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Chicago restaurants offer fancy picnic baskets

Skip the boring sandwiches and call up a restaurant for a picnic basket packed with cheese, charcuterie and booze

Photograph: Andrew Nawrocki
Picnic at Millennium Park

If Yogi Bear were real, he and Boo-Boo would be packing their bags and getting one-way tickets to Chicago. That's because this summer, lots of area restaurants are packing up gourmet picnic baskets that you can take to your next outdoor movie, concert or dinner under the stars. You'll never be satisfied with homemade turkey sandwiches again.

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Critics' pick

Falafill's Mediterranean picnic box comes with a wrap or salad, plus baklava and a drink. You can either pick it up or have it delivered, and Falafill promises it can deliver by land or by water. Yes, now you can have falafel delivered to your boat at any downtown harbor.

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The Florentine

Critics' pick

Spend an afternoon in the park with a picnic basket from the Florentine. The $40 basket includes chicken panini and a spinach salad, while the $65 basket includes cornish hen, homemade grissini, prosciutto and a bottle of wine.

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Honey Butter Fried Chicken

Critics' pick

The fried chicken spot is offering a meal for four, which includes eight pieces of cold chicken, corn muffins, kale and cabbage slaw, and toffee cookies for dessert.

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Mercat a la Planxa

Critics' pick

Each basket is packed with a Spanish feast for two, including serrano ham, manchego cheese, a baguette and more. Available through Sept 27.

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South Loop


Pastoral will pack up a picnic basket in the size of your choice with a variety of cheese and charcuterie, plus wine or beer pairings.

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Tête Charcuterie

Critics' pick

Tête Charcuterie is packing its excellent cured meats and sausages into picnic boxes: Order your choice of charcuterie from the menu and they'll tuck it all into a basket.

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West Loop