Feature

Where to Get Picnic Provisions This Summer Around LA

By Lesley Balla  |  June 7, 2016
Credit: Joan's on Third

There are many reasons why you'll need a great picnic spread this season: concerts at the Hollywood Bowl and Greek Theater, Cinespia screenings at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, days at the beach or an afternoon at the park, to name a few. Thankfully provisions are just a basket's throw away. Here are 20 great gourmet spots where you can fill up on fried chicken, sandwiches, pizza, wine, antipasti, cheese and all sorts of snacks and finger foods so your picnic bags and boxes will never be empty. And yes, there is even butterscotch budino, to-go.

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  • Credit: The Cannibal

    The Cannibal LA

    Heading out to the beach via the new Expo Line? Stop off in Culver City and grab a few sandwiches from this new butcher shop, including one extremely tempting Cubano. The shop has everything, including chips, salads, sides and non-alcoholic beverages. We're not encouraging breaking the law and drinking beer on the beach (or the Metro, for that matter), but there are plenty of craft beers and wines to buy by the bottle, as well. 

    8850 Washington Blvd.; 310-838-2783

  • Credit: Picnic LA

    Picnic LA

    If you want to splurge, the newish Culver City spot really does it up in style, packing roast chicken, salads, dessert, bread and butter, wine and utensils in a wicker basket, which you get to keep, along with a gingham blanket. Costing between $250 and $350, the fashionable feast will feed up to four people.

    9900 Culver Blvd., 310-838-3388

  • Credit: Milkfarm

    Milkfarm

    Perfect for the Eagle Rock locals, this cheese store creates ready-to-go boxes of cheese, artisan meats, olives, cornichons, almonds, baguettes and even beer and wine (reusable glasses can be added). Boxes start at $32 for two to four people.

    2106 Colorado Blvd., 323-892-1068

  • Credit: Pizza Romana

    Pizza Romana

    Stopping at this La Brea District spot for a Cinespia, Greek or Bowl picnic means getting things like prosciutto and mozzarella panini, spicy fried chicken tenders, summer crunch salad and $5 off bottles of wine. Order 24 hours ahead or call for same-day pickup.

    615 N. La Brea Ave.; 323-939-1148

  • Credit: Julienne

    Julienne

    The charming San Marino cafe and marketplace is a perfect Pasadena-area spot to pick up boxes for picnics, platters for backyard parties and more. The easiest are prix fixe deals created around a protein with side salads and even a wine recommendation (you can pick up bottles there, as well). There’s filet of beef with arugula and shaved Parmesan, quinoa fusilli salad and roasted tomato; grilled salmon over lettuces with asparagus; chicken tenders with watermelon and feta salad; and a sandwich box. All are priced $14–$24 per person. Twenty-four hour notice is best, but you can still get away with same-day orders.

    2649 Misson St.; 626-441-2499

  • Credit: GC Marketplace

    GC Marketplace

    Only two miles from the Hollywood Bowl, Gary Arabia's new spot along Cahuenga is the perfect place to pick up rotisserie chicken, fresh salads, sandwiches, charcuterie and wine. There are a series of "bento box" pre-packaged picnics, like the Band Shell Pasta and Pizza that has everything from the Caesar salad to cheesecake and wine for $45 (good for two people). Plates, napkins and flatware are included, as is a wine opener and plastic stemware for the wine. Order by 2 PM the day of a Bowl event.

    3315 Cahuenga Blvd. W.323-645-5269

  • Credit: Lemonade

    Lemonade

    This local chain is growing so fast that you can practically throw a lemon wedge in any direction and find one. Stop from just about any part of town to pick up salads, sandwiches, hot meals, cookies, cupcakes and, of course, a refreshing lemonade. Take your pick from more than a dozen salads, from quinoa to kale to succotash to ahi tuna salad. There are also chicken cutlets, roasted salmon and braises served with rice. Cupcakes are almost mandatory. Everyone can have his or her own favorites in neat little to-go boxes, and they have all the plasticware and napkins you need.

    Multiple locations

  • Credit: Clementine

    Clementine

    You'll find everything you need to feed two or 20 people at Annie Miler’s cafes in Century City and Beverly Hills: starters like Mexican shrimp cocktails, cheese plates that feed two to four people and boxes filled with cold meatloaf, roast chicken and sides or a sandwich, side and cookie. This being Clementine, you have a whole world of sweets to choose from too.

    1751 Ensley Ave.; 310-552-1080
    9346 Civic Center Dr.; 310-461-0600

  • Credit: Joan's on Third

    Joan's on Third

    If you can’t find something to fill a picnic basket at Joan’s, you might as well stop eating now. The marketplace features grab-and-go salads, prepared dishes like meatloaf, chicken, roasted vegetables and more. Not to mention, the cheese and charcuterie selection is stellar. There are those homemade potato chips and crackers and beverages galore. And do not forget the sweets, whatever you do. Call ahead a day in advance for larger orders (here's a menu). And now that there's a location in Studio City, Valley fans don't have to get over the hill to stock up.

    8350 W. Third St.; 323-655-2285
    12059 Ventura Pl.; 818-201-3900

  • Credit: The Larder

    Larder at Tavern

    With three locations — the original in Brentwood, the Larder at Maple Drive and the newest, the Larder at Burton Way — it’s easier than ever to get a box prepared for a day or night out. Call 24 hours in advance for pre-selected items like slow-roasted salmon with cucumber yogurt, long-cooked cavolo nero, house-baked bread with butter and berries with crème fraîche. If you need something more spontaneously, all three locations have premade salads, meats and seafood, cheese and charcuterie, breads, crackers, desserts and more.

