Food & Drink

Elevated Picnics for High-Altitude Deliciousness

What local eats to pack in your basket, and where to find the best patch of grass around town

By Vanessa Conabee June 22, 2021 Published in the Summer/Fall 2021 issue of Park City Magazine

Playing cards, blue dishes, and Pendleton blanket from Backcountry. Wood boards from PC Mercantile. Flask, Moroccan pillow, vintage binoculars, and indigo throw from Indigo Highway.

Who doesn’t love a picnic? Unboxing the basket feels like opening a present (or multiple presents), many of which fall into the category of celebratory spending—little jars of flavored mustards, seasonal jams, peppers, pickles, and olives; a vast array of cured meats, cheese, and breads complemented by stone fruit and berries. And it’s less fussy than a regular dinner, with items arranged on a pretty throw or blanket to be enjoyed family style or passed hand to hand. Really, anything goes, from prepackaged deli favorites to gourmet items curated by the A-list team of local foodies we’ve put together for you here.

So bring your travel-size smorgasbord to the pickleball courts, your favorite park, or a concert lawn, or set up badminton, croquet, or bocce and invite the neighbors over for alfresco dining in the privacy of your own backyard.

Get the Goods

Deer Valley Grocery & Café

Stop in at the café en route to a hike or a concert for grab-and-go treats. Favorites include the all-natural turkey panini with white cheddar, tarragon aioli, fig chutney, green apple, and arugula; or go for Deer Valley chicken salad in a lettuce wrap or toasted challah. Deer Valley’s cookies (snickerdoodle, chocolate chip, or double chocolate chip) are gigantic and delicious—take our word for it and bring back one of each. 1375 Deer Valley Dr, 435.615.2400,

Goldener Hirsch

Stop by the Goldener Hirsch Café at Silver Lake for grab-and-go items to enjoy on the lawn or trails of Bald Mountain. Try the kale Caesar salad with black garlic dressing or the Asian veggie wrap with orange confit, sesame, ginger, and yuzu soy dressing. A toothsome display of pastries merits repeat visits. 7520 Royal St, 435.649.7770,

The Market at Park City

Pop into The Market for local faves like Ritual Chocolate, fresh-baked baguette from Red Bicycle Breadworks, brie with truffles from Park City Creamery, and charcuterie from Creminelli. 1500 Snow Creek Dr, 435.645.7139,

Olive & Spruce PC

This local pop-up picnic service provides everything you need to celebrate any occasion, with a trove of tables, pillows, rugs, lanterns, boards, flowers, and a special array of food and nonalcoholic beverages to set the scene. Price includes delivery, setup, and takedown. Check out @olive_and_spruce_pc on Instagram or call for pricing and availability, 435.714.1933

Salt Box

Gourmet on the go from this local catering favorite is always delicious and easy. Stop by their storefront, or call a day ahead for a custom spread. Choices range from falafel bites and tofu or keto superfood boxes to grilled peach and arugula sandwiches. Don’t leave without a couple of Salt Box’s beloved raspberry and cream croliners. 1782 Prospector Ave, 435.962.9662,

Windy Ridge Bakery & Café

Artisan breads, French-inspired pastries, and a full line of savory gourmet take-out items—including soups, salads, and entrees—have kept this hot spot a favorite for decades. The asparagus-Boursin quiche, chicken salad, and watermelon-tomato gazpacho are classic picnic favorites. 1750 Iron Horse Dr, 435.647.2906,

Primo Picnic Spots

City Park 

Bring your picnic to the lawn and gardens adjacent to the historic Miner’s Hospital, or enjoy the shade of the pavilion by the baseball fields. There are also volleyball courts, a skate park, a playground, and access to the paved path leading up to Main Street.

McPolin Farm

Take an easy walk along the McPolin Farm Nature Trail through aspen groves, hills, and streams to find your perfect picnic spot alongside this historic local landmark. Park at the Farm Trailhead on the east side of Hwy 224 directly across from the McPolin Barn.

Prospector Park 

A small playground with a lawn adjacent to both the Rail Trail and Lost Prospector Trail makes this a fun post-hiking spot, with or without kids.

Willow Creek Park

With pickleball and tennis courts, two play structures, an exercise park course, basketball and volleyball courts, and four pavilions, Willow Creek Park has something for everyone. A fenced-in doggie playground and pond with a launching dock offer fun for your furry friends, too.

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