If you’re planning a party menu, these are the best adult birthday party foods for any occasion! These are the fool-proof recipes that work all year long and are great for any theme.
Best Party Foods
There’s not a lot that’s more important for planning a party than coming up with good food and the perfect party menu! Okay, well maybe perfecting the guest list and planning party games are both important too, but the food – the food is a great way to make or break a party.
So I’ve put together my top party food ideas that work at pretty much any kind of party you might be throwing because let’s face it, we all want the food to make, not break the party. So it’s a good idea to really think about what you’re making!
I’ve called this post the best adult birthday party foods, but let me get one thing straight – these aren’t just party foods for adults. And they aren’t just for birthdays. This is my list of the top party foods for any occasion, they’re just not necessarily childish or cutesy food but that doesn’t mean kids and teens won’t enjoy these as much as adults.
The one thing all of these recipes have in common is that they’re delicious. They’re perfect for your next party no matter what the occasion!
Easy Appetizer Ideas For a Party
If you’re not serving a full dinner, you’re probably going to want to serve some sort of snacks or appetizers! I’ve put together a list that are either still delicious at room temperature or easy to keep warmed up!
There’s everything from finger foods to dips to slow cooker appetizers that adults will love!
Main Course Options
If you want to or need to serve a full main course, there are a couple of options that work really well if you don’t want to do a full sit down dinner. If you do, then this may not be the post for you.
But if you don’t, there are two really good options for serving enough food for a full meal without actually serving a meal.
DIY Food Bars
These are great because it allows you to serve a full meal without having to actually plate everything! Plus, everyone can choose what and how much they want. You could do everything from one of these nacho bar ideas (serve a variety of meats with toppings like black beans, refried beans, and sour cream) to something more substantial like a pasta bar, baked potato bar, or Caesar salad bar.
Just make sure you have plenty of small bowls on hand!
One of the biggest growing trends is creating charcuterie boards or even full charcuterie tables as a substitute for serving appetizers or a main course at a party. I’m loving this trend and have jumped fully on board! They’re totally worth the extra time it takes to put them together.
Soups and Stews
Another great option for a main course that doesn’t take a lot of time or money is serving up some of your favorite soups and stews. I always recommend this zuppa toscana, this white chicken chili, and this beef and barley soup for flavorful and filling options!
Best Party Desserts
One of the best ways to honor the special person of the hour is to create some sort of signature dessert that’s made just for this special occasion. I’ve included a couple of options that are perfect for celebrating the guest of honor as well as some of my tried and true dessert that would work for any adult birthday parties!
If you’re not the baking type or just want to keep the desserts simple, you could also just serve up some yummy sweet dips instead! They’re perfect for adult parties where people will be spending time walking around, mingling, and enjoy the yummy food.
I don’t personally drink alcohol but even if you’re planning to serve alcohol at the party, I highly recommend having fancy or signature non-alcoholic drinks as well for anyone who might drink for any number of reasons.
Since I’ve never drank alcohol, virgin drinks and non-alcoholic punches are my speciality. These are some of my personal favorites that would be popular choices with guests.
Party Food FAQs
For an afternoon party that starts after lunchtime, serve light snacks, appetizers, and desserts. Things like fruit plates and charcuterie boards are a perfect option because it’ll give people something to snack on without ruining their dinner.
The most popular party snack out of all in my opinion is buffalo chicken dip or spinach artichoke dip. Those two dips are seen at more parties and events throughout the year than any other.
Serve food that the guest of honor will enjoy and that go with the timing and theme of your party! Appetizers, finger foods, and individual desserts at a great option. Plus, make sure there is some sort of special birthday cake or dessert!
More Adult Birthday Party ideas
If you need help planning more than just the food, here are some of my favorite birthday party resources!
- Party games for adults – the top 10 games to play at any party!
- Game night board games – great for a game night but also for any party, birthday or not!
- Birthday scavenger hunt – this may be designed for kids but it’s great for adults as well and a really fun way to hide a birthday surprise!
- 30th birthday gifts for him – a fun way to give gifts for milestone birthdays no matter who you’re giving to!
- Surprise party ideas – if you’re planning a surprise party, start here!