The best picnic foods are those classic and tasty main courses, side dishes, beverages and desserts that are good bets to take to an outdoor meal at the local park or at the beach. Because there is not always a cooking source like a grill available at a picnic, all of these picnic food ideas can be prepared ahead of time and packed for a lovely gathering with family or friends.
As gathering for picnics is a classic American pastime, the best picnic foods are just that as well. Traditional American foods like fried chicken, apple pie and lemonade or iced tea are staples of picnic menus across the country. But great picnic foods don't stop there. As a main course, sandwiches or subs are another favorite for their portability and ease of eating without utensils.
But no picnic would be complete without side dishes and other finger foods. Choices like potato salad, deviled eggs, cole slaw, pasta salad and chips are common items at picnics. Many also like to serve fresh vegetables, cheese and bean salads. For beverages, kids can enjoy fruit punch while the adults can partake (responsibly of course) on wine and beer. Don't forget dessert with popular favorites like cookies, brownies and cupcakes all typical for great picnic menus, not to mention some of the most delicious foods in the world.So when you're packing up the cooler and the kids for an afternoon picnic, what are you cooking? Vote for your favorite picnic foods, add those not listed or re-rank this list of the best picnic foods! If you're picnicking with a barbecue, check out the best foods on a BBQ for more inspiration.