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  • The Providence Journal

    Zeppole are a huge deal in RI. Here are the best bakeries to get one, according to readers

    By Katie Landeck, Providence Journal,


    One of the first signs of spring in Rhode Island is zeppole returning to bakery shelves.

    While the main day to eat zeppole is St. Joseph's Day, which falls on March 19, the cream-filled pastries start taking center stage in the display cases of Italian bakeries as early as the end of February. While the zeppole is an Italian pastry, they're also a Rhode Island thing following a surge in popularity in the 1960s and '70s that never waned.

    “It’s a very significant holiday for the Italian bakeries here,” Michael Manni, who has owned Providence's LaSalle Bakery since 1975, told The Journal in 2019 . “I used to travel the country a lot, and I would tell other bakeries about the amounts of the zeppole we would sell, and they would be surprised. Even Italian bakers in different cities didn’t see the popularity of them that we do here.”

    To find the best zeppole in Rhode Island, the Providence Journal recently put it to readers in an unscientific poll.

    First, we asked readers to nominate places to include in the poll on our Instagram page @ProJoEats , which we then compiled into a true poll asking people to vote for their favorite.

    Hundreds of votes later, here are the top reader picks.

    Winner: Felicia's Coffee

    Known for their huge zeppole, the made-from-scratch zeppole at Felicia's Coffee, 5757 Post Road, East Greenwich, are hugely popular for the brief period they're available. The baked zeppole come in four flavors – classic, deluxe Italian, cream puff and Bailey's – and they're big enough to easily feed two people. That is, if you want to share.

    Runner Up: DeLuise Bakery

    Whether you get them baked or fried, the zeppole at DeLuise Bakery, 1251 Chalkstone Ave., Providence, are incredible. With 85 years of experience, the family behind these treats knows a thing or two about good pastry. For zeppole, pick from traditional, chocolate or whipped cream. For what it's worth, the chocolate zeppole come highly recommended.

    Third Place: The Original Italian Bakery

    If you want to try a lot of different flavors, The Original Italian Bakery, 915 Atwood Ave., Johnston, is the place to go. They make whipped cream and raspberry, pistachio, chocolate, Irish cream, ricotta and traditional pastry cream.

    Fourth place: LaSalle Bakery

    Another spot where you can pick between baked or fried, LaSalle Bakery, with locations at 993 Smith St. and 685 Admiral St. in Providence, has decades of experience making zeppole. Pick from traditional, Bailey's or chocolate. No matter what you choose, these fresh pastries won't disappoint you.

    Fifth place: Scialo Brothers Bakery

    One of the most beloved Italian bakeries on Federal Hill, Scalio Brothers Bakery, 257 Atwells Ave., Providence, is basically required to make excellent zeppole. While there was an ownership switch during the pandemic, the recipes are still the same. As a special treat on St. Joseph's Day, they offer fried zeppole alongside their lineup of baked options.

    Sixth Place: Ivy & Lace Bake Shop

    This year, Ivy & Lace Bake Shop's lineup includes original, cannoli and a brand-new salted caramel flavor. Located at 592 Putnam Pike, Greenville, they're worth a little road trip.

    Seventh place: Antonio's Bakery

    With lots of flavors to choose from, you'll find zeppole you like at Antonio's Bakery, 2448 West Shore Road, Warwick. Pick from traditional, Irish cream, strawberry creme, chocolate creme and triple chocolate.

    This article originally appeared on The Providence Journal: Zeppole are a huge deal in RI. Here are the best bakeries to get one, according to readers

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