8 NB Picnic Picks
Summer is here and what is better than a day spent with family and friends outdoors? The weather is perfect to enjoy the great outdoors whether you are a hiker, surfer, or simply, a sun soaker. Here in Newport Beach, the pristine beaches offer an oasis to laze the day away doing absolutely nothing but a chance to relax and recharge. To make it even easier, here are some of the best Newport Beach spots to gather together a picnic basket, or boxed lunch with ease. Make it as simple, or as gourmet as you’d like – there is something for everyone.
The simplicity that is A Market owes everything to its Executive Chef Shelly Register, who has taken A Restaurant’s casual deli and marketplace to the fore. You can always count on finding something deliciously quick, and on the go at this PCH spot. A Market offers a standard lunch box which comes with a cold sandwich, chips, and a cookie starting at $13.50. But also offers the option to build your own picnic basket with A Market’s array of hot and cold sandwiches as well as soups and salads. Custom picnics are also available with cheese, charcuterie, sandwiches, salads and wine. Some favorite cold sandwiches include the roast beef with London broil roast beef, horseradish Havarti cheese, watercress tomato, onion and mayo on a rustic roll; or a beautiful turkey, avocado, ginger and pear marmalade sandwich on corn rye bread called “My Favorite”. Pick up or have your order delivered.
Owner, Barbara Layton, and Chef Owner, Zach Layton, believe in preparing and serving incredibly fresh food in a lively, sensual and visually beautiful space. Babette’s at Crystal Cove prides itself on being an eclectic & cutting edge restaurant focusing on “clean food” utilizing organic, local and seasonal ingredients. Its flagship restaurant in the Hamptons has been a local favorite for decades, and 20 years later, and three thousand miles away, Babette’s finds its place in picturesque Newport Coast bringing the same philosophy to the west coast. Any item on Babette’s grab-n-go menu is available to compose your own picnic basket with. Included are an array of salads, wraps, smoothies, and breakfast selections. Both carnivores and vegetarians alike will find great choices here. Mediterranean Hummus Wrap or Black Bean Avocado Wrap with red quinoa, tomatillo guacamole, cilantro and organic greens are both excellent vegetarian selections. Salads such as Red Quinoa Tabbouleh with cucumber, tomato, feta, lemon vinaigrette, or Mary’s Organic Chicken Salad with celery, walnuts, grapes, red leaf lettuce are also perfect to throw into your basket to go.
Moulin, located in a quiet strip mall by John Wayne airport that also includes a Coco’s, but that’s about all they have in common. The French café bistro is the perfect place to pack some goodies for a picnic! Their display case offers a variety of prepared grab-and-go dishes perfect to pack for a picnic including salads and pre-wrapped cold sandwiches. Mix and match from Moulin’s salad selections which include Celery Root, Carrot Salad, Beet, Lentil, Quinoa, Tabouli, Potatoes, and Tomatoes & Mozzarella. Moulin offers a variety of prepared cold sandwiches, including Ham and Cheese, Moulin Chicken, and a Veggie (caprese); all made fresh each morning on Moulin’s fresh-baked baguette. Order a cheese & charcuterie plate to-go and enjoy fine cheeses from France, artisanal cured meats, Moulin’s pâté, and house-made mustards. Stop by the patisserie for a fresh baked baguette and some croissants, then browse through the hand-picked limited production of boutique wines from France to complete your outdoor meal in style. The shop even sells baskets and linens, making it a one-stop-shop for all your picnic needs!
Pandor’s owners Tiffany & Raffi Sepetjian are serious foodies who love to travel, particularly to France where they have family. Their true passion revolves around a dream to open an authentic French boulangerie, similar to the ones they often enjoy on the streets of Paris. Eight years ago, that vision becomes a reality. They name it Pandor, an abbreviation of the French words “pain d’or,” meaning golden bread. Its Newport Beach location at Westcliff Plaza Shopping offers plenty of choices from paninis, tartines, sandwiches, as well as quiches. All savory items are served with options of fresh mixed salads, crispy french fries or chips.
Looking to pack a picnic to enjoy on the sandy shores of Newport Beach? Sessions West Coast Deli off Newport Avenue by Laventina’s Big Cheese is your neighborhood spot to gather gourmet, culinary-focused sandwiches for the road. Unlike most sandwich shops, Sessions boasts a scratch kitchen with house-made sauces, sides, salads, and soups all prepared daily. Sandwiches are made to order with fresh, locally grown produce; humanely and naturally raised meats; and locally baked bread delivered daily from local artisan, OC Baking Company. In addition, the restaurant proudly serves a selection of locally roasted coffee beverages from Kean Coffee.
Located on the Balboa Peninsula, The Trough Sandwich Kitchen is the perfect place to grab some sandwiches before hitting the beach this summer. Delicious options such as the ever-popular Caprese sandwich (chicken breast, tomato jam, basil/olive aioli, baby arugula on a squaw roll), and the Breakfast Burrito (with egg, homemade tater tots, pico de gallo and cheddar cheese in a flour tortilla), are house favorites. The Trough Sandwich Kitchen has made things even easier this summer by delivering your orders directly to the beach so you won’t lose your prime spot on the shore. Just call in your order with the shop directly or order online, and let the staff know your cross street along the Peninsula. Free delivery is available for orders over $10! What better way to enjoy a boxed lunch on the beach? The Trough Sandwich Kitchen has taken all the work out of your hands, so you can enjoy each and every minute of sunshine outside!
Started in Austin, Texas in 1980, Whole Foods is now a conglomerate of more than 400 stores in the United States, Canada, and the UK. Its Newport Beach location at Fashion Island boasts an impressive food hall where customers may wander through and pick anything they wish to build a picnic basket with. Pick up some charcuterie and cheese from the impressive deli area, or simply choose from the cooked food area abundantly stocked with gourmet sandwiches, salads, pizzas, as well as sushi. You can pick up a cake or some delectable sweets from the dessert counter. A bottle or two from the wine section will complete the perfect outdoor dining experience.
Owner John Secretan was inspired by the amazing food movement happening in Berkeley, CA while attending UC Berkeley back in the 80s. He decided to change careers, by opening Zinc Cafe in 1988, a vegetarian eatery which has since bloomed into three locations. The Corona del Mar location is located off Coast Hwy and is highly successful bringing together John’s motto in life: food, design (he majored in Landscape Architecture) and hard work. The market concept is ideal for customers to pick up full meals to take out or individual items that can enhance a picnic or event. For example, Zinc Café offers catering platters in three convenient sizes depending on your needs. There is small, medium and large versions which includes sandwich, crudite, fruit, dessert as well as breakfast platters. Other items that are great for small intimate occasions are the salads (purchased by the pound), individual packaged sandwiches, or condiments, cheeses and crackers.