Liberty Elm Diner
777 Elmwood Avenue
Providence, RI 02907
When Bear and I were living in the South Side of Providence, we loved to stop at the Liberty Elm Diner after church every Sunday. When we moved to the Northwest Side, we found we don't get there as often. That's a shame, because they serve great food at reasonable prices.
They're a popular spot both locally and for out-of-towners, which you can see in the guest book they keep on the counter. I usually see Tink and Judy there, always friendly, as much with the newcomers as with the regulars.They even remembered us from our last visit, more than a year ago.
Wherever possible, Liberty Elm sources its food from local farms, meaning you're getting fresh, local produce and meats. It definitely shows.
Bear always gets the Monte Cristo sandwich, which she discovered at Liberty Elm and has loved ever since. I like to switch it up among their Mayflower turkey and cranberry, the Black and Blue burger, a breakfast sandwich and their terrific French toast. And it's always served with a little paper umbrella. Also highly recommended: the fresh-squeezed lemon-limeade served with a bottle of simple syrup so you can sweeten it to your own taste.
The diner itself is a 1947 Worcester Lunch Car (#806) and was originally operated as the Central Diner at 27 West Exchange St. There had been a diner there since 1932, although not in this particular car. In 1953, the car moved to its present location at 777 Elmwood Ave., under the ownership of Ralph J. Narducci.
Narducci ran the diner until 1968, when it passed to Christopher Artigian who ran it until 1972. After a series of owners and names (and paint/siding jobs), it was purchased by Carol DeFeciani who restored the diner to its 1947 charmand renamed it the Liberty Elm as a nod to her pledge to give 1% of profits to restoring the elm trees on Elmwood Avenue that were lost to Dutch elm disease or street widening.
Guy Fieri of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives visited the Elm, and gave rave reviews to its chowder, johnnycakes and turkey. He wasn't alone, as the clip below shows, native Rhode Islanders know where to find great versions of their home state's favorites.