Choosing the top five of any food category in Providence is going to delight and disappoint, cause contention and elation and be ever changing as exciting new and traditional established vendors vie for the hearts of Providence food lovers.
The bakery selection in Providence is incredible, with the vibrant influences of Downcity, progressive West Side and classic East Side culinary communities continuing to offer delights of the pastry variety, here is my list of Providence’s “Top 5 Bakeries.”
With flavors coming from traditional European recipes, and utilizing the best ingredients, Foremost is a standout supplier in the Providence Bakery world. Seasonal local whole fruits, single origin South American chocolate, house made fills and syrups make Foremost stand out in the Providence Bakery game.
Foremost hopes to open their own retail concept soon, but in the meantime can be found supplying many local cafes and restaurants in Providence, including:
Cafe la France at Amtrak, Bolt Coffee (where their face-sized croissants are incredible!), Small point café, The Grange and Flan Y Ajo to name but a few.
Located in the Biltmore Garage on Washington Street in Downcity Providence, Ellie’s is the little bakery sister to Gracie’s. Known for their elegant high class dining, Gracie’s bring their wondrous command of flavors and exquisite technique to this Parisian inspired bakery.
Famed for their French Macarons (served up by Millie the Macaron Cart, filled with ice cream in the Summer months) Ellie’s is the Downcity go-to for pastries, sandwiches and their upscale take on the brown bag lunch.
Their breads and bakes change seasonally and use local flavor and ingredients- some must try items are: mustard crusted pickle bread, the gluten free chocolate brownie and Ellie’s very own ‘Elios’.
Tucked into a tree shaded corner on Point Street in the Historic Jewelry district of Providence, Olga’s courtyard garden offers a reprieve from the hub bub of the nearby city.
When you’re a met with a backdrop of freshly baked breads upon entering a store you know you’re in a place of bakery brilliance. Using artisan techniques and creating everything by hand, authentic and traditional is the name of the game at the Cup and Saucer.
Among the varieties adorning the bakery wall are: Kalamata Sicilian olive sourdough, rosemary olive oil, golden raisin fennel as well as traditional sourdoughs, pillow bread and multigrain offerings.Winners of the Edible Rhody 2013 Local Hero award, Olga’s credentials are a widely known and long standing in the Providence community having established the current bakery in 1997.
Serving breakfast, lunch and a weekend brunch, a visit to Olga’s is not complete without an oat, chocolate chip and pecan ‘Cowboy Cookie’ whilst sitting in the courtyard garden or a breakfast treat of Black Forest Ham and Swiss cheese croissant.
4. Seven Stars
Locally born and locally ‘bread’, Seven Stars is an institution within Providence. With three sites: Hope Street on the East Side, Broadway on the West Side and The Rumford Center in East Providence, their popularity is evident from their expansion since launching in January 2001.
With daily baked breads, pastries and treats on offer, complimented by teas and locally roasted coffees of both the iced and hot variety, Seven Stars is a neighborhood and community hub in all its locations.
Baking everything from scratch using ‘local eggs, real butter, unbleached flours and some organic whole grains’ as well as eschewing additives or preservatives, Sevens Stars serves up not only a delicious product but one of integrity and quality- priding themselves on ‘classics done well’.
Highly recommended is their fresh take and bake pizza dough, almond croissants and vegetarian sandwich on rustic French baguette, filled with Narragansett Creamery ricotta, arugula, roasted peppers and olive tapenade.
820 Hope St, Providence, RI 02906
Rumford Center, 20 Newman Avenue, East Providence RI 02916
5. North Bakery
New to the Bakery line up is North Bakery, an offshoot of the eponymous bijou, Asian fusion restaurant located just around the corner from the bakery also on the West Side.
The bakery concept is led by friend of the restaurant, Kelly Dull, whose reputation was one of the prompts for creating the bakery and bringing her on board.
With a personal history firmly within the West Side, the Battey Street location continues the authentic, dynamic and progressive story of North.
Considered a non traditional American bakery, North take familiar flavor profiles and turn them in a unexpected but recognizable way. While the Dan Dan Hand Pies are a hot ticket item at North, my money is always on the coconut macaroons or toasted meringue crumble topped lemon tarts!
Cooking, living and working in Providence, Rhode Island, Holly Vine is originally from Sussex, England. Posting recipes, kitchen hints and thrifty tips on her blog Holly Likes To Cook, she is discovering America and New England through its food, flavors and many incredible eateries.