By Teresa Bitler
While most of the country is still shoveling snow, you can picnic in sunny Phoenix! Place your order at one of these eateries and dine at a picnic table on property. Or, grab some grub to go and nosh at a nearby park or recreation area.
JOE’S FARM GRILL
Restauranteur Joe Johnston grew up on this Gilbert farm, much of which he converted into the agrarian neighborhood Agritopia in the 1960s. The family home, though, became Joe’s Farm Grill, serving sandwiches, salads and grilled pizzas made with ingredients either grown in the adjacent garden or locally sourced. Order the BBQ Chicken Pizza or the Ahi Tuna Sandwich—both items were featured on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives”—and stake out a place at the picnic tables under the trees that Joe and his brothers used to climb. Or, head to the nearby Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch for lunch and bird watching. joesfarmgrill.com
THE FARM AT SOUTH MOUNTAIN
You’ll find three restaurants—Morning Glory Café for breakfast, The Farm Kitchen for lunch and the sit down restaurant Quiessence for dinner—on-site at the 10-acre Farm at South Mountain. Breakfasts of waffles and omelets are best eaten on the Morning Glory Café patio, but you can easily pack your lunch to go. Try a traditional Old Fashioned Turkey sandwich or a Pecan Turkey Waldorf salad made with organic field greens, all while you sit and picnic under towering pecan trees. If you feel up to an adventure, take your food to the ramadas at South Mountain Park, one of the largest municipally operated parks in the country, and hike the moderately easy Kiwanis Trail after you eat. thefarmatsouthmountain.com
LUCI’S AT THE ORCHARD
Formerly a ranch home in North Central Phoenix, this combination market, coffee shop and café has a brick patio and large grassy area shaded by citrus trees, both with tables. It also boasts a drive-thru window for those who want to eat on the run (and remember to call ahead to place their order). Although Luci’s has a reputation for great burgers, you can also order salads, wraps and sandwiches, like the Reuben Stack with sauerkraut on marbled rye or the Country Club made with applewood smoked bacon. If you want to eat off property, make the short drive to Dream Draw Recreation Area, where you can tackle the challenging 1.2-mile Summit Trail for spectacular city views. lucisorchard.com
Plan your Phoenix vacation getaway at allegiant.com.