Ideas For Bar Parties: 5 Simple & Stress-Free Meals Your Dinner Party Guests Will Love

Ideas for bar parties? What’s a bar party, you might ask. Let us explain (and no, alcohol isn’t necessarily involved).

If you’re like many people, you might have a love/hate relationship with dinner parties and guests. On the one hand, you might love spending time with friends and digging into delicious food. On the other hand, you might dread the stress of meal planning and entertaining extra people. How do you make sure everyone has a good time and has plenty of food that they can enjoy, especially if kids (or adult guests) are picky eaters?

The answer: Make it a themed bar.

You can make a bar out of any cuisine, and it takes a lot of the hassle out of meal planning for a large group of people. Plus, it adds a little fun and creativity to the dinner, allowing each person to build a meal they want to eat! It’s cool to see how each plate looks a little different.

Here are some tasty suggestions for your next social gathering that will leave tummies full and hearts happy! Read through this list of ideas for bar parties before your next get-together!

Read More: 20 Delicious Finger Foods for Parties

Baked Potato Bar

Ideas For Bar Parties: 5 Simple & Stress-Free Meals Your Dinner Party Guests Will Love

Let’s start this list of ideas for bar parties on a good foot. You’ll love a baked potato bar; it’s filling and perfect on a cold evening! Plus, you can make the workload a little lighter by easily making a large batch of baked potatoes in a slow cooker earlier in the day. 

For fixings, have onions, bacon bits, shredded cheese, sour cream, and cooked broccoli on hand. If you’d like to include sides in your meal, try offering roasted veggies or side salads. 

Want an option that’s a little fancier? Make it a mashed potato bar and serve the potatoes in wine glasses! Everyone will remember the meal as fun and clever!

Waffle Bar

Ideas For Bar Parties: 5 Simple & Stress-Free Meals Your Dinner Party Guests Will Love

Who doesn’t love waffles? You can use this idea for a brunch, but you can also go for a breakfast-for-dinner theme and use it in the evening, too. Your guests will feel full and impressed by your creativity.

For fixings, plan to have butter, chocolate chips, Nutella, peanut butter, whipped cream, and fresh berries. If you want to add some sides to the meal without adding a lot of extra work to your load, consider making a fruit salad, a big batch of scrambled eggs, or microwavable sausage links or patties. Yum!

Note: If you are actually someone who doesn’t like waffles, use this idea for a bar party: create a similar theme but make pancakes, crepes, or French toast!

Make-You-Own Pizza Bar

Ideas For Bar Parties: 5 Simple & Stress-Free Meals Your Dinner Party Guests Will Love

Pizza is especially perfect for a kids party! Then again, what adult doesn’t love pizza, too?

Make sure to prep your dough early and separate out equal balls of dough so each personal pizza will be roughly the same size. Have mozzarella cheese, green peppers, olives, pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, pineapple, ham, shredded chicken, and onions in individual bowls with utensils for dishing out. If you want to add an extra option for customization, consider having a variety of sauces in addition to traditional marinara, like alfredo and barbecue.

Keep in mind that you’ll likely have to take turns cooking the pizzas in the oven. Have some games and appetizers, like a fruit and veggie platter, to give people something to do (and something to munch on) while they wait their turn. They’ll be amazed by the preparation and consideration of their host!

Sub Sandwich Bar

Ideas For Bar Parties: 5 Simple & Stress-Free Meals Your Dinner Party Guests Will Love

Subs are a lovely light option when you need something cool on a hot summer day. In fact, take it outside and turn this bar idea into a picnic!

Make sure to have a variety of deli meats, like turkey and ham. Next, have a lot of fresh, crisp veggies ready to go, including shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, and maybe some peppers and onions. For this bar to be successful, condiments are important, so ensure that you have plenty of mustard, mayonnaise, ranch dressing, and ketchup (you never know what kids will want on a sandwich).

We can’t forget the most important part of the sandwich: the bread! Try to have a few different offerings of breads, from hoagie rolls to whole wheat tortillas. You might even have some bowls on hand for anyone who wants to make a salad instead of a sub. This bar idea allows for total customization, meaning your vegan, vegetarian, and calorie-counting friends can freely join in while maintaining their dietary preferences.

For sides, pick up some bags of chips and cookies. You have to balance out all those light, healthy choices, after all!

Read More: 25 Ideas For Party Food To Satisfy Any Guest

Ice Cream Sundae Bar

Ideas For Bar Parties: 5 Simple & Stress-Free Meals Your Dinner Party Guests Will Love

This list of ideas for bar parties wouldn’t be complete without a dessert option! Move forward with this idea if you want to offer a treat instead of a full meal. It’s ideal for a kid’s birthday party, baby shower, and other short get-togethers that don’t fall during a traditional mealtime.

Shop for big containers of standard chocolate and vanilla ice cream. For fixings, get hot fudge, fresh berries, peanut butter, chocolate syrup, strawberry syrup, Oreos, M&Ms and other candy pieces, whipped cream, and cherries.

Want to go the extra mile? Make it an ice cream sandwich bar by having giant cookies and brownies on hand. Or, go totally crazy and make “freak shakes!” These are milkshakes with funkier toppings, like cotton candy, candy canes, edible cookie dough, full-sized cupcakes, etc. The sky’s the limit when it comes to creativity with this one!

Read More: The Best Party Snacks and Drinks for Your Next Soiree

Tips for Success

Now that you have some ideas for bar parties rolling around in your mind, here are some tips for reducing your stress so you can enjoy the event with everyone else!

  1. Get biodegradable dishes and utensils. It’s good for the planet and makes clean-up a breeze.
  2. Have fixings and sides already dished out with utensils before people arrive. That way you have one less thing to worry about while you’re greeting people, and you can start eating right away (which we know is important with impatient children involved).
  3. If you’re worried about germs, have disposable gloves on the table by the food and ask guests to use them when serving themselves. Have a trash can nearby so guests can discard their gloves and other waste easily.
  4. Ask your friends to bring something! This spreads out the workload so no one feels overly burdened. Ask if they can bring a dessert or a side dish. Or, if you have the food handled, maybe have them bring a game. If you’re planning a party, ask a few people to handle the decorations or the invitations. Most people are happy to help!
  5. Have extra napkins on hand. That’s a given for any party.

Friends, it’s time to socialize! Text your loved ones now to get a plan on the calendar. You’ll be glad you did. Take these ideas for bar parties and run with them!

Check out Daily Mom’s Food & Recipes Section for more dinner party ideas.



Sign up to receive our picks for the best things to do, see and buy so you can relax and focus on more important tasks! Let us help you be the best version of yourself you can be!



Ideas For Bar Parties: 5 Simple & Stress-Free Meals Your Dinner Party Guests Will Love



We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

katie goertzen OCg4ANcQrEQ unsplash

Create with Gouache Paint: How to Get Started Today

You may have heard of watercolor paint or acrylic paint, but what about gouache paint? Gouache is a type of opaque paint that is...