APPETITE in Alexandria

APPETITE in Alexandria

3 Places to Help Pack Your Picnic

It happens every year about this time: Outdoor movies and jazz in the park put some pizazz in warm evenings out, cyclists have brought their bikes to the shop for a tune-up before a leisurely weekend ride, and date nights are spent under the stars. Here are three of the city’s best bets to help you pack your picnic basket.

Bagel Uprising, 2307A Mount Vernon Ave.

Whether for a breakfast nosh or later in the day, bagels are always welcome to the picnic party. Go with one of Bagel Uprising’s signature sandwiches – the tuna melt and Veg Out are great options for lunch, or give the classic fried egg and cheese a try first thing in the morning – or pick up a baker’s dozen to go, complete with a multitude of cream cheese options, to DIY later on.

Caphe Banh Mi, 407 Cameron St.

It’s easy to see Old Town’s beloved Vietnamese eatery on this list and think “Since when is pho a picnic food?” First of all: Anything can be picnic fare if it’s brought on a picnic! But secondly, Caphe Banh Mi offers so much more than pho. For starters: Their signature banh mi sandwiches are a great way to elevate your takeaway options. Spice up your sandwich with red curry ground beef, or go plant-based with the vegan option (offering soy chicken). Stick with the classic – it’s named such on the menu – or try the pork belly or fried egg variety. Not feeling the banh mi love? Here’s a hint: The vermicelli noodle bowls are super-portable, too.

The Italian Place, 621 Wythe St.

You may think you know sandwiches, but you don’t know sandwiches like The Italian Place knows sandwiches. The Old Town shop (which has a sister shop in Fairfax) is teeming with options, from an eggplant parmesan sub to a meatball version to a club, tuna and many more. Not quite feeling the heft of a sub sandwich? The Italian Place also offers several panini options for something a bit more pressed. Be sure to pick up a side salad or chips to complete your order – or go all the way and take some tiramisu along for the ride as well.

Hope Nelson is the author of “Classic Restaurants of Alexandria” and owns the Kitchen Recessionista blog, located at Email her any time at