Cheap Date: Picnic Edition

It’s National Picnic Day. Here are five parks for picnicking plus nearby spots for grabbing grub.

By Jessica Voelker June 18, 2010

June 18 is National Picnic Day, didyaknow? Seeing as I am near-blind from the sun streaming into the window behind my screen, I’m guessing it’s going to be an outdoor eating sort of a day. Let’s make some plans.

Conveniently for Phinney Ridgers, there is a wine and prepared food shop that eliminates any guess-work by calling itself Picnic. Picnic is not far at all from the well-manicured Woodland Park, and it sells chicken salad with pink lady apples and pine nuts, salami grinders, and all kinds of foods for eating on a blanket. Don’t forget the wine.

If you’re looking to just park on the grass with a big ole messy sandwich, you can line up at Paseo then head to Gas Works to eat your pigwich beside the rusty towers. Nearby Homegrown in Fremont also offers well-crafted sandwiches with the proper bread-to-ingredient-to-condiment ratios, plus perfect homemade chips. It must be said though that Homegrown is not the most expedient of stops. I’ve spent lifetimes waiting for food at Homegrown.

There is a Baguette Box in Fremont too.

Near Cal Anderson you can do down-and-dirty Chinese takeout from Chungees, or stop by the Melrose and pick up some Italian cheese at Calf and Kid to eat alongside Rain Shadow Meats’ charcuterie. (You can buy Columbia City pretzel bread at Rain Shadow too.)

Volunteer Park picnickers purchase sandwiches and salads (not to mention cookies you might kill for) from Volunteer Park Cafe, or go Greek at Vios Cafe and Marketplace, which sells takeout containers of hummus, baba ghanoush, pita, Greek salad, and all the like.

Near the Bermuda Triangle where Belltown meets Queen Anne, snack in the shadow of the very large art at the Sculpture Garden. If you’re doing a lunch date, stop by Boat Street Kitchen for sandwiches and salad to go, or order mahi mahi tacos and Frenchy fries at Anthony’s Pier 66 on Alaskan.

Later in the evening, Pike Place Market is your place—grab a decent rose wine from Pike and Western, a tasty tomme and some camembert from the Cheese Cellar, and a stick of bread from Le Panier. Now you’re in business.

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