Seven Splendid Summer Picnic Spreads

Juliet, Branch Line, and other Boston-area restaurants make it easy to have a gourmet meal en plein air.

Coppersmith's Airdeck Picnic menu

Coppersmith’s Airdeck Picnic menu is served in a Radio Flyer wagon. / Photo provided

Beacon Hill Bistro

Located just steps from the Public Garden and Boston Common, Beacon Hill Bistro has brought back its Picnic in the Park menu for the summer. Guests can personally curate their own basket from the restaurant’s picnic menu, and Beacon Hill Bistro throws in a blanket so you can enjoy lunch or dinner amidst some of the city’s most beautiful surroundings. Phone orders are required two hours in advance.

Available seven days a week, 25 Charles St., Boston; 617-723-1133 or

Rotisserie chicken to go from Branch Line

Rotisserie chicken to go from Branch Line. / Photo by Fawn Deviney

Branch Line

If your lunch hour finds you near the Arsenal on the Charles River, watch the rowers glide by with a picnic from Branch Line. Create your own spread from chef de cuisine Stephen Oxaal’s lunch menu, or choose from two curated packages. The Chicken Picnic ($45) comes with a half rotisserie Green Circle chicken, plus addictive sugar snap pea salad, cucumber crudité, bread, and two Spindrift sodas; and The Trio of Chicken ($50) includes a half rotisserie chicken, a Greek-style chicken sandwich, and chicken chopped salad. Call ahead for pickup, or order in person and wait with a beer from Magellan Casto’s rotating list of unique drafts, and a few tosses of the bocce ball on the restaurant’s court.

Available Monday-Friday, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Saturday, noon-3 p.m., items and packages priced a la carte, Branch Line, 321 Arsenal St., Watertown, 617-420-1900,

Coppersmith Airdeck Picnic

This isn’t a traditional picnic, but Coppersmith’s Airdeck is one place you’ll want to enjoy a meal al fresco this summer. And the only way to ensure you get a seat up there is to reserve a picnic table for your crew. Chef Jason Heard has a special menu for Airdeck Picnics—up to 20 guests—served in a Radio Flyer wagon. There’s a Southie BBQ, with chicken, pulled pork, and brisket; the Catch of the Day, with two dozen each of baked oysters, stuffed clams, and peel-and-eat shrimp; an Urban Garden spread with grilled vegetables, marinated mozzarella, smoked olives, and focaccia; and more. The regular menu is also available, plus libations from the full-service, converted Airstream bar. Airdeck Picnics must be ordered 24 hours in advance by calling the restaurant directly, and are first-come, first-serve.

Reservations required, packages priced $175-$250, Coppersmith, 40 W. 3rd St., South Boston, 617-658-3452,

Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse

With lunch or dinner from Davio’s downtown Boston location, you’re in prime territory for a picnic on Boston Common. Call at least one hour ahead to order two choices of salad (baby arugula with shaved reggiano and lemon oil, chopped Romaine with green beans, chickpeas, cucumber, onion, and egg, etc.), sandwiches (chicken salad, prosciutto with mozzarella and arugula, and more), and fresh fruit and Italian cheeses. Davio’s will pack up a basket for you, including sparkling or still water and a blanket.

Available Monday-Friday, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., and 5:30-10 p.m., $45 + refundable $50 deposit, Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse, 75 Arlington St., Boston, 617-357-4810,

Jambon de Paris sandwich from Juliet

Jambon de Paris sandwich from Juliet. / Photo by Hannah Packman


This is Juliet’s first spring in business, and co-owners Josh Lewin and Katrina Jazayeri just introduced a special picnic menu for their Union Square neighbors. Pick up a basket after browsing the weekly Saturday farmers’ market, or the locally-owned shops in the ’hood, and take it up Prospect Hill for a lunch in full view of the Boston skyline. Complete with a blanket, each package includes your choice of the jambon de Paris sandwich, kale and cabbage salad, or a house-made charcuterie spread, a freshly baked cookie, and coffee, tea, or house-made soda. Advance orders are recommended, but not required.

Available daily 11 a.m.-2 p.m., $15 per person, Juliet, 257 Washington St., Somerville, 617-718-0958,

Nebo Cucina & Enoteca

Want to picnic on the Greenway, but craving the classic Italian flavors that haven’t made great inroads among Boston’s food trucks? Nebo Cucina & Enoteca is right nearby, and this spring, chef/owners Carla and Christine Pallotta are offering a new takeaway menu perfect for picnicking. A variety of pizzas, house-made, bite-sized polpettine, zucchini lasagna, and other easy-to-transport plates are available, plus house-made jams, bread, and olives, salumi, antipasti, and more. Takeaway options start at 2 p.m.

Available Monday-Saturday beginning at 2 p.m., items priced a la carte, Nebo Cucina & Enoteca, 520 Atlantic Ave., Boston, 617-723-6326,

Peteboro Basket Co.

Stir offers Peteboro Basket Co. picnic lunches this summer. / Photo provided


The Barbara Lynch Gruppo provides cooking demonstrations, wine classes, and more at Stir, and for the second year, it also offers a few picnic experiences this summer. Once a month from June-August, the team will prepare ready-to-go picnic baskets—hand-woven in New Hampshire—filled with utensils, house-made crackers, spreads, charcuterie by the Butcher Shop, salads or pickles, sandwiches, and tarts or other desserts. There’s also a non-alcoholic drink, like elderflower lemonade, and items are comprised of the seasonal bounty from Siena Farms. Mark your calendar for A Southern Affair, with flavors from the French Quarter, Texas, and into the Lowcountry (June 18); a decadent French Picnic (July 16); and the Mediterranean Experience (August 20). Email, call, or order in person during Stir’s business hours.

Available select Saturdays this summer, $125, Stir, 102 Waltham St., Boston, 617-423-STIR,