Where to Pick Up the Best Picnic Boxes in Los Angeles

Picnics without the prep work


Spring and summer in Los Angeles means picnic time with an abundance of outdoor events. From concerts at the Hollywood Bowl, Greek Theatre and The Ford; to outdoor movies on rooftops, in parks, and Cinespia at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. And there's even free performances 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. If you want to make outdoor living easier, check out these no-stress picnic boxes and party trays that are loaded and ready to go.

 

The Party Tray at Bludso's BBQ
The Party Tray | Photo: Bludso's BBQ

Bludso's Bar and Que



On the website for his eponymous restaurants, James Beard Award-winning chef Kevin Bludso says, "Our recipes have been passed down from generation to generation and there ain't no better feeling than sharing them with y'all."

Picnickers can get their smoked meat fix with the epic Party Tray, which serves 15: 1.5 lb Brisket, 1.5 lb Pulled Pork, 1.5 Whole Chicken, 1.5 Rack Pork Ribs, 1 lb Rib Tips and 4 Texas Red Hots; plus Pickles, Cornbread and BBQ Sauce. Choose 3 quarts of Hot or Cold Sides - Mac n' Cheese, Baked Beans, Collard Greens, Potato Salad, Texas Caviar and Coleslaw.

Mini Mega Board from DTLA Cheese Superette
Mini Mega Board | Photo: DTLA Cheese Superette, Facebook

DTLA Cheese



After nine years at the historic Grand Central Market, in May 2023 DTLA Cheese Superette moved a few doors down Broadway to a standalone location adjacent to its sister shop, Kippered. Curated by Lydia Clarke, the full-service cut-to-order cheese counter showcases the best cheesemakers from across Europe and the U.S., from centuries-old classics to modern innovations.

The shop offers several platters and boards to-go. The Concert Platter is perfect for 2-4 people - available with all-cheese or cheese and meat, the platter comes with cornichons, membrillo, quicos, dried fruit and a small box of crackers. For larger groups, the Mini Mega Board comes on a 2'x1' pine board that you keep, no need to return! Designed to feed 15-30 people, the board can also be made all-cheese or cheese and meat. The board includes pickled goodies such as olives, cornichons, sweety peps and piparra peppers. Sweet accoutrements can include membrillo, honeycomb and a jar of jam. It's filled in with nuts and dried fruit and garnished with dehydrated citrus.

Place your online order at least 24 hours in advance. Curbside pickup available.

Cheese & Charcuterie Board at Esters Wine Shop
Cheese & Charcuterie Board | Photo: Esters Wine Shop

Esters Wine Shop & Bar



Self-described as a "neighborhood clubhouse for wine," Santa Monica's Esters Wine Shop & Bar offers Cheese & Charcuterie Boards that are ready to serve in balsa wood boxes at your next picnic.

The Small Cheese & Charcuterie Board is perfect for two people and includes a curated selection of charcuterie and premium cheese along with an assortment of market fruits, pickles, olives, house made crostini, apple butter, mustard and honey. The Medium Cheese & Charcuterie Board serves 4-6 people, and the Large Cheese & Charcuterie Board is great for groups of 12-15.

The Small and Large Farmer's Market Platters serve 2-4 and 6-8, respectively, and include white bean hummus, romesco, market crudité, marinated veggies and housemade pickles.

To sip with your feast, browse Esters' extensive list of more than 250 wines. Shop in-person or order for pickup or delivery from Toast.

Jidori Chicken Karaage at Guzzu Bento-ya in Downtown LA
Jidori Chicken Karaage | Photo: Guzzu Bento-ya

Guzzu Bento-ya



With their compartments of proteins, veggies and rice, Japanese bento boxes are ready-made for picnics. For a modern take on traditional bento, head to Guzzu Bento-ya, a hidden gem in the Downtown LA Arts District. The bentos are served in double-decker boxes, with a protein and rice in one; and a second box with a rotating selection of seasonal vegetables, including miso cured egg yolk, roasted vegetables, marinated mushrooms, candied sweet potato and red shiso pickled daikon. Protein options include Shio Koji Marinated Norwegian Mackerel, SC Farms Miso Tonkatsu and Jidori Chicken Karaage - ginger and garlic marinated fried Jidori chicken thigh served with peppers, yuzu kosho mayo and house-made shichimi.

