Picnic Pairings: Where to Dine Outside and What to Eat

Dine al fresco at these perfect picnic spots, with tasty food to boot

National Picnic Day is on April 23. In San Diego, there are plenty of places for the perfect, picturesque picnic, plus great spots to snag your meal for your al fresco adventure.

So, take that lunch break outside or pack a basket and make plans to picnic this weekend in the San Diego sunshine. Our friends at Yelp have rounded up this list of local joints with all the fixings for dining outside, plus some cool locations to perch that picnic.

Just Peachy (Encinitas)
Stop by and grab a famous Julian Pie plus all the goods you’ll need for lunch at Just Peachy. From fresh produce to Dudley’s bread, this joint has all of your midday cravings, handled with locally-sourced supplies. After you've shopped, head just a few blocks down to the coast and set up your picnic party at Moonlight Beach, the perfect spot for outdoor bites.

Mona Lisa Italian Foods (Little Italy)
A deli, a restaurant and a market all in one with everything you could crave for a power picnic lunch. The deli has sandwiches with rave reviews, plus calamari and octopus salads. Pack a romantic basket of Italian cheeses, meats, breads and desserts and then head down to Waterfront Park for a bayside brunch or lunch date.

Revitalized Plaza de Panama in Balboa Park Unveiled

Cardiff Seaside Market (Cardiff-by-the-Sea)
Campers across the road at the San Elijo Beach Campgrounds know they don’t even need to pack a cooler with this handy market nearby. The deli is renown for its ready-to-eat dishes and lunch menu. Stop in and stock up on fresh salads, sushi, sandwiches and more. If your picnic plans are on a strict schedule, you can text in your order, too.

T-Deli (Hillcrest)
Sandwiches and salads dominate at this neighborhood favorite. You can order in and sit outside for a makeshift picnic if you're strapped for time. We suggest the Chicken Pesto Torta. It comes with a generous side of fruit and a smile from the friendly staff and owners. If you do have time to travel, the world famous Balboa Park is nearby.

Free or Cheap Things to Do in San Diego

Roma Market (Escondido)
This Italian market has everything you need to create an authentic al fresco experience. If you don’t feel like working for your feast the café deli has sandwiches, fresh Italian dishes, pizzas and more. Add local produce and a homemade cannoli for the perfect meal. For a nearby picnic spot, head over to Queen Califia’s Magical Circle Garden.

La Jolla Country Market (La Jolla)
On your way to La Jolla Shores, stop at this small mart and pick up the perfect picnic lunch: giant sandwiches at reasonable prices made by cool dudes in the deli. Grab other assorted snacks from the shelves and you’ll have an easy, on-the-go meal to make National Picnic Day a solid win.

Trish Sanderson is the community manager and marketing director for Yelp North County San Diego. She leads the local community of Yelp reviewers both online and off.

Contact Us