There are multitude to specialty stores in Los Angeles putting together incredible food products that work as picnic basket ingredients. With LA’s helpful weather lasting for most of the year, those wanting a bit more than the Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods selections can head to these gourmet shops for curated charcuterie, cheeses, fruits, vegetables, breads, salads, and desserts that somehow taste better under the sun. Here now, 20 gourmet purveyors and shops to try around Los Angeles to build a picnic basket around.Read More
20 Los Angeles Gourmet Shops for Building the Perfect Picnic Basket
The best way to enjoy the incredible LA weather and sunshine
1. Gasolina Cafe
This Spanish cafe and marketplace in Woodland Hills is a great one-stop shop for picnic goers in the Valley, with cheeses, chips, wines, meats, and other readymade provisions to throw into a basket.
2. Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery
Bay Cities is known for their Italian submarine sandwiches, but the rest of the place remains a formidable Italian specialty store for pickled things and other picnic-friendly items. Grab a pre-made godmother sandwich and load up on other goodies for the basket.
Gjusta is the one-stop shop for eating some of the best prepared foods in Los Angeles, from the smoked and cured fish to the house-baked breads and desserts. Prices are up there, so be ready to spend, but the quality is worth it.
West LA’s longtime sandwich and specialty store Clementine works for morning or afternoon picnics, with plenty of tasty items ready to eat on a grassy field.
It would make sense that this huge emporium of Italian food would make for a great picnic ingredient spot. While it’s tucked into the large Westfield Century City, the selection here basically guarantees that you’ll have the best possible picnic with cheeses, salumi, wine, and other premade foods stretching in every direction. Don’t skip the chocolates and pastry too for a sweet finish.
6. The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills
With new ownership under Dominick DiBartolomeo after decades of operation from Norbert Wabnig, the famous Cheese Store of Beverly Hills will continue to be one of the West Coast’s best places for cheese and other specialty foods. The store sells bread, charcuterie, and other picnic-ready foods, plus a decent amount of wine, too.
7. Petrossian Restaurant & Boutique
Certainly one of the more high end places to get a picnic basket together, Petrossian in West Hollywood is properly kitted with smoked fish, sliced meats, and of course excellent caviar. Call ahead to have them assemble a takeaway package.
8. Joan’s on Third
One of the best-known grab-and-go specialty stores in the city, Joan’s on Third continues to draw in crowds for its selection of cheeses, salads, and sandwiches in a central location.
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Vegan cheese lovers will find relief at this longtime Hollywood shop that makes incredible dairy-free cheeses. There are also some sandwiches and salads to take to the park.
10. Monsieur Marcel Gourmet Market, Bistro & Seafood Market
Tucked into the Original Farmer’s Market, Monsieur Marcel is a destination for cheese enthusiasts and Francophiles who don’t mind the journey here to prepare the ultimate picnic basket. Sip on a glass of wine before heading out to your favorite park.
11. Angelini Alimentari
Just before the pandemic, Angelini Osteria realized it could reach a wider audience with a handy daytime destination with prepared foods, baked Italian pastries, and other picnic-ready items.
12. Larchmont Village Wine, Spirits & Cheese
Sporting some of the best sandwiches in town, the lines at Larchmont Village Wine and Cheese start right around lunch. The shop also has plenty of prepared foods, cheese, and wine (obviously, in the name) that work for picnics nearby this central LA neighborhood.
13. Surfas Culinary District
This longtime hangout for chefs is a great place to see a wide variety of specialty foods. Previously in Culver City, this new Mid-City location offers much of the same stuff, from sandwiches and cheese to jarred and pickled things.
14. The Oaks Gourmet Market & Cafe
Franklin Village’s Oaks Gourmet is a longtime neighborhood shop for high-end foods and prepared items. A good stop before going up to Griffith Park.
15. La Española Meats, Inc
Located in South Bay, this industrial-looking market and production facility is the best place for Spanish food lovers to fill up on cheese, meats (many of which are cured on the premises), olives, and bocadillos — little sub sandwiches that are just a delight to eat.
16. Say Cheese
This Black-owned cheese shop and gourmet food store in Silver Lake is a longtime haven for those needing beautiful boards of sliced meats, cheese, and more, with a convenient location between Griffith Park and the LA River.
17. Botanica Restaurant and Market
Boasting an extensive marketplace with California and Middle Eastern-inspired flavors, Botanica offers a handy selection of prepared items, wine, and other goodies from Wednesday to Sunday for anyone looking to have a picnic at Silver Lake meadows.
18. DTLA Cheese
Grand Central Market’s DTLA Cheese works as a good stop to pick up some of the city’s most extensive cheeses before heading to LA Historic State Park or another wide green space around Downtown.
Eagle Rock’s enduring cheese and specialty food shop from owner Leah Park-Fierro is a great place for custom made boards and other prepared foods that work for picnics. Small sandwiches and some beers/wines help round out the selection for those who want some more substantial fare in their baskets.
20. Agnes Restaurant and Cheesery
Pasadena’s bright and airy restaurant Agnes is a full fledged gourmet shop in the front with cheeses curated by co-owner Vanesa Tilaka. It’s a good place to load up on cheeses, wine, and other specialty products to load into a basket before a picnic in the San Gabriel Mountains or a nearby park.