Eight Picks for Grab-and-Go Picnics in the 818

Summer means picnic season at outdoor concerts and “on-the-green” film screenings. Various restaurants offer dedicated picnic options or easy ways to pack and go. From sandwiches to charcuterie and cheese […]

Summer means picnic season at outdoor concerts and “on-the-green” film screenings. Various restaurants offer dedicated picnic options or easy ways to pack and go. From sandwiches to charcuterie and cheese platters to decadent desserts, there is something for every taste and budget. Here are some top picks for alfresco fun this summer in the 818.

Artisan Cheese Gallery

This gourmet cheese store offers a menu that includes salads, sandwiches, cheese and charcuterie plates that can be packed for a picnic. There’s also a nice wine selection, along with bread, crackers and olives in the marketplace. Pick up individually wrapped red velvet cookies and bars for dessert. artisancheesegallery.com

Blue Table

With two outlets in Agoura and Calabasas, this gourmet eatery has a variety of vegetarian and vegan selections, as well as sandwiches, cheese, charcuterie, poultry and fish items. Check out the walk-in “cheese closet” if you get a chance. Lunch bags and platters for two are also available. Don’t miss the triple chocolate espresso brownies. bluetable.net

Daily Grill

A picnic for two is packed in an insulated tote bag along (see above) with sourdough bread, homemade garlic potato chips, tablecloth, napkins, cutlery and a corkscrew (alcohol is BYOB). Choose from three- to four-course options (with dessert) including wraps, salmon, chicken and filet mignon—or create your own. Price per person runs $22.95 to $38.95.  dailygrill.com


This mod cafeteria-style eatery provides many choices for a mix-and-match picnic. Choose from an array of gourmet salads featuring veggies, grains and select proteins. Add a sandwich or hot items, which include mac ‘n’ cheese, chili and braised meats. Top it off with sweets, such as macarons, cookies, muffins and cake (strawberry-lemonade cake with sprinkles, if you must).  And of course don’t forget to check the changing menu of fresh lemonade selections. (Studio City and other locations). lemonadela.com

Mendocino Farms

Make it simple with easily packable artisan salads and gourmet sandwiches at this sustainable, farm-to table eatery. If you’re planning a picnic for more than five people, there are a variety of options offering special lunch platters and packages. There is also a changing menu with weekly specials. (Sherman Oaks and other locations) mendocinofarms.com

Olive and Thyme

This Toluca Lake café, marketplace and bakery carries an extensive selection of salads, sandwiches, cheeses, olives, crackers, desserts (the pudding-in-a-jar above is an easy to-go “must”) and more. Choose à la carte selections for your picnic basket or they can pack a sandwich, a half-pint salad and dessert for $20 per person. oliveandthyme.com

Sweet Butter Kitchen

This Sherman Oaks café and marketplace can pack any menu item to go, or you can order from a special picnic menu with 48 hours notice. Three-course selections include sandwiches, salads and main course entrees ranging from $13 to $26 per person. The picnic box, utensils, salt and pepper are included. For a more extravagant picnic, choose from a variety of starter platters that include cheese, charcuterie, dips, shrimp and more. The homemade chips above should be required picnic food. sweetbutterkitchen.com

Sweetsalt Food Shop

Order a special picnic box at this Toluca Lake farm fresh eatery. Choose from six gourmet sandwiches (serrano ham with brie and fig jam is insanely good) or wraps (buffalo chicken is pictured above), side salad and a cookie for $14 per person. Or choose to-go à la carte with salads (salmon with haricort vert is a new favorite) and a slew of outrageously tempting baked goods. Got a big picnic party? Order salad party bowls and sandwich platters. sweetsaltfood.com


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