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13 Best Catering Food Ideas for Parties

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When you’re planning your next get-together with a gang, you don’t just to host a rad party with good company, you want to make sure that everyone goes home with a full stomach. One of the biggest parts of a party is the food, so you definitely have to emphasize making an impression with a solid catering menu.

If you’re at a loss on ideas of what to serve at your next function, look no further than this comprehensive list of the best catering food ideas for parties:

1 – Tacos and Margaritas

It’s simple but effective: have your guests build their own tacos with their favourite toppings and they can pour a margarita to pair it with. The beauty with this idea is that it could serve a late afternoon or evening well. Give guests the option of fish, carnitas or vegetarian toppings and you should have some well-rounded catering offerings.

2 – Sushi Boat

Sushi is a crowd-pleaser and it’s no surprise why since there are so many different rolls and varieties. A sushi boat is a great way to bring these varieties to your guests at your next party. However, this can also be a pricier option, so it may not be the best idea for the party on a budget.

3 – Mediterranean Spread

A Mediterranean spread is a simple platter that can go a long way. Offering pita breads and multiple different kinds of dips is an easy and pretty popular catering tactic.

4 – Build Your Own Pretzel Station

Another great idea is to let your guests flex their creativity and fix up their own pretzel with different toppings. How it works is that a pretzel maker will create large soft pretzels and hang them up for guests to pick up and deck out with different seasonings and sauces.

5 – Customizable Chocolate Strawberries

A simple idea for a small-scale even would be a chocolate fountain and a large bowl of strawberries for guests to skewer and drizzle on. Including other options like sprinkles and hot white chocolate to put on these berries will give party-goers a wider range of options.

6 – Build Your Own Salad Box

Continuing on this trend of allowing guests to express themselves while they feed themselves, having your guests build their own salad box is as creative as it is healthy. Have a station to the side of the room with different types of greens and toppings and then you have got yourself a catered party.

7 – Bento Boxes

Speaking of boxes, bento boxes can also be a hit at a party – especially if people want a “little bit of this and little bit of that” all in the convenience of a compact box.

8 – Open Face Sandwich Buffet

Another hot option is the open face sandwich buffet: have your guests line up with open bread so they can have their pick of meats and other toppings. It’s also important to include some vegetarian options so that everyone can get on board.

9 – Sliders

No time to line-up? Have a platter of ready-made sandwiches and burgers for your guests. Include meat and vegetarian options for a well-rounded option. You may need a team of people to assemble the sliders as needed on the day of the event, but other than that, it can be a pretty simple pick-up option for an afternoon or evening event.

10 – Charcuterie

“Charcuterie” is a fancy word for a platter of prepared meats like sausages, bacon, ham, galantines, pates, etc. Serve these with a side of different kinds of cheeses, dried fruits and vegetables, as well as some bread, and you have a well-rounded snack dish.

This tends to be a more popular option because of how easy it is to throw together and serve to a group. It can also be relatively cheap to bring these ingredients together and there’s no need to heat them up on the scene.

11 – Yogurt Bar

This is a good option if your party or event is taking place closer to the morning, making it more of a breakfast bar. Serve bowls of different kinds of yogurt with other bowls with berries, granola, yogurt chips, etc. It’s also a very light option and can be very good for shorter events.

12 – Make Your Own Pizza Table

Everyone loves pizza, right? How about setting up a table at your party that would allow your guests to top their pizzas the way they want to? Set up a table with straight-out-of-the-oven pizzas and let your guests slather it with sauces and throw on whatever meats and veggies they want.

13 – Customizable Fruit Salads

Fruit salads are a great pick-me-up snack. You can have guests line up and grab a cup of melons, pineapple cubes, etc. and then add berries and other fruits to this bowl. This is recommended as a largely cost-effective catering idea for a short event.