The Best Beach Food Ideas to Easily Pack for Your Beach Day

Half of a watermelon on a beach blanket at the beach.

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If you’re wondering, “what kind of food should I bring to the beach?” then check out this list of easy beach food ideas for your beach day, beach picnic, or beach party.

There’s nothing like a day at the beach, until you realize you didn’t bring anything to eat, the snack bar is far away or nonexistent, or you hear a little voice say, “I’m hungry!” as soon as you’ve finished setting up your spot in the sand. With this list of beach food ideas, you’ll be all set for your beach day and everyone will remain happy, not hungry.

Whether you’re a beach connoisseur looking for new beach food ideas for your beach cooler, or you’re on a beach vacation for the first time and researching the best food to bring to the beach, this list covers all of the best foods to bring with you on your beach day.

This list of the best food to bring to the beach is separated into 5 categories: fruits and vegetables, snacks, lunches, drinks, and miscellaneous useful items.

We recommend selecting at least one item from each category for each person, and if you’re bringing kids, we recommend bringing multiple options for snacks and fruits and vegetables to keep everyone happy.

This article is about the easiest beach food ideas to pack for your beach day, beach food ideas for your beach picnic, or beach food ideas for a beach party.


The Best Beach Food Ideas

A close up of raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries.

Fruits and Vegetables 

When you’re out in the heat and sun, cold fruit and vegetables are super refreshing. These will need to be kept cold in your beach cooler. It also feels good to eat healthy food when you’re in the sun, whereas other foods can sometimes feel too heavy when combined with the heat and humidity. Here are some fruits and vegetables that work well for the beach, and feel free to add your own ideas to your list:

  • Sliced Watermelon
  • Grapes
  • Bananas
  • Berries — Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, Blackberries
  • Sliced Cantaloupe or Honeydew Melon
  • Oranges 
  • Sliced Kiwi
  • Fruit Salad
  • Baby Carrots
  • Sliced Cucumber
  • Sliced Red, Yellow, Orange Peppers

A close up of potato chips – beach food ideas.

Easy Beach Snacks

Another category of the best food to bring to the beach is packaged snacks that are easy to munch on and share. For the most part, you can pack these in your regular beach bag, unless they need to be kept cold. We recommend staying away from things that can easily melt in the sun and heat, like chocolate and candy. Here are some snacks that work well for the beach:

  • Potato Chips
  • Tortilla Chips
  • Pretzels
  • Crackers
  • Veggie Straws
  • Goldfish Crackers
  • Popcorn
  • Nuts or Trail Mix
  • Hummus (this will need to be kept cold in your beach cooler)
  • Granola Bars
    Tip: You’ll want to be careful of any that contain chocolate, as it can melt and make a mess. Chocolate should be kept in your beach cooler.
  • Cookies
    Tip: You’ll want to be careful of any that contain chocolate, as it can melt and make a mess. Chocolate should be kept in your beach cooler.

A close up of a sandwich.

Easy Beach Lunches – Sandwiches, Salads, etc.

When packing lunch for the beach, some of the easiest things to pack are sandwiches and salads. We’ve found that wraps are easiest to eat on the beach (when you leave it wrapped and unwrap it as you eat, instead of unwrapping the whole thing at once), but you can also use a sandwich roll or regular sandwich bread. For salads, this can be a green salad or another type of salad like pasta salad, that you pack in a plastic food container. Here are some sandwiches and salads that work well for the beach:

  • Wrap with turkey, cheese, baby spinach, avocado, and honey mustard
  • Tuna salad wrap with lettuce and tomato
  • Chicken salad, red onion, lettuce, and tomato on a wrap, a roll, or sandwich bread
  • BLT (bacon, lettuce, tomato) or BLTA (bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado) on a wrap, a roll, or sandwich bread
  • Wrap with hummus, baby spinach, and a mixture of sliced peppers, cucumber, carrots, chicken, feta cheese, and dressing of your choice
  • Fresh mozzarella, roasted red peppers, baby spinach, and basil pesto on a wrap, a roll, or sandwich bread
  • Italian sub sandwich 
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
  • A bagel with cream cheese or fillings of your choice
  • Pasta salad made with your choice of vegetables, cheese, meat (optional – deli meat, chicken, turkey, etc.), and dressing
  • Green salad with grilled chicken and your choice of toppings
  • Lettuce wraps with your choice of protein (grilled chicken, ground turkey, tuna salad, chicken salad, etc.), any vegetables you’d like to add, and dressing
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Easy-to-pick-at foods like meat, cheese, crackers

Related: 16 Essential Beach Toys to Keep Your Kids Entertained All Day


A water bottle on a beach blanket in the sand.

Drinks 

We recommend bringing plenty of cold water for everyone. This should be kept in your beach cooler. Water is usually enough, but if you or someone you’re with prefers flavored drinks, you can bring that in addition to plain water, not instead of it, as it’s easy to get dehydrated on the beach so you always want to have access to water.

  • Water
  • Flavored Seltzer Water
  • Juice Boxes/Pouches

A blue and white striped beach blanket in the sand.

Miscellaneous Useful Items 

It’s helpful to have these additional items on hand, depending on what foods you’re bringing with you to the beach:

  • Napkins
  • Plastic Utensils
  • Chip Clips — for any new snack food bags you’ll be opening
  • Beach Blanket — so kids have a clean place to eat lunch

What to Pack Your Beach Food In

Of course, now that you have all of these great beach food ideas, you’ll need something to pack it all in.

You’ll want to have your water and other beverages, fruits, vegetables, and lunches in a cooler so they stay cold and refreshing and don’t spoil in the heat. You’ll also need some good ice packs for your cooler to keep it cold. Try to keep your cooler in the shade of your umbrella or beach chair so the sun doesn’t melt your ice packs as quickly.

Packaged snacks that don’t require refrigeration, like chips and popcorn, can be kept in your regular beach bag.


Related: 50 Awesome Outdoor Date Ideas for Summer


Save These Beach Food Ideas for Later

Pin this graphic on Pinterest, or bookmark this page, so you can continue to refer back to this list of beach food ideas. And don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest for more beach and coastal lifestyle inspiration.

Half of a watermelon on a beach blanket at the beach, with a text overlay that reads, the best beach food ideas, from Stars & Anchor dot com.
This is a graphic split into four images: berries, a sandwich, potato chips, and a watermelon. There's a text overlay that reads, the best beach food ideas, from Stars & Anchor dot com.

This article was about the best beach food ideas that you can easily pack for the beach.

With the right combination of sandwiches or salads, fruits and vegetables, snacks, and beverages, you’ll keep everyone happy and won’t need to cut your beach day short due to anyone being hungry.

This list is meant to be used as a general guide, and you should customize the items you bring to account for personal preferences, dietary restrictions, and allergies. 

What are your favorite foods and easy snacks to bring to the beach? Did we forget to list one of your favorite beach food ideas? Let us know in the comments.

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