Food & Drink

Where to Pick Up Food for a Picnic in Portland for Summer 2021

Rotisserie Chicken, Bento Boxes, and More
July 20, 2021
Be the envy of everyone at the park with a rotisserie chicken dinner from Arrosto. (Arrosto)

We're well into the dog days of summer, and it's prime time for al fresco hangouts with friends. Not coincidentally, July is also National Picnic Month. We've got you covered with plenty of provisions perfect for a moveable feast, from fried chicken to charcuterie and cheese. We've even suggested some conveniently located sites for your picnic. All that's left for you to do is pack up your wicker basket and gingham blanket and scout out a location. For more inspiration, check out our food and drink guide.

This Mediterranean rotisserie chicken specialist inside Providore Fine Foods will provide you with all of the makings of a mouthwatering picnic. The Mercury's Andrea Damewood writes, "The three-plus pound, free-range, antibiotic-free chickens are smoked as they luxuriate in the rotisserie, the skin laced with lemon and rosemary oil. The result is a moist bird with infused skin that's made all the better with a bright orange Calabrian chili dipping sauce. For two hungry or three peckish adults, a half bird plus sides ($18) will get the job done. Add the sauce liberally to the meat and the side of golden potatoes roasted in chicken fat." Round out the meal with focaccia, a green salad, and cookies.

Bodega PDX
This sandwich shop specializes in hearty subs made with Boar's Head deli meats and cheese in addition to fresh vegetables. (Vegan options are available.) You can also conveniently shop for snacks, drinks, and other picnic necessities while your sandwich gets made.

Cheese & Crack Snack Shop
Devoutly dedicated to all things dairy, this snack shop offers "sampler plates" complete with Beecher's cheddar, Hook's Bleu, brie brûlée, caña de oveja (sheep's milk cheese), house-made rustic butter crackers, baguettes, olives, cornichons, marionberry jam, Dijon mustard, and honey. Each platter feeds two to four people, making it an ideal option for sharing with a few friends. If your group is feeling particularly peckish, there's also a "deluxe" option with salami, capicola, and an extra baguette.

If you're in the mood for an Italian-inflected meal al fresco, this Italian-inspired Pearl District market sells salads, Roman-style pizza by the slice, panini, pastries, and other prepared foods. On Thursdays and Fridays, the pastaria also serves pasta like ricotta ravioli and lemon farfalle.
Pearl District

Dinner Bell Barbecue
Tucked away inside the Flying Tortoise food cart pod, this barbecue cart earns rave reviews for its affordable prices, large portions, and high quality. Add some cheesy grits and/or collard greens, and haul your goods over to spacious Laurelhurst Park.

Elephants Deli
Piece together a meal from the various soups, sandwiches, salads, pastries, and entrees available at Portland's beloved specialty foods and catering company. If you hit up the NW 22nd Avenue location, head to Washington Park for a peaceful respite.
Various locations

Kachka Lavka
Kachka's cafe and deli has plenty of options for outdoor Slavic snacking, such as the "Baltic Picnic" (smoked sprats served with parsley mayo, a hard-boiled egg, pickled onion, herbs, and pumpernickel toasts) or the "Soviet Lunchable" (Russian beef salami, Druzhba cheese spread, quick-salted cucumbers, and pumpernickel toasts). 

Milk Glass Mrkt
This shop offers a selection of grab-and-go goods, including snack boxes, noodles, kale salad, sandwiches, salsa, olives, and other bites. Bring your bounty over to nearby Arbor Lodge Park.

P's and Q's Market
Feed your crew with a brisket or pulled pork family meal from the market—each comes with two sides of your choice, like white cheddar mac and cheese or cornbread with jalapeño jam and butter. For any younger members of your picnic party, there's also a kids' picnic plate featuring turkey, cheese, toast, seasonal fruits and veggies, and a pickle.

Reel M Inn Tavern
Fried chicken is a time-honored picnic staple, and it doesn't get much better than the famous fried chicken with jo-jos at Portland's beloved dive bar.

The Italian deli's "paisano pack" comes with four vegetarian snacks, including seasoned roasted almonds, green and black Sicilian olives, a house caponata, and almond hummus from Sidekick Provisions. Add on freshly baked focaccia and cheese, and take your meal to Montavilla Park.

If you're looking for a colorful and nourishing boxed lunch, this restaurant from Chef Naoko has a variety of bentos, ranging from grilled cheese tonkotsu to pork shumai to crispy chicken karaage. Settle in a shady spot in the Park Blocks, or sit outside the Portland Art Museum with your spoils and enjoy some people-watching.

A bucket of crispy poultry from Maya Lovelace's Southern restaurant comes with two side dishes of your choice, with options like pimento cheese macaroni salad or bacon-braised collard greens. To-go cocktails, like the moonshine-spiked "Meemaw's Tea" or a bourbon old-fashioned with toasted pecan bitters and smoked sorghum molasses, are also available. Snag a picnic table at nearby Fernhill Park.