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  • Ariel Stein '24

Maven’s Deli Review: Good Food, Great Atmosphere

Updated: May 2



Author’s note: I wrote this review shortly after Maven’s Deli opened in December. The food has only improved since then, so I highly recommend you check it out!


I’ve been looking forward to Maven’s grand opening for about six months now, and it did not disappoint! Maven’s served some of the best Jewish food I’ve had in Rhode Island, second only to NAVAD Bakers. My main criticism was that some of the food was (to me) underseasoned, but nothing major. The staff was also very sweet (especially our server Kim), and I loved the decor—I’m a sucker for historical restaurant photos, and one of my favorite such photos was printed floor-to-ceiling on their wall. Now for an item-by-item breakdown:


  • Plain toasted bagel with lox and scallion cream cheese. The cream cheese at Maven’s is amazing—the best I’ve ever had. The bagels were far from bad—they’re the best I’ve had in Rhode Island—but they were also far from reflective of an NYC bagel; they lacked the chewiness, crust, and height of the bagels I grew up with. The lox was polarizing; I normally love lox, and I found Maven’s lox to be undersalted and overly fishy. However, the friend I went with, who normally doesn’t like lox, loved it. In the future I’ll get my order without lox, as I was happy with the bagel and very happy with the scallion cream cheese.

  • Pastrami sandwich. This was pretty good. The pastrami didn’t taste as distinctive as the pastrami at, say, Katz’s Deli—it tasted more like BBQ-style smoked brisket—but it was still good, and very fatty.

  • Matzo ball soup. It was the best matzo ball soup I’ve had in Rhode Island, though as the menu promised it was “not as good as your bubbe’s.” The matzo balls were nicely fluffy, though the style of matzo ball soup was a little different than what I’m used to (I’m not used to celery in matzo ball soup, though I know it’s a somewhat common ingredient). I do wish that they had cooked the soup for longer, as the broth was a bit less rich than I personally prefer.

  • Knish. The pastry itself was amazingly doughy, and the potato-and-beef filling was good, though slightly underseasoned for my taste. I’m not a huge knish person, so take this with a grain of figurative (and perhaps literal) salt.

  • Latkes. The latkes were good, and not too oily. I’m generally pretty indifferent to latkes, so I have the least to say about these.


Overall, if you’re looking for good Jewish food (or just good food) in Providence I’d definitely recommend Maven’s. Honestly, it’d be worth a visit just for the decor and staff—it’s a fun pastiche of NYC in Providence (though at times the kindness of the waitstaff ruined my immersion!). It’ll be my new go-to bagel place, and I imagine I’ll be spending way too much time and money there over the next few months.

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