How to Enjoy a Sunny Day Picnic in Downtown Boston

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Posted June 14, 2013 by Rachel Leah Blumenthal in Downtown Boston
Boston Public Garden

With summer around the corner, what could be better than planning a sunny-day picnic downtown? There are plenty of lovely public spaces where you can put down a blanket and enjoy the beautiful weather, and there are even restaurants that will pack a gourmet basket for you.

Where to Pick Up a Picnic Basket

Blue Inc.: Starting on June 3, chef Jason Santos is offering a “Picnic in the Park” promotion: an entree, a side, and a dessert. Available entrees include seared-rare tuna tacos with shredded cabbage, black bean salsa, and smoked sour cream; a chipotle chicken Caesar wrap with shaved parmesan and romaine; a summer caprese veggie burger on a baguette with fresh mozzarella, tomato jam, and basil mayo; and a Black Forest ham sandwich with an apricot curry spread, tomato, and roasted red peppers. On the side, diners can get blue potato chips, spicy broccoli and peanut slaw, or German potato salad. Dessert is simple: a brownie, a blondie, or fruit salad. The promotion is available by emailing your order to picnic@blueincboston.com before 10 a.m. on weekdays.

Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro: Also referred to as “Picnic in the Park,” the Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro deal includes use of a blanket and a basket. It’s available for weekday lunch 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner seven nights a week. Diners need only call an hour ahead of time to place an order, and the entire regular menu is up for grabs. Try the crisp duck confit with butternut squash risotto for lunch, or the steak frites (Painted Hills sirloin with madeira butter) for dinner. Call (617) 723-7575 to indulge.

The Bristol Lounge at the Four Seasons Hotel: Perhaps unsurprisingly, this promotion is also called “Picnic in the Park,” and the meal comes in a “stylish picnic pack” so that you can be the envy of everyone eating out of splintering old baskets. There are a few set options. Breakfast includes orange juice, seasonal fruits and berries, and pastries with preserves and sweet butter. The “traveler’s lunch” includes hummus, olives, pita chips, a turkey club sandwich with tarragon mayonnaise, chips, fruits, and a chocolate chip cookie. On the more elegant side, there’s the “sky high” package: Russian Ossetra caviar, toast points, blini, and other traditional accompaniments. Call (617) 338-4400 to make arrangements two hours ahead of time.

Where to Eat

Boston Common/Public Garden: It’s the obvious choice, but that doesn’t make it any less inviting. Both the Common and the Garden are quite nice, but the Garden is the more scenic option. Just be mindful of the areas where signs indicate that you should not walk on the grass.

Rose Kennedy Greenway

The Greenway reaches from the North End to Chinatown, and has plenty of quiet spots to enjoy a picnic. Photo Credit: Rachel Leah Blumenthal

Rose Kennedy Greenway: The Greenway is easily accessible from Downtown Boston and spans all the way from the North End to Chinatown. There are plenty of benches and lawns available, and even on a busy summer weekend, there’s plenty of open space to discover. As a bonus, there’s a wide variety of food trucks parked along the Greenway for lunch and dinner every day of the week, so you can supplement your picnic with some extras.

Corey Hill Outlook: Want to take your basket and sneak away from the downtown hustle and bustle for a bit? Brookline’s Corey Hill Outlook is a quick T ride away. Just take the Green Line C from Park Street to Washington Square and be prepared to walk uphill for a few minutes. The secluded park offers peace and quiet and breathtaking views.

With so many great picnic options nearby, make it a point to get outside for a nice relaxing day picnic this summer!

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