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How To Pack A Picnic Like A Boss

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Photo by Krista Simmons/LAist
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It's officially springtime here in L.A., which means it's time to bust out a blanket and a picnic basket and get ready for some outdoor dining. Cobbling together a great meal shouldn't be stressful. Thankfully there are plenty of fabulous establishments around town that will hook you up. From prefab baskets for the Hollywood Bowl to wine shops with swag, we've plucked some of our favorite spots that'll help get you picnicking like a boss.

Be sure to watch our video below to check out some of the spreads from each of these locations. And don't forget the corkscrew!

PREFAB

The Larder: Suzanne Goin, who also owns similarly fabulous Lucques and AOC, has everything from boxed up cheese and charcuterie boards to pre-made sammie boxes to go. The Frenchman picnic includes a sandwich called the Ficelle with d’affinois cheese (basically a double cream), apple, prosciutto, radish, watercress as well as two salads: curried cauliflower and beets with red onions, as well as sweet potato chips and a chocolate chip cookie. It's truly gourmet on-the-go. Picnics are available at both the Brentwood and Burton Way locations. You can find out more info here.

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Joan's On Third: Joan and the gang at her 3rd Street shop have been doing Hollywood Bowl prefab picnics of over 10 years, but they're always adding in new things to keep things fresh. This year they're doing juicy buttermilk fried chicken into the mix. They also have the most epic salad counter, which is perfect for picking and choosing your own eats. And most importantly they have a wonderful wine shop, because no picnic is complete with out a bottle of rosé. It's truly a lunchbox for adults. (If someone figures out a way to put wine in juice boxes like they do in Spain, we'll be very happy campers.) You can find out more info here.

Del Rey Deli: This classic deli stop has a fantastic New Orleans-style picnic with one of the best muffalettas we've had since visiting Central Grocery. They also sell Zapp’s Voodoo chips, which are basically salt and vinegar on crack. Each picnic basket comes with two sammies, two salads, two bags of chips and a drink. They also have calypso lemonade with real lemon, so it’s not that saccharine stuff you’ll find at the supermarket. It’s great because they are super close to the Ballona Creek Trail and Marina Del Rey, so wonderful for picnicking. You can find out more info here.

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Photo by Krista Simmons/LAist
DIY

The Cheese Store of Silver Lake: Chris Pollan was one of the first to move into Sunset Junction before it became a hipster's paradise. It was quite a gamble to be slanging gourmet cheese in the area back then, but it's since grown to become one of the city's best purveyors of esoteric dairy, wine and gourmet goods. They also do prefab baskets with cured meat sandwiches if you'd like. And be sure to pop by next door to grab a rustic bouquet from Clementine Floral Works to make your picnic totally Pinterest-worthy. You can find out more info here.

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Whole Foods: One of the best deals at Whole Foods is their half smoked free range chicken for $6. They also have a vegetarian $6 meal deal that comes with soy-marinated tofu and two salads—definitely a good value considering the place is usually considered Whole Paycheck. And honestly, their selection of cheeses is pretty fantastic too. Try the Cottswald cheddar or the Formage d' Affinios, a double cream that's about half the price of other similar products. You can find out more info here.

Super King: It's one of our favorite international markets, and rightfully so. You can get pretty much anything at good ol' Super King, granted you have the patience to deal with the crazy parking lot and equally aggressive clientele (not unlike the aforementioned Whole Foods). The cheese and deli counter is worth it though, especially if you're packing a picnic on a budget. Their bulk nuts and dried fruits are also a steal—perfect for building an epic cheese plate on the cheap. You can find out more info here.

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Photo by Krista Simmons/LAist
PICNIC SWAG

Stamp Proper Foods: In addition to selling all sorts of delightful vegan- and gluten-free eats that make for perfect picnic fodder, Stamp Proper also sells Pendleton blankets, thermoses and vintage picnic baskets that will help keep your spread stylish. You can find out more info here.

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WINE

Domaine LADomaine LA is a wine shop that deserves the respect it has received from fellow Angelenos. Founded in 2009, Domaine strives to be the go-to destination for those of us hopelessly in love with European wines. And is there really anything better than a French rosé with a pretty little picnic? Not really. Especially when those serving and selling it are as friendly and knowledgeable as the folks at Domaine. Pro tip: try to go with something with Stelvin closure aka screwcaps so you don't have to worry about the eternal corkscrew conundrum. You can find out more info here.

Silverlake Wine Silverlake Wine touts itself as the best wine store in Los Angeles, and judging by their massive and exhaustive list that expands all across the globe (and their ultra rare five-star rating from the finicky people on Yelp), it would be very hard to dispute it. Silverlake Wine is the wine shop Angelenos suggest to friends and relatives from out of town who are looking to get a fantastic glass of top notch wine. In addition to their home base, Silverlake Wine also hosts Friday night wine tastings in Barnsdall Art Park all summer for those of us who would rather enjoy the shop's selection while sprawled out on a picnic blanket in the shadow of a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. You can find out more info here.

Here's the segment we did on KTLA this morning: