Exploring Boston can feel like a race to take in all the history, architecture, and museum-worthy art so take time to just soak in the city with a food (and wine?) laden Boston picnic.
Bacco’s Wine + Cheese
Find chilled wine and craft beer (including individual bottles and four- and six-packs) at this Back Bay store. Pair it with New England cheeses, crackers, and fresh Iggy’s bread. If you’re in need of more substantial food or take away items like pasta salad or sandwiches (and even bottled cold brew coffee), head next door to their boutique grocery market, Bacco’s Fine Food: 31 St. James St., 857-239-8039
Blackstone’s of Beacon Hill
Stock up on picnic accessories, from acrylic water glasses to wooden cheese boards, at this eclectic Beacon Hill shop. They even have locally-made tote bags in case you need something to carry your picnic goodies in. Blackstone’s of Beacon Hill: 46 Charles St., 617-227-4646
The preferred butcher of late culinary maven Julia Child doesn’t disappoint when it comes to supplying you with charcuterie, cheese, packaged crackers and cookies, and delicious relishes and dips. The store is close to a foot bridge to the Esplanade so you won’t be far from a perfect picnic spot. 160 Charles St., 617-723-6328
Stock up on handmade pastries and bon bons at this Boston favorite, like the chocolate “mice” with silk tails and salted caramels. Don’t leave the charming store without ordering their iced chocolate, a delectable cold version of their popular European-style hot chocolate. Savenor’s Market: 220 Clarendon St., 617-303-0113
No Boston picnic is complete without a lobster roll and you’ll love the easy-to-take out version at this casual restaurant located next to the Boston Public Library on Boylston Street. It serves Maine-style lobster rolls, on a soft toasted bun with fresh lobster meat tossed in lemon butter and mayonnaise, as well as delicious New England-style clam chowder. If you’re feeling hungry or sharing, opt for the Luke’s Trio,
1/2 lobster roll, 1/2 crab roll, and 1/2 shrimp roll. Luke’s Lobster: 75 Exeter St., 857-350-4626
Where to Picnic
Stake out a spot in the Public Gardens facing the Prudential Center, where the flowers in bloom change throughout the summer and you can watch the Swan Boats languidly move from one end of the lagoon to the next. For a more expansive setting, the nearby Boston Common has grassy slopes with iconic skyline views. If you want to be near the water, head to any of the grassy spots on the Esplanade for fantastic views of Cambridge and the Charles River. If you can find a spot, it’s especially fun to spread your picnic on one of the docks on the river.