    11648 San Vicente Blvd.; 310-806-6464
    345 N. Maple Dr.; 310-248-3779
    8500 Burton Way; 310-278-8060

  • Credit: Little Dom's

    Deli at Little Dom's

    The small deli of the Los Feliz stalwart is perfectly situated for pickups for the Greek Theater or just a picnic in Griffith Park. Find things like grilled shrimp with romesco, chopped spinach salad, Sicilian tuna melt, cold fried chicken sandwiches, muffalettas, salads and incredibly delicious desserts. It's only open until 6 PM, so early pickup is necessary. Order ahead to make it easier.

    2128 Hillhurst Ave.; 323-661-0088

  • Credit: The Oaks Gourmet

    The Oaks Gourmet

    Bowl bound or not, this little shop in Franklin Village has everything you could possibly need, from a large and varied cheese selection to grab-and-go salads to beer, wine and more. There are pre-selected picnic baskets available, ranging from $40–$110. They come with sandwiches, chips, salads, wine or beer — the higher the price tag, the more stuff — and are fully equipped with napkins and utensils. Plus, they're reusable: Take the baskets back to the market for another picnic and get 10% off.

    1915 N. Bronson Ave.; 323-871-8894

  • Credit: Mozza

    Mozza 2 Go

    Get everything you’d get sitting at Pizzeria Mozza for the road: pizzas, antipasti like marinated peppers with tuna, white bean bruschetta, meatballs and panini. There’s now wine too, so you can pick up everything you need in one easy stop. This is particularly useful when you're going to the Hollywood Bowl.

    6610 Melrose Ave.; 323-297-1130

  • Bay Cities

    The only thing you really need to know is that you can order the Godmother online and pick it up before heading east to the Bowl, the Greek or to the beach for concerts at the Santa Monica pier. While at the deli and market, you can pick up hot and cold items, meatballs, cannoli, sparkling water and other drinks to add to the meal. Remember: BC is closed on Mondays, something even die-hard fans often forget.

    1517 Lincoln Blvd.; 310-395-8279

  • Credit: Locali

    Locali

    Now open in Venice Beach and Franklin Village, this deli is a great spot for vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. There's also meat made from humanely raised animals that have been fed a vegetarian diet. Hot sandwiches like a vegan Reuben or Thanksgiving turkey; cold ones stuffed with hummus and vegetables or chicken and avocado, greens and cheddar; quinoa bowls and big kale salads are all made to order and packaged up for a day at the beach (Westside) or at the Hollywood Bowl just up the hill.

    5825 Franklin Ave.; 323-466-1360
    701 Lincoln Blvd.; 310-399-2254

  • Credit: Lesley Balla

    Olive & Thyme

    There are fantastic salads, panini, cheeses and desserts, including pudding in a jar, to pick up at this Toluca Lake cafe and marketplace. Check out the array of snacks around the shop for extras, like unique chips, chocolates, cookies and more. Order 24 hours in advance for picnic boxes.

    3821 W. Riverside Dr.; 818-557-1560

  • Credit: Food Lab

    Food + Lab

    The picnic boxes from this West Hollywood Austrian-inspired cafe include a sandwich of your choice, a vegan salad, a side salad, a cookie, a bottle of water and biodegradable utensils. Choose from things like egg salad with asparagus on five-grain bread, chicken Wiener schnitzel with lingonberry chutney, smoked salmon with crème fraîche and cucumber on wheat bread or Austrian meatloaf. Each box is $20 per person (add $3 per person for steak, salmon or prosciutto sandwiches).

    7253 Santa Monica Blvd.; 323-851-7120

  • Mendocino Farms

    From Marina del Rey to Downtown LA, the full sandwich and salad menu is available to go at any of the nine (and counting) locations. Construct your own picnic with seasonal choices like the new summer Cubano made with slow-braised carnitas, honey ham, housemade pickles, mojo sauce and crispy plantains; a shrimp po’ boy with Cajun shrimp, Meyer lemon relish aïoli and smoked bacon; or the wheatberry and kale Caesar salad. Order ahead for easy pickup.

    Multiple locations

  • Credit: Urban Radish

    Urban Radish

    If the DTLA Whole Foods is too overwhelming, this Arts District gourmet market has a beautiful cheese counter, sandwiches, jams and crackers, nuts, fruit and even beer and wine to make any picnic delicious — whether it's at Grand Park or on top of a parking garage overlooking the city.

    661 Imperial St.; 213-892-1570

  • Credit: A.O.C.

    Lucques at The Hollywood Bowl

    With the Lucques Group now overseeing all of the food operations at the Bowl this summer, you’ll find Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne’s food and wine (a la A.O.C., Lucques and Tavern) menus throughout the markets, stands and picnic boxes. Pop into the marketplace for grab-and-go salads (slow-roasted salmon with cucumber yogurt, quinoa and turmeric), hot mac 'n' cheese, picnic-friendly sandwiches, cheese and charcuterie plates, snacks, and Larder-baked goods like cookies, brownies, candy and crackers. On the west side of the Bowl, near sections E, K, P and up, there's Buzz McCoy's with similar goods. Of course, you can also pre-order a picnic to be delivered to your box seat, which is a fancy way to go when you're seeing Steely Dan, Sting, Weird Al, Dudamel, Sing Along Sound of Music and more.