Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Summertime in Rhode Island: The Food

Growing up in Rhode Island was seriously a dream, especially during the summer.  I went to the beach every day, the weather was sunny and warm, and we had so many amazing places to go out to dinner.  Usually, we go back to visit now at Christmastime or only for a weekend for a wedding.  This time around, when we were in the Northeast earlier this month, I had the chance to go to spend a few awesome days with my parents, and we made sure to go to all of my favorite spots for food.  If you are ever in Lil Rhody, I highly suggest you give all of these amazing places a try!

Del's Lemonade - I had to start with the ultimate Rhode Island staple.  Parked all over the state, you'll find trucks with giant freezers of this delicious, soft frozen lemonade, ready to be scooped into cups.  This same truck has been in my town every summer day since I was little, and I was so excited to still see it there this year, even though the Benny's in that parking lot (what used to be another RI go-to) is now closed.  If you are a true Rhode Islander, you know you don't ask for a spoon or a straw and just drink it straight out of the cup. 
St. Clair's, Westerly - This spot is located right in my hometown, in a little beach strip called Watch Hill.  You may have heard of it because Taylor Swift now owns a house and parties there in the summer, but I know it for the flying horse carousel, the best beaches in town, and St. Clair's.  My favorites are their crinkle-cut French fries, grilled cheese, lobster roll, and fresh-squeezed strawberry lemonade.  Don't forget a scoop of their homemade ice cream afterwards to bring with you as you window shop up and down Main Street!
Champlin's, Narragansett - While St. Clair's is all about the lobster rolls, if you're looking to crack your own fresh lobster, this is the place to do it.  My favorite part is that you get to sit outside and overlook the fishing boats in Galilee while you eat.  They also have some of my favorite chowder in the state; I've always loved New England (white broth), but if you go, don't forget to try the Rhode Island chowder (clear broth).  Also, remember to bring a few singles with you for nutcracker deposits ($2 each!). 
Aunt Carrie's, Narragansett - Give me all the fried seafood at Aunt Carrie's.  Located on Point Judith, one of my earliest memories of going out to dinner is here, and they really do it all out.  If you are really hungry, go for the full shore dinner: their homemade bread basket (OMG the cinnamon bread is wicked good), chowder and clam cakes to start, steamed clams, fried fish, and homemade dessert.   I always go for the "combo" with 3 clam cakes and chowder.  Don't forget the stuffies, too.  Those are stuffed clam shells - yum!  If the line to sit inside is too long, you can order at the window and take the same delicious food outside to any of their outdoor seating.  Either way, make sure you walk down the path to the beach after you're done!
Coffee Milk & Cookies by Warwick Ice Cream - Every delicious meal has to end with dessert, and when I heard about this collaboration earlier this summer, I knew I had to try it.  Warwick Ice Cream is a staple in Rhode Island and so is Autocrat.  Never heard of it?  You're probably from one of the other 49 states in the country, because this is truly a Rhode Island favorite.  We have this thing called coffee syrup that you can add to milk or drizzle on ice cream.  It is so good.  The ice cream tastes just like the syrup, but mixed with delicious cookies and cream ice cream.  Yum!
Rhode Island is definitely one-of-a-kind.  We have a lot of weird food that you won't find in many other places around the country, but it is absolutely worth a summer stop!


Missy said...

I love all the food! Growing up in a fun food town close to the water is the best!

Jen said...

Yum! Give me all the food haha!!!

Paula said...

"A little beach strip', I am thinking the posh summer residents of Watch Hill might describe it differently. Hah! I love the ice cream at St. Clair's but being a Riverside resident my heart belongs to our very own Crescent Park Carousel. (Aren't we lucky in such a small state to have so many vintage carousels that have been lovingly restored and maintained?) There is nothing like a Del's on a hot day, I have so many memories of enjoying one especially during the summers I worked at our local playgrounds. We actually have a walk-up Del's stand in our town - more chances to go by and get one. And, of course, I was raised on coffee milk through my entire childhood despite the occasional strawberry or chocolate interval. And, what would summer be without chowder and clam cakes at Aunt Carrie's?

Sarah said...

I LOVE DELS. I get it multiple times every time I go home. I'll always be partial to MA as it's my homestate, but Aunt Carrie's and Iggy's are summer staples.

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