International Picnic Day (June 18th) had us back on the search for the best sandwiches in the San Francisco Bay Area and in the mood for a picnic. The art of picnicking is easy to implement in the Bay Area, be it in a San Francisco park or on a lake in Oakland. Just bring a blanket and something to nibble on, and you’re all set. And don’t forget the sandwiches—the star of the show!

For a truly fun, spontaneous picnic, please feel free to ignore the elaborate picnic-themed lifestyle shoots that you’ve seen in the magazines and on social media. All you really need is a sparkly drink, some fruit and a sturdy, delicious sandwich packed to go.

We have you covered for the celebratory occasion with 5 swoon-worthy sandwich picks, from newly-opened spots to beloved mainstays.

City Counter: Deviled Egg Sandwich

Downtown’s freshest luncheonette City Counter is all about cool homages to all-American classic sandwiches. The competition is tough (the Rubenesque, with smoked beets, sharp cheddar and pickled cabbage is a close second) but the ultimate picnic companion is the seemingly simple, white-bread egg salad creation, featuring perfectly flavored eggs, fresh watercress and crushed salt & vinegar chips—adding a curious crunch that ties the whole thing together. Genius!

115 Sansome St

Smoked lamb shoulder, black radish, cucumber, harissa. . . #lunch #sandwich

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Tartine Manufactory: Smoked Lamb Shoulder Sandwich

Delicious Eggplant Parm…

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Picnicking in the East Bay? Preeti Mistry’s new cafe, Navi Kitchen, has you covered with a substantial, picnic-ready eggplant sub, with whole roasted eggplant, mozzarella and tangy tomato sauce. The sub, equally delicious cold or hot, won’t fall apart thanks to the sturdy bun, and eggplant makes for a light, perfect daytime sandwich. While there, make sure to grab a to-go cup of the unusual, refreshing house-made turmeric tonic and head to the Temescal Creek Park across the street.

5000 Adeline St, Emeryville

Best falafel <3

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Sunrise Deli: Avocado Falafel Pita

For those heading to Golden Gate Park, it doesn’t get better than this portable pita sandwich from the Sunset classic. Sunrise Deli. This place serves up some of the best falafel balls in town, and when they’re dressed with authentic hummus, tomatoes and silky tahini, nothing can beat this combo. A Californian must-have, the avocado adds texture and a welcomed health benefit. The pita is especially picnic-friendly, containing all the ingredients neatly until the very last bite.

2115 Irving Street

Testing how the lamb kebab plate holds up for to go orders. That's work, right?

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The Kebabery: Chicken Kebab Wrap

The new and already popular Oakland spot opens at 5 PM, which makes it a perfect candidate for a sunset Lake Meritt picnic. As you might have guessed, The Kebabery specializes in juicy, on-point kebabs, and one of the best ones is the nicely charred chicken, dressed with a choice of salad, yogurt and spicy pickled. Tightly wrapped in a  homemade fluffy flatbread, this is pure picnic heaven.

4201 Market St

 

Other tried-and-true locations:

Mission Picnic (The Mission, SF)
Rhea’s Deli (The Mission, SF)
Naked Lunch (North Beach, SF)
Ike’s Love & Sandwiches (Uptown Oakland)
Sacred Wheel (Temescal, Oakland)