With graduation parties, baby and bridal showers, and even weddings, all wanting to have something unique, we pulled together our favorite “party bar” ideas. Most of these are easy to assemble and certain to please!
Popcorn Bar – We love this idea for all kinds of events! Pop different kinds of popcorn (butter lover’s, plain, kettle corn, etc.) and set them out with individual bags, scoops, and toppings. You can get as creative (and gourmet) as you want with the toppings – from Parmesan cheese to caramel and sea salt, and from buffalo-style hot sauce to curry powder and shredded coconut.
Here are just a few gourmet popcorn topping combinations to get you started: Parmesan and Black Pepper; Mini M&M’s and Chocolate Chips; Curry Powder and Shredded Coconut; Caramel Drizzle and Sea Salt; Buffalo Style Hot Sauce and Blue Cheese Crumbles; Ranch Seasoning and Dill; Peanuts and Wasabi; Honey; Bacon Bits, Cheddar and Chives; and Mini Marshmallows and Crushed Graham Crackers.
Coffee Bar – Brew regular and decaf coffee and have cups set out (use paper or plastic to-go cups to make things easy). Include the usual mix-ins, such as cream and sugar, and include fun mix-ins, such as different flavorings (vanilla, hazelnut, etc.), chocolate dipped spoons or rock candy on a stick, spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, flavored sugar cubes and whipped cream. Whether you’re doing a coffee bar for a morning or evening event, surprise your guests with a snack to go with their coffee, such as biscotti or donut holes.
Waffle Bar – Make waffles ahead of time and arrange on platter in quarters. Reheat in the oven right before serving. Make sure your waffle bar includes toppings such as fruit, various syrups and some surprise toppings like whipped cream and sprinkles. In addition to plain butter, impress your guests with homemade cinnamon butter (Recipe: Mix and beat 1 cup butter, 2 oz. sugar, 2 oz. brown sugar and 4 tsp ground cinnamon together until smooth. Cover and refrigerate overnight.).
Flatbread Bar – Using a basic dough recipe, roll out and flatten the appropriate number of flatbreads. Pre-bake them in the oven for 10-12 minutes. After guests have loaded them up with toppings, put them back in the oven until the cheese is melted and the crust starts to brown. Set your spread with all types of pizza toppings, but don’t be afraid to have unusual toppings (think: pulled pork, fennel slices, feta cheese, sweet potatoes, etc.). Need some inspiration? Check out 15 Flatbreads & Pizzas to Start the Party.
Trail Mix Bar – This idea is one of our favorites, great for kids and adults alike at your next event. Put out containers of different types of nuts, oats, dried fruits and pretzels, and don’t forget something sweet, like chocolate chips or M&Ms. Give each guest an individual bag and let them have fun. To really impress your guests, include mix-ins such as coconut, butterscotch chips, mini marshmallows, candied ginger pieces and sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
Be sure to check out our Pinterest page for many more party bar ideas!