Reserve a space at least a month in advance for a three-hour cooking course (from $80) at Johnson & Wales’s renowned culinary school. Taught by the same chef-instructors who have trained the likes of Emeril Lagasse, the classes cover everything from Cajun cuisine to pastry techniques. The most popular of these workshops, which are capped at eighteen participants, tend to be those that focus on the cooking of countries like India and Vietnam.
Spend an afternoon expanding your food knowledge at the Culinary Arts Museum ($7 admission), a 25,000-square-foot temple to the past, present, and future of cooking. The museum’s collection includes 250,000 artifacts, vintage photographs, menus, and works of art, plus 60,000 cookbooks; current exhibits cover everything from ancient Roman cuisine to dinners at the White House.
Head to neighboring Pawtucket for a visit to the German-American Cultural Society, home to an old-fashioned beer-and-sausage party (drafts from $4, food from $3.50) every Friday night. Starting at 7 p.m., the Ratskeller Bar, an unfussy basement space, opens to nonmembers, who come for the friendly atmosphere and imported beer selection. Play a few games of pool and darts for free, then watch the regulars sing drinking songs from the old country as the accordion plays.