Mini Food Tour: Downtown PVD

One of my best friends and I have been wanting to get together for a while now, but our schedules just haven’t lined up. So, when we finally found a time that worked for both of us, we needed to go all out. We decided to do a mini food tour of Providence, focusing on the downtown area that I work in.

Here’s a rundown of our original game plan, which we almost followed through with. Next time, we’ll pace ourselves more and make it to Round 4!

Appetizer 1: Tom’s BaoBao

After I tried this the first time, my friend told me she wanted to get in on it too. It was a great stop for the first round of our food tour. We could each get a small serving (1 or 2 bao), catch up, and plan out the rest of our night.

My friend went with one lobster and one pork. She preferred the pork, but really loved them both. I went with one veggie and one red bean. Even though it’s dessert, I counted it as an appetizer 🙂

The staff also threw in an extra red bean bao because we waited for a little while for it. That way my friend got to try my all-time favorite bao! I think about this one all the time. It’s just so creamy and tasty. Plus, we got them right after they’d been steamed. What a delight!

Appetizer 2: The Malted Barley

This was an easy next step because it was literally steps away from Tom’s. My friend and I had recently had a terrible soft pretzel experience, so we needed to make up for that ASAP (by eating more/better soft pretzels).

The Malted Barley has an amazing selection of beers, but that’s certainly not the main reason to check this place out (although it’s a major perk). They have what seems like an infinite combination of pretzel flavors and dipping sauces. What a dream!


I settled on the garlic and parsley pretzel with two dipping sauces: beer-cheese and spinach and artichoke dip. My friend went with the pretzel equivalent of pizza: a tomato mozzarella pretzel with marinara dipping sauce. Both were so delicious! The garlic and parsley was a lot lighter and it went really well with all the dipping sauces we had on the table. I imagine it could go with any sauce they have, which is a great quality. It will probably be a good staple for me if I decide to be a regular customer there. My friend’s pretzel was a little more plump and perfectly baked, filled with gooey mozzarella and warm tomatoes. Even though it was great on its own or with the marinara, I also tried it with my two dipping sauces. I didn’t hate any combo.

The Malted Barley is an amazing place to stop for an appetizer, though you can also find full meals there. It’s a great choice for any group since they have at least one option for everyone and everything there seems to be quite tasty.

Dinner: Viva Mexico

We took a long (600-foot) stroll over to Viva Mexico for some real dinner. Lucky us! We were at Viva Mexico on Taco Tuesday! Even though I went with the Enchiladas De Queso, my friend was pretty excited about her 3 tacos for $3 deal. Viva Mexico has an awesome atmosphere with fun decorations and a lot to look at. The menu is huge, so there seems to be something for every palate. We gobbled down our food in about 4 seconds and spent the rest of our time people watching out of the front windows.

Dessert: 10 Prime Steak and Sushi

Okay, so we were both WAY too full to make it to round 4, but if you and your food tour buddies are willing to go for it, you have to pop in 10 Prime Steak and Sushi. I know it may seem like a strange place to find an epic dessert, but they have a seriously spectacular dessert menu. Try the banana pudding and let me know if you’ve ever had a better version!



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