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Posted at 2:45 PM ET, 05/25/2007

Pick a Picnic Purveyor

By Erin

Whether you're heading out to the Shakespeare Free for All or just spending time in a park, Memorial Day weekend offers plenty of opportunities for a picnic. Take-out preferences largely depend on your taste and neighborhood, but here are some of my favorite places to pick up food for a warm day outside.

If you plan to get an early start, grab breakfast pastries from Praline Bakery. Croissants, danishes and anything with a crust is sublime at Praline.

Nickell's & Scheffler in Old Town offers gourmet sandwiches, pasta salads, crab cakes and baked treats that are perfect to pack in a picnic. The iced tea and flavored lemonade are good thirst quenchers.

If your weekend involves a hike or visit to Shenandoah National Park, pick up your snacks from Market Salamander. With prepared salads, gourmet sandwiches, candy, nuts and a wide array of drinks, the Salamander will definitely elevate the standard picnic.

For light sandwiches, perhaps a few slices of pizza and some Italian soda, the two locations of Vace are prime stops before picnicking.

If you are looking for less conventional take-out options, here are a few ethnic ideas:

Sushi may not be the most popular picnic idea, but WasabiSito and Bumblefish both specialize in delicious packaged sushi. It's easy to eat, but definitely stick to the veggie rolls, edamame and dumplings if you'll be longer than a couple hours before eating.

Growing up in Los Angeles, Mexican food was always a part of the picnic equation. Durable enough to sit for a while and wrapped in foil to maintain heat, tamales are a perfect picnic food. Teocalli Tamale is the best local spot for takeout tamales. Tacos at Taqueria Distrito Federale are another thought, though tortillas don't hold up well over more than an hour or so. Burritos at El Charrito Caminante are another thought.

Roties, Jamaica's answer to the burrito, are an easy choice. Filled with nicely spiced chicken, goat, shrimp or vegetables, the roties at Negril will definitely quiet growling stomachs. Beef patties are another portable option.

For District dwellers, Teaism, Dean & Deluca and Jetties are reliable picnic providers.

Finally, D'Acqua offers boxed meals for people hanging out on the Mall or watching Rolling Thunder on the Navy Memorial Plaza. For $8, the meal includes a prosciutto and mozzarella panini with chips and fruit. Customers can upgrade to a special dessert for an extra $1.50.

--Erin

By Erin  | May 25, 2007; 2:45 PM ET
Categories:  Restaurants  
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Comments

Great Blog. Marvelous Market is a one stop shop for me when i need to fill my picnic basket.

Posted by: Jane | May 29, 2007 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Good choices, guys... I actually took you up on two of them last weekend. My wife and I biked to Mount Vernon and stopped at Bumblefish Sushi & More in Old Town, which was delicious. Great Spicy Thai Roll, good drink selection. The next day, we went to Dean & Deluca on M and grabbed more sushi. It wasn't bad, but Bumblefish was better.

Posted by: Tom, Georgetown | May 30, 2007 2:50 AM | Report abuse

I like The Italian Store in Arlington which also features a good wine selection.

Posted by: George | June 1, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

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