A Catering Set for 10 people includes a choice of two proteins, Maze-Gohan (Japanese mixed rice with vegetables), Japanese Salad (kale, cabbage, daikon, carrots, sprouts, seasonal vegetables, ginger carrot dressing), Tokyo potato salad and seasonal roasted vegetables.

Hollywood Bowl Picnic Box and wine
Photo: The Hollywood Bowl

Hollywood Bowl



A pre-concert picnic at the landmark Hollywood Bowl is as much a part of the concert experience as the show itself. Picnic areas are located throughout the grounds that surround the Bowl - some picnic areas open as early as four hours before the concert. Tables are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Large groups (30+) may reserve selected areas through the Hollywood Bowl Group Sales Office: 323.850.2050.

You can pre-order a Picnic Box for pick up until 4pm the day before a concert. When you arrive at the Bowl, your picnic box will be waiting for you to enjoy in one of the Bowl’s picnic areas or at your seats. Options include The All-American with fried chicken tenders, The Burton Way (herb-crusted salmon) and The Hollywood Vegan with roasted asparagus, mezze trio and grilled summer veggies.

Dim sum from ixlb DimSum Eats
Dim sum from ixlb DimSum Eats | Instagram: @ixlbdimsumeats

ixlb DimSum Eats



Dim sum fans don't need to trek to the San Gabriel Valley to order their faves for their picnics. Gloria Shi and her father, Tony Ying, opened the first ixlb DimSum Eats at Sunset and Bronson in 2016. A sequel followed in Westwood Village in July 2023.

The freshly-made takeout options include dim sum's greatest hits: the top-selling Shrimp Wonton with Chili Oil; plump Har Gow and Siu Mai; Xiao Long Bao, Cha Siu Bao (steamed or baked), Pan Fried Dumplings and Egg Custard Tart. Veg-friendly items include Spring Rolls, Veggie Dumplings, Veggie Buns, Chinese Broccoli with Oyster Sauce, Pickled Cucumber and Scallion Pancake.

Catering is available for a wide range of events, contact ixlb for info.

Comfort Food Box at Joan's on Third
Comfort Food Box | Photo: Joan's on Third

Joan's on Third



This food emporium has two locations— the original on West Third Street, and on the Valley side in Studio City. Priced at $225, the Comfort Food Box includes Macaroni & Cheese, Homemade Soup, Bake at Home Cookies, Joan's on Third Granola, Chicken Enchiladas or Lasagne Pomodoro, Housemade Potato Chips and Nutella Loaf Bread. Optional wine bottle(s) available.

Mini Boxes at Lady & Larder
Mini Boxes | Photo: Lady & Larder

Lady & Larder



Founded by twin sisters Sarah and Boo Simms, Lady & Larder is renowned as a pioneer in the grazing board style - their DIY Cheese & Charcuterie Board was named to the 2019 edition of Oprah's Favorite Things holiday gift guide.

The beautifully presented Mini Boxes include Charcuterie, Vegan Cheese + Fruit, and the Farmers Market Crudités + Hummus - a selection of farmers market vegetables plus hummus topped with a za'atar blend and olive oil.

Boards can serve groups from 3-4 people (Date Night) to lavish Large Boards for 20-30. Available in 3- or 4-tier, the Bloomy Rind Cheesecake is perfect for outdoor celebrations of birthdays, weddings, baby showers and more.

Large Foodie Package at Mendocino Farms
Large Foodie Package | Photo: Mendocino Farms

Mendocino Farms



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.

Sichuan Cold Noodles at MIAN in West Adams
Sichuan Cold Noodles at MIAN | Instagram: @miantaste

MIAN - West Adams



While this authentic Sichuan-style restaurant from James Beard Award nominated Chef Tony Xu does not offer a picnic basket per se, their Mian Cold Combo ($14) of appetizers plus an order of their Sichuan Cold Noodles to-go might just be the best picnic you've ever had. Their menu has a selection of dumpling options (6 pieces for $9-10), any of which would pair well with this DIY picnic combo. Check out their menu online to order ahead and pick up an improvised picnic that is tongue-numbing and distinctly delicious.

Milfarm
Photo: Milkfarm, Facebook

Milkfarm



This neighborhood shop in Eagle Rock specializes in artisan cheese, charcuterie, and other food products from small and independent producers. Picnic Boxes ($50) serve two 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. Mini Picnic Boxes must be bought in a series of at least 8 for $22. Each Mini Box feeds one person, featuring two pieces of cheese, one artisan salami (sliced), olives, cornichons, dried apricots, grapes, Marcona almonds, mini jam jar, and one mini Rustic Bakery Cracker pack. 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. 24 hour advance notice is required for all picnic box orders. 

