Summer Cookouts: 15 Outdoor Dining Essentials
Before you bring your dinner parties outdoors, update your table setting for summer. Trade your white porcelain dishes for melamine options in bright colors and patterns, energize your spread with embellished table linens and splurge on those extras like ice buckets and fun placemats. From aluminum tumblers to metallic flatware, these 15 stylish must-haves will help you kick off outdoor dining season properly.
After taking so much care with the rest of your table, don’t skimp on the salad servers and bowls. These lightweight versions won't weigh you down going from the kitchen to your al fresco setting.
Outdoor Italian Salad Bowls & Salad Servers, $40-$98 at food52.com
Whether you’re using them water or wine, your glasses should have just the right amount of color to feel festive, but not so much that they overpower the rest of your table.
Fluted Acrylic Glassware, $4 at westelm.com
Melamine Dinner Plates
Find dishes that are colorful and made of melamine so they won’t chip or break as you’re passing them around the table.
Lehua Melamine Dinner Plates, Set of 4, $40 at anthropologie.com
Keep those cocktails flowing—or ice water, if that’s more your speed—with a blue-toned confetti glass pitcher.
Crate & Barrel Rue Blue Pitcher, $28, crateandbarrel.com
Find a serving platter that makes as much of a statement empty as it does piled with food. We love the one-of-a-kind paint job on these stoneware styles.
Puebla Oval Serving Platters, $29-$49 at potterybarn.com
Show off the specialty cocktail you spent so much time crafting by serving it in a gorgeous glass jar. Buy one for your go-to summer beverage, or stock up to make use of a full seasonal bar.
Oregon Glass Drink Dispenser with Brooks Wood Stand, $120 at crateandbarrel.com
Whether you’re actually interested in protecting your table from pico de gallo or just want to add something extra to your place setting, stock up on seasonal placemats.
Kiran Indigo Medallion Placemat, $7 at crateandbarrel.com
These ultra durable glasses are dishwasher safe and won't crack, cloud or discolor---ideal for seasonal favorites like sangria or rosé. They even have a margarita version for frozen drinks, as well as rocks glasses for that summer negroni.
DuraClear Tritan Osteria Bordeaux Glasses, Set of 6, $72 at williams-sonoma.com
DuraClear Tritan Margarita Glasses, Set of 6, $72 at williams-sonoma.com
DuraClear Tritan Double Old-Fashioned Glasses, Set of 6, $64 at williams-sonoma.com
Add a whimsical accent to your drinks with brightly-patterned paper straws. Go classic with stripes, or take your summertime styling to the next level with these floral options.
Juvale Paper Straws, 160-pack, $13, amazon.com
Take your flatware in a new direction by opting for gold instead of stainless steel or silver. It’s an easy way to add a touch of elegance to your outdoor dining table, even if it’s covered in chip crumbs and guacamole.
Kate Spade New York 5-Piece Malmo Gold Flatware Place Setting, $90 at katespade.com
Sure, they’re used to wipe up messes, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t look pretty, too. Have a little fun with extra embroidery or tassels for the most festive summertime set-ups.
West Elm Tassel Embroidered Napkins, Set of 4, $32, westelm.com
For more casual drinkware, consider brightly-colored aluminum tumblers, which blend in perfectly at a casual gathering or a fancy cocktail party.
CB2 Doris Aluminum Tumblers, $6 each, cb2.com
Salads have never looked most Instagram-ready than in this giant (and chic) bowl. Neither have pastas, or that stir-fry you’ve been dying to make. The possibilities here are endless.
Tory Burch Spongeware Serving Bowl, $128, toryburch.com
Bringing food back and forth from the kitchen doesn’t have to take up your whole evening—make sure you have enough serving trays so the job goes faster.
Serena & Lily Marble Serving Trays, $258-$458, serenaandlily.com