A Guide to the Ultimate Downtown Picnic | Grandlife
The Roxy Hotel New York

2 6th Avenue
New York, NY 10013

212.519.6600 https://www.roxyhotelnyc.com

A Guide to the Ultimate Downtown Picnic

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It’s about that time of year when sidewalk seating season kicks off again and suddenly the entire city decides to go outside all at once. It seems as though the second warm weather arrives, New Yorkers and tourists are outdoor-dining on oysters and frosé everywhere you look. And don’t get us started on the perpetually packed, migraine-producing rowdy rooftop bars. Thankfully, the city offers plenty of parks and tranquil green spaces perfect for enjoying a no-reservations-necessary alfresco meal.

Of course, our favorite picnic-friendly spots are in Lower Manhattan. Also downtown? Iconic specialty food stores, locals’ favorite bodegas, and hip home-good shops that provide everything your picnic basket needs, from olives and dips to paper plates and napkins. Staying at The Roxy or Soho Grand Hotel? Hop on a hotel bike for a few hours, purchase your picnic goodies, and then head to the nearby Elizabeth Street Garden or The Battery Oval for a perfect picnic below 14th Street. Below, we’re sharing our guide to picnicking downtown. PS: Don’t forget your sunscreen. 

Soho Garden

Open 24/7, come to this spacious bodega in Nolita to fulfill your picnic needs. Peruse the narrow aisles where the shelves and fridges are packed with picnic-friendly groceries like paper plates, plastic utensils, crackers, candies, dips, beverages, packaged fruit and vegetables, and more. Consider ordering a killer sandwich or fresh juice to-go at the deli counter and grabbing a bundle of freshly cut flowers from the buckets that line the storefront. 

40 Prince St; T.  (212) 941-5973

Sunrise Mart

Love Japanese food? Then make this much-loved Japanese grocer on Broome Street your one-stop shop for your picnic. Here, you’ll find a variety of unique Japanese treats, from soy sauce potato chips and wasabi sesame crackers to sweet potato Kit Kat bars and lychee gummy candies. In the back of the store, Sunrise’s kitchen serves up tasty bento boxes, soba noodles, sushi, onigiri, and more. As for the slew of beverages? There’s something for everyone: canned coffees, teas, beers, soft drinks, juices, sparkling waters, and more. Sunrise Mart also carries a small selection of cosmetically elegant J-beauty sunscreen—a must-bring for any picnic. 

494 Broome St; T. (212) 219-0033

 

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DiPalo Fine Foods 

This century-old Italian specialty food store and cheese shop aptly located in the heart of Little Italy is renowned for its housemade mouth-watering inducing mozzarella. But DiPalo’s also provides everything you’ll need to create your dream antipasto platter like infinite artisanal cheeses (including over 75 Pecorino Romanos from various regions of Italy), sliced cured meats (their prosciutto is to-die-for), and lots of plump olives. Plus, ready-made, to-die-for meals—think tortellini salad, meatballs, and eggplant parm. 

200 Grand St; T: (212) 226-1033

Pi Bakerie 

This bright and airy Greek counter-service joint is just a stone’s throw from West Broadway. Order an endless array of Greek goodies, such as spanakopita, grape leaves, horiatiki salad, pita chips with hummus or spicy feta dips, and more. Then there’s the heavenly housemade pastries. You can’t go wrong ordering the sweet and gooey baklava. As for the wildly tasty baklava croissant? It will change your life.

512 Broome St; T. (212) 226-2701

Coming Soon

Sure, you could just buy a picnic blanket and some disposable tableware from Target. But if you want to picnic in style and support a local independent business, head to Coming Soon in the Lower East Side. This hip, high-end home-goods shop stocks items like head-turning furniture and cheeky bathmats. But they’ve also got you covered in the stylish picnic department, from Instagrammable napkins and a colorful quilt by New York-based design company Cold Picnic to quirky glassware and bold melamine plates

53 Canal St; T. (212) 226-4548

Elizabeth Street Garden

This tranquil slice of green space is tucked away on—you guessed it right—Elizabeth Street. Beloved by locals and visitors, this community garden features whimsical sculptures, lush landscaping, and magical vibes. Unfortunately, this could very well be your last summer to enjoy it—the city plans to turn the garden into affordable public housing for seniors. If you want to learn more about the history of the much-loved garden and join the fight to protect and preserve it, visit their website here.  

Elizabeth Street Between Prince and Spring Streets

The Battery Oval 

The Battery, formerly known as Battery Park, is a 25-acre green space located at the southern tip of Manhattan. We suggest filling your picnic basket or trusty tote with treats and making your way to The Battery Oval, a two-acre oasis of green that can accommodate up to 8,000 people. Lie down on a blanket among the lush trees or perch in an Andrew Jones-designed powder blue-colored “Battery Chair” (there’s 300 of them.) PS: Everything that goes in and on the Battery Oval’s lawns is organic and toxin-free. 

State Street and Battery Place

WORDS Alex Catarinella 

PHOTOGRAPHY Jelleke Vanooteghem on Unsplash

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The Roxy Hotel New York

2 6th Avenue
New York, NY 10013

212.519.6600 https://www.roxyhotelnyc.com
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