Food

Where to Find July 4th Picnic Baskets in Washington

Chefs prepare ready-made feasts for watching the fireworks, or escaping the crowds.
Find the perfect picnic for your July 4th weekend. Photograph by Andrew Propp.

Nothing says July 4th weekend like a picnic, not to mention relaxing one where chefs take over the work. A number of Washington restaurants offer baskets and boxes for all your outdoor eating needs, whether you want to feast on the National Mall while watching the fireworks, or plan a meal in your own quieter spot–here are nine of our favorites around DC.

If you want to assemble your own spread, check out Washingtonian’s guide, Where Foodies Shop, for the best markets, cheese purveyors, meats, and more.

Fried chicken picnic boxes from Penn Commons

700 6th St., NW

This Penn Quarter eatery near-ish the National Mall designs boxes with watching fireworks in mind. Orders include buttermilk-fried chicken, potato salad, corn chow-chow, and peach hand-pies.

Details: Stop in any day this week or call ahead to order; feeds two; $17.76

Barbecue delivery boxes from Hill Country

410 Seventh St., NW

Hoping to eat ribs and brisket on the National Mall while watching the fireworks? Arrange a rendezvous with Hill Country’s delivery service at either 10th Street and Constitution Avenue, Northwest, or at the Smithsonian Castle (10th and Jefferson Dr., SW). Call 202-556-2044 to place orders from the menu.

Details: Pre-order by July 3 at 3; prices vary; pickup at designated areas on July 4.

Sandwich basket from G by Mike Isabella

2201 14th St., NW

G creates a picnic basket with their top sandwiches like chicken parm, roasted cauliflower, and lamb gyros. The meal includes a choice of a seasonal sides, non-alcoholic beverage, chips, and Nutella cookies.

Details: Order online 24 hours in advance starting July 1; feeds two ($39) or four ($74); pickup from 11 to 5.

Americano and Italiano picnic baskets from Centrolina

974 Palmer Alley, NW

Chef Amy Brandwein’s new Italian market offers two kinds of picnic baskets: an American one starring fried chicken, and an Italian version with prosciutto sandwiches. Both include side salads, snacks, and either local beer or Prosecco.

Details: Order online by July 1 at 2; feeds two or four; $75 or $150; pickup on July 3 or 4.

Haute dog and burger packs from Red Apron Butcher

Union Market (1309 Fifth St., NE); Penn Quarter (709 D St., NW); Mosaic District (8298 Glass Alley, Fairfax)

Make grilling out in the park easier than cooking at home with these house-made hot dog and 1/3 pound burger packages from chef Nate Anda. Each comes with buns, traditional toppings like lettuce and tomato, and condiments like smoked mayonnaise and pickle relish; additional homemade sides are available in the markets, as well as extra sausages and grill-ready ribs.

Details: Pre-order by calling the shops; packs serve 5; $23 for hot dogs; $28 burgers.

Barbecue baskets from Society Fair

277 S. Washington St. Alexandria, VA

Chef Cathal Armstrong’s market sells barbecue baskets with ready-to-grill brined pork chops, and pre-made potato and succotash salads. There’s plenty more meats, sides, and drinks in the market if you want to add extras.

Details: Order online by Friday; feeds four; $65.

Dessert essentials kit from Rare Sweets

963 Palmer Alley, NW (CityCenterDC)

Pastry chef Meredith Tomason whips up sweets inspired by First Lady favorites. Try Lady Bird Johnson’s favorite lemon bars or Hillary Clinton’s oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies, available individually or in a box of four FLOTUS-style desserts.

Details: Available through July 3; prices for individual sweets vary; $65 per box that serves six.

Louisiana-style picnic from Bayou Bakery Capitol Hill

901 Pennsylvania Ave., SE

The team at the newly opened Capitol Hill branch of David Guas’ Louisiana-style bakery/cafe offers picnic boxes with a choice of three sandwiches (pimento cheese, chicken salad, shaved turkey), Zapp’s chips, lemon-cornmeal cookies, and fresh fruit.

Details: Stop in any day this week; feeds one; $15

Fried chicken buckets at Boundary Road

414 H St., NE

This Atlas District restaurant offers 50 fried chicken buckets over the holiday weekend, which include eight pieces and sides (dine-in, or carryout).

Details: Buckets ($40) can be reserved by calling 202-450-3265; available for pickup July 4 between 11:15 am and midnight.

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