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
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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