The Picnic Basket: New Santa Cruz restaurant from owners of Penny Ice Creamery

Earlier this summer, the folks behind organic Santa Cruz ice cream shop The Penny Ice Creamery opened The Picnic Basket, a restaurant that serves savory food from local providers as well as the infamous Penny ice cream that has countless fans.

As owners Kendra Baker and Zach Davis have promised, The Picnic Basket offers a seasonal menu from “local farmers, foragers, and artisans.” Menu items include breakfast selections such as egg frittata pressed sandwich ($8), Santa Cruz-based Companion Bakers’ scones ($2.50) or Companion toast served with local Plumline jam ($3).

Lunch/dinner selections at The Picnic Basket include the El Salchichero hot dog with Farmhouse Culture sauerkraut ($6), which I can personally recommend, Ricotta and beet panini with lemon, toasted walnut spread and greens ($7.50), and Rib King pulled pork sandwich with roasted tomatillos and house slaw ($10). There are a variety of sandwiches and salads and ingredients change depending on local and seasonal availability; for example, the ricotta and beet panini has appeared as the ricotta and asparagus panini. I recently enjoyed the Picnic Salad ($7.50) with Fogline Farms lemon roasted chicken, very thinly sliced summer squash, shaved Parmesan cheese, toasted croutons, and mixed greens. The flavor and texture combinations worked perfectly in this refreshing dish. Read more on Santa Cruz’s El Salchichero.

Side dishes include corn on the cob ($2) and spiced nuts ($3), and beverages include sparkling fruit sodas made on-site ($3), Verve coffee ($2.75), and – coming soon – a variety of local beer plus wine from Birichino (co-founder John Locke is the wine director at Soif). Desserts include ice cream, sorbet, popsicles, shakes, and ice cream sandwiches. Don’t miss ice cream happy hour: double scoop for the price of a single on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4-6pm (also good at original Penny Ice Creamery on Cedar Street).

If you want more background on the original Penny Ice Creamery — including its owners who just a year after opening Penny now run two popular Santa Cruz spots — read this article (since that article was published, the hours have changed: Penny is now open 7 days a week).

If you’re on Twitter, follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Picnic Basket Hours & Info

Hours: Daily 7am-midnight

125 Beach Street, Santa Cruz 95060

(831) 427-9946

www.facebook.com/thepicnicbasketsc