple spot THAT SOMETIMES smells a little funny. Served in hot stainless steel containers with lids, the meatless fried rice and meatless chow mein are winners. Chow mein is served usually accompanied with a side order of white rice. The chow mein is served piping hot over crispy fried chow mein noodles from a distributor in Fall River, Massachusetts. Chow mein , Rhode Island style, consists of usually celery, onions, and bean sprouts with a corn-starch based gravy. King’s Garden also served meat-based entrees, such as chicken chow mein, pork lo mein, and General Tso’ chicken for the ominvores in your party. Simply delicious. The restaurant was updated a bit a few years back and has a bar as well.
UNCLE TONY’S PIZZA AND PASTA (Cranston, East Providence, and Johnston)
This simple place, first opened in Cranston in 1969, with red and white checkered vinyl tablecloths is home of the famous “Plumpy” spinach pie, which is delicious! The plumpy contains cheese, olives, seasoned spinach, and pepperoni, but you can order it without the cheese and pepperoni if you are a vegetarian. This very large and tasty Rhode Island style “spinach pie” is a variation of what everyone else in the country calls a “calzone.” However, in Rhode Island calzones usually don’t have ricotta cheese in them. This restaurant is adjacent to a shopping plaza and is a no-frills place with green and white walls and a red rug. Not much atmosphere, but you will always find great Italian bread, served with all meals, and great food. Lots for ominivores here, too, like the Italian chicken escarole soup, the hot meat entrees, and sandwiches. Pizza is great, too, and can be ordered without any meat and still is fantastic.
CRAZY BURGER (Narragansett)
This small, charming eatery near “The Wall” at Narragansett Beach serves great, unassuming food. Here, strings of paper lanterns hand from a wooden ceiling in this local favorite since 1995. They serve four types of vegetarian burgers as well as meat burgers and entrees for the omnivores that visit. The sweet potato fries are to die for! They serve breakfast, too.
VEGGIE FUN (Providence)
While I have never been to this restaurant, it serves vegan & kosher pan-Asian eats in a casual ambiance with dark wood in downtown Providence near the Providence Performing Arts Center and is only a nine minute walk to Trinity Repertory Company (theater).
LUCIA ITALIAN RESTAURANT (Newport)
Location, location, location! This restaurant is directly across the street from Brick Market Place on Thames Street in the heart of the Newport waterfront tourist area, where America’s Cup race is held. They specialize in Northern Italian food and have something for vegetarians as well as omnivores. In fact, they feature a whole separate vegetarian menu with items such as seitan and vegetarian pastas.
EAST SIDE POCKETS (Providence)
This busy eatery is open late night and is right in the heart of Providence’s East Side on Thayer Street. They serve delicious Mediterranean food, such as stuffed grape leaves, falafel, baba ganoush, spanikopita, and vegetarian lentil soup as well as omnivore favorites such as lahamajeen meat pie and gyros. This place is a quick walk to just about anywhere on the Brown University campus and is all about good food in a simple atmosphere. They also serve gluten free options.
This list is by no means all-inclusive, but in Rhode Island there are many options for places to eat if you are a vegetarian. Vegetarian in Rhode Island can mean no more boring salads while you are traveling. Anyone care to add to this list? Life is good. “Carpe Diem”, friends………….