Perfect Picnic Fare

Use Jason and Joy’s recommend sandwich shops to pick up your outdoor eats

Restaurant recommendations from MnMo food critics Jason DeRusha and Joy Summers.

Jason’s Picks

You know what’s fun about spending time outside eating? Not spending time inside preparing. Grab your blanket and your basket and hit the lakes and the parks.

France 44 & St. Paul Cheese Shops: I’m a sucker for a nice baguette, some beautiful cheese, and an amazing sandwich. It doesn’t get much better than the sibling France 44 and St. Paul Cheese Shops. Be adventurous and get the $9 surprise sandwich—add a hunk of Comte cheese and you’re in heaven. (44th & France; Snelling & Grand)

Yum Kitchen and Bakery: You want a tuna melt? A hot chicken sandwich? A great salad (salmon with turmeric-infused couscous is my favorite)? Yum is a restaurant that lives up to its name. They’ve got great cookies and bars too, ideal for packing away for the family, and then renting a paddleboat on nearby Lake Calhoun. (Minnetonka Blvd., St. Louis Park)

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Clancey’s Roast Beef Sandwich. PHoto by Todd Buchanan.

Joy’s Picks

I love dining out, but keeping my two little kids occupied during a meal isn’t always easy. Summer means I get great food and they get to run like crazy outside. 

Clancey’s: This tiny butcher shop has more for your basket than just sandwiches (although those are delicious). Grab some pâté, pickled cauliflower, and any number of other ready-to-eat nibbles in the case and head for a picnic table by the massive play area near Lake Harriet. (Linden Hills)

Russ Kendall’s Smoke House: There are several smokehouses along the North Shore, but only one that’s also attached to a bar and antique shop. Grab a Lake Superior–caught smoked whitefish, a sleeve of saltines (and maybe a can of beer), and head over to the lakeshore. Make sure to pack some wet naps. (Knife River, MN)