Where to Pick Up the Best Picnic Boxes in Los Angeles
Picnics without the prep work
Summer in Los Angeles means picnic time with an abundance of outdoor events. From concerts at the Hollywood Bowl, Greek Theatre, Ford Theatres, and the Starlight Bowl — to outdoor movies on rooftops, in parks, and Cinespia at the landmark Hollywood Forever Cemetery. And there's even free performances of Shakespeare classics by the Independent Shakespeare Company in Griffith Park.
But what to do about food and drink? Sure there are plenty of places to pick up provisions to create a picnic box, but if you want to make summer living easier, check out these no-stress picnic boxes and baskets that are loaded and ready to go.
This multi-faceted Sherman Oaks culinary center offers signature picnic boxes for two outfitted with small plates, cutlery, and napkins ($60-$75). Among the picnic selections are sliders (turkey & Havarti, caprese, chicken salad) or salads (southwest grain or chicken in lettuce cups). Each box comes with a salad, such as the popular Asian Crunch and Italian Grain; a dipping or spreading side (hummus, tapenade, cheese); and freshly baked cookies, brownies, or biscotti.
Also available: “grazing boxes” for two to four ($55 and $100) filled with crudité, hummus, tapenade, assorted cheeses, grapes, dried fruit, nuts, pickles, crackers and jams. Add cured meats and mini-dessert samplers for $10-$20. Make sure to peruse the marketplace for a sweet add-on, or a gift for a foodie friend. 72 hours advance notice required.
Cheesemongers of Sherman Oaks
This gourmet shop offers picnic boards packed for easy transport complete with napkins and utensils, two cheeses, one cured meat, cornichons, olives, dried fruit, and Marcona almonds (serves two to three, $20). Add a fresh baguette, crackers, and tapenade. Make it sweeter with a Dick Taylor chocolate bar or Bertha Mae’s Brownies for dessert. Daily sandwich specials are available for $8 and can be also be prepared quickly on the spot.
Clementine - Century City
This iconic bakery-café with locations in Century City and Beverly Hills offers the Summer Alfresco Menu, featuring a stunning range of choices for two to four with mix and match options. Build-Your-Own-Picnic ($18-$32) includes two side salads plus a choice main entrée, such as grilled shrimp, steak or chicken; wild king salmon, cold meatloaf, or quiche. Should you choose to really simplify the experience, Clementine in a Box ($22) includes a choice of sandwich, salad, and cookies. If that’s not enough, look to the Starters section for a dip duo, cheese plate, Spanish tapas (cheese and cured meat), the Grand Aioli (vegetables, potatoes, eggs, marinated artichokes, olives, aioli, and more), deviled eggs, shrimp cocktail, and more. Orders must be placed by 4 p.m. the day prior to pick up.
FOODLAB in the Alley
Nowhere else will you find a stick of gum in your picnic box—except for this friendly family-run catering and takeout spot off Highland. Because, you know, minty fresh breath on a picnic is a win-win. Each box is $24.50 per person and includes a sandwich (various types of chicken go head to head with turkey and tuna), vegan salad (artichoke, tomato, edamame, carrot, radish, beans, cucumber & corn ), daily side salad, a Deluscious cookie, and a bottle of water. Also included: biodegradable "eat-ware" and utensils, salt and pepper.
Friends & Family
This East Hollywood café, marketplace, and bakery makes outdoor picnics easy. The premier picnic basket is the fried chicken (boneless dark meat served cold) with crunchy cabbage slaw, potato and green bean salad, white cheddar biscuit and a seasonal fruit hand pie. Order for one ($38) or two ($70). Other options are a la carte entrees for two: Moroccan chicken meatballs, grilled shrimp, and lamb skewers. Or the macro bowl with brown rice, sprouted legumes, pickled beets, sugar snap peas, cucumber, yuzu vinaigrette & seeds ($13). Add on salads, such as farro, egg, tuna, or chicken ($5.25-$12); or platters for two: cheese ($15); charcuterie ($13); or crudité and hummus. Wine is also available to grab-and-go, and well-priced at $19-$24 a bottle. One thing is for certain, you cannot leave Friends & Family without Roxanne Jullapat’s baked goods.
This farm-fresh family-owned market is located in The Glen Centre on Beverly Glen just south of Mulholland, providing the perfect one-stop-food shop for those traveling over the hill in either direction. Peruse the deli counter for locally sourced grab-and-go selections, or order the Summer Concert Picnic Box for two ($60). Entree selections include organic rosemary grilled chicken breast, seared ahi, grilled salmon, a choice of sandwiches on freshly baked bread; or a cheese & charcuterie board. All include a pasta salad, fruit salad, homemade cookie, and a large bottle of San Pellegrino. Stop by their Bottle Shoppe and peruse the extensive selection of wines, spirits, and brews.
Joan's on Third
This food emporium has two locations— the original on West Third Street, and on the Valley side in Studio City. Both are chock full of everything you could possibly need for a build-your-own picnic. Start with a cheese or salami platter ($20) or house-made dips ($5.95 8oz). Add one of four salads, such as the vegan chopped or Chinese chicken ($12.95-$16.95). Entrée selections include beef tenderloin, grilled salmon, and buttermilk fried chicken ($11). Enjoy sides like roasted corn, potato salad, orzo, or the most refreshing summer salad with nectarines and peaches ($7-$8). Of course, you can’t leave without a chocolate cookie, brownie, or lemon bar ($3.50). House wine is $20 a bottle. To ensure your picnic is ready, place your order at least 24 hours in advance. Same day orders are charged $5 for the box. Utensils are $3 per person.
