7 Perfect Peoria Picnics


Rachel Mangiapane, Guest Writer


Nothing enhances a meal like some sunshine and fresh air. Peoria has a number of wonderful parks within city limits, and it’s easy to pick up a great lunch nearby. Pack a blanket for an extra relaxing mid-day refresh.


Enjoy The Chef and The Baker at Glen Oak Park

When a restaurant is only open midday during the week, you know it has perfected lunch. Many of the “Sammies” here come with layers of tasty meats, cheeses, spreads, and vegetables on housemade bread. Be sure to save room for dessert—they have a cupcake flavor to satisfy any sweet tooth. Take the 5 minute drive to Glen Oak Park and enjoy your lunch beside the lagoon. 

Enjoy Hoop’s Pub + Pizza at Giant Oak Park

Hoop’s honors cheese as only a great Midwestern bar can. You can certainly carry out slices or an entire pizza, but the “Hot Cheesy Delight” is a sandwich not to miss.  Enjoy your lunch under the shade of a 300+ year old Giant Oak nearby. 

Enjoy El Taco Loco at Lakeview Park

Check out the daily special at El Taco Loco or any of the Mexican staples like burritos, quesadillas, and tortas. Be sure to get both the mild (verde) and spicy (roja) salas to take your taste buds on a trip. Lakeview Park is located in the same block and has many picnic tables offering both shade and sunny spots. 

Enjoy Alwan + Sons at the Peoria Stadium

While the delicious smell of fresh grilled meats might encourage you to picnic in place, you can take your lunch to the bleachers of Stadium Park just a few blocks from Alwan’s. The lemon shake ups are the perfect compliment to a sausage or sandwich. 

Enjoy The Ice Cream Shack at Grandview Drive and Park

Pick up the ultimate good weather food combination from The Shack - hot dogs and ice cream - on your way to Grandview Drive. Finding a picnic spot with a panoramic view of the Illinois River Valley is easy here. 

Enjoy Jerusalem Restaurant at Bradley Park

Think beyond the bun and enjoy some mediterranean shawarma on pita bread. Continue your cultural immersion by enjoying your lunch near the Japanese bridge in Bradley Park, right across the road. 

Enjoy Cyd’s in the Park at Donovan Park

No picnic list would be complete without mentioning Cyd’s. Enjoy a gourmet selection of burgers, sandwiches, and sandwiches al fresco on the patio. No guilt for partaking in a freshly baked dessert—you can work it off by meandering through Donovan’s restored prairie. 

Photo Credit: Cyd's in the Park

Rachel Mangiapane, Guest Writer

Discover Peoria, IL