With the weather warming up, and the sun proving that it does, in fact, exist, we can't think of a better time to break out that dignified picnic blanket than now. So, duck out of work early or take a luxuriously long lunch. It's time to head to a park, and dig in. And don't worry if you forgot to pack the goods. The A offers plenty of takeout opportunities, many of which are located absurdly close to some prime picnic spots. It's simple: tasty takeout + nearby scenic park = picnic perfection. Now, you just have to figure out what to wear. (Hint: jorts!)
Springvale Park + Julianna's Crépes
Unraveling a picnic blanket in this little hidden gem of a park is picturesque enough—but supplementing it with a crépe sweet or savory (or maybe one of each)? Straight-up idyllic, since Andrew's Hungarian recipes are delicious (especially if you go with the free kind). While you're kicking it al fresco, you might even make a new friend in the neighborhood goose. He's kind of a big deal.
Candler Park + Candler Park Market
Heaven, if you ask us, is a homemade pimento cheese sandwich, an ice-cold root beer and a little somethin' sweet plucked from the King of Pops case, all enjoyed on a grassy knoll in the middle of Candler Park. We suppose ol' Belinda was right all along.
Lullwater + The General Muir
We're not usually so great with arithmetic, but this equation's easy: one of Atlanta's prettiest parks + one of Atlanta's best new restaurants has to equal one heck of a picture-perfect picnic. Particularly if there's a reuben involved.
Lake Claire Community Land Trust + The Mercantile
If you've never set foot in this groovy little patch of land overlooking Dekalb Avenue, well, clearly you haven't met our friend Lou. What's a picnic without an emu or two, anyway? Snag provisions from the Mercantile (seriously y'all, those sandwich-makers don't mess around) and make the ten-minute walk up to the Land Trust for a communing-with-nature kind of pic-a-nic.
Esther Peachy Lefevre Park + Carroll Street Cafe
Though this Cabbagetown park is more about see-saws and jungle gyms than babbling brooks and wildlife, it still makes for an excellent (and often quiet) spot to toss out a quilt, laze in the sun, and admire the Downtown skyline peeking over the CSX trainyard. A walk down to the neighborhood's main drag will lead you right to Carroll Street, home of the best nicoise salad in town. (You can also pop in to Little's for a Frozen Pint, a Boylan's soda, and a taste of this former mill town's history.)
Chastain Park + Buttermilk Kitchen
It's about a twenty minute walk from Suzanne Vizethann's charming all-local eatery to ATL's largest city park. (Which is, surprisingly, not Piedmont!) Grab a to-go order of chicken salad sandwiches, farm-fresh sides and pimento cheese. Actually, make that two servings of pimento cheese: you'll need the proper fuel for that three-mile walking trail.
Have a favorite park and picnic combo? Tell us about it.