Where To Go In Orlando to Create an Epic Picnic Basket
Whether it’s National Picnic Day (April 23rd), International Picnic Day (June 18th), any day when the weather is nice to go outdoors, or let’s face it, any day when the weather is not so nice and all you want to do is stay indoors and chill in front of the TV, it’s always a good time for a picnic! These three markets in Orlando are a Must Visit to create an epic picnic basket. You want local products, great snacks and upgraded treats? These three favorites got you covered!
Also, don’t miss my 9 Tips to Create an Epic Picnic! The word “picnic” implies it’s easy and with these tips you can keep it that way. Get the gang together and host your epic picnic any day!S
The Local Butcher & Market
Located on the corner of Orange Avenue and Fairbanks in Winter Park, you’ll find a great stop for picnics and cookouts. The full service butcher shop features premium meats, poultry, veal, pork, and Boar’s Head Deli products. They also carry more than 100 varieties of wine from around the world, fine cheeses, fresh produce, breads, side dishes, desserts, pastries and other gourmet grocery items to make every meal memorable and delicious. Swine & Sons and Da Kine Poke join the market to form a one stop gourmet shop. Visit LocalButcherandMarket.com to learn more.
Swine & Sons, the casual eatery by husband and wife chefs Rhys and Alexia Gawlak has been a favorite since it opened next to The Ravenous Pig. Now in this new location they still produce fantastic charcuteries and meals on the go but are now focused on catering so call ahead and place your order. You can also pick up your Frog Song Organics CSA.
Alexia tells me her “go-to” beach picnic must haves include a charcuterie plate with assorted meats (the spicy hot sopressata and wild boar salumi or any of the house-cured meats in the case are a great choice). Add several cheeses, IPA mustard, house made pickles and fresh bread.
Of course, you can’t skip the beverages. Alexa’s favorite picnic and outdoor meal pairing is the slightly effervescent Broadbent Vinho Verde Rose (in a screw-cap so no wine opener required). It adds that nice zing to your day! More than a 100 varieties of wine are found in the market.
For those who prefer sandwiches, order ahead the rustic shaved country ham and cheddar chive biscuit sliders with tomato jam. They are a tasty alternative to traditional subs and hoagies. They do not need to be eaten hot, so they travel well. When available they sell fast and they are divine!
If your picnic must include greens, avoid wilted lettuce with a Q’ salad made with curly green kale, smoked chicken, apples, pickled onions, and mustard vinaigrette.
Snacks are a must and at Swine & Sons features housemade treats that will beat what you get out of the roadside rest-stop vending machines any day. Past favorites have included house-made‘bourbon-yaki’ beef jerky, caramel corn spiced with a touch of paprika and cayenne, Nashville pork rinds and chips.
If you’re grilling at the beach, pick up house-made ribeye hot dogs and sausages. Guaranteed you’ve never had a hot dog taste so good!
Learn more atSwineandSons.com
East End Market
Another trendy spot to pick up meals-to-go that are anything but ordinary for your epic picnic is the East End Market on Corrine Drive in the Audubon Park Garden District. Various food artisans serve up gourmet provisions to fill your basket or insulated cooler bag. Pick and choose as you work your way through the marketplace.
Bread is a must in your picnic basket. At Olde Hearth Bread Company, fresh loaves of bread include a French batard or the Millet. Here’s a tip: pre-slice your bread before you leave home and wrap in foil, then place in a sealed bag.
Cheese lovers should head to Tonda Corrente’s La Femme du Fromage. The cheese whiz recommends easy-to-spread soft and semi-soft cheeses (L’Explorateur triple cream and Meredith Dairy feta) for picnic cheese boards. The feta, Corrente points out, does double-duty as it is packed in olive oil which can be used for dipping bread and dressing salads.Decadent triple cream L’Explorateur pairs with fresh strawberries and champagne for a romantic picnic. Ice packs are conveniently provided to keep the cheese chilled during its journey.
Skyebird’s all raw menu served in mason jars is tailor made for the road. Zucchini marinara, a layered salad with spiralized zucchini, beet balls, spinach and cashew parm is a hearty option paired with refreshing sweet tart cold pressed lavender lemonade or Florida Sunshine juice.
