Blanket Statements

Our favourite fancy picnic baskets for a somewhat uncertain summer

Cheese Boutique

Leave it to the city’s cheese experts to put together a serious spread. Cheese Boutique’s no-cook nosh includes a board loaded up with cheeses, meats, olives, cornichons, grapes, crostini, bagel chips, dips (tzatziki, truffle hummus), Greek salad, butter tarts and two artisanal sodas—because not every picnic needs to be a boozy one. It all comes in a reusable jute bag, and $4 from each purchase goes to the Cheese Boutique Mental Health Promise Fund at St. Joseph’s Health Centre. $62, pre-order required. 45 Ripley Ave., 416-762-6292,


A picnic is about more than just food and drink. That’s why Mattachioni includes some outdoor essentials with its picnic kits, including bubbles, playing cards and even a frisbee. But the food is super important too, and there are two options: a charcuterie basket loaded with meats, cheeses, bread and condiments like house-made giardiniera and pepperoncini; and a lunch basket with hearty cold-cut sandwiches, caprese and cucumber salads, and chips. Bottled cocktails­—think negroni and boulevardier—can be added on. $65-$80, pre-order required. 1617 Dupont St., 1501 Gerrard St. E.,

Aviator Danforth

The Victoria Afternoon Tea kit from this east-end bar comes with everything you need for a super-civilized outdoor snack sesh: freshly baked scones with Chantilly cream and jam, six mini tea sandwiches (crusts cut off, of course) and three sweet treats, including a white chocolate and raspberry tart. All you need to do is provide the loose-leaf and get your pinky in position. (And if Earl Grey isn’t really your speed, Aviator will sell you all kinds of beer or wine to put in your teapot.) Available on Saturdays only. $18, pre-order required. 1458 Danforth Ave., 647-348-2680,

Bar Piquette

For an impromptu picnic for two in nearby Trinity Bellwoods Park, Queen West’s Bar Piquette has you covered. Piquette’s cheekily named “Piqnic Basket” includes all kinds of classics: Iberico chorizo, cured Ontario trout, a couple of quality cheeses, beet-yogurt dip, giardiniera pickles, red pepper jelly, black truffle chips and a freshly baked Prairie Boy baguette. They even throw in a cozy fleece blanket to spread it all out on. And for a bit extra, they’ll set you up with perfect beer, wine or bottled cocktail pairings. $50, pre-order required. 1084 Queen St. W., 416-533-7745,

Reyna on King

Sandwiches, cheese and buckets of chicken shouldn’t reign over every al fresco feast. Reyna on King puts a Mediterranean spin on things with their Reyna Basket, a pre-packed meal for up to four hungry people. An insulated bag comes filled with Lebanese tacos, flatbread for folding over spiced chicken or falafel with pickle fixings; a riot of colourful veggies, quinoa and fried chickpeas in a serrano-tahini dressing; falafel bites with tzatziki; the menu’s crown jewel, lamb baklava, which is braised lamb in a jacket of flaky kataifi pastry; and Greek yogurt coffee cake. The royal repast also comes with either a six-pack of beer, a bottle of wine or three cocktails. $110, pre-order required. 354 King St. E. 416-546-3155,

XO Bisous

Picnic purists know that nothing beats a really good sandwich under the sun. XO Bisous’s picnic baskets, available from the St. Lawrence café and bakery for two or four people, include a choice of satisfying classics like roasted veggie and goat cheese on focaccia, turkey and avocado on a sesame-studded bun, or tuna salad on a baguette. The baskets also come with a hearty harvest salad, fresh fruit, chips, freshly baked chocolate chip cookies and a litre of refreshing iced tea to keep you cool under the summer sun. $40-$80. 60 Adelaide St. E.,

Senyorita Filipino Streetfoods

Just a frisbee’s throw from the sprawling, super-easy-to-be-physically-distant Downsview Park is Senyorita Filipino Streetfoods, a strip plaza spot that sells picnic-perfect lunches. Their Bente Box comes with all kinds of sweet, savoury and deep-fried delights: grilled chicken and pork chops, two kinds of dumplings (Shanghai, siomai), mini hot dogs, veggie lumpia, a couple of kwek-kwek (battered and fried quail eggs) and two scoops of garlic rice. Tip: add on a cup of refreshing and fruity halo-halo to complete your order. $20, pre-order required. 748 Wilson Ave., 416-878-9527, @senyoritafilipinostreetfoods

Good Cheese

East Chinatown’s Good Cheese has given new meaning to the term PPE. Their Personal Picnic Experience is a no-nonsense assortment of picnic essentials for those whose ideal al fresco eating experience is a solo affair. (Though there’s plenty here for two.) The spread includes cured meat, like Seed to Sausage chorizo, and two kinds of cheese, like some Red Fox Aged Leicester from the U.K. or Ontario aged goat cheddar from Lenberg Farms. And it comes with all the trimmings, like crackers, chips and olives, along with sustainable cutlery. $40, pre-order required. 614 Gerrard St. E.,


The grab-and-go sibling of Mamakas Taverna is ideally situated just across from Trinity Bellwoods. Their two-to-three-person picnic baskets are filled to the brim with a full pantheon of Greek goodies. Think spanakopita stuffed with spinach and feta; tangy tzatziki, cheesy kopanisti and smoky melitzanosalata dips with fresh pita; a tomato-studded orzo salad; two kinds of Greek cheese; grilled Greek sausage; and some frosted cookies for good measure. Use the sleek basket for future picnics or return it to Agora for a $15 gift card. $75, pre-order required. 921 Queen St. W.,