Top 10 spots to grab gourmet food baskets for a picnic in the park

As the mercury rises, getting outside and enjoying all that the city has to offer becomes a high priority. But, getting outside doesn’t have to mean preparing and packing a meal on your own. Many local restaurants are offering picnic basket options, whether you’re adventuring solo or with a group. Rife with different cuisines and styles of food, there are pre-made options all over the city that take the work out of packing a picnic — just bring good company and a blanket and head to the park.

 

XO Bisous (60 Adelaide St. E.) 

 

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This downtown bakery offers picnic baskets to feed two or four people, with a choice of one sandwich per person as well as a package of fresh-baked cookies, one litre of iced Sloane crimson berry tea, harvest salad and fresh fruit. Vegetarian options are available for the sandwiches and vegan options are available for the cookies. The two-person package is $40 and the four-person package is $80, and online ordering is available on the website.

 

Aviator Danforth (1458 Danforth Ave.)

 

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At Aviator Danforth, there are many options available for unique experiential meals, including an afternoon tea box, a Friday night event box, a brunch box, and a themed picnic. Each picnic has options with dietary restrictions in mind, accommodating both meat lovers and vegetarians as well as kids. The full-sized picnics are $20, and the kids’ option is $15. Pickup is available on Friday nights for Saturday enjoyment, and can be ordered online.

 

Good Cheese (614 Gerrard St. E.)

 

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Good Cheese offers two options for picnics — the personal picnic experience or the cheese day out, which cost $40 and $80, respectively. The former is good for one to two people and includes two cheeses at least 80 grams in size, a 50 gram piece of meat (which can be subbed out for another piece of cheese for vegetarians), a portion each of olives and crackers, as well as a bag of potato chips. The cheese day out option has bigger portions of cheese and meat, as well as a jar of cornichons, a jar of olives, a pack of almonds, a bag of chips, a box of crackers, and a chocolate bar. This option is good for roughly five people.

 

Dirty Food (3070 Dundas St. W.)

 

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Complete with a weekly rotating menu, Dirty Food’s picnic kit covers all the comfort food classics. With an option for two or four people (as well as a vegetarian option), they send breads, spreads, extras and sweets, with largely house-made dishes. The two-person picnic is $36, while the four-person picnic is $68, and can be pre-ordered online.

 

Reyna On King (354 King St. E.)

 

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With a wide array of picnic options to choose from, Reyna on King continues their picnic sets from last summer beginning on May 29. Boxes from the Mediterranean restaurant include cocktails or a bottle of wine, as well as a variety of food options. The boxes are perfect for two to four people, and prices vary depending on the box selection, which are all available online.

 

Meat and Pie Co. (212 King St. W.)

 

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For a heartier meal option, Meat and Pie Co. offers barbecue platters for groups of one to six people, and each includes a portion of meat, other barbecue favourites like mac and cheese, coleslaw, pickles and cornbread. They also live up to their name by offering a pie (with a flavour of your choice) with each meal, and the entire offering comes cooked and ready to eat. Smoked chicken, smoked leg of lamb and smoked beef shank platters are also available, and prices range from $42 to $315, depending on the size.

 

Tala (31 Howard St.)

 

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For a Filipino-flavoured feast, Tala’s Kamayan feasts are a perfect picnic pick. With options for one, two or four people, the picnic includes ready-to-eat grilled pineapple, pork barbecue skewer, squid, okra, a side salad and more. The option for one person is $19, for two is $36, and for four is $75. Orders can be placed via Uber Eats.

 

Light Cafe (23 Baldwin St.)

 

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Lighter fare picnics are the name of the game at the aptly named Light Cafe, a Taiwanese-inspired eatery. The restaurant’s brunch box is perfect for an early picnic, and comes with a variety of offerings. Each comes with a croissant, a choice of egg style, a choice of side, buttermilk pancakes, and bacon and sausage, which can be subbed out for other options for dietary restrictions. Main focal points include smoked salmon, mushroom, pulled pork and mini buttermilk pancakes, which are all $19.99, while the lobster option is $24.99.

 

Hot Mess Tex Mex (615 College St.)

 

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As an homage to Americanized Mexican food (made popular in Texas), this eatery offers meal kits designed for DIY, messy picnics: nacho kits, taco kits and fajita kits serve six to ten pieces in total, and come with all of the fixings needed to be transported to the south. Packs range in price depending on the kind of protein and the kind of kit ordered, and the nacho and taco kits can be picked up any time or via Uber Eats, while the fajita kits are in-store pick up only, ordered via email, and can be picked up on Fridays or Saturdays, with the order cutoff on Thursdays at 5 p.m.

 

Oo-Kinza Fish House (395 Bamburgh Circ.)

Known for its delish sushi offerings, this Scarborough eatery offers Haru box sets in five different sizes and ingredient combinations, from personal portions to party platters. Each box is full of bright colours and seasonal ingredients to perfectly complement the warm weather. Prices vary depending on the selection of the box, and a 24-hour notice is required for pickup on the weekends.

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