The ultimate list of over 30 party food bar ideas.
DIY,  Parties

The Ultimate List Of Party Food Bars That You Need When Hosting A Party

One of the main focuses to hosting a party is what type of food to serve.

It can quickly becoming overwhelming. Especially when you start scrolling to Pinterest. Then all of a sudden your list has over 50 ideas when you were looking for 2.

The answer is simple (& more cost effective).

Food bars!

Or you can call them food stations, party bars, or build your own bars.

Why a food bar?

  1. They’re very easy to put together.
  2. Your guests can put together what they want to appease their tastes.
  3. They’re more budget friendly. Especially if you’re expecting a lot of people.

Add a DIY backdrop to your party bar & you’re done.

Below is the ultimate list of over 30 food & dessert bars. You can scroll through or click on one of the categories below to jump to the one you need.

Party Dessert Bars

Party Food Bars

Party Drink Bars

Party Bar Supplies

Tips For Party Bars

Party Dessert Bars

Cotton Candy Bar

Treat your guests to a carnival favorite with a bar filled with different flavor cotton candy.

The ultimate list of over 30 party food bar ideas.

Candy Bar

Candy bars are always a hit. Mix & match your favorite candies & candy bars on this table.

Be sure to have bags for your guests to put there candy goodies in.

Cheesecake Bar

Fill mini cups with plain cheesecake. Then have cheesecake related toppings on the bar.

Yogurt Bar

Yogurt is one of those foods that goes with just about anything.

Set out different flavors of yogurt to go with the toppings.

Ice Cream Sundae Bar

Chocolate, vanilla, & strawberry ice cream are staples to making an ice cream sundae. Now allow your guests to add their own toppings.

Brownie Bar

Did you know that there are all kinds of different brownies? I didn’t in the beginning.

Treat your guests to classic brownies, cheesecake swirl brownies, blonde brownies, chocolate chip cookie brownie, & more with this bar.

You can even add a topping section for more yumminess.

Cupcake Bar

Cupcakes big & small can fill this bar.

The ultimate party food bar idea list.

Cake Pops Bar

Cake pops are a fun (cleaner) way to eat cake. Fill your bar with a variety of flavors & designs of these delicious treats.

Donut Bar

You simply can’t go wrong with donuts. Host a table filled with all variety of donuts.

Pie Bar

Apple pie, cherry pie, tarts, meringues, the list is endless for this pie bar.

Serve mini pies mixed in with slices of regular sliced pies.

S’mores Bar

S’mores bars only require 4 things which may make this one of the easiest bars to make.

All you need is marshmallows, graham cracker, chocolate bars, & something to melt them all together.

Candy Apples Bar

Candy apples are fun & easy to make. Here are some ideas for toppings:

  • Chocolate
  • Caramel
  • Sprinkles
  • Nuts
  • Pretzels
  • M&M’s

Cookie Bar

Complete your bar with a variety of cookies. 

Related: How to host an amazing cookie exchange party

Popcorn Bar

Did you know that you could add toppings to your popcorn? I don’t mean butter & salt.

Gummy bears, Reese’s Pieces, Skittles, & mini Kit-Kats are examples of some of your topping choices.

Trail Mix Bar

This trail mix bar is especially great for outdoor themed parties.

Gather up a variety of nuts & mix-ins. Give your guests a small mason jar or bag to fill up.

Food Party Bars

Fruit Salad Bar

Instead of making a fruit salad bowl where you have to put it all together, let your guests do it. They can decide what fruits they want & maybe even try some new ones.

The ultimate list of over 30 party food bar ideas.

Bagel Bar

Bagel bars are especially great if you’re hosting a breakfast party.

Instead of serving whole bagels, keep serving sizes smaller by cutting bagels in half.

Then step outside of the box with bagel toppings.

Besides cream cheese offer:

  • Salmon
  • Turkey
  • Cheese
  • Avocado
  • Tomatoes

The list goes on.

Waffle Bar

Waffle bars are fun & super easy to put together.

You can either pre-make your waffles, buy frozen waffles, or leave out batter for guests to make their own.

You can even spice up the waffle bar by adding chicken to your toppings!

Pancake Bar

A pancake bar is ran similar to waffle bar above.

Don’t forget to add different flavor syrups!

Burrito Bar

Hey burrito! You make the fillings let them fill up the wrap.

Taco Bar

Taco bars are just simply delicious.

Chili Bar

Having a chili bar is sure to be a hit. Throw together a batch of chili & store it in a crockpot. Then place toppings around it. Besides the basic toppings like cheese think outside the box.


