Grab your picnic basket, and take in some scenery. There’s no better way to enjoy the Minnesota summer than eating a meal al fresco—just don’t limit yourself to peanut butter and jelly. Put together an insta-picnic with help from local restaurants and breweries.
Red’s Savoy Pizza
Order your pizza for takeout, grab a local brew and head somewhere to take in the beautiful outdoors. The first Minnesota Red’s Savoy Pizza opened in 1965 making it one of the go-to places for pizza for the past 50 years. Since then, Red’s has been at the top of many of Minnesota’s best lists for pie. Known for their somewhat spicy sauce and thin crusts, Red’s is a great place for the picnic procrastinator. Perfect for the summer, the BBQ Pizza with chicken and onions ($11.99 regular; $16.99 large) is one of those pizzas that will make you remember your favorite beach cookout. The Savoy House Special with sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, green peppers and green olives is another tasty option. $14.99 regular; $19.99 large.
582 Prairie Center Drive, Eden Prairie; 952.944.3020
Captain Crunch Roll
Kai’s Sushi Grill
Are you looking for something on the lighter side? Kai’s Sushi Grill mixes chic contemporary food with a traditional Japanese flair. Sushi is a great option for outdoor dining. New sushi eaters and experts will enjoy the assortment on this menu—we’d recommend the California roll, shrimp tempura roll, peanut avocado roll and vegetable roll. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the Captain Crunch roll ($14.95). This roll gives you a little bit of unexpected crunch. Many of the rolls are influenced by Las Vegas culture, so you will feel like you’re traveling to Sin City.
586 W. 78th St., Chanhassen; 952.923.2456
Tail Feather IPA
Some of the best picnics happen outside of a brewery. You can bring or order-in food to the Enki Brewing Taproom, and enjoy it with one of their brews. Try the Tail Feather IPA. It’s a hop-heavy brew with a great bitterness that IPA drinkers love. It pairs well with the Minnesota Sunrise walleye sandwich and burgers from the Victoria House. The brewery has two patios or space to spread out on the lawn. $5.
7929 Victoria Drive, Victoria; 952.300.8408
There’s nothing more Minnesotan than a walleye sandwich. If you are looking for a wonderful meal that you can take with you on your trek to find the perfect picnic spot, this place is for you. The Minnesota Sunrise walleye sandwich is topped with homemade tartar sauce, American cheese, and comes on a grilled bun. Pick your choice of sides between onion rings, fries or chips. Not only can you pick up wonderful meals from Victoria House—if your picnic destination is Enki Brewing, they’ll deliver directly to you. $13.95-$14.95.
1715 Steiger Lake Lane, Victoria; 952.443.2858
If your picnic is going to revolve around your sweet tooth, you need to stop by The Social ice cream shop in Victoria. Not only does the shop carry any flavor that your palate desires, it also has great trails nearby that make it easy to enjoy your picnic. Stop by for a cone or for several pints. Owner Brandon Wallis recommends the Coconut Explosion flavor—even if you aren’t a die-hard coconut lover. It’s a great, clean taste for summer. $3.25 single scoop; $4.25 double.
1700 Stieger Lake Lane, Suite 101, Victoria; 952.443.2763.
Platillo de Enchiladas
Chaska My Love
If you are seeking authentic Mexican food, look no further than Chaska My Love. You can pick up their Platillo de Enchiladas with chicken, steak or cheese and take them on a trip to your favorite park. Don’t forget the Jarritos! $8.56; Jarritos $2.25.
127 W. Fourth St., Chaska; 952.368.0350
Cheese Lovers’ Basket
Travel around the world with cheese. Kowalski’s has a wonderful selection of cheese, and each market houses a cheese specialist who can help you build your own basket. You’ll want to bring along a selection of cheeses; try one hard cheese such as Milton Creamery Prairie Breeze Cheddar, a spreadable cheese such as the Hidden Springs Creamery “Driftless” Cheese, and one that contains herbs like the Garlic & Herb Le Roule. Don’t forget all of the fixings, including the local Lucille’s Kitchen Garden garlic pepper jam and A Gourmet Thyme lemon thyme shortbread. You can order ahead of time if you are planning the perfect day outdoors. Prices vary.
16500 W. 78th St., Eden Prairie; 952.937.9585
(Cheese Lovers’ Basket from Kowalski’s Market in Eden Prairie; Photo courtesy of Kowalski’s Market)
Waconia Brewing Company
Don’t just think food when you think picnic. Grab yourself some cool refreshments. Two local families started Waconia Brewing Company after a gift of a home brewing kit spurred their passion for making beer. You can take a growler with you or bring food along and try a refreshing brew in the Waconia Brewing Company Taproom. Try any one of their four flagship beers, including the WacTown Wheat. This beer is an American Pilsner that has sweet orange flavors and pairs with pizza or food from Lola’s Lakehouse. $5 pint; $12 growler.
255 Main St. W., Waconia; 612.888.2739