5 Great Grab-and-Go Sandwiches for Portland Picnics

Spontaneous beach trips and park picnics are calling. We’ve got your instant sustenance.

By Karen Brooks May 17, 2023

Sandwiches from Sebastiano’s (top), Ken’s Artisan Bakery, and Bella’s Italian Bakery are easy add-ins for a picnic basket.

Image: Michael Novak

Yes, we are an impatient lot. Lines? Can’t do it. Waiting for eternity for that prime patio seat? Not today, Satan. Sometimes we just want to dart in, grab a ready-made sandwich, and head for a patch of grass. These five favorites will make any picnic basket proud. 

Jamon and Cheese at Ken’s Artisan Bakery

Northwest District

An homage to Europe sits in a basket on the counter: a mountain of simple, elegant, paper-wrapped jamon and cheese sandwiches. The model here includes smoked ham, Asiago cheese, and butter tucked into crackle-crusted ficelle bread, the baguette’s super skinny cousin. 

338 NW 21st Ave, $6  

Daily Market Sandwiches at Café Olli


This artisan bakery-café boasts two ready-made sandwiches daily, one meat, one not, and both on great house breads, with options rotating frequently. Carnivores: watch for the fab pairing of mortadella and the kitchen’s super creamy stracciatella cheese on focaccia. Veg people get playful options like fava bean purée, chèvre, and marinated broccoli. 

3925 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, $12

Italian Train Station at Bella’s Italian Bakery


A staple of train stations across Italy gets the Portland upgrade here: a few slices of salami, whole grain mustard and provolone on herb and garlic focaccia. Bonus: Bella’s mondo collection of Italian treats, sfogliatelle to Nonna-level cookies, at your fingertips.

9119 SE Woodstock Blvd, $8

Egg Salad at Oyatsupan Bakers


Everything tastes better on fresh-baked shokupan (Japanese milk bread), prized for its fluffy, cotton-soft tenderness. That includes a ready-made egg salad: creamy, sunny, and chunky.

16025 SW Regatta Ln, Beaverton, $4.40 

Eggplant & Mozzarella Muffuletta at Sebastiano’s


This take on the New Orleans classic boasts meticulous local meat craft, good cheeses and olive salad, plus fresh-baked bread that throws in fennel seeds instead of just the classic sesame. The owners make eight wedges at a time from one big, round loaf, wrapped to go. Improbably, the meatless version rules: grilled sheets of eggplant artfully stacked with fresh mozzarella, arugula, and Calabrian chile aioli. Don’t sleep on Sicilian cookies for a highly portable dessert.

411 SE 81st Ave, $13–14

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