It’s getting nicer out, which means we’re contractually obligated to provide you with ideas for your next picnic (even if that picnic is you sitting on your duvet on the floor with a window open). So pack up your New Yorker tote bag and head to one of these 13 spots to pick up food for your afternoon in the sun.
If variety is the spice of life, Epicurean Trader is very spicy. The food and beverage shop has everything from fresh bread to pints of ice cream to chocolates. Choosing what to order for your picnic will be an incredible exercise in self-control - but that’s what we call growth, baby. You can order ahead here.
El Metate in the Mission is a hot contender for our favorite burrito in the city - theirs are long, thin, and consistently delicious. We’d honestly accept any excuse to pick one up and eat it in the sun. Get the carnitas or carne asada.
There aren’t many places that are as well-equipped to handle a last-minute trip to the park as Verjus. The wine shop has basically everything you’d ever need for a picnic - natural wine, charcuterie, tinned fish, baguettes, and, of course, their fantastic pâté en croûte. And if you don’t want to fill your Hydro Flask with ice to keep your wine cold, put some in one of these clear Verjus tote bags.
The Ferry Building has filled their back plaza with 76 socially distanced, umbrella-covered tables - but if it’s more of a take-off-your-shoes-and-chill-on-a-blanket kind of day, stop by and pick up some picnic essentials on your way to the patch of grass of your choosing. If you’re overwhelmed by the choices in there, a baguette from Acme is the ideal base for a generous slab of Cowgirl Creamery’s soft, buttery Mt. Tam cheese, topped off with salami from Golden Gate Meat Co.
Burke & Black specializes in beautiful grazing platters and boxes that can feed from 2 to 20 people (or, as we like to think of it, you, 20 times). They’re offering cheese and charcuterie spreads and fruit and veggie boards. Order online for Friday delivery in SF or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a pick-up.
If you’re ready to level up from grocery store pita chips and hummus, head to Reem’s in the Mission. Their fresh pita, za’atar-dusted flatbread, and mezze dips are fantastic, and the entire menu in general is extremely picnic-friendly (we recommend the Pali Cali wrap). You can place an order online here.
Molinari is a North Beach institution that makes delicious Italian sandwiches. They’re the perfect picnic companion - an even better one than, dare we say, your dog? The sandwiches are stuffed with layers of meat, cheese, and all the fixings on your choice of bread (we like the soft roll or the Dutch crunch) - and while you’re there, pick up a bottle of wine, too.
Cheese Plus in Polk Gulch is offering a cheese and charcuterie boxed lunch, which also comes with crackers and what the menu lovingly describes as a “tender” baguette. They also have an extensive assortment of drinks, chips, snacks, and platters. You can pre-order online or stop by their pick-up window.
Yet another carbs + pork combo that we’ll recommend for your picnic today (sensing a pattern here?) is the char siu bao from Good Mong Kok Bakery in Chinatown. You also can’t go wrong with the siu mai or sesame balls - all of which are excellent choices to take with you to your socially distanced chalk circle at Dolores Park.
Bi-Rite Market - the serial picnicker’s dream. Their deli counter offers great sandwiches, and the market itself has a huge selection of bread, meats, cheese, fresh fruit, and other snacks from spots around the city. You can also stop by Bi-Rite Creamery across the street from the market for some cups or scoops of ice cream.
If today’s going to be a serious all-day picnic situation (most likely involving a hammock, Spikeball, and a six-pack of gummy edibles), you’ll need something that will sustain you for many hours. Let that something be a sandwich from Lou’s Cafe. They have tons of options, but we like the turkey cranberry. All three of their locations (Richmond, Sunset, and Embarcadero) are open for takeout and delivery.
Whether you’re casually heading to the park alone or are in need of a serious spread to feed your entire quarantine crew, Wise Sons has what you need. Grab a bagel sandwich, a loaf of challah to snack on, or one of their bagel kits - they come with lox, schmear, toppings, and four bagels.
If you need a little energy before heading to Ocean Beach to lay on a blanket and do absolutely nothing for a couple of hours, stop by Java Beach Cafe for a coffee and a bagel - they’ve got everything from plain bagels with cream cheese to bagel sandwiches stuffed with lox, veggies, or hummus.