Summer is a time for spontaneity. The sun is out, the sky is blue, and everyday seems like the perfect picnic day. So when the idea to have a picnic one day came to mind, I couldn't resist. Then I remembered how much actually goes into planning a laid back outing, specifically the food as well as a nice spot to sit.

I had thirty minutes to figure out how the heck to throw it all together in a short amount of time in this urban jungle. Then I remembered a place right here in Boston, which holds a plethora of easy dishes as well as a nice green space right outside its doors: The Boston Public Market.

coffee, beer, tea
Noelle Monge

Once the beauty of the Boston Public Market occurred to me, I grabbed my picnic blanket, which I had previously found at Target for under $20, and headed on the T to Government Center. I mentally prepared a $25 budget for a picnic-perfect main dish, a drink, and dessert. That's just around or even less than the amount I would have spent if I prepared the food myself.

Upon arriving to the glorious Boston Public Market, I roamed around and found the most appealing items in terms of what I wanted and how much I wanted to spend.

The Drink:

smoothie, milk, milkshake, banana, coffee, chocolate
Noelle Monge

The Boston Public Market is home to a wide selection of summertime drinks, from Taza Chocolate’s decadent milkshakes and frappes to George Howell Coffee’s infamous cold brew. My absolute favorite drink when it’s hot out is a lightly sweetened Iced Tea, so I decided to try Soluna Garden Farm’s Iced London Fog.

They offer spritz of fresh lemon in any tea. Although black tea with milk with a citrus combo may sound strange on paper, I can assure you that it is the perfect poolside pairing for tea and lemonade aficionados alike. The total cost for my 20 oz iced tea was around $5, which wasn’t bad considering its generous portion and mellow taste.

A Small Bite:

Noelle Monge

When it came to actual food, I’m pretty sure I walked around the market about 10 times just trying to choose from the large selection. When I say they have everything and anything for everyone, I mean it. On previous visits during the colder months, I had opted for Levend Bagelry’s amazing bagel sandwiches and the gooey grilled cheese from Cellars at Jasper Hill.

Summer, however, calls for foods that will leave you with enough energy to run around and enjoy being out in the sun. Upon strolling through the aisles, I noticed that Beantown Pastrami Company was selling the perfect sized coleslaw. This light and cool salad goes perfect with any summertime meal, so I snatched a serving to enjoy. It was under $2, so it fit perfectly with my budget.

The Main Meal:

chicken, shrimp
Noelle Monge

For my main meal, I went for Red’s Best fish tacos. I now know why they call Red's the best. These tacos were stuffed with lightly fried cod, roasted red peppers, a zesty chipotle aioli, and a light cabbage salad tossed in citrusy dressing.

I appreciated that it was low-mess and each taco only had one flour tortilla, definitely leaving some room for dessert. For two tacos, I spent about $8, leaving me with more than enough for dessert.

The Dessert:

Noelle Monge

If someone randomly came up to me and asked if I preferred sweet or savory, I would say sweet without any hesitation. A good dessert is the bow that really ties a present, in this case a meal, together. The Boston Public Market is filled with any type of dessert you can think of, like Finesse Pastries where you can finesse some macarons, and Sweet Lydia’s for that homemade candy fix.

The only true treat that came to mind on this pleasant summer day was ice cream. Crescent Ridge satisfied my craving, with its array of interesting flavor choices and huge servings. I decided to get a small, two scoop cup of coconut and mango sherbet. Those tropical flavors are sure to make you feel like your chillin’ on a beach. The two scoops cost under $7, but the smile on my face while enjoying it was priceless.

Going on this urban picnic adventure made me realize that the Boston Public Market is truly amazing and I need to visit much more often. I also realized it’s not hard to treat yourself and enjoy the sun while in a city, or anywhere for that matter.

All you really need is a spot like the Boston Public Market for yummy grab-and-go treats, a cozy picnic blanket, and some rad tunes to have a good time. Alone or with friends, you just have to get yourself out there to make the most of your summer.