Creative Outdoor Dining Options from Coast to Coast

Restaurants are getting creative with carryout feasts for outdoor dining and picnics.

August 14, 2020
Breads Bakery

Breads Bakery

Get a Complimentary 1-Year Subscription to the Food Network Kitchen App

Download Food Network Kitchen to sign up and get access to daily live classes, thousands of on-demand cooking classes, in-app grocery ordering and so much more. Own a Fire TV, Fire tablet or Echo Show? You can now get a 1-year complimentary subscription to the app — read here for more details. Terms and conditions apply.

Sometimes, food just tastes better outdoors. And some restaurants that can’t welcome diners for indoor meals are packaging up full feasts to be enjoyed outdoors, for park picnics or better backyard meals. Baguettes, bottles of wine, even picnic tables are on offer by some restaurants around the country.

Charleston, South Carolina

Bumpa’s in Charleston’s French Quarter wants to make your beach lunch as easy-breezy as possible. Their beach pack includes a beach umbrella and picnic basket to rent, filled with some of their favorite appetizers like hush puppies and pimento dip, plus cold bottles of water and some hand sanitizer. They’ll throw you a link to their custom playlist, “Bumpa’s Bytes,” so you have a seaside soundtrack, too.

New York City

Bread is a staple of most any good picnic, so it follows that Breads Bakery (pictured above) would have an especially good picnic offering. The beloved New York City bakery has created customizable picnic boxes for pickup or delivery, complete with napkins and silverware. Choose to fill it with cheese, cheese, crudités, fruit and cookies, plus freshly baked Jerusalem baguettes and bread. Then tack on a chocolate-hazelnut babka for later.

Chicago

Chicago’s Mini Mott is beloved for Edward Kim’s Asian-influenced street food (Hello, burger with hoisin aioli and miso butter!). Now fans can take Kim’s dishes outside, and even bring along a table to eat them on. The restaurant offers small picnic tables to borrow for free. Just leave your license and bring it back when you are done.

Aspen, Colorado

We can think of few things better than dining outside with views of the Aspen mountain. Ajax Tavern and Little Nell together (pictured) offer two different outdoor offerings. The first is dinner and a movie, where every Friday evening you can catch an outdoor flick while indulging in a bottle of Champagne, plus fried chicken with Georgia honey-mustard sauce, kale slaw, potato snap pea salad and ruffle popcorn, with chocolate mud. They’ll also give you a fleece blanket to sprawl out on. Any day of the week, you can also select packs for any outdoor adventure, like the backcountry pack with nut and seed granola, whole fruit, Colorado cheese and crackers, and bottled water. Baskets can be a rolling basket, a wine basket or a traditional basket, along with a blanket — which you return at the end of your outing.

Little Nell / Ajax

Little Nell / Ajax

West Palm Beach, Florida

For a picnic with a side of art, head to the Rosemary Square neighborhood of West Palm Beach, known for colorful murals and interactive modern art. Stop by High Dive for an outdoor fun pack that includes lobster rolls, chips and cookies, plus batched cocktails, two Yeti water bottles, a lawn blanket and your choice of cornhole or beach backgammon.

Chicago

Longtime Chicago favorite, Lula Café is closed for dining-in, but they’ve pulled together a selection of beloved seasonal dishes for picnic format. Grab smoked trout spread with sourdough crackers, vegetable crudités, berries from local Klug Farm, marinated olives, cheeses and more, finished off with malted chocolate chips. Add on blankets, disposable silverware sets and bottled cocktails for a true outdoor fete!

Related Links:

Next Up

Great Family-Friendly Restaurants from Coast to Coast

We've got the scoop on dozens of kid-friendly restaurants from coast to coast.

Great Fried Chicken from Coast to Coast

Fried chicken — once a Southern specialty — has made its way onto restaurant menus across the country.

Chain Restaurants Launch Creative Ways to Feed Customers

California Pizza Kitchen and Panera Bread are now selling grocery items along with their typical menu offerings.

Diner Classics, Remade

If you’re not near a great diner (or the diner mecca of New Jersey), here are five spins on diner classics to churn out in your own kitchen.

Where to Get Great Doughnuts, from Coast to Coast

Doughnuts have broken out of breakfast and become more than just a pair-with-coffee staple.

Historic Diners

There are more than 30 diners on the National Register of Historic Places. Visit one this summer—just take the National Park Service's advice and call to confirm they're open before you hit the road.

Where to Get the Best Baked Goods from Coast to Coast

These bakeries are worth a trip — even for the accomplished home bakers among us.

Beat the Winter Blahs with Steaming Bowls of Ramen from Coast to Coast

Ramen has established its place on the list of ultimate comfort foods. Here's where to find craveworthy bowls across the country.

The Healthiest Restaurant Mexican Food Options

If you think indulging in Mexican fare will sabotage your healthy eating plan, think again! There are plenty of options to choose from.