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Best Santa Monica summer picnic boxes on-the-go

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Summertime is the perfect time for relaxed outdoor concert evenings in Southern Calfornia.

Pack a healthy picnic meal for summer beach nights at the Twilight Concert Series or for cross-town outings at venues like the Hollywood Bowl. For turn-key picnic boxes, visit these Santa Monica spots offering delicious prepared menus and takeout options, and look for advance ordering hours.

Enjoy the sights and sounds of summer--and eat well on-the-go!

Huckleberry Café
Seasonal and organic farmers’ market selections abound at Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan's stand-out bakery and café in mid-city.

Select an individual picnic box lunch with a choice of sandwiches like red pepper and burrata, salads such as quinoa, and more. For parties of two to eight people, the café has three basket options (each including a house-made baguette or biscuit, dessert and beverage choices):

• Market - charcuterie and artisan cheeses
• Picnic - fried free-range chicken and choice of farmers’ market salads (like roasted carrots)
• Hollywood Bowl - choice of entrées (including farmers’ market lasagna) and farmers’ market salads

The café also offers an individual kid’s boxed lunch for a family outing.

1014 Wilshire Blvd., 310-451-2311, www.huckleberrycafe.com

Marmalade Café
In 1990, this popular area chain opened its original café here on Montana Avenue. The charming spot offers an eclectic menu of fresh California-inspired selections and marketplace items.

Several picnic menus (priced per person) are available, such as the “Urban” featuring grilled prawns, Caesar salad and more. The “Enrique” includes an organic grilled chicken breast with citrus mango salsa, baby greens with fresh corn and sweet peppers, and a lemon square with fresh berries. Try the vegetarian “Moby” menu, too.

710 Montana Ave., 310-395-9196, www.marmaladecatering.com

Rosti Tuscan Kitchen
Al fresco dining is made simple at this Montana Avenue anchor, which also has locations in Calabasas and Encino.

The restaurant serves rustic Italian cuisine and offers four picnic box menus with a range of entrées. Select options like the “Elba” with a grilled salmon fillet and grilled seasonal vegetables, or the “Verona” with a turkey, apple and arugula sandwich. All menus are priced per person and include a choice of salad like Tuscan Caesar, and freshly baked Italian bread.

931 Montana Avenue, 310-393-3236, www.rostituscankitchen.com

Thyme Café & Market
This busy Ocean Park favorite has gourmet-to-go picnic meals with set selections, along with an extensive list of à la carte options.

Pick from four full meals (priced per person), such as one with sliced rosemary lemon chicken, pesto pasta, and heirloom tomato and panzanella salad. À la carte sides include gluten-free summer succotash, and vegan sesame sugar snap peas. Look for salads, platters, and sweets like a seasonal summer hand pie.

Beer and wine to accompany the meal is available for purchase.

1630 Ocean Park Blvd., 310-399-8800, www.thymecafeandmarket.com

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