Oh sweet, that’s right! There’s a long weekend coming up, and it’s a tease for summer just around the corner. Time to dust off the patio furniture, maybe even fire up the grill, and kick it in the backyard or at the park. And to help you hang, how about some packable sandos, cool noodle salads, full charcuterie spreads, and jammy baby pies — all with a glass of chill wine in hand. Break out your best sunnies. Here are nine fresh ideas to take to a picnic, barbecue, or any other outdoor party.
Charcuterie & Cheese from Fatted Calf
If you’re unfurling a blanket at the park, you might want to throw down a full charcuterie spread. Taylor Boetticher and Toponia Miller of Fatted Calf, the wine country sausage king and queen, have the essentials to artfully arrange a board: grab a classic salametti, a few skinny fegatelli, a thick wedge of toma, and maybe a triple-cream or blue, and fill those in with crackers and olives.
Japanese Sandos from Stonemill Matcha
If you feel the proper etiquette for a garden party is crusts off, better pack one of these meticulous Japanese sandos, starring pillowy soft milk bread, crispy pork cutlets, or creamy egg salad. They’re so cute tucked into boxes and ready for a walk to the park.
Chicken & Tofu Coconut-Peanut Noodle Salad from Basil the Bold
No offense to anyone’s mom, but maybe skip the macaroni? PanPan Thiravechyan has a way cool noodle salad! With a rainbow array of golden turmeric chicken, purple cabbage, tomatoes, cukes, rice noodles, crispy shallots, and — wait for it — potato chips. All this comes with three sauces: creamy coconut, fried chile, and house fish sauce.
Furikake Chex Mix from MackBox
Look, nobody packs snacks like a fine dining pastry chef. When you’re craving something crunchy, and debating — chips or popcorn? The answer is Mack Estrada’s signature furikake chex mix. It’s the kid classic mix of cereal and pretzels, sweetened with honey and savory from soy, with a sprinkle of furikake for island vibes.
Spanish Tortilla & Garlic Aioli from Mestizo Paella
What’s good hot, warm, or at room temperature? Even when toddlers and puppies are running around? Spanish tortilla! Christian Saiz makes the traditional potato-and-egg omelet following his dad’s recipe, and he’s a man who loves garlic, so it comes with a tub of breathtaking aioli.
Lavender & Berry Pies from East Bay Pie Co.
You could absolutely bring a big beautiful pie to a party, and the strawberry-rhubarb from Pie Society and blueberry-buttermilk from Edith’s are both stunners. But if you don’t want to deal with cutting and dishes, how about a petite pie in its own tin? Forks optional! These baby berry pies from East Bay Pie Co. are easy to devour in a few jammy bites.
Stuffed Dates from Babo’s Kitchen
Or for those who have already indulged in a full picnic spread, and just need a little something sweet for dessert, Rubab “Babo” Waheed’s stuffed dates are a sticky kicker. She has four different fillings, from goat cheese and kashmiri chiles to chocolate spread with crunchy pistachios.
Somm-Curated Wines from Ungrafted
Warmer weather means it’s chill wine season. And why not pick up a couple of bottles that have been specially selected by a master sommelier? Rebecca Fineman and Chris Gaither are ready with recs to crush on the porch or patio.
Hungry for more? These are only the highlights — there are so many more cool treats on the site.