Michaela Johansson is passionate about making sure everyone eats well, at any event or in the park with old friends. Her Mediterranean-influenced “spreads” are boxes of goodies such as cannellini bean dip with salsa verde, porchetta stuffed with apricot and sage, shaved spring greens, focaccia and more. The line-up is constantly changing so you always get the best. There are two sizes of boxes: one for two to three people (80), and one for five people (150).
La Boite A Fromages and Balgowlah,
This little gem of a cheese shop will be busy during Sydney’s festival. They will put together cheese boxes and accompanying foods that will make everyone happy. You can let them know whether you prefer goat’s, cow’s or sheeps milk types, washed red, blue, soft, hard or both. Also, tell them what sandwiches you like: eggplant-mozzarella or Paris ham and comte or smoked chicken or brie (among other things). You get Pellegrino drinks, sweets and olives, and also plates, cutlery, and napkins ($79). You can add your favourite cheeses to the online shop or order a family pack with children’s choices.
The inner west’s favorite shop for park supplies is located just a few steps from Camperdown Memorial Rest Park. You can choose from one of the many boxes of cheese and charcuterie that the team has selected or create your own hamper with sandwiches, gildas and Ortiz Anchovies. Don’t buy the entire shop. Do it if you haven’t been to a picnic in a while.
Redfern Street Kitchen
You’ll need to get out your calendar. Kepos Street Kitchen’s delivery schedule is a little more complicated than you might think. But the rewards are well worth the effort. You and your friends will be treated with top-quality hummus and zucchini tzatziki.
Fratelli Fresh and Manly
The picnic packs by Fratelli Fresh can be used to spend the entire day under a tree. The starter pack, which costs $89 and serves four, includes antipasti, three Italian-style cheeses, a dozen prawns, potato salad, cocktail sauce, a loaf Sonoma Sourdough, fresh fruit, and Aperol spritzes. A hamper with 12 oysters and fresh shrimps, along with the usual antipasti and fresh fruit and drinks, ($109) serves four. If you really want to make a day out of it, add bottled cocktails and dessert.
Oliveto and Rhodes
Oliveto’s Italian-inspired snacks and drinks will bring the dolce Vita to the park. Negronis of any kind are a great pairing with the $100 grazing box, which serves up to four and covers almost every snack category. There are many options for you to choose from: salumi, artichokes and olives; grissini, olives, grissesini, figs; walnuts; and Holy Goat cheese. If Balmain bugs, grilled salmon, smoked salmon, and oysters get you excited, the seafood platter ($150) is available.
Yum Yum Bakery
Yum Yum, a Lebanese bakery, has created a “lunchbox” out of some of its most popular items. The box can be used to feed up to five people and includes cooked items such as kibbeh and falafel, plus two types of crescent-shaped pastry called Sambousek (meat & cheese), fattoush and babaganoush and olives, and flatbread ($95).
Light and bright boxes are available for up to three people, with either antipasti ($60), or seafood ($80). La Stella cheese, baguette and cornichons are available, as well as prawns with cocktail sauce and oysters.
Catalina or Rose Bay
You have to love a place that allows you to be spontaneous in this age of pre-ordering, and planning every move. You can choose from seafood ($150), which serves two to three people, or antipasto ($120), which serves two or three people. Then, swing by Catalina to pick your favorite drink and add one or two martinis. Picnic rugs can be borrowed or purchased. You can’t make it to the restaurant.
Sokyo and Promontory
Is sushi better when it’s eaten outdoors? Although we can’t prove it but it is definitely an experience to open 16 pieces of Sokyo’s best work at your first social event in months. You can also earn brownie points if everyone brings chips and dip to the picnic. The 16-piece sushi box costs $65, and includes tuna, scallop, salmon belly and kingfish. It would be a crime to not add champagne or sake from The Star’s Bar.
This waterside Italian institution is the best choice for alfresco dining. Otto’s aperitivi Box, which is available on Providoor during picnic season, is simple, understated, and all about quality. The fun continues with house-baked focaccia, mortadella and olives, as well as barrel-aged negronis ($115 for two).
Bitton and Alexandria
Bitton brings the best of France to your doorstep with a picnic hamper that includes mini baguettes and French cheese as well as macarons, saucisson, French cheese, and macarons. Bitton has its own condiments range, including tapenade, orange jelly, and wine. Or, you can get the collaboration beer made by Frenchies, a malty style drink with light tropical flavors and stone fruit aromas. This hamper can feed up to five people (120).