11 Toronto shops selling fully loaded picnic baskets you can pre-order for pickup

11 Toronto shops selling fully loaded picnic baskets you can pre-order for pickup

More summer fun

While Toronto bars and restaurants have been given the green light to seat people on their patios once again, not everyone is keen to pretend everything is back to normal (mostly because it’s not). For those of you who aren’t quite ready to eat or drink in close proximity to strangers but still want an al-fresco dining experience, we present this park-and-picnic guide: fully loaded picnic kits you can pre-order for pickup—and the closest parks to take them to, from the east end to the west, uptown to way downtown. (And we won’t tell anyone what’s really in your Thermos.)



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This Danforth hot spot offers a variety of different prepared picnic kits every Saturday. Recent menus have included Italian antipasto platters, fried chicken with all the fixin’s and an afternoon tea–themed spread. Add-ons like dessert, wine and beer are available, too. Limited quantities available for pick-up. Pre-order by email info@aviatordanforth.com
Close to: Monarch Park


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Good Cheese

This fromagerie on Gerrard East has put together baskets with everything you need for a Parisian picnic in the park: a wodge of creamy brie, some saucisson sec, table water crackers, cornichons and a bag of Neal Brothers chips (because a picnic isn’t a picnic without chips). Bonus: they sell hard-to-find beer and wine to go, too. $50. Order online.
Close to: Riverdale Park


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White Lily Diner

Riverside’s friendly neighbourhood diner is offering ready-to-eat dishes conveniently packaged for all your picnic needs. Make an outdoor feast from their salads ($10 and up), veggies and dip ($9.50), patty melts ($16.50) and grilled cheese sandwiches ($15.50). And save room for dessert—they’re selling mixer packs of their delightful doughnuts ($14 for six, $27 for 12). Wine, beer and non-boozy drinks are also for sale. Pre-order online.
Close to: Corktown Common and Jimmie Simpson Park



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Dirty Food Toronto

For some good grazing, get Dirty Food’s ultimate snack platter. It comes with house-made curry chicken salad, smoked salmon spread, baba ghanoush and caponata—with a bunch of bread, biscuits and flatbreads to slather it all on. Also included: halloumi skewers and chilled asparagus soup. For dessert, there’s candied bacon, watermelon skewers and bite-sized blondies. $35 (half) and $62 (full). Pre-order by emailing dirtyfoodto@gmail.com or calling 416-855-3393.
Close to: High Park and Earlscourt Park


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Alimentari Italian Grocery

Dine al fresco with some help from the team at Roncey’s popular artisanal Italian pantry. Their picnic parcels come with sandwiches made on freshly baked focaccia, a summery Caprese salad, hand pies for something sweet, two beers and a bottle of vino—recently it was Notorious PTG, a juicy chilled red from Niagara’s Rosewood Winery. $60 without alcohol, $80 with. Pre-order online for curbside pick-up or delivery.
Close to: High Park, Sorauren Avenue Park and Sunnyside Beach


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Mahjong Bar

Little Portugal’s hidden speakeasy is taking things outside with their Bar Mordecai Picnic for-two, an oft-changing selection of summery snacks. Last week’s bundle included surimi crab rolls, yuzu kosho–dressed bitter greens and milk tea tiramisu ($28). Ice cream sammies, beer, wine and DIY cocktail kits are also available. Pre-order for Friday or Saturday pickup by emailing info@majongbar.com.
Close to: Trinity Bellwoods Park and Dufferin Grove Park


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Wenona Lodge

Wenona Lodge offers deconstructed picnic kits that include a rotating roster of specials like $10 sandwiches (Cubanos, Reubens, BBQ chicken wraps), $7 slices of pie (chocolate chess and peach-strawberry were recent options) and craft beer and other beverages to go ($4 and up). Order at the bar’s convenient takeout window.
Close to: Christie Pits Park and Bickford Park



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For those who aren’t familiar with celeb chef Mark McEwan’s gourmet grocery store, its prepared-food game is strong. And while McEwan’s buffet-style hot table is out of the question right now, you can still enjoy the goods in the form of a pre-ordered picnic spread. Each of the three menus has a star protein (grass-fed beef tenderloin, Bandari chicken kebabs, Thai tempeh-and-cucumber-skewers) as well as all kinds of salads and sides. $31 and up per person (two-person minimum). Pre-order online at least 24 hours in advance.
Close to: Edwards Gardens and Sunnybrook Park


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Senyorita Filipino Streetfood

Get your Filipino-food fix with Senyorita’s Boodle Fight for two. The cutlery-free feast includes fried milkfish, grilled squid, shrimp, mussels, barbecued chicken, pork belly, salted egg, grilled eggplant and mango salad ($30). Beat the summer heat with an order of halo-halo prepped with their house-made ube ice cream ($8.99). Order by calling 416-878-9527 for Friday to Sunday pickups.
Close to: Downsview Park



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Summerhill Market

Midtown’s favourite gourmet grocery has all the picnic essentials. Put together a spread of prepared tea sandwiches, tuna salad, grilled shrimp skewers and chips-and-dip. They even have the vegetarian and vegan picnickers covered with their popular eggplant parm and coconut masala meals. Order online.
Close to: Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Evergreen Brick Works and David A. Balfour Park



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XO Bisous

This downtown pâtisserie makes picnicking a breeze with their basket of goodies. Choose from baguette, sesame-bread or focaccia sandwiches (meat, veggie, vegan and gluten-free options available). Each comes with harvest salad, iced tea, fruit, bags of chips and house-baked chocolate chip cookies. $35 (for two) and $65 (for four). Pre-order online.
Close to: St. James Park, Berczy Park and David Crombie Park