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Good Place for Sandwiches Near a Picnic Area?

I know this is a rather specific request, but can anyone think of good sandwich/sub shops, delis, markets, or cafes within walking distance of a place to picnic? Today's weather really has me thinking of getting the blanket out, along with a good book and a radio. Anyplace inside Route 128 would work for me.

I wish the Arboretum allowed picnics, as there seem to be some food places right there, but....

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  1. The Whole Foods at Fresh Pond -- there is a huge park behind it with benches, walking paths, etc.

    1. True Grounds + Powderhouse Park
      Cardullos or Darwin's + the park by the JFK School of Government.

      2 Replies
      1. re: fenian

        JFK Park in Cambridge is terrific for picnics and people watching. Hi-Rise on Brattle St. is another good sandwich take-out option.

        1. re: kittychow

          Or a steak and cheese from Pinocchio's! Or a sandwich from Cardullo's! All are good options near the Harvard Square section of the Charles River.

      2. Artu Beacon Hill and the Esplanade.

        Via Lago (pricey) in lexington and either head out the bike trail to a convenient location or there is a cool little hill and boulders up the steps near the library.

        Mangia Mangia or Fresh Cheese (or calamari from daily catch) then hitch it over to Christopher Columbus. Also Umberto depending on the hour and Limster has Volle Nolle next door a couple of times but I have never been.

        1. Kind of a different vibe, but one of the best things about working downtown in the good weather is grabbing lunch at Al's, Italian Cafe, or Sultan's Kitchen and enjoying it in Post Office Square.

          2 Replies
          1. re: finlero

            I know several people who work near PO Square (and am very jealous on days like these!). One of my friends swears by Al's for their steak and cheese.....

            1. re: hiddenboston

              The [presumably heroin-laced] bread at Al's and IC is so good that I'm usually perfectly happy to keep it light with a plain old turkey sandwich.

              Having said that, Al's steak and cheese is pretty ridiculously tasty.

          2. How about a Kelly's Roast Beef sandwich or double cheeseburger and bringing a chair to sit at Revere Beach? It might be a little cooler near the ocean but the view is fantastic.

            1. ok, Piers Park in Eastie is absolutely gorgeous. And has picnic tables. You could grab sandwiches from meridian market. I've done it before. It's a nice lunch.

              1. All Star Sandwiches, in Inman Square. Then you can go to JFK park in Harvard, or over to Fresh Pond. Better choice than Whole Foods, I'd think.

                1. Our standby is barbecue from Blue Ribbon, eaten at Spy Pond in Arlington. Wish that's what I'd done for lunch today, actually...

                  1. how about take out from parish cafe (361 boylston st., right by arlington T) and eat in the public garden right across the street?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ellabella

                      i second parrish- the sandwich menu is so creative (for sandwiches) and constantly changing. you cannot beat it's proximity to the public gardens either! there are no other genuine parks in the city (unless there is a big secret that no one is telling me!)

                    2. Banh mi from Mei Sum bakery in Chinatown, then a 5 minute walk to the Common. You can splurge on a bubble tea from Bao Bao bakery around the corner on Harrison if you like.

                      1. my broken record post: buy lobster rolls at j. hook + co, then walk out over the pedestrian bridge and eat near the water next to the moakley courthouse.

                        1. Something from Coast Cafe then over to that little park just before Mem. Drive. Or all the way to the river. A cubano from El Oriental and sit by the pond.

                          1. My favorite place to picnic is, believe it or not, the Forest Hills Cemetary. It's so beautiful by the pond that you almost forget that you are in a cemetary. Plus the public art and gravestone carvings are so interesting to wander around and look at.

                            It's so close to the Arboretum that it might work for you.

                            We usually grab something from Bob's in Medford and head over.

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: tallullah

                              That's quite a hop from point A to point B. If hidden wants to make things easier, I'd suggest something from Dogwood then going to the cemetary. Or a sandwich from Fornax Bakery in Roslindale. Or try that mexican place with the Italian name down the street from Fornax.

                              1. re: Joanie

                                Is that Mexican place still open? For some reason, I was thinking it was gone, but maybe that was some other place.

                                1. re: hiddenboston

                                  Do you mean Tacos el Charro? That seems to be open, after all the talk of them closing. Oh I forgot, there's always Alex's Chimis, across from TelC. Now *there's* a sandwich.

                                  1. re: Joanie

                                    No, sorry, I was thinking of El Taino (which I mistakenly thought was Mexican), which has been closed for awhile now...

                                2. re: Joanie

                                  It's a hop, but I'm in Medford so it's my favorite option. I'm not very familiar with food options near the cemetary.

