Easy meals that taste even better outdoors

Georgann Dolfay

Is there anything more classic than a summer picnic? What better way to relax and take in the beautiful weather than a day in the park, on the beach or even on your patio or lawn? Whether you’re planning a romantic date, spending quality time with friends or family […]

Is there anything more classic than a summer picnic? What better way to relax and take in the beautiful weather than a day in the park, on the beach or even on your patio or lawn?

Whether you’re planning a romantic date, spending quality time with friends or family or just soaking in the sun on your own, there’s no need to spend hours prepping in a hot kitchen when you can pick up amazing local foods to stock your picnic basket.

So pack up your blanket and peruse this list of picnic ideas (plus locally owned spots throughout the city where you can pick up the goods).  It’s just the tip of the delicious iceberg in terms of easy picnic options that also support small home-grown businesses.

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Is there anything easier, or more classic, than cheese and crackers? Sure you can pick up your own assortment of meats, local cheeses and accompaniments. But there are also plenty of venues that will do all the work for you with just a few days notice.  Here are a few of our favorites:

Aperitivo

311 N. Plankinton Ave., (414) 276-4400

aperitivomke.com

Charcuter-ME

770 N Jefferson St., (619) 363-5358

charcuter-me.com

Larry’s Market

8737 N. Deerwood Dr., (414) 355-9650

larrysmarket.com

Village Cheese Shop

1430 Underwood Ave., Wauwatosa, (414) 488-2099

villagecheesetosa.com

West Allis Cheese & Sausage Shoppe

6832 W. Becher St., West Allis, (414) 543-4230

Milwaukee Public Market, 400 N. Water St., (414) 289-8333


westallischeese.com

hummusX

Sometimes noshing is really all you want. Or maybe you’d prefer a fresh, more healthful picnic. The prepared foods section at local grocers is a great spot to find both. You’ll find pre-made salads, chopped veggies, olives, spreads and dips (think spinach dip, hummus and guacamole). Best of all, you won’t have to lift a finger to prepare them or deal with the dirty dishes when you get home. You can’t lose with these spots:

Al Yousef Supermarket & Restaurant

6329 S. 20th St., Oak Creek, (414) 301-5233

alyousefrestaurant.com 


Beans & Barley

1901 E. North Ave., (414) 278-7878

beansandbarley.com

G. Groppi Food Market

1441 E. Russell Ave., (414) 747-9012

groppis.com

Outpost Natural Foods Cooperative

100 E. Capitol Dr., (414) 961-2597

2826 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., Bay View (414) 755-3202

7590 W. Mequon Rd., Mequon, (262) 242-0426

7000 W. State St., Wauwatosa (414) 778-2012

Outpost.coop

Rupena’s

7641 Beloit Rd., West Allis(414) 543-7447

rupenas.com

sandwichX

When it comes to easy hand-held items, nothing beats a great sandwich. It’s also the perfect opportunity to leave the assembly to the experts. You’ll find delicious options at every one of these spots.

Bavette La Boucherie

330 E. Menomonee St., (414) 273-3375

bavettelaboucherie.com

Glorioso’s

1011 E. Brady St.,  (414) 272-0540

gloriosos.com

Peanut Butter & Jelly Deli

6125 W. Greenfield Ave., West Allis,  (414) 897-7987

thepbjdeli.com

Riley’s Sandwich Co.

4473 N. Oakland Ave., Shorewood, (414) 616-1811

rileysandwich.com

Riverwest Co-op

733 E. Clarke St., (414) 264-7933

riverwestcoop.org

fried chicken
Fried chicken (photo: O Yeah Chicken and More)

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Folks have been taking fried chicken on picnics for…well, probably as long as fried chicken has existed. Part of what makes it a great choice is that You could make it from scratch, but why not leave it to the experts?  Not into fried? Rotisserie chicken makes a great picnic option as well! (here’s where to find the best of the best).


Arlanderz Chicken & Fish

1814 N. Farwell Ave.,  (414) 837-5151

arlanderz.com

Gold Rush Chicken

3500 S. Howell Ave.,  (414) 481-4010

goldrushchicken.org 

Nino’s Southern Sides

4475 N. Oakland Ave., Shorewood,(414) 964-3663

ninos-southernsides.com

O Yeah Chicken and More

3322 W. Loomis Rd., Greenfield, (414) 916-9324

oyeahchickenandmore.com

Tomkens

8001 W. Greenfield Ave., West Allis, (414) 258-9110

tomkens.com

barbequeX

Smoked meats are delicious. And when you can order it up complete with sides, it’s also convenient for an impromptu picnic. Pack up some paper towels and some handy wipes, and you’re all set.

Big Daddy’s BBQ & Soul Food

2730 N. Humboldt Blvd., (262) 202-7726

biggyds.com

Double B’s BBQ

7420 W. Greenfield Ave., (414) 257-9150

doublebs.com

Heaven’s Table BBQ

Crossroads Collective

2238 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 732-7109

heavenstablebbq.com

Iron Grate BBQ  Co.

4125 S. Howell Ave., (414) 455-1776

irongratebbq.com

Pop’s BBQ

Food Trailer, 7605 Good Hope Rd., (414) 243-8559

facebook.com/popsbbqmilwaukee


bagels
Bagels from Allie Boy’s Bagelry & Luncheonette

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Who says picnics have to be at lunch or dinner? Brunch picnics are just as fun. Just pick up some bagels, spreads and maybe some fresh fruit and you’re all set.

Allie Boy’s Bagelry & Luncheonette

135 E. National Ave., (414) 988-0388

allieboysmke.com

Ruby’s Bagels

Zócalo Food Park, 636 S. 6th St.

rubysbagels.com

pie
Black Bottom Banana Pie from The Bake Sale

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Pie. It makes everything better. And that includes your next picnic. Whether it’s easy-to-transport hand-pies, pasties or a full-blown pie, these spots have you covered.

The Bake Sale

6923 W Becher St., West Allis, 

bakesalewestallis.com

Mr. Dye’s Pies

8103 W. Tower Ave., (414) 759-4992

facebook.com/dyespies

Reynold’s Pasty Shop

3525 W. Burleigh St., (414) 444-4490

reynoldspasties.com

SmallPie

2504 E. Oklahoma Ave., (414) 763-7067


smallpiemke.com

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