The Larder at Tavern
Along with providing exclusive food and restaurant services to the Hollywood Bowl, Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne’s The Lucques Group offers four picnic boxes for two at The Larder at Tavern in Brentwood. Priced at $29-$36 per box, the options include The Southerner (spicy fried chicken with buttermilk dressing), The Darlington (slow-roasted salmon with cucumber-dill yogurt), The Young Frenchman (ficelle sandwich), and Cheese & Charcuterie. Add bacon-wrapped dates for $18 a dozen. Order 48 hours in advance. For same day service, create your own customized picnic box with The Larder's seasonal selection of prepared foods, artisanal cheeses, charcuterie, wines, freshly-baked pastries, cookies, and cakes.
This sustainable, eco-friendly, farm-to-table chain has locations from Downtown LA to the Valley and offers a reasonably-priced, healthy, and no-fuss way to picnic. Catering options include packages for five and more to share, ranging from family-sized salads and sides to individual sandwich and salad boxed lunches (complete with chips and a cookie). But if you’re looking for a smaller picnic for two to four, simply place your online order for sandwiches, entree salads, deli sides, drinks, and cookies with a preferred pickup time. When you arrive, grab your order from the “Online Order” shelf - there's no waiting in line, you’re all set and ready to go.
This neighborhood shop in Eagle Rock specializes in artisan cheese, charcuterie, and other food products from small and independent producers. Picnic boxes ($35) serve two to four and include two pieces of cheese, one artisan salami (sliced), olives, cornichons, seasonal fresh fruit or grapes, Marcona almonds, and a half-baguette. The selection is the cheesemonger’s choice - however, requests will be considered with a possible supplemental fee depending on the cost per pound. Napkins and knives are included. Ask about daily sandwich specials. For a sweet touch consider adding Little Flower Candy Co. salted caramels and marshmallows or Letterpress Chocolate.
The Oaks Gourmet
This Franklin Village gourmet market and counter-order café is centrally located between the Hollywood Bowl, Ford Theatres, Greek Theatre, and Cinespia at Hollywood Forever. Picnic Baskets are named after Bowl seats — the Super Seat ($40) includes two sandwiches, one salad, one bag of chips, and two bottles of Oaks Gourmet water; the Garden Box ($90) features two sandwiches, two salads, a cheese plate, two bottles of wine, two Govino wine glasses, and an Oaks Gourmet corkscrew; the Terrace Box ($60) holds two sandwiches, one salad, two bags of chips, one bottle of wine, two Govino wine glasses, and corkscrew. Meanwhile, the Pool Circle ($110) is the granddaddy with three sandwiches, three salads, a cheese and charcuterie plate, two bottles of wine, two Govino wine glasses, and corkscrew. Orders must be placed by 1 p.m. the day of pick-up. Big plus: Receive a 10 percent discount on your package when you reuse the basket.
Petrossian Restaurant & Boutique
Picnic in royal fashion with a truly extravagant picnic of champagne wishes and caviar dreams. Petrossian West Hollywood Boutique & Restaurant offers numerous Signature Baskets, including several packed in a blue Petrossian insulated tote bag. The most popular include the Petrossian Charcuterie Basket ($240); the Picnic in the Park, with choice of caviar, pork saucisson, smoked cod roe, sardine rillettes, and a sampler of chocolates (from $355); and the Petrossian Aperitif Basket - Royal Transmontanus Caviar, Pork Saucisson Sec, Tsar-Cut™ Salmon, jar of Duck Foie Gras, Onion Confiture, Tapenade, savory cheese cookies, Creme Fraiche, Baguette Toasts and a pack of 12 Mini Blini packed in a signature Petrossian hat box ($475).
Porta Via Italian Foods - Pasadena
Located in Pasadena, this European deli, market and cafe is a tried and true classic with picnic boxes designed for four people. The caveat is that everyone must choose the same salad option and side dish, although desserts may be mixed. Choose between entree sandwiches ($18-$20), including artisan salami, roasted turkey, roast beef, Italian tuna salad and Italian sub. Non-sandwich selections include steak salad, Italian chop salad, pasta primavera, grilled crusted salmon, grilled chicken kabobs, and curried chicken salad ($21-$26). Add antipasti options such as mixed olives, caprese skewers, and an international cheese or salumi platter. Boxes must be ordered 48 hours in advance.
SUGARFISH by Sushi Nozawa
Switch up traditional picnic fare with a modern sushi bento box from this perennial favorite with ten locations across Los Angeles. Choose from a To-Go Menu of four “Trust Me” options ($25-$38). All are packed in a box with color photos and instructions about how to properly eat and sauce (or not sauce) the sushi. Each box is filled with organic edamame, tuna sashimi, albacore sushi, salmon sushi, yellowtail sushi, toro cut roll, and crab cut roll. The amount served differs with the box size. A la carte options are also available for those interested in a sushi feast. Order online under the “To-Go” tab for pick-up—or better yet, have Postmates deliver.
Sweet Butter Kitchen
This Sherman Oaks café, bakery, and marketplace offers reasonably priced picnic boxes ($14.75-$28 per person) that include ficelle sandwiches with a choice of salads, and a cookie (including the signature Caramel Fleur de Sel); or full entrees, including fried, baked, and grilled chicken; and Asian panko-crusted wild salmon filet. All come complete with sides and a dessert. Add a platter of cheese or crudité, or guacamole with homemade lime tortilla chips to make it a party. All boxes include utensils, napkin, salt and pepper. 48-hour notice is required with a two-person minimum.