Boston’s got many swaths of lawn for a casual, outdoor meal — and plenty of places to find perfect to-go picnic provisions. Here are five al fresco picks — for where to plop down your picnic basket, as well as recommendations for where to grab the goodies.
Picnic spot Along the Charles River, Cambridge
Picnic provisions Studio at Royal Sonesta
For a sunset picnic along the Charles, you’ll want to stop by Studio, a specialty to-go food shop in the lobby of the Royal Sonesta. The hotel is located directly across the street from the banks of the Charles River in Cambridge — a perfect riverfront picnic perch. Order the Studio Picnic Pack — a custom four-item picnic lunch for $11. To build your meal, choose a sandwich (tomato and mozzarella, chilled grilled chicken, and a smoked turkey bacon roll-up are some options), a soup or fruit salad (like a soba noodle salad, Caesar salad, New England clam chowder), a bag of chips and a dessert—pastry chef Christina Allen-Flores recommends the double fudge brownies, Boston cream pie, and vegan cranberry oatmeal cookies. No fuss: the picnic goodies are packed up in a picnic-bag-to-go with utensils and napkins. www.sonesta.com/us/massachusetts/cambridge/royal-sonesta-boston/studio
Picnic spots The Lawn on D and Rose Kennedy Greenway
Picnic provisions Oak + Rowan
Grab an On the Fly lunchbox from Oak + Rowan — a picnic option that includes a sandwich or salad and a cookie for $14. The menu changes daily and includes gourmet goodies like a seared king oyster mushroom wrap with cheddar and braised greens, a farro and quinoa salad, a pheasant confit wrap with bacon and black beans — and, for dessert, homemade snickerdoodles and mudslide cookies. The restaurant is within walking distance of both The Lawn on D www.signatureboston.com/lawn-on-d and The Rose Kennedy Greenway (where you’ll also find a beer garden this summer) www.rosekennedygreenway.org. The lunchboxes are available Monday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. www.oakandrowan.com
Picnic spot Castle Island
Picnic provisions Sullivan’s
Castle Island in South Boston has been a favorite picnic spot for generations. Get your picnic grub (burgers, hot dogs, fried clams, lobster rolls) at Sullivan’s — a Southie institution that’s been around 66 years. Or, how about a breakfast picnic? Sullivan’s opens at 8:30 a.m., so you can pack you picnic basket with cinnamon donuts, fruit cup, fresh baked muffins, and egg sandwiches. Post-picnic, take a free tour of Fort Independence here. www.sullivanscastleisland.com
Picnic spots Arsenal Park and the Charles River near Watertown Square
Picnic provisions Branch Line
Order Branch Line’s Dinner for Two takeout special and you’ll get an arugula salad with lemon, olive oil, parmesan; a Whole Green Circle Rotisserie Chicken (roasted on a fancy rotisserie from France, with house sauce — a gravy-like blend of chicken drippings and herbs); and a lemon pound cake. The Watertown restaurant will package up your picnic to take to Arsenal Park or down by the banks of the Charles River near Watertown Square. Cost: $32. www.branchlinearsenal.com
Picnic spots Boston Common, Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park, Rose Kennedy Greenway
Picnic provisions Boston Public Market
The picnic pickings aren’t slim at this indoor market at Haymarket Station — you’ll be tempted by the fare from 40-plus local vendors. Some ideas: a chunk of cave-aged cheese from The Cellars at Jasper Hill; handmade charcuterie (prosciutto, sopressata) from Daniele; locally sourced beverages from Hopsters; and organic bread from Somerville Bread Co. Prefer something ready-made? Go for a pastrami or corned beef sandwich from Beantown Pastrami Co. or a lobster roll from Red’s Best. No picnic basket? The Boston Public Market also sells cooler bags to transport your picnic in style. The market isn’t far from the Rose Kennedy Greenway www.rosekennedygreenway.org, Christopher Columbus Park www.foccp.org, or Boston Common. The Boston Public Market at Dewey Square, an outdoor seasonal farmer’s market at on the Rose Kennedy Greenway, has opened for the season on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so you can also snag prepared picnic items from 20-plus New England farmers and food entrepreneurs. www.bostonpublicmarket.orgLaurie Wilson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.