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5 Ways to Have the Perfect New York City Picnic

Category General

|by Mark Robinson |

Nothing says “spring” like a picnic in the park

If you think a visit to New York City is no picnic, then you have no idea what you are missing. Though it might not be the first thing that comes to mind when planning a trip to the Big Apple, a picnic in one of the city’s many iconic parks is entirely doable, and may just be a highlight of your stay. For a tourist, however, putting together a picnic meal while staying in a hotel might not be the easiest feat. That’s why we put together a list of options where visitors can grab a terrific picnic to go in Manhattan.

Take one of these to-go picnics to a New York City park this summer (Photo: iStock)

Take one of these to-go picnics to a New York City park this summer (Photo: iStock)

Picnics to Go and Delivery
Picnics to Go and Delivery at 208 West 80th Street (at the Central Park Bike Shop) can help you out with putting together the perfect picnic lunch for a Central park excursion. The service, which is available through the park itself, offers a picnic bag lunch with a gourmet sandwich on a baguette, a bag of chips, a cookie, fresh fruit and bottled water. Among the delicious sandwich choices on the menu? Chicken & Avocado, Tomato & Mozzarella, Smoked Turkey & Apple, Roast Beef & Cheddar, Low-Fat Chicken Salad, Classic Tuna, Italian or Chicken Parmigiana. The price is $35 a person, with an extra cost for a picnic blanket. For more information visit

The Picnic Basket
Merging flavors from Mediterranean, Italian and Asian fusion traditions, The Picnic Basket features meals that can be picked up or delivered right to your picnic location. They offer 15 different types of sandwiches, accompanied by a choice of homemade signature dressings, salads and a selection of delicious soups (all MSG- and preservatives-free), not to mention Danesi espresso coffees. Tunisian Style Tuna, Blossom Salad and Courgette are some menu standouts, but everything on their bill of fare is fresh and fabulous.

Perfect Picnic NYC
Perfect Picnic NYC at 405 Central Park West is a terrific park-adjacent service that will cater a high-end spread for your outdoor adventure. Specializing in a series of signature picnics – including The Gold Picnic, Mother’s Day Picnic, The Brunch Picnic, The Proposal Picnic, Sheep Meadow Picnic Party and The Perfect Picnic Custom – The Perfect Picnic NYC handles everything, including set-up and clean-up. Of special note, their menu offers breakfast picnic options of fruits, yogurts, bagels and lox platters, and myriad lunch options including charcuterie, crudité, cheese platters and assorted salads. Check out the full range of options at

Let’s Go For A Picnic: Deluxe Picnic For Two In Central Park 
Truly offers “Let’s Go For A Picnic: Deluxe Picnic For Two In Central Park,” which is precisely what it sounds like. A picnic is delivered to Central Park’s 72nd and CPW entrance, a sweet and savory combination of artisan cheeses, freshly baked baguette and sea salt caramels, and also includes a blanket and the required plates and cutlery. It’s the perfect pre-Shakespeare in the Park or summer concert meal for $117. 

For those who like to assemble their own picnic and seek a variety of choices, an ideal place to make your dreams come true is Zabars on 2245 Broadway at 80th Street. Zabars, a gourmet grocery store, is an iconic New York institution deserving of a visit in its own right. Add in their fresh baked goods, deli counters, signature soups and salads, pates and foie gras, nuts and chocolates – not to mention their myriad convenient to-go options – and Zabars is your one-stop gourmet shop, where you can effortlessly construct the perfect picnic for you and your family. Oh, and be sure to try their smoked fish. Visit for more information.

Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals, The Disney Song Encyclopedia and The Encyclopedia of Television Theme Songs. He maintains a theater and entertainment blog at



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