Farm & Haus daily grain bowl selection like Southwest Quinoa with black beans, sweet potatoes and honey lime vinaigrette can be ordered online or available in the case for a healthy filling lunch.
Local Roots carries local products like chef’s Matt Hinkley’s cured meats like Palmetto Creek cured tasso ham, 6-packs of local craft beers and wines.
Serious coffee drinkers know to avoid watered-down gas station brews. So picking up a couple of bottles of Lineage Coffee Roaster’s Cold Brew, available black, white or vegan, is always a good idea.
Last stop before hitting the road is Gideon’s Bakehouse. Travelers with a sweet tooth will want to take along what has been hailed as the best cookies on the planet by Orlando locals. The Toffee Pistachio Chip is a popular favorite. Each half-pound cookie is completely covered in chocolate chips, pistachios, and toffee bits with a touch of sea salt. One bite may be enough but you’re guaranteed to devour it all before you reach your destination. Guests can only purchase up to six cookies at a time because they are in such high demand. They are gigantic and unlike anything I’ve seen anywhere else in town.
You can even get some pretty flowers or succulents for your picnic at Porch Therapy.
Call ahead for advance orders. EastEndMkt.com
If you prefer shopping grocery store style, the new Earth Fare in downtown Orlando and Lake Nona locations offer a wide variety of healthy and tasty products for meals on the go. Their food philosophy is one of the 9 reasons to shop at Earth Fare. They pledge all food products in the store are free of added hormones, antibiotics, artificial fats and trans-fats, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, artificial preservatives, bleached or bromated flour and artificial colors and flavors. They read the labels so you don’t have to.
I found hundreds of grab and go options to put together a beautiful party table with minimal or no cooking involved. Get some olives and pickled veggies at the Olive Bar. Grab some pre-cut veggies and fruits for a colorful crudite platter. A wide variety of cheeses and charcuterie create a beautiful board.
The variety of prepared foods including an organic salad bar, hot food bar, pizza station, and sandwiches made to order offered some delicious options in the Orlando Kitchen.
I loved their signature chicken salad, made with oven-roasted chicken free of antibiotics, hormones or steroids. Available in 5 varieties: the Curry and Cranberry Pecan were perfect on Earth Fare’s multigrain pita crackers or place in a bibb lettuce cup for carb free option.
Make a stop at the bakery for scrumptious mini desserts and cookies and voila! You’re ready to party!
For more information visit EarthFare.com
Pop into Lucky’s Market various locations around Orlando and make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to browse the aisles, brimming with local, natural and organic products. Good food shouldn’t be a luxury is the Lucky’s way of thinking – they tout themselves as “organic for the 99%” – so plenty of affordable picnic options abound at this chain grocer.
An extensive salad bar features assorted olives, antipasto, pickled vegetables and my favorite, a kale and Brussels sprouts slaw, all sold by the pound.
In the deli, you’ll find house-roasted and smoked deli meats (pastrami, roast beef and turkey) and sliced cheeses to build your own sandwich. Pair roasted turkey breast and house-made bacon with avocado on multigrain bread and kick up the flavor with sriracha mayonnaise. To avoid soggy bread, ask for the mayo in a side container.
There’s a plethora of bins filled with house-made granola, trail mix, nuts, seeds, dried fruit and bulk candy. Chocolate lovers will swoon over the 25 varieties of chocolate-covered goodies. Try adding the dark chocolate espresso beans to your own blend of trail mix for an energy-boosting snack.
Staying hydrated during a road trip or on the beach is important. Fresh-pressed juices and herb- and fruit-infused waters (rosemary grapefruit, orange blueberry, and strawberry basil) are great additions to your cooler. You’ll also find 64-ounce refillable Lucky Jug growlers to carry your Nitro coffee, kombucha or craft beers. As an added bonus, you get free tastes while you shop!
Look for the “local” tags throughout the store for a variety of products from Florida. Made in-house tagged product also provides a percentage donated to community charities. This is how to Eat Local. For more information visit LuckysMarket.com
All you need to do now is pack your picnic! Don’t forget trash bags and paper towels for easy clean up. Check out my 9 Tips to Create an Epic Picnic.
Are you ready to host an epic picnic in orlando? I hope these Market in Orlando inspire you to go! #MakeSomedayHappen