If you're eager to get out and enjoy some yummy restaurant food, picnics are the perfect solution! Benicia offers the perfect combination of restaurant cuisine to-go and scenic spots to sit down and enjoy your meal with a gentle waterfront breeze.
Read on for a list of the best places to have your picnic and some suggestions on where to grab your meal.
The Best Picnic Spots in Benicia
First Street Green
Located at the end of First Street, this large grassy area is surrounded by Benicia’s waterfront, palm trees and the historic Southern Pacific Train Depot. There's plenty of room to lay out a blanket, picnic spread, and throw a frisbee or fly a kite. The city continues to add 10' social distance circles to ensure your safety. You'll get full sunshine and a refreshing breeze, so make sure to bring a hat and some sunscreen!
If you’re visiting with your furry best friend, dogs are allowed to swim in the water off-leash at the beach below the Promenade and also the beach at the bottom of First Street on the backside of the turnaround. It’s the perfect picnic spot for the entire family.
The Capitol Lawn
If you love history and vintage architecture, this is the spot for you. This small patch of grass can be found beneath the magnolia tree and against the vibrant red brick of the State Capitol. You will find this area on the corner of First Street and West G Street.
City Park at First & Military West
At the corner of First Street and Military West, visit this large area with grass, a gazebo, shade, and the sunshine of City Park. There are five picnic tables and plenty of grass to lay on while practicing safe social distancing. Grab a good book, some snacks, and sandwiches. Relax for an afternoon of peace and quiet.
As you walk along the Benicia Marina, you will notice a beautifully-manicured grassy area with benches. Set up underneath the willow trees and enjoy the bay breeze while looking out at the rows of boats docked at the Marina.
State Recreation Area
Surrounded by trees, native plants, and Benicia’s protected marshlands, this 450-acre area offers unrivaled vistas of Benicia. The incredible trails and pathways offer a nice opportunity to follow your meal with a walk or bike ride.
The best part of this location is being able to hear the birds chirping and watch the butterflies floating by. Picnic tables are scattered throughout the rec area.
Ninth Street Park
This beautiful grassy area overlooks the Carquinez bridge. Circling that area is a few picnic tables if you want something more sturdy to sit upon. You can watch the ducks, herons, and sailboats float by while enjoying a beautiful meal.
Address: 904 W 9th St, Benicia, CA 94510
St. Paul’s Square (First & J Street)
This quiet, tranquil area is located next to one of Benicia's oldest churches. Grab a spot in the shade with one of the picnic tables at First Street and J street. A new picnic Pavillion is being built across the street and parklets are being installed along First Street. Perfect if you are looking for a more hidden, out-of-the-way spot (a favorite among locals).
Where to Get Your Food
One House Bakery, Adjacent to St. Paul’s Square
Call ahead and the lovely people at One House Bakery will set up a picnic basket just for you, based on what you like, how many people you are feeding, and what your budget is. Order delicious pastries, sandwiches, hot meals, and fresh teas & drinks from an extensive menu.
Thursday Farmers Market, Near the First Street Green
If you're looking to have a sunset picnic, the First Street Green is the place to be on a Thursday evening. You will be near Benicia’s Weekly Farmers Market, where you can enjoy the fresh air of the outdoor market and create a beautiful picnic spread with seasonal, locally-grown food. The Farmers Market runs from First & D Street to First & B Street, 4PM-8PM. Get some more inspiration here.
Farm & Flour, Across from the Capitol Lawn
Across the street from the State Capitol is Farm & Flour, where you can grab specialty toasts and spreads, fresh-baked bread, or a delicious espresso drink using States Coffee Beans. If you are craving something sweet, they offer chocolate hazelnut butter spread on their home-made country bread. For something savory and more filling, try a handcrafted baguette sandwich.
(Photo courtesy of Farm & Flour)
This is just a small sample of the many restaurants offering picnic food to-go in Benicia.