Top 10 Favorite Foods to Enjoy at a Picnic

It’s finally over, go away winter and never come back! Spring has sprung and warmer breezes are here. As the days are becoming visibly lighter for longer, we Chicagoans can start to look forward to the picnic season and all the great foods that come with it.

So, what are the top favorite menu items you’ll likely enjoy at a picnic? And what is the number one beverage served? Well, we’ve reviewed thousands of picnics Corky’s has catered over the years and narrowed it down to our top 10 list:

Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken served outdoors on a red checkered tablecloth is the essence of picnic nostalgia. Corky’s Fried Chicken is a family recipe dating back to 1978. We combine the perfect mix of seasonings and batter fried up just right. Hot or cold, this summer favorite can’t be missed.

Potato Salad

A picnic without Potato Salad wouldn’t be a picnic at all. Practically everyone loves potato salad and everyone makes it their own way. Corky’s Gramma’s Potato Salad is a classic blend of spices and mayo with a hint of green onion and that makes it delicious with any picnic food you can dream of.


No list of picnic specialties would be complete without the king of melons. Watermelon tastes refreshingly right when you cut and serve it outdoors. Kids and adults adore this simple approach, and taking a big bite out of a crescent shaped slice of watermelon is about as joyously basic as fruit-love gets.


With all the tasty ingredients neatly wrapped inside a tortilla, this is a fresh, healthy, and kid-friendly option for your picnic.

Hot Dog and Hamburgers

Hot dogs and burgers are the quintessential grill food for the summer. Kids and adults love them and rarely is there leftover. There is something special about the aroma of amazing grilled food that can’t be beat.

Fresh Fruit

Fruit is a natural accompaniment to outdoor dining. It also makes a refreshing side dish and dessert. Our Fresh Fruit Tray includes beautifully arranged Hawaiian Pineapple, Strawberries, Cantaloupe, Honeydew, Grapes and Watermelon.

Fudge Brownies

Whether it’s a backyard get-together, a family reunion, or a picnic by the lake, these crowd-pleasing goodies are the perfect on-the-go dessert. We offer them in plain fudge, with nuts and a decadent assortment that will make any sugar lover blush.

Baked Beans

Clearly, we are not alone when thinking who can imagine a barbecue or picnic without them. It’s that salty sweet side that goes with just about anything. Corky’s World’s Greatest Baked Beans is made with bacon, onions, honey and 5 different types of beans simmered and spiced to perfection.

Corn On The Cobb

Corn is another must have at your grill out. Our preference is roasted in the husk to keep all the juices and flavor sealed in. This one is as simple as it gets, throw them on the grill for 15-20 minutes and give them a little butter and salt. Truly the perfect summer side to any grill out.


Bratwurst are the midwest’s grill specialty, and we serve them two ways. Boiled in beer and grilled with sautéed onions or the more traditional, grilled with sauerkraut. No matter the season, spring to Oktoberfest, there is nothing like a hot grilled brat.


And To Wash All these Great Tastes Down

If you could synthesize a season and serve it on ice, lemonade would be it.
And, for the adults we’ve taken this classic springtime beverage and added a kick to it.

Spiked Springtime Lemonade

2-1/4 cups sugar
5 cups water, divided
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1-3/4 cups lemon juice
1 cup light rum or vodka
6 to 8 cups ice cubes

Lemon slices

In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, 1 cup water and lemon zest. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in lemon juice and remaining water.

Pour into a 2-qt. pitcher; refrigerate until chilled. When ready to use, add alcohol, stir and serve over ice.
Garnish with lemon slices. Serves 8 (about 2 quarts).


Now that you have your entire picnic menu planned, give us a call to place your order and help plan all the rest of the details for your perfect Springtime Picnic.

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