Top 10 Upper West Side ‘Picks-for your-Picnic’

By Jordan H • May 6th, 2010

central park picnic 1It’s the moment we’ve been waiting for. Time to shed those winter parkas and grab your flip flops, the picnic season is back again.

It takes serious planning for a perfect picnic in the park and The Hoch Group wants you prepared. Best brunch places? That’s so…February. Here are the top 10 Upper West Side ‘Picks-for your-Picnic’ no matter what park entrance you are going in on. Sorry East Siders, that list is still to come.


Top 10 Upper West Side ‘Picks-for your-Picnic’

Whole Foods – Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle (also the new 97th/Columbus location if you’re uptown!)

This one is a given…prepared food is perfect for throwing in you enviro-sack.  Also, location is perfect right at the South West tip of the park. Salads, sandwiches, brown rice sushi.  You can’t go wrong here.

Lansky’s – 235 Columbus Avenue (between 70 & 71 St.)

This Jewish style deli offers a Central Park Picnic basket special with two overstuffed sandwiches, two sodas, 2 fruit pies or cookies. And if you’re really a lazy, they deliver to Central Park free!

Shake Shack –  366 Columbus Ave (77th St)

Does much really need to be said here? Just the best damn fast food burger and shakes on this coast.

Zabars – 2245 Broadway (80th and 81st)

Packed chicken caesar salads and containers of fresh watermelon, Zabars is not only the oldest, most reputable gourmet market, it’s one of the best.

E.J’s Diner – 447 Amsterdam Ave, (Btwn 81st & 82nd St)

Their sandwiches are delicious and their salads are huge. Our picks:  The Cobb Salad and Granny Smith’s Chopped Chicken Salad.

picnic 2

Blossom – 466 Columbus (82nd&83rd)

The perfect choice for all you veggies/vegans/raw foodies. Our picks: The Philly Cheese Sandwich made with pan seared seitan and The Blossom Burrito. They also make great smoothies perfect for sipping in the park. Take out is easy at the front bar of the restaurant.

Hampton Chutney – 464 Amsterdam Avenue (82nd and 83rd)

Dosas, Uttapas, mango chutney, and chai tea…a refreshing and portable twist to Indian cuisine. If you don’t know what a Dosas or Uttapas are, just think a paper thin crusty super light bread folded over and stuffed with whatever you like. How can you go wrong with that!

Artie’s Diner – 2290 Broadway (83rd street)

Pastrami on Rye, huge salads perfect for sharing, not to mention sides of potato salad and cole slaw. This place is perfect for the classic picnic. Call ahead of time for prompt picnic pick up.

Popover Café – 551 Amsterdam Avenue (87th street)

This restaurants menu has something for whatever mood you’re in. Pack a few of their famous ‘popovers’ with apple butter or strawberry preserves and you’re in business. I’m into the Granny. That’s turkey breast, granny smith apple, turkey, bacon, melted cheddar, red onion, watercress, raisin-horseradish dressing with a side of pasta salad. Gotta love it!

The Bagel Basket – 618 Amsterdam Avenue (90th street)

This small family owned bagel shop is home of NY’s Original Rainbow Bagel and Flagel (a flat and crunchy version of the classic bagel).

*** Bring on the BOOZE!  My favorite wine store, West Side Wine on 83rd and Columbus is close to the park entrance and carries the new hip version of boxed wine.  Yellow and Blue’s certified organic wines are in environmentally friendly packaging, and they are actually good!  Try their Sauvignon Blanc…and don’t forget the cooler!

Photo Credits: crowbert & jonbell has no h.


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