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The Best Places to Source a Picnic in NYC

As amazing as New York's restaurant scene is, some days call for the informality of a picnic. Manhattan has so many sprawling parks to explore and Central Park, Van Cortlandt, or even Madison Square Park make ideal destinations for spreading out a blanket and relaxing in the sun. NYC is a great place to outfit a picnic thanks to some world-class specialty food shops, where you can source everything from cured meats and fine cheeses to delicious breads and beyond. Just grab a blanket or a towel and some utensils and go. Read on for our picks for the best shops to outfit a picnic in New York. Buon appetito!

TOP 10 ATTRACTIONS TO VISIT IN NEW ...
TOP 10 ATTRACTIONS TO VISIT IN NEW YORK | Scott and Yanling

Best Picnic Supplies NYC: Murray's Cheese

Murray's Cheese

Murray's Cheese/Facebook

Founded in 1940, Murray’s Cheese is part of the West Village's rich food history. The iconic shop offers an array of fine cheeses made from cow’s milk, goat’s milk, sheep’s milk, and milk from the water buffalo, as well as mixed milks. Its wide collection of hails from destinations across the globe and includes chevrotin, hamden, young goat gouda, Irish cheddar, and truffle cheeses. Fill out your picnic basket with stellar salami and prosciutto, as well as the house's pâtés, crackers, nuts and dried fruits, sweet honey, jams and spreads, olives, and more. A few doors down from the shop is a casual eatery, Murray’s Cheese Bar, which offers cheese platters, goat burgers, and Tallegio sandwiches, as well as wines and craft beers. 254 Bleecker St., 212-243-3289, murrayscheese.com

Best Picnic Supplies NYC: Gourmet Garage

gourmet garage to go

Founded in 1981 to supply restaurants with essential ingredients, for over 25 years Gourmet Garage has been offering the same high-quality goods to travelers and locals. Six locations across Manhattan carry the freshest fruit and vegetables, just-caught seafood, beautifully marbled meats, artisan baked local bread and pastry, on top of a diverse array of groceries. Friendly, knowledgeable customer service will help you set up your picnic while you “Shop Like a Chef!” 489 Broome St. & other locations, 212-941-5850, gourmetgarage.com

Best Picnic Supplies NYC: The Pickle Guys

Pickle Guys

Visit the Lower East Side for all things pickled, as well as varieties of delicious tomatoes, olives, and peppers, from the Pickle Guys. Liven up your picnic with pickled baby carrots, mangoes, and even pickled watermelon, turnips, and pineapple. Made from an old Eastern European recipe, the pickles at The Pickle Guys are barrel cured. That means that they’re soaked in salt brine with garlic and spices. No preservatives are added. The pickles are then stored in barrels. The storing process can range from one day up to six months. Grab some of the shop's sundried tomatoes, grape tomatoes, and jalapeno-stuffed olives, and head down to the park land along the East River. 49 Essex St., 212-656-9739, pickleguys.com

Best Picnic Supplies NYC: Maison Kayser

Maison Kayser

Founded in Paris by Eric Kayser, Maison Kayser is an authentic artisanal French boulangerie that debuted in 1996. The New York shops feature an extensive assortment of breads and other baked delicacies which are mixed and baked on-site all day long. Beyond the delicious baguettes, sourdough breads, tartes, pretty pastries, and tasty dips is a menu of delectable sandwiches, which includes the Parisien: Paris ham and gruyère cheese. Grab a signature fresh juice such as Pomme-Concombre, which fuses the flavors of apple, cucumber, and mint. A range of other fresh juices, coffees, iced lattes, and other specialties are offered. There are several Manhattan locations including Bryant Park, Columbus Circle, the Flatiron, and the West Village. Bryant Park: 8 W. 40th St., 212-354-2300, maison-kayser-usa.com

Best Picnic Supplies NYC: Dean & Deluca

dean & deluca picnic bread cheese

The original Dean & DeLuca opened in SoHo in 1977, before expanding into a global chain. “Purveyors of Fine Foods,” you'll find all the upscale picnic supplies you could want, with the store's extensive assortment of fine cheeses, yummy breads, prepared foods, fruit cups, yogurts, indulgent cupcakes, and more. The specialty shop also offers a complete menu of hot or iced coffees. Beyond its SoHo locale, close to the original shop, Dean & DeLuca has citywide locations, including Madison Avenue and Rockefeller Center. SoHo: 560 Broadway, 212-226-6800, deandeluca.com

Best Picnic Supplies NYC: Union Square Greenmarket

union square greenmarket picnic supplies

Union Square Greenmarket Facebook

Manhattan may be as urban as environments get, but not too far from the island are scores of artisanal producers, whose goods turn up in the many farmers' markets in New York City. The most famous of these is the Union Square Greenmarket, which began with a handful of farmers in 1976 and has since expanded to 140 local vendors. Leafy Union Square itself is a great spot to sit on a park bench and nosh on just-picked fruit, farmstead cheeses, artisan breads, jams, pickles, and a fresh-baked cookie for dessert. It's open Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, 8am to 6pm. Union Square, www.grownyc.org

About the Author

Regina Molaro is a freelancer writer whose work spans from luxury to fashion, art, lifestyle, and beauty. Her work has appeared in Modern Luxury Hawai‘i, as well as Bespoke Magazine and In Season—the in-house magazines at the St. Regis and Mandarin Oriental New York.

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