Perfect Picnic Pairings: Local Food, Local Spots

Carrie Murphy

Although it's been a rainy April, our hopes for a sunny (and not too humid!) summer are high. And what's more summery than going for a picnic? We've chosen some of our favorite places to eat al fresco in Baltimore. Of course, you can pack your own picnic, but we thought it would be fun to pair food from local eateries with nearby picnic spots. Order your meal to go, pack a blanket, and get ready to relax.

North Baltimore has quite a few of our favorite picnic areas. We suggest grabbing some pastries from purple-painted Mt. Washington favorite Bonjour Bakery and Cafe and then crossing the street to picnic at Robert E. Lee Park. And once you're finished eating, walk along the water or take a quick run along one of the trails. If you're in the Lauraville/Hamilton neighborhood, try a Po-Boy from brand new Harford Road eatery Toulooloo and enjoy it while you relax at Lake Montebello.

Soup might not be the best choice for a picnic lunch, but we do love Atwater's of Belvedere Square. We recommend one of their gourmet salads, a big hunk of bread, and a few slices of good cheese. The market is full of all sort of delicious food ranging from sushi to produce to wine, so you're bound to find something you like. Govans Presbyterian Church, just across the street from the square, has some shady benches where you can chow down. But our best suggestion for your digestion is to take an after-picnic walk around the church's Santa Rosa Labyrinth.

Gluten-free bakery and restaurant Sweet 27 (formerly Sweet Sin) is one of the more popular places to eat in the neighborhoods of Remington and Charles Village. I'd love to enjoy one of their to-die-for gluten-free cupcakes while surveying the city from the steps of the Baltimore Museum of Art. I don't know if snacking there is technically allowed, but if museum guards make you move, you can always hop over to Johns Hopkins' campus to spread out on the grass. 

When you're in Mount Vernon, Milk and Honey Market has everything you'd ever need for a perfect picnic. Enjoy one of their gourmet sandwiches, paninis, or empanadas (vegan and gluten-free options available) in the park right underneath the monument. Breakfast is served until 10:30 am, so get there early if you'd like to see the sunrise while you munch on an egg-and-cheese sandwich. Preston Gardens Park, a little closer to downtown on St Paul Street, is another option for a quick outdoor bite. 

If you're more in the mood for Harbor views, we really like Canton Waterfront Park on Boston St. Panera Bread and Five Guys Burgers and Fries are both close by, but if you want to go local, we love the pizza from Pasta Mista. Fort McHenry and Federal Hill are also perfect (and popular) places to enjoy water views while you eat. As for other city options, Cylburn Arboretum, Sherwood Gardens and Patterson Park are all terrific outdoor areas. If you know of a great picnic spot in your neighborhood, we'd love to hear about it!

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