Food

11 Places to Pick Up a Perfect Summer Picnic Around DC

Restaurants packing Insta-worthy baskets, blankets, and more.

Grab a celebratory picnic from Officina at the Wharf or in Georgetown. Photograph courtesy of Officina

Fairmont Washington DC
2401 M St., NW
DC locals can feel like they’re on staycation with the luxe Foggy Bottom hotel’s straw picnic baskets—designed to fit easily on a bike while you peddle to nearby Georgetown or Rock Creek Park. Pick between three styles: an omnivorous spread with muffuletta sandwiches, potato salad, cheeses, chocolate mousse, and berries; a vegetarian version with grilled vegetable-burrata sandwiches; or a falafel vegan spread ($53 per person). Optional add-ons include festive rosé bubbles ($14) or Moet Champagne ($23). Orders can be placed online here.

Green Almond Pantry
3210 Grace St., NW
Georgetown is one of the prettiest neighborhoods to picnic between the leaf parks, waterfront, and tables along the canal. Match the scene with a beautiful spread from chef Cagla Onal-Urel’s new Mediterranean gem, which offers grab-and-go dips and spreads, seasonal vegetable salads, freshly baked focaccia, and “little little in the middle” packages ($15) that give a small sampling of all. Picnickers can also grab natural wines and ciders. Order online here.

1309 Fifth St., NE
If you want a really easy “picnic” in which you don’t even have to decide where to take your takeout, consider Union Market’s new picnic-inspired rooftop bar and restaurant. Patrons can reserve spaces on the astroturf “lawn” or at colorful tables with umbrellas and dig into housemade chips and dips, brown-butter lobster rolls, and club sandwiches—all of which arrive in cute basket/coolers. A grill turns out burgers and dogs that can be washed down with beer, wine, and fruity cocktails. It’s a good idea to reserve picnic areas in advance via Resy.
Hi-Lawn, an outdoor picnic spot and bar on the top of Union Market. Photograph courtesy Hi-Lawn.
Delivery in DC, Arlington, Alexandria, and Montgomery County
The Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s home-delivery arm packs a variety of eye-catching bamboo baskets, whether you’re looking to snack on Red Apron charcuterie and cheeses ($80), hit the park for brunch with a sweet or savory biscuit box ($35), or enjoy lunch for two with sandwiches and all the fixings ($40). For the full experience, add old-school checkered blankets ($30) plus recommended beer, wine, and bottled-cocktail pairings. Order at nrgprovisions.com for delivery in DC, Arlington, Alexandria, and Montgomery County.
Montgomery County Parks
MoCo launched its Picnic in the Park program last year to encourage dining outdoors—and local restaurant patronage—at nine participating parks (alcohol permitted). Visitors will find signs with QR codes on the grassy lawns, which they can use to search through a roster of nearby eateries that deliver to designated spots. More than 800 restaurants are listed, ranging from fast-casuals and delis to finer dining (note: sometimes through third-party services such as DoorDash or Uber Eats).

Officina
1120 Maine Ave., SW; 1525 Wisconsin Ave., NW
Chef Nick Stefanelli packs two tiers of picnic baskets from his Italian markets at the Wharf and in Georgetown: a date-worthy spread of homemade focaccia, salumi, cheeses, and caprese or pasta salad ($53 for two), or an engagement-worthy Dom Perignon kit that includes the aforementioned treats plus a bottle of vintage Dom bubbles, four glasses, and a custom gift box ($310 for four). Order online here.

If you picnic for the ‘gram, this luxe pop-up picnic company is the way to go. Clients work with a “picnicker-in-chief” to personalize Insta-worthy outdoor spreads with color themes, special decor, flowers, and more. Packages for two-to-20 guests include a 90 minute picnic with all the decorative flourishes, or a four-hour cabana setup—plus add-ons like s’mores kits, outdoor movie projector setup, and more. Prices start at $249 and vary based on the number of people and decor.
A French picnic spread from Le Diplomate. Photograph by Travis Vaughn
900 F St., NW
If your idea of a fun picnic is a quaffable one, this kit from one of the world’s top bartenders is the grab. London-based Ryan Chetiyawardana (a.k.a. Mr. Lyan), whose new DC cocktail bar is in the Riggs Hotel, has created a Japanese American cocktail box for two with Japanese beers, batched cocktails with sakura-infused cognac and Roku gin, as well as treats such as housemade jerky and matcha “Kit-Kats” ($80 for two). Order by calling 202-638-1880 or online here.

Tia Pepa
801 18th St., NW
Picnic like a Spaniard with baskets from this new market adjoining veteran downtown Spanish restaurant La Taberna Del Alabardero. A generous spread for two ($45) or four ($85) includes a choice of snacks (olives, jamon chips), tinned seafood, sweets, and a wide variety of mollete (open-face) sandwiches topped with combination like avocado, egg, and tomato or grilled pork rib and mojo sauce. Add on sangria ($4) or Mahou beer ($1) for a full spread. Order online here.

Yardbird
901 New York Ave., NW
Miami’s smash-hit Southern eatery just opened in DC—perfect for a fried-chicken craving. The Mount Vernon Triangle restaurant dishes up large family-style boxes for takeout or even delivery to your favorite park. Combinations feed six and include 24 pieces of crisp chicken, mac and cheese, and warm biscuits ($98) or a backyard barbecue box that adds ribs, cracklings, and brisket to the poultry mix ($118). Order online here.

Le Diplomate
1601 14th St., NW
The popular Parisian brasserie packs pique-nique baskets for two with cheese, salami, foie gras parfait, olives, crostini, and pretty pink blackberry-basil vodka cocktails. Dine à deux on an embroidered blanket, included in the package ($140). Baskets, available for the first three weekends in July, can be ordered by calling 202-332-3333 starting June 28.

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Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.