You have your grass-stained quilt and the picnic basket set your third favorite aunt gave you for your wedding. Now all you need to take advantage of picnic season is food and drink. D.C.’s small markets bring a greater variety of places to shop for such an occasion, and most are zeroed in on supporting other local businesses. Here are the best places to buy provisions near five of D.C.’s great parks.
Malcolm X Park: Each Peach Market
3068 Mount Pleasant St. NW
This Mount Pleasant market with an eye for all things local debuted a picnic pack this month. For $40 you get a bottle of rosé wine, salami, cheese, two house-made salads such as Mediterranean couscous, and a baguette. “All you need is a butter knife,” says co-owner Jeanlouise Conaway. The baguettes come from A Baked Joint, and if you don’t want to go all-in on a picnic pack, you can pick up the fresh bread and pair it with chicken liver pate or a cheese of your choosing. Each Peach also sells sandwiches, local kombucha, cold brew coffee, and other grab-and-go grub. Distance to Malcolm X Park: 0.6 miles.
Montrose Park: Stachowski’s Market
1425 28th St. NW
You know that if you walk into Stachowski’s, you’re walking out with a sandwich to share. The Georgetown market is best known for its “4 Meat Grinder” loaded with salami, coppa, mortadella, soppressata, provolone, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, hot peppers, and house vinaigrette ($13.99). If you want something a notch healthier and easier to eat, go for the turkey club ($11.99). The double decker sandwich with smoked bacon, Swiss, avocado, sprouts, tomatoes, and mayonnaise is a sleeper pick. Distance to Montrose Park: 0.4 miles.
Crispus Attucks Park: Yang Market
138 U St. NE
The sandwiches at Yang Market in Eckington make for great picnic fare. The menu at the convenience store changes frequently, but summery options include the “Mona Lisa Vito” with prosciutto, spiced melon, fresh mozzarella, and basil-arugula salad ($12.50) and the “Two Youts” with turkey, roast beef, cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onion, and mustard aioli on a pretzel bun ($10). Yang’s Market also serves breakfast all day in case you want bagels and schmears instead. You can also load up on all of your favorite chips and candy to round out your picnic. Distance to Crispus Attucks Park: 0.4 miles.
National Arboretum: Salumeria 2703
2703 12th St. NE
Salumeria 2703 is your best bet when you’re planning a picnic for a crowd on the spacious grounds of the National Arboretum. The Brookland Italian deli is from the same owners as pizza authority Menomale. They offer various sizes of seafood salads and antipasto plates with prosciutto crudo, manchego and fontina cheeses, spreads, and breads. The largest antipasto plate can feed 12 to 16 and costs $130. If you’re throwing a smaller shindig, opt for deli sandwiches like eggplant parmigiana ($10.50) or Atlantic smoked salmon and ricotta ($10.75). Distance to National Arboretum: 1.9 miles.
Fort Reno Park: Little Red Fox
5035 Connecticut Ave. NW
The best time to stop in at Little Red Fox is 3 p.m., according to co-owner Matt Carr. That’s when they put out a big spread of their daily prepared foods. Sunday’s menu tends to be geared toward picnickers with dishes like BBQ pulled pork, green beans, and potato salad. Carr also recommends filling up a growler with their refreshing local kombucha on draft from Craft Kombucha. Also look for baguettes and a refrigerated case filled with cheese and charcuterie offerings. Distance to Fort Reno Park: 0.7 miles.