With the advent of warmer weather, it's time to unfurl that gingham blanket. If you're not sure where to pick up your moveable feast, we've got you covered with plenty of portable provisions that will taste great al fresco, from fried chicken to charcuterie to cheese, so you can pack up your basket and go. For ideas for where to picnic, check out this guide to the best parks and beaches in Seattle. (And in the case of less-than-stellar weather, you can always picnic indoors!)
The chic cafe tucked away inside Elliott Bay Book Company makes awesomely crusty, chewy baguette sandwiches, available with ham and cheese and Dijon or in a vegetarian version with goat cheese and veggies. Get a chocolate chip cookie or one of their house-made "pop tarts" for dessert.
Kurt Farm Shop
In addition to ice cream, farmer Kurt Timmermeister's Chophouse Row gem sells dreamy farmstead cheeses (meaning they're made right on his Vashon farm Kurtwood Farms with milk produced by his cows).
Slab Sandwiches and Pie
Lark's severely underrated casual lunch spot is one of Seattle's best kept secrets, and you can get a daily rotating selection of sandwiches and sweet and savory slab pies here. The salted chocolate chip cookies made by Lark co-owner JM Enos are seriously good.
Westman’s Bagel and Coffee
For a New York-style spread, pick up some bagels and assorted schmears to go, sandwiches with lox or whitefish salad, and pastries of the day (like rugelach or challah) from Monica Dimas's Capitol Hill bagel shop.
This German deli and Pike Place staple, which former Stranger contributor Tobias Coughlin-Bogue once described as a "glorious panoply of sausage," features an array of delicious offerings like landjaeger from which to assemble the meaty picnic of your dreams.
Beecher’s Handmade Cheese
Pick up a wedge or two from the artisan Pike Place cheesemaker to pair with some good bread and fruit, and you're set.
DeLaurenti Specialty Food & Wine
We'd be remiss not to mention this Pike Place deli, a near-encyclopedic emporium of incredible cheese, olives, prosciutto, charcuterie, artisan breads, and other perfect things to round out your outdoor smorgasboard. They even have a portable cheese board of cheese, olives, meat, and breadsticks all wrapped up in a paper cone, as featured recently on Buzzfeed's Bring Me series.
Gather some baguettes, sandwiches, and pastries from the French-style patisserie/boulangerie and pretend like you're in Paris.
If you're picnicking somewhere where alcohol is not verboten (most public parks don't allow it), grab a bottle of natural wine from this Fremont shop.
Sea Wolf Bakers
Run by brothers Kit and Jesse Schumann, you'll see Sea Wolf's excellent sourdough bread gracing the menu at just about every Seattle restaurant worth its salt, from the restaurants of Renee Erickson to L'Oursin to Eden Hill. Treat yourself to a beautiful boule.
Preserve & Gather
The Greenwood bakery and coffee shop sells their house-made pickles, condiments, and preserves.
The London Plane
Matt Dillon's Pioneer Square restaurant has a small shop where you can buy sundries like flowers, loaves of their sourdough bread, their house-made preserved foods, bottles of wine, and other specialty foods.
The cured meats, including salamis, prosciuttos, coppa, pancetta, prosciutto, soppressata, tongue, and cured lamb, and hot and cold sandwiches at this world-famous shop are picnic-perfect.
This deli is a favorite for its hearty, messy, outsized sandwiches.
Cone & Steiner
This eclectic artisan neighborhood market has a nicely curated selection of prepared offerings. You can pre-order salads, sandwiches, and wraps from White Knuckle Sandwiches to go.
Pioneer Square, Downtown, Capitol Hill
Fried chicken is a picnic classic, and you can't do better than the certified Oprah favorite's chicken dinner combos. Don't forget the sweet potato pie.
Rainier Valley, Central District, Wallingford, Renton, Woodinville, Lynnwood, Bellevue
Hitchcock makes excellent sandwiches, and all of their impeccably sourced charcuterie and accompaniments, like pickles and kraut, are made in-house from scratch.
Georgetown, Bainbridge Island
Rachel's Ginger Beer
To drink, grab a growler of the ever-popular spicy-sweet elixir.
Downtown, Capitol Hill, University District