Creative Outdoor Dining Options from Coast to Coast
Restaurants are getting creative with carryout feasts for outdoor dining and picnics.
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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’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.
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.
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.
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!