                              2. Sorry to everyone who's already posted, but I have the winner (albeit slightly outside the Route 128 parameters): grab a sandwich at Verrill Farm in Concord -- their grilled sandwiches are particularly good -- and bring it to Walden Pond in Concord or to Mt. Misery in Lincoln (which offers great light hikes with stunning views of the Sudbury River and is dog friendly, including off leash on most paths).

                                Here are directions:

                                To Verrill Farm: Take Route 128 to Route 20 towards Waltham. Go through the first set of lights, past the gas station on the left, and take the next left, following the signs to Route 117. At the next light, take a left on Route 117. After passing Dairy Joy on the right (great fried clams; probably not open for the season yet), and Drumlin Farm on the left, proceed to the second traffic light (the second light AFTER passing DJ and Drumlin Farm) and take a right, Take the next left and Verrill Farm will be immediately on the left.

                                Directions to Mt. Misery: Mt. Misery is right on Route 117, directly between the two traffic lights I referred to above after passing DJ and Drumlin Farm. So if coming out of the Verrill Farm parking lot, take a right, another right at the stop sign, and a left at the traffic light back onto Route 117. The parking lot for Mt. Misery will be on your left about a half mile down. If you get to the traffic light at Route 126 you've gone too far.

                                Directions to Walden Pond: Coming out of the Verrill Farm parking lot, take a right, another right at the stop sign, and a left at the traffic light back onto Route 117. Proceed to the next traffic light and take a left on Route 126. Walden Pond will be about a mile or so down on the left, with a parking lot on the right.

                                1. Although I'm all for Verrill Farms, Mt Misery (not aptly named at all) and Walden Pond, your recommendation falls slightly outside the "within walking distance of a place to picnic" criteria.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: gini

                                    Both sound lovely. Are they both within a mile of the parking area?

                                    1. re: kittychow

                                      Both Mt. Misery and Walden Pond have on-site parking.

                                    2. re: gini

                                      Yes, I admit I cheated a little.

                                    3. Don't forget Southie's "hidden in plain site" secret! Sullivan's & Castle Island. OK, so Sullivan's only serves burgers, hot dogs, shakes, Hood ice cream, fries, coffee, etc., but just like old fashioned beach boardwalk food, they're all fresh, v. inexpensive and pretty darn good. They pack it all up in easy to carry cardboard boxes, offer lots of self serve ketchup & napkins and you are ready to stroll about Castle Island. Lots of picnic benches right out front, but if you walk out to the harbor side, you can sit and watch ships & ferries & sailboats glide by, not to mention the planes & the airport. On windy days, you can tuck yourself in behind one of the castle's massive granite walls. Plenty of parking in the large lot. Easy to get to (5 min from Xway). The Park Service watches over the place. People are friendly, but it's never so crowded that you can't find "your spot." Parking, food, incredible views, tables, green grass and breezes on a hot day; you can't do better. Castle Island is a city treasure.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: bosloft

                                        Yeah, I go to Castle Island nearly every week in the summer. It can get cold this time of year, though; we went on a balmy day (that is, balmy away from the coast) earlier in the month and it was freezing at Castle Island. Definitely a great spot once the ocean water warms up!

                                      2. It's now the opposite of picnic weather outside, but when it's nice out, my wife and I like to walk up to Coolidge Corner, grab a couple of pastrami sandwiches and root beers from Michael's, then "earn" ourselves a picnic by walking up Summit Ave. to the Corey Hill Outlook. Good food and a nice view.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: A.A.

                                          Such a fantastic view. and you certainly earn it. I've walked it from the other side.... take out from what was Bread and Circus (I think it's Whole Foods now).

                                        2. All of a sudden my thread seems really silly....

                                          Once the snow clears, I'll definitely look into some of these places. Thanks much, everybody!

                                          1. It's kinda funny to read this after shoveling my car out of the snow by moonlight, but...
                                            I like getting a deli sandwich at Russo's (and a couple treats from the bakery), and heading over to the Charles River to watch the rowers go by. I think that's walking distance, although I always drive. After you eat, you can take a walk along the river, and if it's hot outside, run through the sprinkler in the playground! Fun!

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: ShakeNBake

                                              Requires a slight drive, but I like to go to Tutto Italiano in Hyde Park for sandwiches, then head down the road to the Endicott Estate to picnic on the lawn.

                                              Also recommend grabbing sandwiches at Real Deal in WR, then head over to Millenium Park to soak up a little sun while eating.

                                            2. Have you been to Castle Island in South Boston Watefront? Can't beat the views, plenty of parking, and room to spread out that picnic blanket. And, this where you can get the best hot dogs in Boston! Sullivan's snack bar has the old fashion stuff you may be looking for at very reasonable prices.