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The Food52 Shop Guide to the Perfect Picnic

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As Yogi Bear once said, "“Hey Boo Boo, let's go get us a pic-a-nic basket."

Great advice if we've ever heard it. We're stuffing ours full of to-go storage that prevents smushed sandwiches and oily spills; generous, tote-able blankets; and maybe even a clandestine flask for a little nip of something.

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And there's gingham. Gotta have gingham.

Photo by Bobbi Lin


Prep it.

Sturdy sandwiches deserve an equally sturdy storage bag—and ours are dishwashable and reusable.

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Reusable Storage Bags

Reusable Storage Bags

From $29
Spicy, Garlicky Broccoli Sandwich

Spicy, Garlicky Broccoli Sandwich by Sarah Jampel

Noodly salads are as good warm as they are cold, and airtight, lightweight containers will keep zingy dressings from dripping.

Airtight Storage Container Set

Airtight Storage Container Set

From $50
Rice Noodle Salad with Spring Vegetables and Tahini-Lime Dressing

Rice Noodle Salad with Spring Vegetables and Tahini-Lime ... by Elizabeth Stark

Not just for ice cream: crush-proof cardboard containers are an ideal vessel for munchy crackers—cookies, too.

Ice Cream Storage Containers

Ice Cream Storage Containers

From $26
Cheesy Turmeric Crackers

Cheesy Turmeric Crackers by Posie Harwood

Pack it up.

For the nearest park in between rounds of frisbee:

French Market Basket with Double Handles

French Market Basket with Double Handles

$55
A 6-Dish (Gluten-Free!) Picnic Menu Even Bread Lovers Will Adore

A 6-Dish (Gluten-Free!) Picnic Menu Even Bread Lovers Wil... by Samantha Weiss Hills

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For an extra-long, extra-sunscreen beach day:

Structured Nylon & Leather Travel Coolers

Structured Nylon & Leather Travel Coolers

From $25
22 Cooler-Ready Recipes for Any Kind of Outing

22 Cooler-Ready Recipes for Any Kind of Outing by Lyna Vuong

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For that solo bike trip you've been summer bucket-listing for years:

Moroccan Woven & Leather Backpack

Moroccan Woven & Leather Backpack

$99
Pack This Picnic (and Playlist) for Your Next Bike Ride

Pack This Picnic (and Playlist) for Your Next Bike Ride by Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm

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For a delightfully mushy-gushy, romantic winery excursion:

Picnic Basket

Picnic Basket

$59
8 Picnic-Perfect Desserts

8 Picnic-Perfect Desserts by Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm

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Lay down a blanket (and maybe even a table).

Classic stripes with handles of their own, blankets with a sassy sense of humor, some extra cushion, and a packable picnic table: Just because you're sitting on the ground doesn't mean you can't look good doing it.

Picnic Blanket Tote

Picnic Blanket Tote

$79
Striped Turkish Cotton Beach Throw with Tassels

Striped Turkish Cotton Beach Throw with Tassels

$61
Reserved Beach Towel

Reserved Beach Towel

$72
Carry Handle Striped Beach Throw

Carry Handle Striped Beach Throw

$58
Table in a Bag

Table in a Bag

$49
Quilted Throw Blanket

Quilted Throw Blanket

$145

Eat up.

When you can't go dishwashable or machine washable, you can still go compostable! And if your cups don't stack, don't pack.

Large Compostable Wooden Plates (Set of 25)

Large Compostable Wooden Plates (Set of 25)

$25
Compostable Wooden Cutlery

Compostable Wooden Cutlery

$30
Gingham Cloth Napkins (Set of 4)

Gingham Cloth Napkins (Set of 4)

$32
Enamel Tumblers (Set of 4)

Enamel Tumblers (Set of 4)

From $30

Take a sip.

What's your drink? Pack a flask for some afternoon sherry, a to-go bottle with iced tea laced with mint, or a thermos that keeps lemonade forever frosty, and an ice pack to keep things cool.

Round Gold Flask

Round Gold Flask

From $36
Monte Travel Bottle

Monte Travel Bottle

$30
Glass Travel Tea Bottle

Glass Travel Tea Bottle

$25
Stainless Steel Ice Pack

Stainless Steel Ice Pack

From $16

Keep it covered.

The ants will not go marching through your picnic spread, no siree. When you're not slicing or chunking, cheese papers and wax wraps keep precious camemberts protected. And cover up the whole shebang with a gingham-trimmed net. Washing-machine friendly towels make great fly shooer-awayers.

Food52 x Bee's Wrap Windowpane Print

Food52 x Bee's Wrap Windowpane Print

From $36
Cheese Storage Paper & Bags (Bundle)

Cheese Storage Paper & Bags (Bundle)

From $19
Outdoor Net Food Cover

Outdoor Net Food Cover

$28
Unpaper Towels (Set of 16)

Unpaper Towels (Set of 16)

$40

Remember these, if you can.

Some nice-to-haves:

  • The ultimate picnic knife: a super sharp blade and a built-in corkscrew
  • A baby lantern that clips to your basket, or a solar light that folds up flat (if the sun goes down)
  • Kitchen shears that will come in handy over and over and over again
Opinel No. 10 Corkscrew Folding Knife

Opinel No. 10 Corkscrew Folding Knife

$30
Mini Beacon Lantern

Mini Beacon Lantern

$45
Waterproof Solar & USB Chargeable Travel Light

Waterproof Solar & USB Chargeable Travel Light

From $20
ZWILLING Stainless Steel Kitchen Shears

ZWILLING Stainless Steel Kitchen Shears

$99

What's in your picnic basket?

Tags: picnic, outdoor dining