It’s still outdoor weather, so let’s take advantage of the season by combining a short walk with one of the Valley’s many public parks and, of course, food from a nearby restaurant.
The restaurant: Blue Fin, 1401 North Central Avenue
We recommend: Chicken teriyaki with a side salad (with homemade ginger dressing) and mochi for dessert.
The park: Margaret T. Hance Park, .4 miles, about an eight-minute walk, 67 West Culver Street
The restaurant: Joe’s Real BBQ, 301 North Gilbert Road, Gilbert
We recommend: A barbecue sampler plate, which includes ribs, chicken, pork, beef, bread, and a side dish, and if you are still hungry after that, a slice of pie (but only if you walked).
The park: Freestone Park, 1.1 miles, about a 22-minute walk (the longest walk, but if you decide to drive, eating outside still counts as connecting with nature), 1045 East Juniper Avenue, Gilbert
The restaurant: Restaurant Atoyac Estilo Oaxaca, 1830 West Glendale Avenue
We recommend: The tacos — a perfectly packed picnic food. Get three for less than $6.
The park: Washington Park, .6 miles, about a 12-minute walk, 6655 North 23rd Avenue
The restaurant: Haji-Baba, 1513 East Apache Boulevard, Tempe
We recommend: The combination platter makes a perfect picnic, and includes gyros, saebusek, tabbouleh, kibbi, stuffed grape leaves, falafel, and yogurt salad.
The park: Hudson Park, .3 miles, about a six-minute walk, 1430 South Cedar Street, Tempe
The restaurant: McGurkee’s Italian Kitchen, 2822 North 15th Avenue
We recommend: A super Sicilian sub — the perfect toasted sandwich. If you are picnicking after 4 p.m., snag a pizza.
The park: Encanto Park, .3 miles, about a six-minute walk, 2605 North 15th Avenue
The restaurant: Lo-Lo’s Chicken and Waffles, 1220 South Central Avenue
We recommend: The chicken and waffles. Fried chicken is the ultimate picnic food — no utensils necessary. Don’t forget the purple drank.
The park: Harmon Park, .3 miles about a six-minute walk, 1239 South Fifth Avenue
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.