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May 14, 2008 04:21 PM

Where can I bbq in public in Cambridge/Boston?

Where can I bbq in public in Cambridge?

Are there any parks in or around Cambridge or Boston where one can q it up? Where would you go for bbq grill? Any help is appreciated

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  1. I had a barbecue at the Publick Theatre in Cambridge last summer.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Prav

      I was going to suggest the same place. It's next to the Charles River and I think the area is called Artisani Park. I ride my bike through there frequently during the summer. I think if it as the "we are the world" park because of all the groups of people of all ethnicities enjoying themselves and grilling up some great smelling foods. It's a nice vibe. You can also rent a kayak or canoe and play in the spray park (I think the latter, if you're under 6 or so).

      1. re: silver queen

        I'm not sure if this is the same place....but on the Boston side of the river (Soldier's Field Road, Brighton) there are lots of permanent grills set up. You might need to bring the grating. Not sure if you have to reserve them or not

    2. Another alternative is Mystic Lakes park in Medford near the Winchester line - it's a small beach (with lifeguard) and park area where there is a lot of very great-smelling grilling going on during nice days. There is also lots of parking.

      2 Replies
      1. re: rlh

        The Sandy Beach location, which is what I think you are describing, only allows gas grills which they do enforce and you have to bring your own.

        Artisani Park, The Publick Theater, and what Science Chick described are all basically the same location in Brighton opposite WBZ. I think that Magazine Beach on the Cambridge side does offer some fixed BBQ locations, but there was some construction in recent years and I can't guarantee they maintained the grills. A number of other state locations (formerly MDC) offer grilling facilities and you can search of the Mass Department of Parks web site which ones offer what.

        One of the best locations is the Harbor Islands, and George's Island has a bunch of fixed BBQs. In the past they allowed charcoal grilling on other islands, but sounds like they are only allowing this below the high water mark now. This doesn't open until after labor day. There is cheap weekend parking available for day trips.

        As for the BBQ grill, it depends on what you are looking for. If its charcoal, most larger local stores (target, home depot) only carry the Weber Smokey Jr Silver (approx names), whereas there is an 18" Gold that you want to seek out because the other is too small (with the 18" you can build a big fire to one side and move the meat over after searing). BBQ Barn in Arlington is the one place I found it, but you can save a bit ordering from Amazon. For Gas-only locations the Weber-Q model seems to be pretty available, so just get it from your major mega-mart

        1. re: itaunas

          "[George's Island] doesn't open until after labor day." I assume you mean Memorial Day?

      2. I believe that gas grilling is allowed at Castle Island, but I don't think charcoal is (though I see people do it there all the time).

        I've done a bunch of grilling at Menotomy Rocks Park in Arlington, but again, I think they frown upon charcoal grilling.

        This is a really good question. I have asked around about this issue for awhile now, especially concerning charcoal grilling, but it seems that there are very few places where you can do it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: hiddenboston

          A lot of state-managed lake and beach locations do allow it -- and almost all the campgrounds have fire rings and BBQs. A lot of them, although a lesser number, still provide fixed grills. Conservation oriented locations are not going to allow it (Middlesex Fells, "... Woods"). Towns are always going to vary based on the municipality and some are limited to residents (like Medford Wright's pond). Alcohol is universally banned, although there are some private facilities which more or less encourage it (one lakeside campground in Leominster in particular comes to mind and has turned into a club scene). At Sandy Beach where charcoal is prohibited, they explicitly say "gas grills only" on the regulations.

          Large groups in most state parks always need a permit, but one advantage is they have a list of parks with specific facilities for groups and usually have grills.

          I used to be able to find at least some info on where had grills from the State's site, but am not right now. Some places that I know have fixed grills (you bring your own charcoal) are George's, Cochituate, Horseneck (public and camping before), Demarest Lloyd, (Salisbury Beach in the camping, but not certain outside). Harold Parker has it in the camping, but not certain about the lake sites.

          And above I did mean "Memorial Day."

        2. Franklin Park, at the Playstead in Dorchester near JP is great. I think you need to bring you own bbq but its got a fun vibe in the summer with people from all over, playing cricket, soccer, softball and listening to loud reggatone. And its right outside the zoo so you can stop in there after.

          2 Replies
          1. re: hoolese

            I think you can do this at Brookline's Larz Anderson Park but you need to apply for a permit or something.

            1. re: TheScribe

              That's one of the prettiest locations I can think of.....a little steep on the picnic area rentals for non-residents, but could be worth it...


          2. Arsenal Park in Watertown has grills for charcoal-on the eastern side the view of the river is quite pretty and there are fewer kids.