Matcha milk jam from Craftsman and Wolves (photo credit: William Werner)

Pro Picnicking: 7 ways to raise your picnic to an 11

If summer in the Bay Area means one thing, it’s getting outside as much as humanly possible. Of course, this means eating outside, too. For the picky picnickers, here are some of our favorite San Francisco–made provisions to make your al fresco meal even better.

Craftsman and Wolves spreads
For a brunch-y picnic, you can’t go wrong with an array of scones, croissants, and other baked confections. But to make it really special, you’ll want something great to slather all over them, too. We all know Craftsman and Wolves has one of the finest pastry cases in the city, but they’ve got the condiments to bring them to the next level, too. Try the Passion Olive Oil Curd for a tart-yet-rich note, or the Matcha Milk Jam for something even more exotic.

Boccalone peppered salami sampler
No picnic is complete without some “tasty salted pig parts,” especially if Boccalone has something to do with it—it is their slogan, after all. Their peppered salami sampler comes with two different types of handmade 8-oz salumi: the salame pepato, heavily seasoned with three different types of black pepper, and the soppressata, a Calabrian-style salami with a healthy dose of chile flakes. Put slices of these cured sausages in sandwiches, or just eat them by the slice.

Large-format bottled cocktails
Picnicking in the Presidio and finding your thirst needs quenching? Head to the Presidio Social Club. No, we’re not suggesting you abandon your picnic and belly up to the bar; pick up a bottle of a pre-made, barrel-aged cocktail to go. Choose between a large-format Negroni or the Reasons Rye, a tipple made with rye, punt e mess, Cointreau, and orange bitters. Each bottle provides enough for six to share. Just pour over ice and enjoy (discreetly, of course).

Wise Sons pickle plate
While you could make an entire picnic out of the fixins at Wise Sons—from the smoked salmon to the pastrami to the bialys, everything here is made in house—one of the deli’s best menu items is the pickle plate. And it’s not just cucumber pickles, either. They hand pick the freshest seasonal produce, then pickle them to perfection in a salt-and-vinegar brine.

Adventure Bread at The Mill
The city’s best bread lives at The Mill—and even those who don’t forgo gluten will delight in Josey Baker’s Adventure Bread. Packed with oats, nuts, and seeds and bound together with almond flour, olive oil, and maple syrup, this bread is a dream, whether paired with cheeses, meats, hummus, or guacamole, or just eaten simply with butter. Pick up a loaf and run to Bi-Rite down the streets for accoutrements before heading to Alamo Square.
$6 for a loaf

Bacon-studded hot dogs
There’s nothing better than a hot dog in the summertime unless of course it is a bacon-studded hot dog. The folks at 4505 Meats have enriched their mixed-meat hot dogs with uncured bacon to make your park cookout even more epic. While you’re at the store, pick up their addictive kettle-cooked chicharrones, too.
$8.75 for a package of 5

Mission Cheese complete picnic
If your idea of a lazy picnic in the park means skipping on preparation, too, Mission Cheese has got you covered. There is an entire picnic spread all picked out for you here, complete with two great cheeses, Olympia Provisions salami, Dandelion chocolate, Rustic Bakery crackers, and two different cheese knives to divvy it all up. Just add a cutting board (and some wine—you weren’t going to skip on that, too ,were you?). You’ll be the envy of Dolores Park.

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