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May 17, 2011 08:22 AM

Picnic in Central Park

Heading down to NYC from Toronto in July. Would really love to have a picnic (weather permitting) at Central Park when we're down there.

Any recs on where in CP we should picnic, where to buy our picnic items, etc?


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  1. Well, the park is a huge place so where to send you for picnic goodies will vary a lot depending on where you want to be and where you are coming from. That said, one good place to go would be Zabar's, a NY institution all on its own. You could then enter the park at 81st and be near the Pinetum and the Great Lawn. (You should probably look at a map of the park so you can figure out at least a general area where you want to be.)

    2245 Broadway, New York, NY 10024

    1. ...Adding Salumeria Rosi to the list.

      Salumeria Rosi
      283 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10023

      1 Reply
      1. re: LeahBaila

        2nd that and might add Grandaisy (room temperature roman style pizza), Bouchon Bakery (some bouchons or doughnuts or TKOs), Jacques Torres (maybe some chocolate chip cookies), Magnolia Bakery (icebox cake). And/or Shake Shack.

        You could also go to Whole Foods if you really wanted.

        I'm jealous already!

        Bouchon Bakery
        10 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019

        Grandaisy Bakery
        176 W 72nd St, New York, NY 10023

        Jacques Torres
        285 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10023

        Magnolia Bakery
        200 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10023

        Shake Shack
        366 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10024

      2. have your picnic on the hill to the west side of the fountain/pond at 72nd st. Less crowded and more picturesque than Sheeps Meadow

        Food recs provided are great, add Citarella at 75th and Broadway and Fairway at 74th and Broadway or good deli counters and other prepared foods

        2135 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

        Fairway Market
        2127 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

        1. I really like all the suggestions you've gotten already. I think those are all really solid choices food-wise.

          Rather than think of good food around Central Park, I've been trying to think of my favorite Central Park spots, and the best (of sometimes limited) food options in those areas.

          The Pinetum is a beautiful spot, and I have fond memories of a great Zabar's/Pinetum picnic I had a few years ago.
          Harlem Meer/Conservatory Garden (105th/5th Ave)--grilled chicken over lentil puree, phyllo cheese roll, hummous, baba ganouch, freshly baked pitas from Moustache; pretty good (not earth shattering) Mexican from El Paso or Lolita's.
          The "Pool" at 101 on the west side--hmm, decent sandwiches at Cafe Amrita? Stuff from the upper west side Whole Foods or Trader Joe's?

          There are also now more and more food options in the park itself:
          At 72nd St on the west side, there's now a Pain Quotidien, a chain which has decent (if not particularly inspiring) sandwiches and other foodstuffs.
          At the old Tavern on the Green site there are some food trucks set up. Recently had some great (but expensive) ice cream from Van Leeuwen
          I've also seen Wafels and Dinges carts set up:

          El Paso Taqueria
          1643 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10029

          Cafe Amrita
          301 W 110th St, New York, NY 10025

          Le Pain Quotidien
          50 W 72nd St, New York, NY 10023

          1621 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10029

          57 Lenox Ave, New York, NY 10026

          Whole Foods
          808 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10025

          Trader Joe's
          2075 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

          1. Sables on 2nd Ave. bet. E77/78 for lobster salad, shrimp salad, and H&H a few blocks up for bagels. Then over to Turtle Pond for a view of the Observatory while basking in the sun. If you're here when Shakespeare in the Park is on, you can picnic in line while you wait for tickets. Andy's deli will deliver to the line if you don't feel like hiking in your own food.

            Sable's Smoked Fish
            1489 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10021

            H&H Midtown Bagels East
            1551 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028