The best serving bowls in 2023

Stock up on serving bowls, plates, and platters for entertaining.

Best overall

The AnBnCn Porcelain Serving Platter is the best serving bowl overall.

AnBnCn Porcelain Serving Platter

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Best for chicken wings

Stonarc Three-Tier Serving Tray

Stonarc Three-Tier Serving Tray

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Best budget

SaiKai Pottery Traditional Japanese Rice Bowls are the best serving bowls at a budget-friendly price.

Saiki Traditional Japanese Rice Bowls

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Hosting a party comes with many responsibilities—decor, music, entertainment, drinks, and, most importantly, serving good food. However, your carefully curated spread of chips, charcuterie, cookies, canapes, and Cheetos can’t be fully appreciated without being displayed in well-organized dishes. The best serving bowls will contain and complement your food, helping to keep things clean while brightening up a table.

The best serving trays: Reviews & Recommendations

We recommend stocking your kitchen with serving bowls and dishes of various sizes, so you have a stock to pull from, whether you’re throwing a Super Bowl party or hosting Thanksgiving. You can go with a classic white look or be bold and add a few fun colors to match your other cookware or dining room decor. While you are at it, you might also want to grab a dish with a lid just in case you need to transfer your carefully cooked sliders to a friend’s house.

The best serving bowls and dishes will be versatile, functional, and suit your entertaining style. A lavish spread of snacks deserves a beautiful presentation, so keep your table in mind when thinking about new purchases. Whether you’re only inviting a small handful of folks or throwing a full-blown birthday rager, the following selections are serving bowls, dishes, and flatware we think will complete your kitchenware collection.

Best overall: AnBnCn Porcelain Serving Platter (set of 4)

Best overall

AnBnCN Porcelain Serving Platter

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When you’re just getting started entertaining, it’s smart to have a solid foundation. This set of four porcelain serving platters from AnBnCn can handle a brunch with friends, a Super Bowl party, or just a weeknight dinner. At 12 inches by 6.6 inches, they can hold plenty of vegetables, appetizers, or even desserts. The handles make for easy transport and should you need to reheat your pigs in a blanket, these platters are microwave-safe. They also cost a fraction of what other platters on the market do.

Best platter: Dowan Serving Platter Set

Best platter

Dowan Serving Platter Set

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This set of elegant oval serving platters from Dowan are perfect for the times when you’ll be serving a range of dishes at the table. At 16 inches, 14 inches, and 12 inches, these porcelain platters can handle the turkey, the appetizers, and dessert. They’re also oven- and microwave-safe for when you need to reheat. You can toss them in the dishwasher after the meal for easy cleanup and they stack together easily in your cupboard.

Best dutch oven: Le Creuset Round Dutch Oven

Best dutch oven

Le Creuset Round Dutch Oven

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Whether you’re serving up chili for a Super Bowl party or soup on a cold winter night, this round dutch oven from Le Creuset can handle the job. Made of enameled cast iron, this dutch oven can withstand up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit of heat and is designed to endure. It’s an investment, but you’ll find yourself reaching for it over and over again. And it comes in a range of hues that will provide a pop of color on your table.

Best with dividers: Sweese Porcelain Divided Serving Dishes

For Chips, Dips, and More

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If you want a fantastic dip to be the focus of your platter, go for a divided serving platter. This porcelain dish from Sweese has four large bowls centered around a smaller bowl meant for a dip; all rest atop an 11.5-inch tray. The dividers are also great for people who have food preferences. Best of all, each piece is removable, which means quick and easy refills if one snack becomes particularly popular. This dish comes in a few color combinations, including a crisp, clean white, so you can match your kitchenware

Best for appetizers: Le Creuset Stoneware Oval Serving Platter

Big and Beautiful

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If you plan on putting out party appetizer classics like sliders, pigs in a blanket, or mini grilled cheeses, you’ll need a sturdy platter to get the job done. A Le Creuset serving platter is truly top of the line. It measures 16 by 11 inches and comes in many bold colors, though we prefer white. The flared sides and built-in handles are perfectly designed for easy transportation; plus, it’s oven- and dishwasher-safe for maximum convenience. The enamel finish is stain and chip-resistant, so your carefully cooked (or ordered) food will always be presented with a beautiful backing base.

Best for chicken wings: Stonarc Three-Tier Serving Tray

Switch Things Up

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A party just isn’t complete without chicken wings; we’re talking buffalo, dry-rub, barbecue, honey-garlic, teriyaki, the list goes on. This unique serving set from Stonarc is the perfect way to serve wings and other appetizers. It comes with three 11.25 by 6-inch plates and three 3-inch square bowls, all of which are dishwasher-safe. This set also comes with a wooden base and wire stand, which means you have many options when it comes to organizing your table. As for storage, the wire stands collapse, and the bowls and plates are stackable, so you can make things much more compact when it’s time to clean up a big spread.

