Rhode Islanders can’t agree on anything when it comes to our treasured hot weiners. The spelling and the nicknames (anyone up for a Gagger?) are notoriously disagreed upon. But what’s even more controversial is what defines the “best” weenie joint in Rhode Island.
For you out of towners, a weiner is a small hot dog, covered in meat sauce, onions, mustard and celery salt. Disregard the ‘ol “I before E except after C” spelling lesson when referring to a Rhode Island hotdog.
Any Rhode Islander will also tell you that they’re more fun going in than coming out – and a weenie joint is NOT the place to bring a date. Your onion breath will require days of brushing before you can get a decent smooch in.
I took to the streets (in addition to Twitter and Yelp) to find out the five best weiners in the Providence area, and here’s what the results were:
1. Original New York Systems Restaurant
424 Smith St, Providence
Since 1927, this place has been serving up hot weiners with a vengeance. They debate with Sparky’s in East Providence over who was the “original” weenie joint in Rhode Island. If you know, please do tell. More on that here.
2. Olneyville New York System
20 Plainfield Street, Providence
Olneyville New York System is a big favorite in the weiner connoisseur community. Not in the greatest of neighborhoods, but they serve up a mean dog. Don’t forget to grab a side of coffee milk!
3. Sam’s New York System
1031 Mineral Spring Ave, North Providence
Sam’s is one of the only weiner joints on this list with a small parking lot. In terms of weenies, it’s also regularly named as being in everyone’s favorite “top two”. If there’s such thing as an “upscale” weiner place, this place is particularly clean.
4. Sparky’s Coney Island System
122 Taunton Avenue, East Providence
A favorite in East Providence, this weiner joint also serves breakfast 24 hours a day – but who cares about that when you have weiners, right?
5. Kip’s Restaurant
826 Newport Ave, Pawtucket
As the only weenie joint in this list without the word “System” in its name, you might not know that locals rave about this place as having the best weiners in the area.
A weiner worth driving to:
1009 Oaklawn Avenue, Cranston
If you’re looking for something different, Wein-o-rama has been around since 1962 and is touted to have the best meat sauce in Rhode Island. People taste hints of cinnamon and nutmeg in the sauce, but the folks at Wein-O-rama won’t admit to anything.
How to order:
If you’re new to the weiner scene, here’s how to order: Drop your R’s in your pronunciation and order it “all the way”. All the way means you want everything on it—onions, meat sauce, mustard and celery salt. You do. So it’ll sound something like this: “Yeah, I’ll get two weiniz, all the way.”
OK, now it’s your turn. What’s your favorite weiner joint?