Baba’s Original NY System — Smith Street

A few days ago, Baba’s NY System shared on social media that business had gotten slow lately . . . real slow. They invited people to stop by and I decided it was weiner time. This place was established in 1927, so in a mere three years they will be celebrating their Centennial! That’s got to happen, and all we have to do is go buy a delicious weiner, or souvlaki, or a hamburger. The restaurant is now in the hands of the Toprak family who explain the Baba moniker:

. . . Baba means “father,” and our restaurant location at 424 Smith Street in Providence is grandfathered back to 1927 when the “Original New York System” opened at this address. The current owners, the Toprak family, are looking to carry on the same tradition that was developed way back almost 100 years ago. That tradition includes the same values, hospitality, service, quality, decor, and a reasonable price that the Pappas family started when they originally opened, and our patrons expect.

Baba’s youngest daughter, Buse (two syllables), was behind the counter today and confirmed that business had dropped off, but for no obvious reason. This isn’t a bridge story, or a flood story — heck, they obviously survived the quarantine — but restaurants always operate on a thin profit margin, so maybe a year of rainy weather finally had an impact. I did not identify myself to Buse until I was on my out and had established to my complete satisfaction that their weiners were up to my exacting standards, and I am happy to report that my one-all-the-way was perfect. I kind of want another right now already.

(This restaurant is not related to the Olneyville NY System business, although way back in the past the original families had a connection. It’s complicated, but ultimately, the Pappas family simply ran out of descendants. (ProJo 8.29.13)

And finally, sharp-eyed readers may have noticed that “weiner/wiener” is spelled both ways on the front of the store. All you need to know is that both spellings are playable in Scrabble tournament play, and that’s good enough for me.

Hours: 11am to 11pm, Monday through Saturday. Closed Sundays.

Baba’s Original NY  System, 424 Smith Street, 401.331.5349 (directions)


One all-the-way topped with mustard, meat sauce, chopped onions and celery salt. Just $3.25! Perfect soft bun. I forgot how good these are.

Go in and say ‘hi’ to the Toprak family and tell them to start planning the Centennial.

2 thoughts on “Baba’s Original NY System — Smith Street”

  1. It’s been ten years since I sold this business. I will pay them a visit when I get up North…..Gus Pappas

  2. One-all- the-way looks SO good! I wish I lived closer to Providence. It breaks my heart when I hear of businesses, (especially family owned) struggling to stay open when they’ve been around for this amount of time. Social media can do wonders to help struggling situations. I really hope you get the customers you need! Best of luck. I hope you’re around for another hundred years.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Providence Daily Dose