Best for olives: Corico Olive Boat & Pit Port

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Olives are delicious, and they’re good for you. But they can be a little awkward at a party. You can use a toothpick to pick one up, but there’s not an easy way to get rid of the pit. But Corico’s Olive Boat & Pit Port provides an elegant solution. At 7 inches by 7 inches by 2.5 inches, the porcelain dish has plenty of room for green and black olives, plus some charcuterie. And when you’re done, just drop your pits in the port in the center for discreet disposal.

Best plate: Crow Canyon Home Enamelware Dinner Plates (set of 4)

Best plate

Crown Canyon Home Enamelware Dinner Plate

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Bring some color to your table with this set of four dinner plates from Crow Canyon. Made of enamelware, these 10.25-inch, lightweight plates are perfect for more casual gatherings in the backyard. They’re available in seven different splattered colors, from black to turquoise. If you prefer a more classic look, you can also order a set of white plates with a blue, red, orange, gray, or turquoise rim.

Best large bowl: Lipper International Footed Serving Bowl

Rustic and Reliable

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This elegant serving bowl from Lipper International is a great dish to have on hand for dinner parties and larger hangouts. The cherry finish and wood material will elevate your meal’s look, and at almost 14 inches wide, you won’t have to worry your food won’t fit. It can easily serve a fresh salad, hot sides, loads of chips, and other crunchy snacks. The foot at the base of the bowl will keep it from tipping over. When you’re not hosting a party, this bowl would be a beautiful centerpiece when filled with fruit.

Best small bowl: Now Designs Terracotta Pinch Bowls

Keep Things Classy

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A set of small bowls, also called pinch bowls, can bring a little bit of continuity and class to your party without being too formal. They are great for holding nuts, olives, and candies. If you want to get a little fancier, fill them with cornichons, herbs, or finishing salts and place them on a charcuterie board. If you’re having a game-day party, a set of small bowls can hold a ton of different dipping sauces. Plus, pinch bowls are a great way to introduce a little color or some fun patterns to an otherwise solid-color kitchenware collection.

This set of six bowls from Now Designs can each hold around one ounce, the perfect amount for additional sweet treats or savory snacks. Each bowl gives off bohemian vibe with an unglazed terracotta exterior and a vibrant color inside. Just remember to take the time to wash these bowls by hand.

Best budget: Saikai Pottery Traditional Japanese Rice Bowls (set of 5)

best budget

Saikai Pottery Traditional Japanese Rice Bowls

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Elevate your table with these beautiful Japanese rice bowls from Saikai Touki, which has been making ceramics for 60 years. The bowls come in a set of five different geometric designs and in several colors: white, navy, and brown. Each bowl holds up to 300 milliliters (about ten ounces). And at about $23 for the set, they’re a great deal.

Best flatware: Lenox Portola 65-Piece Flatware Set

Best flatware

Lenox Portola 65-Piece Flatware Set

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Lenox is a trusted name for silver and this timeless flatware is a valuable addition to any kitchen. The 65-piece set comes with a serving spoon, pierced serving spoon, sugar spoon, butter knife, and serving fork that will look beautiful on any table. Made with high-quality stainless steel, this set also includes matching service for 12 (dinner forks, salad forks, dinner knives, tablespoons, and teaspoons). At the end of the meal, just toss the silver into the dishwasher.

FAQs

Q: What’s the best game-day snack?

While I’m sure you can sense our affinity for chicken wings, the best game-day snack is entirely dependent on your guests. Before you throw a party, take a mental note of any dietary restrictions and preferences your friends have. Our surprise recommendation? Jalepeño poppers. These spicy snacks are great for fried food lovers, and they’ll satisfy vegetarians and omnivores alike.

Q: What are the most popular finger foods for parties?

One of the most popular finger foods at almost any party has to be the cheese plate. While you might not break them out for the game, a cheese plate is a guaranteed success. You can buy a pre-made plate or make your own board; with each option, you’ll find a size that will satisfy a large crowd. A cheese plate is also a great way to get some variety on the table with crackers, dried fruit, and maybe even a little meat.

Q: What should you serve for dessert at a large party?

If you’re looking for a dessert to satiate a lively crowd, we recommend whipping out trays of cut brownies, a large platter of cookies, or, if you’re feeling fancy, some miniature tarts. Everything can be bought at the store, but if you plan to make your own, we recommend a few traybakes like cookie bars or blondies, which typically don’t take a ton of time while also resulting in numerous servings.

Final thoughts on the best serving bowls

Having a party should be fun, not stressful. With the right serving bowls, platters, and plates by your side, you won’t need to stress about snacks and sides. Keeping a small collection of various shapes and sizes is the best way always to have what you need for a mouth-watering table.

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Jen McCaffery

Director of commerce for the Science, Tech, & Outdoor brands at Recurrent

Jen McCaffery is director of commerce for the Science, Tech, & Outdoor brands at Recurrent. She enjoys editing and writing about innovations in health, science, technology, sustainability, and the outdoors. She’s been surprised by how much she has taken to spreadsheets.