If you’re looking to design a custom picnic menu that satisfies a variety of appetites and exemplifies your picnic theme, then we invite you to check out the spectacular array of stations our talented culinary team cooks up. It is true, buffets are a thing of the past—being rapidly replaced by menu options that give guests real choices. Whether it’s a build-your-own bar or exemplary choice of toppings for fresh roasted corn, we love to see guests explore their tasty options!
Personalized to represent your picnic theme and then further customized by your guests, food stations are heading up Chicago picnic food trends that rest on variety and ingenuity.
Flexible Picnic Station Ideas
Build Your Own Barbecue Food
Although picnics have become an American staple and guests come with mouths watering thinking about grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, each person has a slightly different dream picnic plate. That’s why we love to set out picnic staples like juicy sliced watermelon, potato chips and rolls as well as a variety of condiments for guests to customize their meal exactly to their liking.
We grill up the following favorite barbecue foods for guests to deck out as they see fit—creating their own Instagram-worthy picnic plate:
- Black angus 1/3 lb pure beef hamburgers
- Jumbo black angus hot dogs
- Vegetable garden burgers
- Barbecue chicken wings with Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce
Roasted Corn in the Husk
Roasted on-site and spiced up with a wonderful variety of condiments, corn in the husk elevates picnic plates and gives guests a reason to slow down and chomp around or down the cob. Let guests season them to their liking, relax and enjoy each sweet kernel!
One of our most popular Chicago picnic menu requests, street tacos have a lot of fans. With bagged Frito’s, meat chili, shredded cheese and sour cream to pile into black bowls, few guests can walk away from the walking taco station without an extra bounce in their stride.
Known to bond guests over great energy and excitement, a tailgate item adds to a great picnic atmosphere. Our baskets of corn tortilla chips topped with cheese sauce and sliced jalapeno ramp up the anticipation for outstanding picnic games and activities. Your guests will know it is time to party and play!
Strong competitors of funnel cake, especially in the fall, cider donuts are one of our favorite outcomes of the Donut 3.0 food trend. Paired with hot apple cider and artistically displayed as a donut wall, these are an attention-grabber that steals the sweet cravings away from good old-fashioned picnic desserts. But be sure to also set out those always-popular cookies because, at least for some guests, simplicity calls in their food choices!
Unlimited Ice Cream
When guests step up to our ice cream carts, they are greeted with great cheer and a wonderful selection of ice cream novelties. As they eye their favorite ice cream bar, an equally intriguing one might quickly snag their sweet tooth. To share your unique taste, showcase a signature ice cream bar that you personally selected!
Funnel Cake Station
These fun treats are popping up throughout Chicago picnics that embrace a variety of creative picnic themes. It does not have to be a carnival picnic for guests to jump at these mouthwatering sweets—especially when you combine two food trends in one by creating funnel cake ice cream sandwiches!
To cultivate a playful atmosphere, set up popcorn machines. Like cotton candy and sno cones, popcorn is a perfect snack to enjoy between picnic games. We love to see the bags get passed around as competition and conversations carry on.
We love to see guests relax and bond over a good drink, so we are happy to bring kegs, delicious wines and colorful seasonal beverages garnished or even infused with flowers. Floral flavors are a health-centric food trend that pairs perfectly with outdoor event décor! Of course, refreshing soft drinks are also in high demand at outdoor events, so we always stock our picnic bars with plenty of Pepsi products as well.
Thanks to the hard work of our dedicated team, your own take on our creative food stations can come together to give your guests an experience they will long remember. Whether we are serving an annual company picnic or bringing your picnic dreams to life for the first time, we are excited to share new picnic ideas with you.
To back your picnic vision with decades of experience, contact us online or give us a call at 847.593.2000.
More articles you might enjoy:
- 30 of the Best Company Picnic Themes
- Checklist for Planning Your Company Picnic
- Picnic Games and Activities