The Best Serveware Essentials You Need for Entertaining

Shop the best charcuterie boards, serving bowls, dinnerware sets and more to gear up for your next big party.

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Updated on October 26, 2023

Inviting loved ones to a dinner party may feel intimidating for first-time hosts— especially those who find themselves without the proper serveware in their arsenal. Whether you’re a novice host not sure where to begin, newlywed outfitting their kitchen or a seasoned hostess on the hunt for some fresh dinnerware, we’ve got you covered.

Read on to get our top tips for selecting the best serveware items for your lifestyle, then shop our comprehensive list of the best serveware essentials in the links below to pull off your next party like a pro.

Best Charcuterie Boards

Every host needs at least one beautiful serving board for special occasions and everyday moments. Serving boards are our go-to tool for throwing together a post-school snack and impressing guests with a decadent charcuterie spread.

Serving boards are available in several striking materials, including marble, wood, bamboo, slate or stone. You can find a serving board in endless unique finishes and silhouettes, guaranteeing that you find one well-suited to your existing interior design vibes.


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Best Serving Bowls

Elevate your salad course and tablescape with the help of a chic serving bowl. A standard serving bowl is defined as 12 inches or greater in diameter and is used to hold tasty dishes like antipasto, fruits, roasted vegetables, pasta, soup and, of course, tossed salads.

There are serving bowls for sophisticated soirees, backyard barbecues and everything in between. Consider the type of events in which you plan to use your serving bowl to determine what materials and style work best for you. A glass or stoneware serving bowl feels elevated and ideal for special events; a melamine or acacia serving bowl makes a seamless fit for avid outdoor entertaining.


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Best Serving Utensils

Dole out your side dishes and salads with a set of sleek serving utensils that reflect your style. Invest in a set of classic teak or olivewood serving utensils for casual, everyday occasions and alfresco entertaining.

And for formal affairs — pull out all the stops. Treat yourself to a set of glam utensils made from materials like marble, brushed gold, polished nickel or brass.


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Best Oven-to-Table Serveware

One failproof way to impress your dinner party guests? Bring your crisped-to-perfection chicken or bubbling French onion soup straight from the oven to the table for all to admire. While we can’t help you perfect your broiling process or butter-to-sage ratio, we can point you towards oven-to-table cookware finds to help you with the commute.

Dutch ovens and cast-iron casserole dishes are just what you need to take your vegetables and meats to the next level. For desserts, splurge on a ceramic baker’s dish set with top handles for the tasty, easy-to-tote sweets.


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Best Pitchers

Pour your loved ones an ice-cold glass of water, tea or our famous boozy berry lemonade from a pretty new pitcher. All practicality aside, pitchers are one of our unexpected tools to bring a touch of personality to tablescape designs because they remain on the table (or nearby) throughout meals.

Another plus? Pitchers are budget-friendly and easy to switch out for different occasions. A classic glass pitcher works any day of the week and makes the perfect vessel to show off big-batch cocktails or fruit-infused waters for special events. Cane-wrapped or wicker pitchers are made for long sun-filled afternoons, while opaque milk glass, ceramic and stoneware pitchers double as darling flower vases between events.

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Best Dinnerware Sets

There are few features as impactful to the overall vibe of your table as your dinnerware set. Dinnerware sets consist of multiple place settings to cater to each chair at your table, with popular bundles sold in groups of four, six, eight, 12, 16 or 20. And standard place settings consist of a dinner plate, a salad plate and a bowl.

In other words? Dinnerware takes up a lot of prime table real estate. Make it count with plates and bowls reflective of your interior design style or the season. There are, quite literally, countless dinnerware sets sift through, ranging from romantic floral motifs with gilt rims to modern matte with angular silhouettes. If you are unsure which plate pattern or shape suits you, remember this: a classic white porcelain rimmed dinnerware set will never steer you wrong.

Oh, and don’t forget — materials matter. Porcelain is the go-to for your everyday dinner plate as it is heavier and more durable than its luxurious counterpart: bone china. Best reserved for birthdays and special events, bone china boasts a similar glazed finish as porcelain dinnerware, but it is more delicate in form and dainty in shape.

Other materials to look for include stoneware, earthenware and melamine — the latter being a must-have for alfresco dining.


The Best Dining Room Tables for Large Crowds

Whether you have a large family or are always hosting grand get-togethers, an extra-large table is a must. These tables were made for your biggest gatherings.


Best Cake Stands

You can have your cake and eat it too — and the rumor is that every slice tastes sweeter when served from a chic cake stand. Cake stands are versatile serveware pieces that visually and stylistically elevate any dining table or buffet. Plus, cake stands come in all materials and silhouettes, so you’re guaranteed to find a design that matches your aesthetic.

Stick to classic white marble, glass or porcelain stands to achieve a timeless appeal fit for any occasion, or go bold with geometric pedestals and dreamy pastel hues to spice up your dessert table spread.

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