Even without shows at the Bandshell or second dates at the Botanic Garden, Prospect Park is still one of the first places we think of heading to when we have some free time in Brooklyn. In fact, the open fields and nature trails are as welcome now as ever. And like always, there are a bunch of restaurants where you can pick up food nearby. Whether you just want a snack before running the loop, or you’re organizing a picnic for a bunch of friends, these 16 spots have you covered.
Maybe you have a dog with irregular sleep patterns, or perhaps you’re just one of those “go-getters.” Either way, you get up early. Fortunately for you, so does La Bagel Delight. This Park Slope deli opens at 5:30am every day, meaning you can have coffee and BEC on a park bench while the rest of us are still three hours from hitting the snooze button.
The muffuletta sandwich at Lowerline is special. So if you’re looking to eat something that’ll make you feel a little better about living in a city where you’re more likely to enjoy your neighborhood than the apartment you spend most of your time in, congratulations - you’ve found it. It’s time to pick up your crusty sesame seed roll filled with prosciutto, salami, parmesan, and olive tapenade, find a good spot in the park next to an affectionate corgi-owner, and enjoy your day with pride.
You could keep things simple by ordering one of Gather’s large format meal kits, which come with enough lamb meatballs or roasted chicken for four people. But we prefer giving people some options, and loading up on their various market sides, like chickpea and eggplant hummus or mac and cheese. Stop by this Park Slope cafe between 8am-8pm during the week or 8:30am-4pm on weekends, or order ahead of time through their website.
As the name suggests, jerk chicken is the main reason to go to this Caribbean spot in Crown Heights. And while the chicken is fantastic, your experience won’t be complete without at least one festival. They’re like sweet hushpuppies, and at $1.25 each, you can get a couple of them plus the jerk chicken for less than $10.
Maybe you’re incapable of making your own decisions. Or maybe you just miss tasting menus. No matter the reason, you should know that Honey Badger is offering seafood omakase sets to-go that include things like soft shell crab with fiddlehead ferns, bluefin tuna seared in duck fat, and whole squid in wild leek. You can pick up your box from their small restaurant just off of Flatbush Ave. on Fenimore Street, and reuse the wooden to-go container to hold all of your secrets.
The Crabby Shack may be a couple blocks further from the park than some other places on this guide, but those are a couple blocks you should be happy to cover in order to get corn on the cob covered in garlic butter and Old Bay, a “Clobster Roll” that’s half crab and half lobster, and a lemonade spiked with your choice of liquor. Place your takeout order ahead of time through their website any day except Tuesday.
When you’re ready to start living life on the edge, pick up a two by two by two from Tom’s and bring it with you to the park. A to-go breakfast from this old-school diner in Prospect Heights might not be your first thought for picnic food, but they do diner classics well enough to justify any occasion. Especially laying out on a mat in Long Meadow before noon. And if you’re not into eggs, Tom’s also has more than ten kinds of pancakes on its menu.
Hiller & Moon is a small, gourmet grocery store that specializes in high-quality and unusual cured meats and cheeses. In other words, it should be a pit stop for anyone organizing a picnic two blocks away in Prospect Park. They’re currently open from 10am-2pm on weekdays, and until 3pm on weekends.
Morgan’s has great outdoor seating right on Flatbush Avenue, but if you’d rather eat delicious brisket and wasabi wings somewhere far away from souped up mufflers (and other people), then order takeout by calling 718-622-2224.
Banhmigos serves some very good pho, and you should keep that in mind the next time rain hitting your A/C unit sounds like an overzealous drum solo. But as for bringing food to the park, stick to this Vietnamese spot’s cold vermicelli bowls, green salads with various proteins, and banh mi sandwiches.
In the morning, this new cafe two blocks from the park is a good spot to pick up a latte and freshly baked sourdough croissant. And then after 11am, the menu turns savory with options like a vegetable banh mi with portobello mushrooms and Korean fried chicken with gochujang. If you do go in the afternoon, then you should also get a loaf of whatever bread just came out of the oven, which rotates according to a specific schedule listed on their website.
Krupa Grocery is the ideal place to pick up food for a special occasion picnic. Their Prospect Park Picnic Box includes things like a Nashville Hot Shrimp Burger, farro and quinoa salad, and blistered shishitos. And you can even add on a carafe of rose, just in case you forget to chill the bottle in your cabinet. This neighborhood spot is just South of Macate Circle in Park Slope, and you can order everything ahead of time online.
This beer bar in Prospect Heights has a takeout window where you can pick up a can of some obscure IPA that tastes like raspberries and tar before heading to a picnic in the park. They’ve also got bottles and crowlers if you’re looking to stock up on anything. Of course, this isn’t Berlin so drinking in public is definitely illegal. But, you’ve probably got a flask, or some other polycarbonate vessel, and lots of creativity. We believe in you.
If you’re looking for a place with a wide variety of options for cocktails to-go, check out Edie Jo’s. From watermelon negronis and peach jalapeno margaritas to mimosa and bloody mary kits, this cocktail bar on Flatbush Ave has you covered. You can also order things like olives, cheese, hummus, and kimchi pineapple from their takeout menu online so that you’ll have some snacks to intersperse with all the booze.
The tacos at Gueros range from standard options like al pastor and carnitas to less traditional versions like fried chicken and blackened catfish. We recommend ordering a wide variety, along with some chips and guacamole, and frozen margaritas. Both the Crown Heights and Park Slope locations are open daily from 5-10pm, and you can place an order ahead of time by calling 718-230-4941.
The burger at Hamilton’s has a poppy seed bun, lots of sweet and sour onions, and it’s exactly where you should focus your attention when ordering takeout from this American spot in Windsor Terrace. If you’re not in the mood to eat a grass fed burger on 586 acres of public park, Hamilton’s also has some sandwiches, salads, and a jumbo pretzel you can try.