We love our wine & cheese––but today we’re pairing picnics & parks so you can venture beyond your usual stomping grounds and PB&Js to explore fresh scenes and nosh on new delicacies like a sandwich that’s so good it’s called “Cardiff Crack.” Read on for 6 places to grab food to-go and set up that picnic blanket. All you need to do is BYOBasket!

Photo: Big Front Door

Big Front Door
This Hillcrest deli, also known as BFD, features a variety of hot and cold sandwiches and salads as well as a selection of beer, wine and bottled soda. There are daily specials too. Fan favorites include the Cali Cubano with house-cured pork loin and the Avocado Highway with tomato and parmesan. Picky eaters can fall back on a gooey PB&J on a toasted roll. Round out your meal with chips, cookies and sides such as chipotle potato salad.

Big Front Door
4135 Park Blvd.
San Diego, Ca 92103
Online: bfdsandiego.com

Pairs beautifully with: Balboa Park, less than a mile south on Park Blvd.

Photo:  Con Pane/Lynn Chi

Con Pane
This bakery, located in Liberty Station, serves up a rotating menu of fresh bread, scones and cinnamon buns, as well as coffee and tea. But bakeries aren’t just for breakfast! You can order sandwiches, including the popular turkey cobb, or one of their perfectly picnic-sized focaccias. If you visit on the weekend, a slice of decadent chocolate bread is a must.

Con Pane
2750 Dewey Rd.
San Diego, Ca 92106
Tues. & Wed., Closed

Pairs beautifully with: Liberty Station! You’re already at the perfect picnic spot with lots of green space and two playgrounds.

Photo: Cardiff Seaside Market

Cardiff Seaside Market
Open since 1985, this family-run market is a local fixture stocking fresh produce and an array of delicious deli options, including the must-have tri-tip sandwich shown above dubbed “Cardiff Crack.” You can also order burritos, rice bowls, salads and even mac ‘n’ cheese for the littles. A fresh apple in one hand and a California burrito in the other—now that’s a good day!

Cardiff Seaside Market
2087 San Elijo Ave.
Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Ca 92007
Online: seasidemarket.com

Pairs beautifully with: San Elijo State Beach, which is literally across the street!

San Elijo State Beach
2050 S Coast Hwy. 101
Cardiff, Ca 92007


Photo: The Crack Shack/Jim Sullivan

The Crack Shack
Nothing beats fried chicken at a picnic and The Crack Shack does not disappoint. Want a chicken sandwich? Check out the popular Firebird or Coop Deville. Want chicken in a salad? How about the Baja Chop with charred poblano dressing? And for the kids? There’s always chicken by the piece, nuggets and deviled eggs.

The Crack Shack
2266 Kettner Blvd.
San Diego, Ca 92101
Online: crack-shack.com

Pairs beautifully with: Waterfront Park, only a few blocks South. Plenty of green space and a splash area to cool off the little tykes.

Waterfront Park
1600 Pacific Hwy.
San Diego, Ca 92101


Photo: Rubicon Deli

Rubicon Deli
Serving huge sandwiches on artisan bread, Rubicon also offers salads, soups and sweets. For you: the Dapper Dipper (French dip) or Super Mario (chicken, prosciutto, asiago). For them: mini turkey sandwiches or grilled cheese. For everyone: kale chips and gluten-free chocolate chip cookies (check in on Yelp! and get 3 for free).

Rubicon Deli
3715 India St.
San Diego, Ca 92103
Online: rubicondeli.com

Pairs beautifully with: Mission Hills Park (also known as Pioneer Park) is less than a mile north and has green space, a playground and the remnants of an old cemetery!

Mission Hills Park
Sienna Hills Dr.
San Diego, Ca 92127


Photo: Waters Catering & Fine Foods

Waters Catering & Fine Foods
Sure they’re expert caterers for all your fancy events, but Waters also has a pretty amazing to-go counter. The menu rotates daily, but you can count on a variety of sandwiches, salads and side dishes. For you: the quiche of the day or the Caprese Panini. For them: Gemelli Pesto Pasta Salad or a Ham & Cheese Baguette. For everyone: to-die-for chocolate chip cookies and lemon bars.

Waters Catering & Fine Foods
125 South Highway 101
Solana Beach, Ca 92075
Online: waterscatering.com
Sun., Closed

Pairs beautifully with: Fletcher Cove Beach Park is across the street and has direct access to the beach.

Fletcher Cove Beach Park
111 S Sierra Ave.
Solana Beach, Ca 92075

Did we miss your go-to picnic spot or fave place to grab food to-go? Let us know in the comments.

— Michelle Franklin