Moving into the space where local institution Moroccan Soup Bar used to be, Picnic has big shoes to fill. It’s living up to the challenge with good coffee, good vibes and a refined sandwich list. Owners Ryan McDonald (ex-Streat) and Nathan Campbell (ex-Undercover Roasters) envisioned a space where buying a coffee was more than a transaction and with the community feel of a picnic – only indoors.
The hero of the menu is the roast chicken sandwich on multigrain sourdough, packing rocket, pickled onion, and dill and chive mayo. It’s finished with bacon jam, made from a 99-year-old recipe McDonald found wedged inside a book of Greek mythology while travelling through Ireland a decade ago. There’s also a classic Reuben; a salad sanga with yuzu mayonnaise; and a popular mushroom toastie with spinach and almonds, held together with four cheeses: gruyere, smoked scamorza, cheddar and stretchy mozzarella for the theatrics of that classic cheese pull.
McDonald and Campbell are passionate about keeping everything fresh and close to home. Their veggies come from the Vegetable Connection just down the road and their meats are sourced from paddock-to-plate operation Grange Meats Company (formerly Largo Butchers). Everything is placed between two slices of crusty bread from Streat in Collingwood. Coffee comes from Inglewood, and almost demands a sea salt-topped chocolate chip cookie to go with it.
The calming fit-out features perimeter seating, cottage-green dado on the walls, and dozens of indoor plants, including a large weeping fig at the door. It’s all meant to emulate that feeling of being in the park, having a picnic. And if that’s what you actually want to do, the takeaway-friendly menu is ready to be carried across the road and eaten at your favourite spot in Edinburgh Gardens.
183 St Georges Rd, Fitzroy
Mon to Fri 7am–3pm
Sat to Sun 7.30am–3pm