May in Memphis brings some wonderful opportunities to pack up a delicious picnic and head outside. The city standard, of course, is Sunset Symphony. Sadly, the last Sunset Symphony is Saturday, ending its 39-year run. But don’t forget Live at the Garden at Memphis Botanic Garden or the Levitt Shell Concert Series. As long as you’re celebrating our great local outdoor events, make your picnic a local affair as well, with these what-to-pack suggestions:
The Memphis Farmers Market, which takes place downtown on Saturday mornings, is the perfect spot to start. Definitely fill your basket with beautiful, fresh fruits and vegetables, but keep looking, and you’ll find all kinds of additional treats. Kent Walker Cheese sells lovely cheeses made in Little Rock, AR, and Bonnie Blue Farm has a wonderful selection of goat cheeses, including a creamy chèvre and a soft Camembert style. Serve these with some rosemary olive oil or cranberry walnut bread from Cucina Breads.
Pigasus offers locally made charcuterie, like Noix de Jambon smoked ham, and West Wind Farms has cold cuts and summer sausage. Dodson’s Farm jams and relishes and Flo’s Homemade Goodness pepper relish and pickles make wonderful accompaniments for a cheese and charcuterie platter. Cooper Street 20/20 offers a variety of dips and cold salads. In addition to a booth at the farmers market, Cooper Street 20/20 is open at its location on Cooper during the week.
Also at the Memphis Farmers Market, the Boys and Girls Club sells a selection of hummus and some nice baked goods. Pick up stuffed grape leaves and tabbouleh from Raffe’s Catering, then hop over to the Las Delicias table for pico de gallo and fresh tortilla chips. Don’t forget something sweet from Made From Scratch Bakery, Bluff City Coffee or Carrington’s Catering.
The Cooper-Young Community Farmers Market, also on Saturdays, offers a great selection of seasonal fruits and veggies, as well. Try some creative baked goods from La Belle Bakery or creative preserves and pickles from Flora Farms.
Miss Cordelia’s on Mud Island is always a great resource for locally produced items, plus they have a wide selection of fresh salads, from kale to pasta. You can also pick up Eggcellence creatively stuffed deviled eggs from the deli case at Miss Cordelia’s, or contact myeggcellence.com to order some delivered.
Any location of Holiday Deli & Ham is another a great stop for picnic fare. Yes, they are known for sandwiches, but pick up their packaged pimento cheese, chicken salad, potato salad, fruit salad and pasta salad and you are good to go. Drive through the pickup window at Curb Side Casseroles for chicken salad, spicy firecrackers and a variety of dips.
You’ll undoubtedly add some of the beautiful pastries from La Baguette to your basket, but their egg and olive salad, pimento cheese and Versailles spinach filling also make great picnic choices. Lucchesi’s has the gamut of cold salads, but also the perfect picnic sandwich—the muffuletta. Fill your cooler with some local beer from Wiseacre, Memphis Made or Ghost River, and you’re set to celebrate summer in the city.
Want to discover even more of the city’s best local fare? Download the SB App from the Apple store to enjoy the best of your city and other great Southern destinations.