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Our Farmers' Market Picks: How to Have a DIY Picnic This Weekend

Between TRIBEZA Style Week, two music-filled ACL weekends and the upcoming Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix happening October 23-25, our fall calendar is booked solid. So this weekend, we’re carving out some time for a much-needed reprieve. While the city boasts plenty of breezy patios to enjoy midday sips and snacks, why not take advantage of Austin’s greenspaces to set the scene for your own picnic?

This Sunday, we are hitting up one of the best markets in town, the Texas Farmers’ Market at Mueller, to make our very own DIY picnic. If you’re like us, we think that sometimes the best plans require no planning. Skip the grocery list; the local purveyors always offer high quality goods and the season’s best produce, making shopping a foolproof experience. And the best part? The market sits in the middle of an expansive family-friendly park replete with a glittering lake, scenic hike and bike trails, a children’s playground and lush lawns, which makes finding a sunny spot for your spread a breeze.

Before You Go

No need to buy a bulky, fully-equipped picnic basket you will rarely use. In fact, all of your picnic essentials can be pulled from home. Grab a couple of drinking glasses, a cutting board and a small paring knife from the kitchen. Wrap the glassware and knife in a kitchen towel or cloth napkin for safe transporting. Before walking out the door, snag the blanket from your living room sofa. And remember to put some reuseable shopping bags in the trunk of your car.

At The Market

Even though we favor on-the-spot inspiration, here are a few recommendations for some of the market’s best picnic foods.

Make Easy Tiger your first stop.

  • The ever-popular bakeshop sells out fast and for good reason. Opt for a crusty French baguette. They’re simple and don’t require any slicing –– just tear it into pieces with your hands. Easy Tiger also stocks plenty of bread for your weekday needs and a few pastry options for your sweet tooth cravings.

Next, stroll over to Pure Luck Farm & Dairy.

  • We love the piquant flavor of the mixed herb chèvre paired with another goat cheese variety –– wonderfully named June’s Joy –– which carries a kick of pepper cut with a kiss of honey. To punch up the sweetness of the June’s Joy, grab some liquid amber from Round Rock Honey. The combination is sublime.

The market’s produce selection offers the best of the season.

  • Fruits, vegetables, and herbs lend texture and freshness to your spread. We suggest grabbing a few juicy pears from Engel Farms to accompany the baguette and cheese. Or switch it up with something savory like radishes or tomatoes. Pecans are another seasonal and healthy addition to your picnic.

Don’t forget the drinks.

  • For a refreshing beverage straight from the tap ask for a growler of non-alcoholic, English-style ginger beer from the friendly folks at Soco Ginger Beer. They offer a couple of fruit-infused flavors, but you can’t go wrong with the original brew. Trust us.

Set the scene.

  • Flowers from Johnson’s Backyard Gardens or Prickly Pair Farm will give your picnic a floral flare. And if your sweet tooth is insatiable like ours, we won’t judge you for picking up some cookies from Texas French Bread or financiers from Pour and Press.
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