Sandwich Heaven

Meeting Street Cafe

There are a huge number of delis throughout Rhode Island, and therefore many places to get sandwiches. But while deli sandwiches are usually good, there are only a few sandwich shops that I go out of my way to eat at, and foremost among them is Meeting Street Cafe.

First, let’s establish the setting — Meeting Street Cafe is just off Thayer Street on Meeting Street. But it’s not an artsy establishment designed to appeal to neo-beatnicks, it’s more like a common ground for students and their parents — a place where parents take their Brown and RISD kids on move-in day. It’s not too fancy for the youngsters and not too Bohemian for the parents. The food arrives quickly to tables you can sit down at and there’s enough variety to please everyone.

But who needs variety when they have your favorite sandwich on the menu? Quick, what’s your all-time favorite sandwich? Assuming that you don’t have preferences like Elvis (peanut butter, bannana, and bacon) I’d guess that the best sandwich of the year is the sandwich you make the day after Thanksgiving, with leftover turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. They have that.

Of course they have everything else, too. Roast beef. Italian cold cuts. Pastrami. Roasted vegetables. But that sounds like a more typical deli. How about their “Hummis etc” sandwich, with freshly-made hummis, cucumbers, and sprouts on seven-grain bread? Or perhaps their “Swallows of Capastrami” sandwich, with corned beef and lean pastrami on rye topped with swiss cheese and cole slaw.

One more thing that makes the sandwiches themselves distictive — they’re huge. Big enough that a sandwich is indeed a meal, with each slice of bread twice the size of what you’d get from the supermarket.

They also serve entrees like their vegetairan lasagna Florentine, hamburgers, and salads. If you’re an early riser, they also serve breakfast.

The sandwiches are priced in the $8 – $10 range. Expect a long wait in line to order or get a seat at the busiest times. Parking can be problematic, since they have limited space out front, and the restaurant access is up a short flight of stairs. I recommend it for anyone who can’t wait for November for their next Thanksgiving sandwich. Yum!

Find Meeting Street Cafe at 220 Meeting Street in Providence’s East Side, just off Thayer Street. They are open 8am to 11pm, 7 days a week. Their phone is (401) 273-1066 and you can visit them online at

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