Best of Washington 2012: Three Perfect Shops for Picnic Fare

If you looking to unfurl a blanket for an outdoor bite to eat, here are the top three spots to get your food.

By: Washingtonian Staff

Best of Washington 2012

Cornucopia

This Italian market is an ideal stop before dining al fresco. Pick your antipasti from the extensive olive bar, and order crusty baguette sandwiches splashed with olive oil and balsamic and layered with prosciutto or soppresatta. For dessert, it’s hard to resist filled-to-order cannoli or house-made biscotti. 8102 Norfolk Ave., Bethesda; 301-652-1625.

Cork Market

Picnic fare here ranges from sandwiches to charcuterie, but our favorite is the cold fried chicken. Individual pieces of the crispy, garlic-and-herb-marinated birds can be plucked from the case, or you can order them a day in advance in a two-person picnic basket that includes salads, cookies, and wine. 1805 14th St., NW; 202-265-2674.

Society Fair

Restaurant Eve chef/owner Cathal Armstrong’s new market brims with tasty finds. Head to the butchery for superb sandwiches such as Italian cold cuts and sharp provolone or braised short ribs with horseradish and pickled leeks. The ideal sweet finish: a slice of pink “birthday cake.” 277 S. Washington St., Alexandria; 703-683-3247.