Where are the best places to pick up picnic fare?
Who's taking this guy to Yappy Hour at Parings?
Where should I pick up picnic fare?
I'm a big fan into the one-stop, food and off-sale beer/wine shops Surdyk's and Pairings. Just make sure you're bringing the alcohol somewhere that's okay. (I think Mpls. parks only allow 3.2 beer in cans.)
Surdyk's deli in NE Minneapolis may be small but it's jam-packed with all sorts of picnic-able cheeses (they sometimes have burrata!), bread, crackers, salads (fruit, chicken, pasta...), sandwiches (banh mi, Philly, Cuban panini...), desserts (Rogue chocolate bars, layer cakes). Not only does Surdyk's have one of the best local wine selections, they have a nice range of craft beers as well as a new-ish case of chilled sakes. Also, there's gelato being scooped in the store's entryway--but you'll probably want to eat that in transit to your picnic site before it melts.
Pairings in Minnetonka offers a similar arrangement; they have fewer packaged dry goods but they offer both indoor and outdoor seating. Let the staff know that you'd like to assemble a picnic, and they'll even hook you up with a basket. (p.s. Anybody planning to bring Fido to Pairing's July 5th Yappy Hour on the patio, from 4-6 p.m.?)
If you want to skip the alcohol or BYO something you already have on hand, Bridgette Reinsmoen put together this handy list of ten great takeout spots.