A perfect beach day demands ideal beach food and drinks, and a plan to combat sand. We’ve got you covered on all fronts.
A homemade beach feast is one of the worthiest of summer causes, in my opinion. Little is more satisfying on a warm day than loading up on lovingly crafted snacks and dishes, and transporting them via stylish accessories for a picnic by the sea. And yet sometimes the sand, surf, and frankly, seagulls, have other thoughts about your lavish spread, and threaten to turn your beautifully curated seaside lunch into a thing of windswept, sand-crusted, occasionally absconded-with tragedy.
The winning strategy in this game of Beach Blanket Bingo, I have found, is keeping it utensil-free with fun, beach-worthy finger foods that can be kept under wraps or in containers and eaten a bite (or sip) at a time. You can leave the forks and plates at home, leaving you more room to carry fun inflatables anyway. Maybe bring some extra napkins.
Sand Proof Portable Beach Mat, $21.95 on Amazon
Set the scene while scattering the sand in one handy portable blanket.
This is a no-brainer. Any foodstuff that can be transported from container to mouth via other foodstuffs is a beach win. Go in for making your own pita or tortilla chips if you’re on the ultra side of beach hosting. Any salsas, guac variations, and even cowboy caviar make for excellent beach fare, but I am partial to this light and lively hummus. (Might one call that color seafoam green?) Get our White Bean and Edamame Hummus recipe.
25-Liter Insulated Collapsible Soft Cooler Bag, $28.88 on Amazon
Because you’re going to need a bigger boat for all these treats, and function should never overrule style.
Related Reading: The Cutest Coolers for Summer Picnics
Sliders: Pineapple Braised Pork Sandwiches
The key to sand-free, seagull-proof sammies is keeping them petite, for quick and easy two-bite consumption. All manner of hot or cold sliders, mini wraps, and tea sandwiches have a place on the table…that is, beach blanket. And also perhaps keeping it small means that you’ll never have to wait much longer than the requisite 30 minutes for going in for a cooling dip, provided you can limit yourself to just one. Or two. Get our Pineapple Braised Pork Sandwiches recipe.
Pop Up Mesh Food Covers, Set of 4 for $14.77 on Amazon
For keeping away the sand and seagulls with sassiness and style.
Veggies: Goat Cheese Stuffed Peppadews
You worked for your beach bod this summer, and just because you’re the master of the beach feast doesn’t mean you necessarily want to threaten your good work. Veggies to the rescue! But step away from the forkable salads and think in terms of bite size. Simple caprese skewers, (sub cherry tomatoes and mini mozzarella balls,) clever crudité, homemade pickles, and even poppers such as these tangy delights are damage-control in delicious form. Get our Goat Cheese Stuffed Peppadews recipe.
Sea Shell Cloth Napkins, Set of 4 for $14.98 on Amazon
Utensil-free dining means more work for napkins, but on-theme is still the goal.
Related Reading: Stylish & Earth-Friendly Beach Picnic Gear
Soup. As comforting post-surfing as it is post-sledding. Yes, soup. Yes, at the beach. And why not? ‘Tis the season for chilled soups from chunky gazpachos to creamy purées. And then there’s this bright little number, which is easily transported in a stylish thermos and doled out in sippable portions. Get our Chilled Avocado Cucumber Kefir Soup recipe.
16-Ounce Insulated Stainless Steel Thermos, $18.99 on Amazon
For those beautiful chilled soups, dips, and...well...other liquids.
Deviled Eggs: Green Chile Deviled Eggs
It is my personal belief that deviled eggs are one of the most versatile dishes of all time, equally capable of elegance, irreverence, and naturally, beach-worthiness. Any deviled egg will do, but for beach I’m partial to a little devilish attitude in the form of spice. Get our Green Chile Deviled Eggs recipe.
Snapware Egg Holder Tray, $15.35 on Amazon
Because deviled eggs deserve a dais on which to make an entrance.
Cocktails: A Day at the Beach
Beach or no beach, if there’s no thematic beverage, how is it even a party? Here’s the family-friendly version of that other beach-named cocktail. But still maybe don’t offer it up to your entire family since rum and amaretto are keeping it plenty boozy. Get our “A Day at The Beach” Coconut Rum Cocktail recipe.
12-Ouncez Reusable Clear Plastic Juice Bottles, 10 for $13.98 on Amazon
For ease of BYO-Cocktails-to-the-Beach.
Related Video: How to Pack a Cooler the Right Way
Header image courtesy of Caiaimage/Trevor Adeline/Getty Images.