June 11, 2019 News & Features » Cover Story

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Pack a Picnic 

click to enlarge Sally Bell’s Kitchen

Scott Elmquist/File

Sally Bell’s Kitchen

Yogi Bear had the right idea — it doesn't get much better than a picnic. Unlike the loveable cartoon, though, you can just walk right into a shop or restaurant for the perfect lunch or dinner to eat outside.

At Garnett's Cafe, a favorite neighborhood sandwich spot among Fan dwellers, you can request your meal in a quaint little basket, borrow a blanket and chow down beneath the trees right across the street at Meadow Park. Cary Street Cafe, with its extensive menu of sandwiches, salads, pub fare and breakfast items, has a similar offering — picnic to-go specials include the grub, plates, silverware and a bottle opener if you need one. Just put down a small deposit for the basket and then make your way over to Byrd Park to enjoy your bounty.

And even without the addition of a wicker basket, a neatly packed boxed lunch will certainly do the trick. Cuisine a la Carte includes a sandwich, wrap or salad with a side, fruit and dessert, and the Patterson Avenue location is less than two blocks away from the picnic tables at Westwood Playground. There's also the hallowed Richmond favorite Sally Bell's Kitchen, with its upside down cupcake, deviled egg and cheese wafer alongside the sandwich and side of your choice, though you're a few blocks from a picnic table or bench.

Over in Church Hill, Liberty Public House offers its own boxed lunches featuring a sandwich, wrap or salad, side, beverage and freshly baked cookie, and it's just a hop, skip and a jump away from Patrick Henry Park. And while Stella's Grocery doesn't sell boxed lunches, per se, you'll be hard-pressed to find any prepared dishes in there that wouldn't lend themselves well to an outdoor picnic, and the downtown location is only a half-mile from Monroe Park.

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