Our award-winning local treasure, Piedmont Park, provides the perfect setting for sunny-day fun throughout the year. Summertime brings the crowds down for all manner of activities from swimming at the aquatic center to frolicking with Fido at the Dog Park to sophisticated swinging on the stunningly-sculptural Noguchi Playscape to fishing at Lake Clara Meer. When a picnic’s not part of the plan, the prime location as the centerpiece of Midtown offers no shortage of area dining options just within wandering distance. We’ve noted some of the most convenient and casual spots ready to feed happy park enthusiasts.

Piedmont Park sparkles as the jewel of Midtown. Spend some quality time enjoying all its facets.

Piedmont Park sparkles as the jewel of Midtown. Spend some quality time enjoying all its facets.

Amsterdam Cafe Park Side

Typical pub dining gets some added character in this quirky little cafe just behind the Northeast corner of the Dog Park entrance. This family-friendy spot serves tasty standards accompanied by a generous beer selection with a heavy focus on craft brews and often adds live music to the vine-covered patio. www.amsterdamcafeparkside.com

Enjoy the lush, vine-covered patio of Amsterdam Cafe ParkSide near the Dog Park entrance. (Image: Amsterdam Cafe ParkSide)

Enjoy the lush, vine-covered patio of Amsterdam Cafe ParkSide near the Dog Park entrance. (Image: Amsterdam Cafe ParkSide)

Couscous

On the North side of the park, off Monroe and on the Beltline, Couscous opened a year ago and has already made a big impression. Is there such a thing as a casually-exotic ambiance? Well, Couscous offers just that with incredible Tunisian fare that maintains a deliciously approachable quality while still transporting us from the edge of Piedmont Park to the North Africa shores of the Mediterranean in just the flick of a lamb skewer. Wander over, settle back into a banquette and gaze up at a magical turquoise ceiling as you consider the creative cocktails or sample small plates before your main course. www.couscousatlanta.com

For a little bit of the exotic, visit Couscous adjacent to Piedmont and along the Beltline. (image: Couscous)

For a little bit of the exotic, visit Couscous, adjacent to Piedmont and along the Beltline. (Image: Couscous)

A festive and fun atmosphere spills out onto the Couscous patio. (Image: Couscous)

A festive and fun atmosphere spills out onto the Couscous patio. (Image: Couscous)

The Nook

Tots. Mounds and mounds of tots. Yes, there’s a wide variety of casual delights all across the menu of local haven, The Nook. But, it’s the signature “Totchos” that get the most press — take common nacho platters, substitute tater tots for tortilla chips, and there’s the base for these bar-platter presentations, which pile on all manner of toppings from pulled pork to mac and cheese to Buffalo chicken. Carb overload not your thing, go for the wraps or salads or the stuffed burgers (oh, the Cari-Bean stuffed burger … so perfect after a day at park play!) www.thenookatlanta.com

After a long day of Piedmont Park play, settle into The Nook for a fresh spin on traditional pub fare. (Image: The Nook)

After a long day of Piedmont Park play, settle into The Nook for a fresh spin on traditional pub fare. (Image: The Nook)

Park Tavern

This classic Atlanta fixture began over a hundred years ago, constructed as a racehorse stable then evolving into a gentleman’s club and golf clubhouse by the late 1920’s. For the last couple of decades, it’s become one the premier event venues in town boasting a beautiful vista of both Piedmont Park and the Atlanta skyline. The covered patio on the Tavern’s lower level overlooks a wide corner of the Meadow section of the Park and features a deliciously diverse menu. www.parktavern.com

Piedmont Park practically IS the patio at the iconic Park Tavern restaurant. (Image: Park Tavern)

Piedmont Park practically IS the patio at the iconic Park Tavern restaurant. (Image: Park Tavern)

Varuni Napoli

Real-deal, classic Italian pizza satisfies every palate, and Varuni Napoli rolls out the best. Traditional recipes, straight from Naples, joyfully prepared in a vibrant atmosphere. Turn your attention to the pizza chefs in the prominently central kitchen and watch the masters perform their artistry. varuni.us

Fling that frisbee at the Park all day, then watch the masters fling the pizza dough at Varuni Napoli. (Image: Varuni Napoli)

Fling that frisbee at the Park all day, then watch the masters fling the pizza dough at Varuni Napoli. (Image: Varuni Napoli)

Willy’s

Sure, this ubiquitous burrito chain practically self-propagates along the Metro landscape, yet this location slams the others with it’s phenomenal position at the edge of Piedmont Park, outdoor seating spread and pitchers of margaritas. Stake a claim on one of those park side tables and sip to your heart’s content. www.willys.com

Willy's park side location ... the pastoral edition of this burrito chain with quite a view from the top of the margaritas. (Image: Willy's)

Willy’s park side location … the pastoral edition of this burrito chain with quite a view from the top of the margaritas. (Image: Willy’s)

Now you’ve got your list … grab some sunscreen, a water bottle and a frisbee, and spend the day at Piedmont!