This post is about food bar ideas perfect for high school graduation parties.
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Planning for a graduation party is extremely stressful. There’s decorations, themes, DIY projects, and rentals. On top of this, I would argue that the most important and most stressful part of planning a graduation party is planning out the food.
Luckily, there have been hundreds upon hundreds of graduation parties before the one that you are planning. We can learn from them! It’s a tried and true fact that food bars are a must at any functional graduation party. Plus, a food bar is perfect to integrate into your theme.
In this post, you’ll get awesome tips and tricks on food bar essentials and the best food bar designs. These food bar ideas are guaranteed to make into your high school graduation party plan!
Here are absolute genius food bar spreads.
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GRADUATION PARTY FOOD BAR IDEAS
FOOD BAR ESSENTIALS
1. BUTCHER PAPER LABELING
Using brown Kraft paper or “butcher” paper is perfect for any food bar base. You’ll see throughout this post that multiple food bar designs use butcher paper to help label their dishes and label the bar in a cute font.
2. BEVERAGE DISPENSERS
There are tons of beverage dispensers that you can use for your graduation party. When I go to graduation parties, I notice that a lot of them use those large orange coolers to dispense beverages. These are common, but I notice that the glass ones look so much nicer! Plus, they’re around the same price. Here are my favorite glass beverage dispensers.
3. CHALKBOARD SIGNS AND LABELS
A chalkboard sign is perfect for anywhere around your party, but especially for your food bar. I’ve seen smaller chalkboard signs used to label individual food items, and larger easel chalkboards used to list what’s on the food bar menu. I include both options below!
4. Salad Jars
How cute are these grab-and-go salad jars? You can experiment with different types of salad, including fruit salad, and even add a dressing station! Either way, they’ll look super cute in these adorable mason jars.
FOOD BAR DESIGNS
1. SPARKLING JUICE
Want to take the beverage portion of your graduation party to the next level? Create a beverage bar! I absolutely love the design of this sparkling juice bar, especially with the garnishes that are included to add to your juice.
2. BAGELS AND SCHMEAR
A bagel bar this nice is to die for! You can guarantee there’ll be something for everyone at this food bar, and it seems really easy to set up. This food bar would also work wonderfully in addition to another main course food.
3. BURGER OR SANDWICH TOPPINGS
Here’s an innovative way to display burger or sandwich toppings. I really like how the sauces are in the middle in jars, with the toppings surrounding it. If you’re looking to display your toppings in a creative way, this is a great option.
I’ve been seeing breakfast foods featured more and more at high school graduation parties. For people planning to have graduation parties earlier in the day, a mix of breakfast foods and lunch foods are perfect. Make your graduation party a brunch!
Hosting a pasta bar at your graduation party is extremely affordable. I would argue that it’s one of the most affordable food options to feed a crowd! The key to a great pasta bar is making sure you get high quality pasta and cook it correctly, and have enough variety to please everyone. This food bar shows multiple sauces, different types of pasta, and garlic bread. This is a great example!
6. CHARCUTERIE FOR DAYS
Charcuterie boards are probably one of my favorite things, and this one is taken to the next level. If you have the means to put together a party sized charcuterie bar for a high school graduation party, do it! Your guests will be blown away.
Just like a waffle or pancake bar, a cereal bar is perfect if you’re planning on hosting a graduation party brunch. This cereal bar idea is perfect for adding as a side dish to your main course brunch meal options.
8. CHIPS AND SALSA
Chips and salsa are always a fan favorite and a great addition to any graduation party. This is such an easy food bar to throw together – even last minute!
A coffee bar is a fantastic addition to your graduation party spread. There are so many graduation parties in the summer, and I can guarantee that your guests will be hopping from party to party. Everyone will appreciate a coffee pick me up!
Donuts are an extremely popular dessert option and perfect for a graduation party. The donut bar featured in this picture looks like it was catered by a local bakery – call your local bakeries and see if this is an option! If not, you can DIY a fabulous donut bar that matches your theme perfectly.
Sandwiches are a pretty popular graduation party food option. You’d be surprised how delicious a sandwich bar can be if you make sure you get all quality ingredients! Even if your main course is not sandwiches, these are a great second option for some pickier eaters.
12. Cheese and Fruit
Cheese and fruit is not only an easy snack for party guests to munch on, but it has such an elevated look. This is the perfect food bar idea for a graduation party with a more classy vibe. Graduation is also in the summer, so guests are bound to gravitate toward this light and refreshing snack.
13. Nacho Bar
You’ve probably seen the nacho spread trend on TikTok–spreading foil or parchment paper over a flat surface, then dumping tortilla chips and nacho ingredients directly on top for grazing. Turns out it’s the perfect food bar idea for a graduation party!
14. Chicken Nuggets
You can’t go wrong with chicken nuggets! This graduation food bar idea is super easy and a crowd pleaser. And don’t forget the sauces!
15. Build a Hotdog Station
Hotdogs are a staple party food, especially if your graduation party is outdoors. And you can still make it look super classy with these serving dishes and topping labels.