There’s something special about picking up lunch, tossing it in a basket and enjoying it al fresco, preferably with a great view. The perfect picnic takes a bit of hunting and gathering, but it’s still a must-do summer activity. Northforker staffers have helped take the legwork out of planning and have each curated their dream picnic complete with location, grub, drink, sweet treat and go-to way to carry it all. All that’s left for you to do is roll up a blanket and jump in the car.
Tara Smith, Senior Writer
BASKET Have a quintessential picnic with a vintage hamper basket that’s stylish and functional. Pile your goodies inside and add a gingham cloth for an Insta-worthy spread. Hunt for one locally at In the Attic Too in Mattituck.
FOOD I love a good cheese board, but it’s summer and I’m reaching for something a bit lighter, though equally snacky and shareable. The cold mezze platter from Olive Branch in Greenport includes hummus, baba ganoush, refreshing haydari, olive dip and warm pita on the side. You can also add stuffed grape leaves or grilled spinach kopita for a heartier meal. Casual, simple-to-eat and delicious.
DRINK Pop open a can of cold Bridge Lane sauvignon blanc. Zingy, grassy and citrusy, it’s picnic-perfect.
EXTRA Two delicacies unite in the Honey & Chocolate hive from Disset Chocolate. It’s naturally sweet and makes for a beautiful addition to your basket.
LOCATION 67 Steps in Greenport is an idyllic spot for a late afternoon picnic (and perhaps a swim!) before watching the sunset. Pack a blanket to sit on or rest against a boulder.
Michelina Da Fonte, Associate Content Director
BASKET I would be lying if I told you I didn’t use the 8 Hands Farm tote as my everyday bag. It’s lightweight, roomy and easily washable. It’s a great option to toss all of my picnic finds into.
FOOD Nothing says summer like a BLT. The North Fork Shack changes things up and makes a vegetarian-friendly version that’s everything to write home about: The SLT. Made with crispy shitake mushrooms, lettuce, tomato, avocado and a garlic-lemon aioli — this wrap is picnic-ready.
DRINK Canned beverages make for an easy-breezy option and Canette by Chronicle Wines is my go-to for wine to-go. The rosé wine spritzer with pomegranate and lime is exceptionally divine.
EXTRA What’s a picnic without a sweet treat? A bag of cookies from Hallock Cider Mill is one item you can always find at our home. The walnut chocolate chip cookies are perfectly thin and crispy.
LOCATION The grounds at Horton Point Lighthouse are the perfect spot for a picnic. In addition to the most beautiful overlook there are also picnic tables and benches that await your date.
Lee Meyer, Reporter
BASKET The insulated canvas cooler bag, available at The Weathered Barn, is spacious and slick.
FOOD I’m bringing along a fried chicken thigh sandwich from Barrow Food House. It’s a little messy with its generous helping of slaw and sweet/savory chili butter, but it’s so worth it! This flavorful sandwich is one of the best I’ve had anywhere. Of course, the handcut fries just complement the sandwich perfectly.
DRINK Macari Vineyards’ 2019 Dos Aguas White is a zesty, fruity wine that’s perfect for a summery day. I’m also going to make sure to bring some stemless wine glasses.
EXTRA NoFo Flour Shoppe’s selection of rainbow cookies make for a tasty treat. They come in a few flavors, including my personal favorite, Nutella.
LOCATION Mitchell Park, right near the water in Greenport, is a lovely place to have a picnic. And if you have children, they can enjoy the nearby carousel.
Grant Parpan, Content Director
BASKET The Sang Lee Farms insulated bag, which comes with an early CSA sign up is both functional and cool.
FOOD For me, a picnic commands a good sandwich and there’s no shortage of great delis to get one. If you’re heading to Mattituck go to Wendy’s Deli, in Greenport say hello to Fred at Sterlington for me. A sleeper choice, however, would be Wine Country Deli in Calverton. At one point they were boasting about their corned beef reubens being the best on the planet or some other measure I instantly dismissed. Then I tried it. Oh man, is that a good sandwich.
DRINK In all honesty, I’m not much of a day drinker. Sure, I enjoy a flight at an area winery as much as the next person, but on a picnic I’d prefer a non-alcoholic beverage. There are some really great lemonade options on the North Fork, including Harbes Family Farm in Mattituck or Hellenic Restaurant and Snack Bar in East Marion.
EXTRA Since I went sweet for my drink, I’m thinking more along the lines of a really great salad. Goodfood. in Mattituck is a one-stop shop for all the things you might want to bring on a day trip. I’ll go with their Israeli couscous, which is loaded with all sorts of good stuff like olives and feta.
LOCATION The new DEC boat launch in Southold is an excellent spot to enjoy the calm and quiet of the bay as you watch the boats pass by. The Peconic Riverfront in Riverhead is also an underrated picnic spot with lots of places to fill your basket nearby.
Cerria Orientale Torres, Sales Director
BASKET French linen bag from White Flower Farmhouse feels casual and elevated all at once.
FOOD I don’t think it’s possible to go wrong with cheese and snack selects from Kate’s Cheese Co. in Greenport. Kate and staff always have the best recommendations, so I pop in there and just let them know my plan and hand over my bag for them to fill. Trust is key, and they have mine.
DRINK A chilled bottle of sauvignon blanc from Lenz Winery has been my recent obsession. One thing I learned from catering is that you will always find use from a wine key. I haven’t left home without one in years, so I never hesitate to bring a bottle of wine anywhere.
EXTRA There’s a gravitational pull for me when it comes to D’latte Cafe. I’ve yet to choose a sweet treat there that isn’t amazing. Pick a cookie, any cookie!
LOCATION There’s a bench at the Dr. Dennis Claire Memorial Park next to 67 Steps in Greenport. It’s such a special spot, the perfect view for two.
Kaitlyn Burke, Sales Executive
BASKET The Apolis Market Tote found at Lombardi’s Love Lane Market makes it easy for me to wear my local pride.
FOOD My favorite sandwich from anywhere is the chicken BLTA from Wednesday’s Table. I ask them to add Sriracha to give it an extra kick. As long as my picnic isn’t on a Wednesday (remember, they’re ironically closed that day) I’ll be getting this … and maybe an order of fries to share.
DRINK Perfect for a picnic or packed lunch is something canned. A chilled can of the Scielo rosé from RGNY is refreshing for a summer day. It’s easy to open, transport and drink!
EXTRA A bag of Breeze Hill Farm’s apple cider doughnuts is a sugary and delicious treat to share with friends.
LOCATION While a picnic in the park (Mitchell is my go-to) makes for a perfect people-watching afternoon, you’re more likely to find me out on the boat anchored right off Goose Creek Beach in Southold or Shelter Island’s West Neck Harbor on a warm sunny day.