Photo: Kristen Archer of ARCHd
Good food, good friends, and good times aren’t the only ingredients to concocting the perfect picnic. A prime location can take you from amateur hour to picnic perfection. Peep these four great Memphis park/ food combos to elevate your outdoor food experience.
Shelby Farms and One and Only BBQ
Shelby Farms is always a go-to picnic location. The park is massive and there are picnic tables located all throughout the park. There is space to accommodate that pre-meal football, frisbee, or cornhole game.
Accompanying you at Shelby Farms is none other than One and Only BBQ. Before heading out to the park, stop by their location on Germantown Parkway near the Agricenter to pick up all the barbecue, beans, and slaw you desire. I mean a picnic is basically a bbq, just minus the grill, right?
If you don’t do the “que,” check out Shelby Farms’ own The Kitchen at Shelby Farms Park for some lighter, farm fresh fare and The Kitchenette for a quick grab-n-go munch and crunch.
Photo: Marie Fong
Tom Lee Park and Gus’ Fried Chicken
For those of you who love downtown Memphis, it’s hard to find a better picnic spot than Tom Lee Park. Situated right up against the Mississippi River, the park is a prime location for some top-tier outdoor dining. It’s a great place to take the whole family and if you go at the right time, you could catch a beautiful sunset over the river in the shadows of the Memphis skyline and the Pyramid.
And just in case Tom Lee Park wasn’t Memphis enough for you, let’s throw in Gus’ World Famous Fried Chicken. Right there on South Front Street, grab yourself a few dark pieces, a few light pieces, and some french fries before heading down to the river. Name a more iconic duo. I’ll wait.
Mud Island – Island Drive and Miss Cordelia’s
Let’s stick to the river for this next location and food combination. First, we are going to hop over to Mud Island and find a nice grassy spot or picnic table right off of Island Drive. More river views situated between the river and Harbor Town.
This duo comes with a change of pace in the food category. While on Mud Island, head over to Miss Cordelia’s grocery store. You could live in Cordelia’s and lead a solid life, it’s that diverse. First, there’s a grocery if you want to grab some bread, deli meat, and chips for some DIY lunchtime action. You can also stop by their Butcher Shop and grab some steak or burgers to throw on a grill. Don’t leave yet because there’s still a café you need to check out. The Café features a multitude of different sandwiches from a Reuben to a Cuban to a chicken quesadilla- options, on options, on options.
Thirsty? Perfect, because Miss Cordelia’s features domestic, import, craft beers, and a wine selection will make a debut later this summer. See? A great life can be lived within the walls of Miss Cordelia’s. Don’t miss out on this picnic experience.
Overton Park Pavilion or The Levitt Shell and Fino’s from the Hill.
We’ve hit out east and downtown, now we’re making out way to Midtown at Overton Park where they’ve basically got it all – a zoo, a golf course, multiple playgrounds, a forest, a whole music venue, and, of course, pavilions for your picnic needs. Overton Park can keep an entire family entertained for hours.
Pasta, pizza, and sammies are truly the unsung heros of the world, so luckily we have Fino’s from the Hill to satisfy our cravings for all things Italian. FYI, the Midtown location closes at 6:30, so get those orders in fast or you’ll be up the Canal Grande without a remo (oar).