Fresh picks for your picnic basket in Calgary

What better way to spend a hot, summer day than eating outside. Whether you prefer lying in the sun with a good book while getting your tan on, tossing around a Frisbee with a few friends or taking a daytrip out to the mountains for a hike, you need something to fuel your activities. Forget the trail mix, and hit one of these spots to fill your picnic basket. Image credit: iStock.com/Belic Elena.

Sidewalk Citizen Bakery

1
618 Confluence Way SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0G1

The featured lunch pita at Sidewalk Citizen changes every day, with meat and vegetable options to satisfy your particular preferences. While you’re there, make sure you get something sweet for dessert and a cup of joe next door at Phil & Sebastian to fuel the rest of your day. Enjoy your pita while you stroll down the RiverWalk, or take your lunch down to St. Patrick’s Island to find a perfect picnic spot.

River Cafe

2
25 Prince's Island Pk, Calgary, AB T2P 0R1

Can’t get a coveted table at River Cafe? Pick up one of the eatery’s picnic baskets, available from June to September. Baskets contain a sandwich for each person in your party, fresh fruit, cheese, snacks, water and a sweet treat, plus utensils and linen napkins to boot. You don’t have to take it far to find a beautiful spot to spread your blanket in Prince’s Island Park, or just pop it in the trunk of your car and go wherever you please. Just remember to return the basket to reclaim your deposit.

Peppino Gourmet

3
209-435 4 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 3A8

Though its shelves are jam-packed with Italian treats, I always make a beeline for the sandwich counter at Peppino. All of the eatery’s fresh, Italian sandwiches are bursting with toppings. My favourite is the roasted combo, which features marinated roasted eggplant and red peppers with crisp lettuce and fresh tomato, though the spicy Vesuvius with Calabrese salami, capicollo ham and banana peppers comes in a close second. Make sure you grab a tub of gelato for dessert on your way out.

Lina's Italian Market

AB

The deli counter at Lina’s is a busy stop any day of the week, featuring house-cured salamis and hams, delicious cheeses and friendly staff to help you navigate the impressive selection. Looking for a hot meal? Lina’s recently brought on chef Keith Luce (formerly of Corbeaux Bakehouse) to man the kitchen, so you can get your fill of saucy meatballs and hefty, hot sandwiches.

Market 17 Inc

4
102-2505 17 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T3E 7V3

Located inside Market 17, Vie Café brings in savoury and sweet goodies from Red Tree Kitchen, Shef’s Fiery Kitchen, Meez Cuisine, Primal Soup, Pascal’s Patisserie and Trumps of Vancouver, and the café also offers house-made sandwiches. If coffee is not your thing, grab some True Büch kombucha served on tap. Round out your meal with some snacks from Market 17, and some chilled wine or beer from J. Webb Wine Merchant next door.

Angel's Cappuccino & Ice Cream

5
Edworthy Park, Calgary, AB T3B 0L9

Overlooking the Bow River on the small north-bank portion of Edworthy Park, Angel’s has been a pathway snack institution for nearly 20 years. Grab a “spiritually sweet” or “sinfully spicy” chicken wrap to go, or settle into Angel’s cozy patio space with a Clarity Cappuccino and enjoy the view.

Village Ice Cream

6
820 49 Avenue SW, Calgary, AB T2S 1G9

As soon as the mercury rises into the double digits, it seems like there is a line snaking out the door at all three Village Ice Cream locations. Who can say no to rich, small-batch ice cream with unique flavours like salted caramel and the bestselling cardamom? The cones can get a little messy, so the best bet for a picnic has to be one of the shop’s ice cream sandwiches, or grab a pint and spoons for sharing.

Want to eat healthy but you’re too busy or simply don’t know how to cook? These companies make nutritious, delicious meals that you can enjoy at home or at work, with many delivering right to your doorstep!
Age-old techniques for preserving summer’s bounty during the cold winter months, canning and pickling have seen a resurgence in popularity as a way to enjoy local produce year round. But what if you’ve just got to have your jams and pickles but don’t have the canning equipment or know-how? Satisfy your cravings in a pinch at these shops that sell local preserves, just like grandma used to make.
Corner stores used to be dingy holes in the wall where you could get a carton of milk and a pack of smokes. Over the last few years, however, several independent grocery stores have popped up in neighbourhoods all around Calgary, with many offering wholesome and delicious local and organic produce and packaged foods.
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