With an unbeatable selection of international street food, lawn games like giant Jenga and connect four, and a lush, green lawn fit for an all-day flop-a-thon — not to mention, picturesque views of the San Francisco Bay — there’s no better place to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon with the family than Presidio Picnic.
Pro picnic-ers know that the best way to enjoy a day at the Presidio is to let the kids loose on the park’s expansive seven-acre lawn (bring a frisbee!) while you gaze on, Bloody Mary in hand. But with a selection of more than 25 of the Bay Area’s best mobile food creators each week, it can be hard to know just where to start when you’ve got hungry tykes in tow. We’ve rounded up our top five kid- and family-friendly items at Presidio Picnic this season.
1. FRESH-SQUEEZED LEMONADE FROM FARM STAND LEMONADE
Returning for its second season at Presidio Picnic this year, Farm Stand Lemonade serves made-to-order, handcrafted lemonade to thirsty picnic go-ers every Sunday. Owner Jennifer Gonzalez shakes up her freshly-squeezed concoctions in front of guests while they wait, never scrimping on freshness, smiles and lively conversation.
With creative flavor combos like pineapple-mint, homegrown cara cara orange and hibiscus-cinnamon — plus good old ‘classic lemonade’ for picky little palates — Farm Stand Lemonade has proven a smash hit with kids and families, and the perfect refreshment on a hot day in the park. We won’t judge you for sneaking a sip or two while the little nipper isn’t looking!
2. CRACK YOUR OWN COCONUT EXPERIENCE WITH CORE KITCHEN
Oakland-based Core Kitchen’s “crack your own coconut” experience is a must-do for little ones at Presidio Picnic. An Oakland-based establishment offering an entirely vegan and plant-based menu, Core Kitchen endeavors to hire formerly incarcerated individuals and support resource-poor local farms. Owner Corey Rennell lovingly sources his fresh coconuts from Thailand, and stands firm that they’re the freshest in the Bay Area.
Corey believes that teaching kids how to crack open the hydrating, nourishing, natural delights is the best way to help them connect with their food. “There’s nothing that melts my heart more than seeing the look in a child’s eyes when they crack their first coconut. It teaches connection, persistence, fascination with the natural world, and self-confidence.”
3. MAC ‘N CHEESE AND TATER TOTS FROM JACKRABBIT KITCHEN
Bay Area mobile food favorite Jackrabbit Kitchen has made its name serving creative sliders, craveable sides and fresh baked goodies that showcase the bounty of Northern California’s farmers, ranchers and food artisans. But they’re best known for their creamy mac n’ cheese with three cheese bechamel — made the old-fashioned way – and their insanely crispy-on-the-outside, creamy-on-the-inside tater tots.
Not only are Jackrabbit’s comfort food offerings sure to satisfy the most fickle of taste buds, but the restaurant is also committed to supporting sustainable farming practices across all its menu offerings. So you can feel good about nourishing the little lads and lasses in your life, and the planet, too.
4. SHAVE ICE (AND PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING) FROM HULA’S SWEET TREATS
The sister truck to Pacific Island meets NorCal mainstay Hula Truck, Hula’s Sweet Treats serves up tropical desserts from their charming, fire-engine-red custom truck. Kids love their tasty, technicolor ube shave ice with coconut whipped cream and toasted coconut flakes — but their macadamia nut cookie and vanilla ice cream sandwiches, and ‘Hula’s pan dulce’ with Mitchell’s ube ice cream, and toasted coconut on sweet Hawaiian bread are also not to be missed.
Hula’s Sweet Treats is truly a family affair, with owners Angela and Ryan Gorospe and their three kids (they welcomed their newest arrival, dubbed “baby Hula”, just 6 months ago!) often seen chilling out the near truck, and making friends with fellow dessert aficionados.
5. GRILLED CHEESE DELIGHTS FROM THE GRILLED CHEEZ GUY
A classic, melty grilled cheese sandwich is a no-fail choice for the pickiest of kiddos, and The Grilled Cheez Guy is pretty much as good as it gets. An Off the Grid mainstay for the past six seasons, The Grilled Cheez Guy serves gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches made with quality ingredients from local purveyors like Tillamook, Cowgirl Creamery, Capay Valley Farms and Acme Bread Company.
Their highly snackable (and ‘grammable) grilled cheese nachos are consistently one of their top sellers, and remain owner Michael Davidson’s personal favorite item on the menu. Rumor has it that family-style grilled cheese picnic baskets will also be coming this spring!
Beyond the bounty of tot-friendly food offerings in the park, the Presidio Trust provides free bicycle lessons for kids on the first Sunday of each month in partnership with the Presidio Community YMCA. Plus, swing by the adjacent Walt Disney Family Museum and Presidio Officers’ Club, where kids can witness a live archaeology dig.
Pro tip: visit Presidio Picnic on the fourth Sunday of every month for free cultural dance performances at the North end of the Main Parade Ground.
Can’t get enough of your favorite Presidio Picnic creator? Get in touch with us at Off the Grid Catering to inquire about booking them for your next private event!