Classical Tahoe

Plan The Perfect Picnic for Classical Tahoe Concerts

Alfresco dining rules in the summer and picnics are perfect for beachy sunsets and wooded glens. So if you’re coming to our concerts this summer, and we hope you are, come early, bring a picnic with friends, and spread out on one of our tables scattered under the trees. To make it easy for you, here are some tips for creating the perfect picnics this summer.

Tips For Planning a Perfect Picnic 

  • Keep your picnic simple and create a picnic checklist. Napkins, salt, pepper, and other condiments your meal requires should be on the list, such as salad dressing. Toothpicks can be very handy for spearing olives or pickles. Towelettes are a nice-to-have too. And if you’re bring wine, don’t forget a wine opener.
  • A picnic basket is handy for packing a picnic dinner, but yours might be tucked away on the top shelf of a closet in a little used bedroom. Or at least that’s where you think you put it 10 years ago when you last used it. No worries. Grab an insulated bag and throw in some frozen ice packs – the larger the better – and make sure the food is already chilled.
  • Carry vinaigrettes in a jam jar. A simple shake is all they need before serving.
  • Prep everything ahead of time to reduce lugging around special utensils.
  • If you want to go all out, bring a tablecloth for your table, eco-friendly flatware, plates and bowls, or enamel plates. Paper plates can get soggy.
  • Incline Spirits (link to provides liquid refreshments at the bar under the tent, and we offer flavored waters on a table next to the bar.


Picnic Food Suggestions 

  • Wraps or sandwiches are very portable, but avoid adding slices of tomatoes, unless you prefer soggy sandwiches in your perfect picnic. If you pick up sandwiches earlier in the day, play it safe and skip the mayo unless it’s a vegan mayo. Firm breads like ciabatta and rolls travel better than softer focaccia bread.
  • Hardy salads that nix delicate greens are perfect picnic food. Think chickpea, lentil, or quinoa salads, and orzo or other pasta salads. Smoked salmon or smoked trout are great additions to the salads, as well as grilled chicken, steak, shrimp or salmon.
  • If you prefer finger foods, go with deviled eggs, chicken tenders, chicken legs, sliced deli meats and cheeses, hummus with sticks of celery, carrots, and zucchini, and firm fruit. Grapes and apples travel better than strawberries and bananas, although they all work if the picnic isn’t being lugged far.


Where to Buy Picnic Food 

Some of the below suggestions are stores selling individual items you can assemble for a customized picnic. Others are restaurants you can call ahead to and simply pick up your meal on the way to our Pavilion. Bear in mind that it’s best to place your order by 5pm as restaurants here can be slammed at peak dining hours.

Incline Village

Austin’s and Brewforia both offer a selection of salads and sandwiches from their menus that work well for picnics. Brewforia also has a killer house-made hummus with some flatbread.

Fumo’s, a recent addition to Incline Village, offers some great starters in addition to salads and sandwiches.

If you’re in the mood for bar-b-que, head to Gus’ Open Pit BBQ for chicken, tri-tip or ribs grilled over wood chips.

T’s Mesquite Rotisserie is a long-time local favorite for rotisserie chicken and tri-tip with a Mexican flair with their burritos, soft tacos, tostadas and quesadillas. But word of warning, they don’t accept credit cards.

Sunshine Deli offers a selection of sandwiches, quiche, salads, fruit bars and cookies – and roasted brussles sprouts not to be missed. Note: they close at 4pm on Fridays and at 2pm on Saturdays. They are closed on Sunday.

Both Raley’s and Village Market offer a wide selection of foods for any picnic.


New Moon Natural Foods is a grocery store full of organic, healthy food selections, sandwiches at their Crescent Cafe, and a wide variety of pre-prepared foods. They also have a location in Tahoe City.

The Pour House sells not only an impressive selection of wines, but also has one of the best arrays of artisanal cheeses around the Lake plus a host of gourmet picnic goodies.

If you’re staying in Northstar, stop by Copper Lane Café + Provisions on the lower level of the Village near the theater for your picnic fixings. In addition to salads and sandwiches, they offer cured meats, cheeses and over 200 kinds of wine.