BRONX — From St. Mary's Park in Mott Haven to Orchard Beach in Pelham Bay, the Bronx offers no shortage of options for residents looking to find a good summer picnic or barbecue spot.
DNAinfo asked locals where they like to fire up the grill and enjoy a meal outdoors.
Here are some recipes for your outdoor feast:
►Spicy Pork Chops with Mint Chimichurri
Here's where to go:
Fordham resident Jose Rodriguez, who works as deputy chief of the Bronx County Safety Patrol, said he preferred to do his outdoor eating at Orchard Beach because it is a clean, safe and family-friendly environment.
"You have the beach next to it, so I think that’s my favorite place, no doubt about it," he said of the park, named the "Riviera of New York" when it was created in the 1930s.
The 115-acre beach has snack bars, two playgrounds, two picnic areas and more than two dozen courts for basketball and other spots.
Barbecue Area: north and south lawns.
The park, in Tremont, is a good option for barbecues as well, according to Abdul "Sleep" Johnson, founder of the Bronx athletic league C-Ball. The park is home to numerous concerts this summer, and he said the combination of food and live music is a good mix.
South Bronx resident Rev. J. Loren Russell, founder of the church financial consulting company JLR Company and clergy liaison for the 42nd Precinct, enjoys going to Crotona Park as well, describing it as a place filled with green as well as a beautiful lake.
"It’s got a little scenic ambience to it, if you will," he said.
The park has a large variety of trees and nearly a dozen playgrounds.
Barbecue Area: Crotona Park East and Charlotte Street
New Yorkers for Parks spokesman James Yolles suggested St. Mary's Park as a good picnic spot. Although the group recently put together a report urging the city to revitalize the park and criticizing certain aspects of it, such as its "deteriorating staircases," "crumbling pathways" and "playground with aging equipment," Yolles maintained that its hills still offered up great vistas of New York.
"In terms of picnics, that’s a great spot because of the views of the city," he said.
The lawns are popular with those having picnics in the park, which is the largest in the South Bronx.
Barbecue Area: 146th Street and St. Ann's Avenue
Those looking to barbecue along the Bronx River can check out Hunts Point Riverside Park at Lafayette Avenue and Edgewater Road. The park used to be an illegal dumping ground at the end of a street but has since been revitalized, with concrete sculptures of boats that have been used on the river and opportunities for fishing.
"It’s a beautiful park, and it's a fun place to bring a family" said Bronx River Alliance spokeswoman Maggie Greenfield.
It also has a spray shower and playground.
Barbecue Area: Lafayette Avenue and Edgewater Road
TARGET BRONX and WILLIS AVENUE COMMUNITY GARDENS
Both community gardens are good spots for barbecuing as well, according to the New York Restoration Project. However, members of the public must fill out a form online to reserve the gardens if they would like to use them for grilling.
Brendaliz Candelaria, deputy director of the Bronx Tourism Council, suggested Pelham Park, largely because of its spaciousness.
"People do birthday parties there. They celebrate anything and everything they can because the park is so big and has so much space for you to barbecue in," she said.
A list of the Parks Department's designated barbecuing areas in The Bronx can be found here.