It’s Tucson, the middle of winter, and hovering around seventy degrees in the afternoon.
Even though it’s so pleasant outside, it’s cold enough at night that most of the annoying critters are still gone during daylight.
Grab a date, a picnic blanket, a basket, and swing by these places to gather your goods for an impressive picnic without any of the prep hassle.
aka Deli & Bakeshop
100 S. Avenida Del Convento, Ste 126
Assorted sweets at aka Deli & Bakeshop (Credit: Jackie Tran)
Really, you could swing by only to aka Deli & Bakeshop to get everything for a picture perfect picnic. Baked goods, grab-and-go sandwiches made with Barrio Bread, salads, house-made charcuterie, pickles, bottles of wine, and flowers. For a savory-sweet delight, order the baguettine with brie, ham, apple, and dijonnaise. They might even end up selling picnic baskets there eventually.
For more information, visit akatucson.com.
18 S. Eastbourne Ave.
For a variety of bread worth dreaming about, visit Barrio Bread. The hardest part is not getting crumbs all over your car and finishing the bread before you even get to the picnic.
For more information, visit barriobread.com.
Fortunato’s Italian Deli
9100 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
(Credit: Fortunato’s Italian Deli on Facebook)
For a very mom-and-pop vibe conveniently located near Mount Lemmon, swing by Fortunato’s Italian Deli just east of Catalina Highway. The classic and Italian deli sandwiches pack well to bring up the mountain. Catering makes it an easy option for a large family picnic. Also keep an eye out for the fresh cannoli and other baked goods.
For more information, visit fortunatosdeli.com.
9121 E. Tanque Verde Rd. #125
Galette at Le Buzz Caffe (Credit: Jackie Tran)
Another Mount Lemmon area staple, Le Buzz has you covered on the sweet end as well. The fresh baked goodies, baked daily, include cookies, galettes, sticky rolls, scones, pies, and more. Just make sure to get the eponymous Le Buzz Cookie.
For more information, visit lebuzzcaffe.com.
2041 S. Craycroft Rd.
Sicilian Grilled Skirt Steak, Relish Tray, and Chopped Salad at Mama Louisa’s (Credit: Jackie Tran)
Though French crudité sounds fancy, it often amounts to old veggies and ranch dressing. For something with more pizzazz, order a Relish Tray to-go from Mama Louisa’s for some gourmet antipasti flair. The assortment of items includes Stuffed Peppadews with Marscarpone and Ricotta, Truffled Three Bean Salad, Pepperoncini-Pickled Cornichons, House-Made Pancetta, Marinated Spicy Peppers, and Italian Olive Mix. It goes great with a bottle of bubbly prosecco.
For more information, visit mamalouisas.com.
627 S. Vine Ave.
Stuffed Peppers at Roma Imports (Credit: Laura Greenberg)
The deli counter Roma Imports is filled with refrigerated finger-food delights. Assorted peppers stuffed with ricotta or goat cheese are a must. The grilled artichokes taste even better than they sound. Order a muffaletta or one of their Italian sandwiches on a fresh baguette to-go to share. If you’re lucky, they’ll even have some rare Jamón ibérico de Bellota on hand. The Italian sodas in the fridge are a refreshing non-alcoholic bubbly option.
For more information, visit romaimports.com.
3131 E. 1st St.
The gourmet market in the RumRunner (Credit: Jackie Tran)
The RumRunner isn’t just rum. It’s also other liquor, liqueuer, beer, wine, cheese, crackers, and other accoutrements. You can get some simple English cheddar, rare Pacific Northwest goat cheese, or a $30/lb exotic blue cheese, so it’s easy to get carried away. Meat products such as paté, Spanish chorizo, and jamón are also available. The staff is exceptionally knowledgeable about their products, so they turn the overwhelming selection into an accessible experience.
For more information, visit rumrunnertucson.com.
444 E. University Blvd.
Though the loaves of pain au levain, gougeres, salted chocolate chip cookies, and selection of cheese are sublime, the wide variety of specialty beverages, deli salads, and fancy pants chocolates make Time Market an easy one-stop shop for gourmet picnicking. The limey iced green tea is also worth filling a carafe with if you don’t feel like choosing from their assortment of coffee, beer, and wine.
For more information, visit timemarket.xyz.
Whole Foods Market on River Road
5555 E. River Rd.
The sheer scale of the cold food bar, beer, and cheese selection at Whole Foods Market on River Road is tough to beat. Don’t hesitate to chat with the cheesemonger to find out what pairs well with your selections. The free samples of various products throughout the store also make it easy to pick out goodies.
For more information, visit wholefoodsmarket.com.
Where do you like to stop on picnic goodies and go for picnics? Let us know in the comments.