Check out some of the best places to snag delicious bites and the most ideal spots to have a picnic while enjoying the beauty of Stockton, CA.
One fun way to enjoy time together with family, or that special someone in your life, is with a good, old-fashioned picnic. Go back to basics and eat some delicious food outdoors. Below you will find info on a few great deli and restaurant options to make your picnic experience fit for a foodie. You will also find some special spots across the city that will give you a chance to slow down and savor moments spent with your favorite people.
Have a small backyard, but want to have a socially distanced picnic with a couple of your best friends? A few places we mention have plenty of space for you to each have your own blanket/chair spaced apart so everyone stays safe. Enjoy!
Located in Lincoln Center, on the north side of town, Podesto's Market & Deli is a full grocery store with one of the best deli counters in town. Choose from a large variety of fresh produce, a great selection of cheeses, Greek tortellini salad, fresh deli sandwiches, and more. Tri-tip and BBQ ribs are cooked on-site on the weekends. You can also purchase bread from Genova Bakery, a historic Stockton bakery/deli that has celebrated over 100 years in business.
Click here for address and hours.
Local Tip: a must-have for Stockton picnics are salami wraps. Grab some fresh-sliced salami, cream cheese, and local Bruno’s peppers. You won't be disappointed.
Also in Lincoln Center, Market Tavern is an American restaurant specializing in farm-to-table fare. Ordering prepared items from their seasonal menu is always a great idea, but they also stock their small market with favorites that can be warmed at your leisure before hitting the road for your picnic. The market is also stocked with great picks for your picnic baskets. Cheese & crackers, nuts, and a nice selection of local Lodi wines are readily available.
Local's Tip: Be sure to check out their selection of craft beer - and desserts.
Take a drive down toward the Port of Stockton, the farthest inland port on the west coast, and you'll find Delroy's Deli & Catering. Here you will find the best Jerk Chicken sandwich in town, BBQ Tri-Tip, pasta salad, delicious beans, BBQ Ribs (on special), and so much more. The unique, industrial, location surprises some people, but we promise the drive is worth it.
Local's Tip: Delroy's is just one of many amazing Black-owned businesses in Stockton that you can support. Find more here.
Made famous by its appearance on Diners, Drive Ins, & Dives, locals have been calling Gian's Deli one of the best for decades. This family owned and operated delicatessen can be found on the Miracle Mile, in the heart of Stockton. The family-recipe raviolis and homemade focaccia bread are must-haves for your picnic, just be sure to grab plenty of napkins. They also make delicious sandwiches with freshly sliced meats, and simple fixings. Another favorite is Gian's torta (eggs, spinach, zucchini, and Parmesan cheese). Before you leave, grab a few authentic Italian groceries and you will be all set.
Local's Tip: This place is old-school and only accepts cash. Be sure to hit the bank, or use the ATM they have on site.
Take a drive east on Highway 88 and you'll find The Fruit Bowl, a 70+ year old family-owned farm stand and bake shop. Grab some delicious deli sandwiches and select the freshest fruits and vegetables you can find. Their coffee and breakfast pastry selection is divine, and you can't forget the pies. The Fruit Bowl pies are a staple at backyard BBQs and holiday parties across San Joaquin County.
Local's Tip: If you have a few minutes to spare, take the time to grab a gelato and relax at their picnic benches.
This San Joaquin County Park has majestic trees and plenty of space to enjoy a picnic. Grab a spot near the water or under an old oak tree. Lovingly called the "geese park" by some local children, Oak Grove Regional Park often has flocks of geese to watch for entertainment (be sure you watch where you step and sit). This is a great option for those looking to spread out with a couple friends for a socially distanced reunion. After your meal, take a walk on one of the two nature trails, the Yokuts (.4 miles and handicap accessible), and Miwok (1.8 miles), or play a few holes of the disc-golf course.
Local's Tip: This regional park has an entry fee for cars, trailers, and pets. Click above for pricing.
The University Park World Peace Rose Garden shines with words of inspiration and colorful bloom. Enjoy a picnic on the lawn or sitting on a bench under a nearby oak tree. No matter what time of year you stop by, the garden always brings peace and calm to those who read the messages scattered throughout the beautifully designed garden. Leave your own message of peace and it will be added to the online collection.
Local's tip: plan to spend extra time walking the Discovery Trail at University Park during your visit. You'll learn some interesting facts and walk off all those delicious snacks you enjoyed.
If you are looking for a great place to sit by the water head out to Paradise Point Marina, along the California Delta. Behind the store, you will find some of the best picnic tables in Stockton. The space feels tropical, with large shade structures and lots of foliage. The breeze coming off the water is refreshing and the sunsets are divine.
Local's Tip: bathrooms available for store patrons so be sure to pop in and drop some cash to support them.
In the heart of Stockton you can enjoy one of the most beloved gathering spaces for locals. Victory Park is home to the Haggin Museum, the Gerry Dunlap Rose Garden, and plenty of space to enjoy a picnic. Set up near one of the two ponds in front of the museum, or head back behind the building and enjoy wide open spaces to spread out.
Local's tip: there are currently no public bathrooms available at this park. Be sure to plan ahead.
If you haven't ever watched a ship come into our out of the Port of Stockton, this is the place for you. Inside Louis Park, Dad's Point is a great place to sit and watch the ships roll in and out of the port. Huge tankers and cargo ships from across the globe will glide through the water in front of you. It doesn't matter how old you are, seeing something like that is pretty amazing.
Local's tip: there is not a lot of shade near the water so be prepared. Picnic benches can be found on the other side of the parking lot inside the park.
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