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A checkered blanket on the grass with fruit, jam, a salad, and pie. A sun hat is off to the side.

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Must-Have Provisions for the Perfect Detroit Picnic

Everyone will be picnicking in the park this year, but with these local items, your basket of goodies will be the best

When packing items for the park, don’t forget a hat or utensils.
| Shutterstock

Eating outdoors is one of the great joys of the season, but whether it’s on a restaurant patio, or in a public park, it requires a little planning.

Drawing a blank on what to pack in your basket? From choosing a savory snack to pack to transportable treats, your picnic needs are covered.

Here are some ideas to help both you and the industry that’s struggled through a tumultuous year. Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments on social media, or by emailing us at detroit@eater.com.


Crunchy fried chicken from Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken

Cold fried chicken is the quintessential picnic food, and can be served as the main dish or a protein-packed snack. Gus’s slightly spicy fried chicken is crispy enough to stay that way for quite a while.

Baguette from Rising Stars Academy

The crust crackles and the hues on the outside of the loaf are varied, indicating it’s perfect. What’s even better is The crust crackles, and the hues on the outside of the loaf are varied, indicating it’s perfect. the purchase supports education.

Smoked whitefish spread from Mudgie’s Deli

Michigan smoked whitefish and cream cheese with crostini, pickled red onions, and capers are a great snack to eat in the grass. Spread it on bread, veggies, or crackers.

Hand pies from Sister Pie

Made with fillings like roasted asparagus, roasted celery root, navy beans, garlic, shallots, ground coriander, and lemon topped with poppy seeds and flaky sea salt, these hand pies are an easy grab-and-go snack to add to a basket or cooler. The sizes are perfect for carrying.

Whenever You’re Feeling Blue Salad from Rocco’s Italian Deli

This salad is made with crisp pear, crumbled gorgonzola mixed greens, red onion, honey almonds, and house balsamic. Bring some joy to a picnic spread.

Pastrami from Mongers’ Provisions

Tempesta pastrami is made of American Wagyu beef that’s been soaked in brine for a few days before getting rubbed in molasses and spices. The meat is then slow-cooked and smoked with maplewood. Perfectly tender and great for an outdoor snack.

Cheese from DeVries & Co.

The DeVries family and its forebears have been selling butter, eggs, meats, crackers, and other groceries from Eastern Market since 1887. The cheese selection is unparalleled, with products from Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Spain, the United States, and beyond. Build in some time to select the perfect walnut and hazelnut raw milk gouda from Holland (it’s creamy with a full nutty flavor), a cave-aged gruyere, and so much more.

Vegan chocolate cupcakes and vegan carrot cake from Good Cakes and Bakes

No picnic basket is complete without dessert. The darkness of the chocolate in the cupcakes will be a bright spot. The kids at this picnic won’t know they’re eating vegan. Neither will the adults.

Better Made chips from anywhere

Because every Michigan picnic must have the classic local potato chip, why not go with the local standard?

Lavender Lemonade from the Kitchen, by Cooking with Que

Got all the food figured out? Don’t forget the beverage. Lavender lemonade made with homemade syrup sourced from locally grown lavender is served fresh at the kitchen in New Center.

Red or white from Motor City Wine

Motor City Wine has an ample selection of wines from all over the world. The selection changes weekly and the prices are affordable. Don’t forget a corkscrew and a glass.

Rising Stars Academy

23855 Lawrence Avenue, , MI 48105 (586) 806-6455 Visit Website

Motor City Wine

1949 Michigan Avenue, Detroit, MI 48216 313-483-7283

Sister Pie

8066 Kercheval Avenue, , MI 48214 (313) 447-5550 Visit Website

The Kitchen, by Cooking with Que

6529 Woodward Avenue, , MI 48202 (313) 462-4184 Visit Website

Good Cakes and Bakes

19363 Livernois, , MI 48221 (313) 468-9915 Visit Website

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