  • Avocado
  • Tortilla chips
  • Salsa
  • Bread
  • Olives
  • Guacamole
  • Fritos
  • Hot dogs

Salad Bar

Variety is the key to this salad bar. Different types of leafy greens, variety of fruits & veggies, mix of salad dressings, & don’t forget those quirky toppings like eggs & walnuts.

Hot Dog Bar

Not only can you make a hot dog bar where guests can add their own toppings but you can take it around the country too.

Put out sample menus of different style hot dogs for guests to try. Like Chicago style.

The ultimate list of over 30 party food bar ideas.

Nacho Bar

Nacho bars are truly perfect for when you’re hosting a sporting event party.

Offer a few different meat options along with toppings & you’re all set.

Potato Bar

Potato bars are one of my favorites. Bake at least 1 potato for each guest & offer an array of toppings.

Mashed Potato Bar

The mashed potato Bar is similar to the potato Bar instead. Except with mashed potatoes instead of whole.

Some sample topping ideas are:

  • Chicken
  • Chili
  • Pork
  • Cheese
  • BBQ sauce
  • Hot sauce
  • Broccoli

Burger Bar

Set your guests up with a burger bar stocked with different mini burgers. Think turkey burgers, beef burgers, bean burgers.

And unique toppings like Mac n’ cheese & onion rings.

Bruschetta Bar

Bruschetta is more of an appetizer but served with the right array of toppings & it’ll be the hit of your party.

Grilled Cheese Bar

Don’t be fooled by grilled cheese. It can be filled with a lot more than just plain American cheese.

Set up a bar with,

  • Different kinds of cheese
  • Fruit
  • Avocado
  • Tomatoes
  • Veggies
  • Different types of meat
  • A few sauces

Then have 1 or 2 griddles set up so that guests can melt their sandwich together.

Oatmeal Bar

Whether it’s a breakfast party or a brunch party, you can’t go wrong with oatmeal.

Sandwich Bar

Instead of have meat, cheese, & cracker trays, turn it into a bar. Set up different breads, condiments, & meat & let your guests have fun.

The big list of over 30 party food bar ideas

Pasta Bar

For our wedding we did a pasta bar instead of a formal meal. It was a hit!

Offer 2-3 pasta choices along with 2-3 meat choices & your guests will love you.

Biscuit Bar

Biscuit bars are similar to sandwich bars except with biscuits. In addition to your toppings be sure to have a bunch of different jellies.

Party Drink Bars

Hot Chocolate Bar

I wish I could set up a hot chocolate bar every day of winter.

Make hot chocolate from scratch & serve it in a crockpot to keep warm or serve the hot chocolate packets.

Then you can set out,

  • mints
  • creamer
  • cookies
  • chocolate chips
  • whipped cream
  • marshmallows
  • white chips
  • caramel

Spice it up with candy cane stirrers.

Hot Apple Cider Bar

You may be wondering how you can make an entire bar out of hot apple cider.

With toppings of course!


  • Caramel
  • Orange slices
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Marshmallows
  • Whipped cream

The ultimate list of over 30 party food bar ideas.

Lemonade Bar

A lemonade bar is one of the best things to have at an outdoor party. Especially in the summer.

Let your guests make their own lemonade. Set up regular lemonade & then a variety of fruit such as strawberries, peaches, blueberries, mangos, & mint.

Be sure to also have flavored syrups. I love the syrups by Torani.

Coffee Bar

Whether is a wedding reception, a bridal shower, or Super Bowl party. Coffee is always a winner.

Mimosa Bar

Offer a variety of different juices & fruits to go along with your bubbly drink.

If you’re hosting a baby shower then you can have a “mom-osa” bar with non-alcoholic bubbly.

Margarita Bar

Spice up a margarita bar by adding different fruits, herbs, salts, & margarita mixes.

Party Bar Supplies

You simply can’t have a party bar without supplies. Here’s a list of all of the basic supplies you’ll need.

Depending on your theme & type of bar you may not need some of these items.

  • Ice bucket
  • Tongs (all sizes)
  • Spoons (for serving & eating)
  • Forks (for serving & eating)
  • Knives
  • Ladles
  • Crockpot
  • Drink dispenser
  • Cups (insulated, champagne flutes, margarita glasses)
  • Cupcake tower
  • Serving platters (large, medium, & small)
  • Warming plates
  • Goodie bags
  • Goodie boxes
  • Goodie tins
  • Bowls (for serving & eating)
  • Table tents (for labeling food)
  • Toothpicks


Tips For Party Bars

When it comes to have food bars there are some tips to make it easier for you to host.

  • Don’t try to make everything yourself. It’s ok to have some store bought items.
  • Keep portion sizes small
  • Have your food at various heights instead of all 1 level.
  • Don’t try to cram too many elements into 1 bar.

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The ultimate list of over 30 party food bar ideas.