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Photograph: Raydene Salinas

The best premade picnic baskets from NYC restaurants

The best premade picnic baskets in NYC are perfect for taking a to-go meal to the prettiest parks in NYC

By Marion Bernstein

With so many lush and verdant NYC parks to choose from, finding the perfect picnic spot will be a breeze—all you need to add is the best premade picnic baskets in NYC. If you don’t know what to pack for the perfect picnic, you can just leave it up to the experts. We’ve scoured the city in search of the best restaurants to get premade picnic baskets packed with everything from porchetta paninis to strip steaks to the best cheesecake in NYC. These premade picnic baskets provide the ideal accoutrement to a sunny afternoon while awaiting Shakespeare in the Park or a mellow evening next to the Prospect Park Bandshell.

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Best premade picnic baskets from NYC restaurants

1. Bistro Chat Noir

Restaurants French Lenox Hill

Mere steps from Central Park, this quaint French restaurant slings picnic baskets just as charming as its circa-1939 summer garden vibe. Each basket comes stocked with classic Francophile fare like red beet tartare, truffled mac and cheese, pan-seared salmon and roasted duck magret. Baskets are priced at $140 and $175. And rumor has it Shakespeare in the Park’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream–themed baskets are slated to run from July 11 through August 13.

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Daniel C.

2. Two Forks

Restaurants American Midtown West

This meat-centric Midtown lunch linchpin offers summer picnic baskets showcasing all-natural slow-cooked meats, seasonal slaws and globally inspired sauces. Each $15 basket includes one signature Two Forks bowl (squash goals, pork and pickles, tipsy chicken), one sparkling Spindrift water, one gluten-free baked good from Sans and one fresh apple. Order by 12pm Wednesday by emailing Pick-up only on Fridays at noon or 4pm.

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Morrissey J.

3. Altesi Ristorante

Restaurants Italian Lenox Hill

Picnicking solo? Altesi Madison’s got you covered. This Central Park neighbor’s compact picnic package—aptly named A2GO—includes a panini of choice (salmon with capers and cukes, Italian-style hamburger with tomato and greens, crispy chicken cutlet topped with arugula and pistachio pesto, caprese, prosciutto and parm, vegetable frittata), four crunchy biscotti and your choice of soda for a cool $20.

Photograph: Noah Fecks

4. Pergola

Restaurants Mediterranean Flatiron

What could be better than a summer evening in Central Park set to the live soundtrack of the New York Philharmonic? Answer: add a Pergola picnic crate. The Mediterranean-inspired Instagram-worthy crates are available in three different tiers: the $40 Picnic Treat which includes dry white cider, mini baguette and homemade chips; the $65 Garden Crate packed with cider, your choice of sandwich (Napa chicken, caprese, grilled wild salmon), homemade chips, fresh red cherries and a seasonal floral bunch; and the $100 Luxe Crate featuring cider, sandwich of choice, homemade chocolate chip cookies, quinoa kale salad mason jar and seasonal flowers. Order 48 hours in advance.

Strip House signature strip steak
Photograph: Courtesy Strip House

5. Strip House

Restaurants Steakhouse Midtown West

For those looking to gain some serious picnicking cred, look no further than the Strip House’s Weekend Connoisseur Kit. Available Memorial Day through Labor Day, this portable steak-to-go kit includes six top-notch cuts of beef (barrel-cut filet mignon, prime center cut New York strip, dry aged boneless rib eye), Strip House signature pepper blend, grilling salts and oils, fresh rosemary, roasted garlic, steak sauce and, of course, a booklet of grilling 101 tips ($250). Just be sure to order your kit at least 48 hours in advance.

6. Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria

Restaurants Italian Noho

It’s no surprise that this rustic Italian restaurant meets retail mash-up curates picnic packages featuring seasonal summer veggies that change daily. For just $30, picnic-goers can enjoy a country-chic bundle that includes one panini (prosciutto, salame rosa, salame toscano, porchetta, walnut and cipollini jam, eggplant), two daily salads and two drinks (aranciata, chinotto, ginger beer, sparkling water).

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Paul S.

7. Herb N Kitchen

Hotels Chain hotels Midtown West

Conveniently located just a few blocks from Central Park, the New York Hilton Midtown’s gourmet market, Herb N Kitchen, offers a $68 basket for two packed with a plethora of picnic pillars hailing from famed local vendors. Each blanket-clad basket includes plates, glasses, Murray’s cheeses, your choice of two sandwiches (roast beef, vegetarian bánh mì, turkey, tuna, tandoori chicken), two salads, New York cheesecake and a bottle of sustainable wine.

8. Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse

Restaurants Steakhouse Midtown East

From June through August, this northern Italian-style grill will be churning out three-course baskets lined with a soft blanket perfect for Central Park picnicking. Each $95 basket for two includes your choice of salad (arugula-parm, farro-lentil-quinoa, spinach and goat cheese, chicory and gorgonzola), sandwich (caprese, salumi and parm, grilled chicken and pickled giardiniere, oven roasted eggplant, grilled steak and horseradish cream), dessert and choice of still or sparkling water. Call at least one hour in advance to reserve—and don’t forget to return your basket and blanket for a $25 refund.

The Regency Bar and Grill
Photograph: Courtesy The Regency Bar and Grill

9. The Regency Bar and Grill

Restaurants American Lenox Hill

New York’s corporate polestar has teamed up with Perfect Picnic NYC to create the ultimate al fresco experience, packing each basket with locally sourced ingredients. Choose from three picnic options: For $35, the Classic Picnic includes local cheeses, Salumeria Biellese charcuterie, baguette, marinated olives, fig jam, Liddabit Sweets sea salt caramels and bottled water. The $100 Deluxe Picnic includes all of the above plus Larchmont Charcuterie pate, pickled beans from Beth’s Farm Kitchen, rosemary garlic olives, fresh fruit, blanket, cutlery and a reusable silkscreened cotton tote. Splurge on the $350 butler-serviced Gold Picnic package where you won’t have to lift a finger—Loews will take care of everything from setup to cleanup.

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Photograph: Courtesy Bryant Park Corporation

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