The Scoop on French Onion Soup: We rounded up the best options on offer in PVD

The colder months are ahead, and nothing warms bodies like a steamy serving of French onion soup. So our French onion enthusiasts rounded up a variety of some of the yummiest choices around. We restricted our research to Providence restaurants that serve this tasty concoction year-round, though you can find it off-and-on in many other locales as the season progresses.

Red Stripe

Red Stripe’s version of this delectable dish comes bubbling in a crock with a mouth-watering presentation and steamy aroma. Gruyere cheese blankets a fresh baguette slice, and the rich, dark broth is packed with Vidalia onions, making it not only the sweetest, but also the chunkiest soup in town. 

The Congress Tavern

“Everyone here orders the French onion soup,” brags John, a waiter at The Congress Tavern. Their secret? Brandy. The brandy in the broth blends with white onions and gruyere cheese to create The Congress Tavern’s signature flavor. The soup is served in a crock with a slice of bread on top.


The District

The French onion soup at The District has a perfect combination of sweet and tangy flavors. It’s also one of the most affordable options on our list. One of the key ingredients in The District’s version of French onion soup is the homemade croutons buried beneath a layer of cheddar cheese. These little morsels of bread are baked in a wood-fired oven and sprinkled with parsley and garlic for an amazing addition to the dish.  


Who would have thought an Irish bar could do French so well? Murphy’s, like The District, gives a lot of bang for your buck and offers two size options: cup or bowl. This soup features a helping of Swiss cheese on top, which makes this a perfect choice for those who prefer salty over sweet flavors in their French onion soup. The crouton that floats on top adds a a little bit of crunch. 

Pot au Feu

For those preferring to take their soup on the run, Pot au Feu, Providence’s premiere French restaurant, is the way to go. Bob Burke, the restaurant’s owner, reveals that the secret to their French onion soup is using chicken stock rather than beef. “The chicken stock allows the sweetness of the onion to come forward,” he says. Burke hits the “sweet spot” of flavors by allowing the Spanish onion to act as the sweet and the cheese to act as the salt. Though currently offering takeout only, Burke expects to open indoor dining again soon, with many COVID-friendly enhancements, like a special germ-reducing HVAC system. For now, patrons can enjoy this dish on the nearby pedestrian bridge.

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