The Oak Cafe
Photo courtesy of The Oaks Gourmet

The Oaks Gourmet



This Franklin Village gourmet market and counter-order café is centrally located between the Hollywood Bowl, The Ford, Greek Theatre, and Cinespia at Hollywood Forever. Picnic Baskets are named after Bowl seats and range from the $70 Super Seat (two sandwiches, one half- salad, two bags of chips, cookie, two bottles of water) to the Pool Circle ($150), which includes three sandwiches, three half-salads, a cheese & charcuterie plate, three cookies, two bottles of sparkling wine and two shatterproof wine glasses.

Orders must be placed by 1pm the day of pick-up. Big plus: Receive a 10 percent discount on your package when you reuse the basket.

Black Cod Dosirak at Perilla LA
Black Cod Dosirak at Perilla LA | Instagram: @e_zar

Perilla



Chef Jihee Kim opened her banchan specialty shop, Perilla, in July 2023. Located in the Victor Heights neighborhood between Chinatown and Echo Park, Perilla showcases banchan - typically served as side dishes in Korean cuisine - as the heart of the meal.

Highlights of the rotating banchan takeout selection include: Gimbap (cucumber, avocado, egg, pickled radish, carrots, garlic chives and sweet soy shiitakes, wrapped in seaweed and rice; served with Korean hot mustard), Collard Green Kimchi, Meiji Tofu and Fermented Cabbage with Perilla Leaf. LA Times food critic Bill Addison described the Rolled Egg as "a visual stunner" - thin layers of sweet rolled egg and savory seaweed. Can't decide? Try the Banchan & Rice Combo, a daily selection of four banchan served with a side of seasoned rice.

Kim also features dosirak - similar to Japanese bento (see Guzzu Bento-ya above), with a choice of doenjang marinated black cod or chicken on top of rice, a daily selection of four banchan and egg. Keep adding to your picnic with even more options like the veg-friendly Mushroom Dupbap (galbi-marinated and braised maitake mushrooms) and Avocado Rice seasoned with mentaiko (pollock roe) sauce and trout roe.

Grilled Shrimp and Vegetable Skewers at Porta Via
Grilled Shrimp and Vegetable Skewers | Photo: Porta Via

Porta Via Italian Foods - Pasadena



Located in Pasadena, this European deli, market and cafe is a tried and true classic with picnic boxes that offer complete dinners for one person, including salad, side and dessert. Entrees include Grilled Shrimp and Vegetable Skewers, Italian Beef Tenderloin, Pasta Primavera and Grilled Salmon. Entree sandwiches include Artisan Salami, Snake River Farms Roast Beef, Roasted Turkey and Porta Via Italian Sub. Add antipasti for four people such as mixed olives, caprese skewers, and an international cheese or salumi platter. Boxes must be ordered 48 hours in advance.

Shopper at Suá Superette in Larchmont Village
Shopping at Suá Superette | Instagram: @sua_superette

Suá Superette



Co-founders Jing Gao and Stephanie Liu Hjelmeseth opened their Sichuan-inspired market, Suá Superette, in November 2023. Located in Larchmont Village, the grab-and-go concept features a sleek interior by LA-based OWIU Design - a curved marble top counter symbolizes the legendary four rivers of Sichuan, while a concrete planter evokes an "island" that invites guests to take a seat on its circular wooden bench.

Per Suá's website, the to-go items feature "organic, local produce and the highest quality, sustainable proteins like Mary's Organic Chicken, Strauss Farms Grass-Fed Beef, Bakkafrost Salmon and Meiji Tofu." Along with the a la carte offerings, there are Combo Plates (Kung Pao Chicken or Salmon) with green bamboo rice; and Light Bites priced from $45 to $80 per person with numerous options for veggies, salads, mains and sweets.

To-Go "Trust Me" at SUGARFISH by Sushi Nozawa
To-Go "Trust Me" at SUGARFISH by Sushi Nozawa | Photo: Postmates

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. Order one of their set "Trust Me" meals ($22-$39) to go - they are incredible! 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.

Ficelle sandwiches at Sweet Butter Kitchen
Ficelle sandwiches | Photo: Sweet Butter Kitchen

Sweet Butter Kitchen



This Sherman Oaks café, bakery, and marketplace offers reasonably priced picnic boxesthat 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.