Fun Summer Birthday Party Menu Ideas

Summer birthday parties are events that everyone gets excited about! What could be more wonderful than celebrating another year with the people you love on a beautiful, sunny day? 

If you’re planning a party you want everyone to remember, you probably want some summer birthday party menu ideas that are full of flavor but effortless to make. Good planning can help ensure the party is enjoyable for everyone, including the guest of honor. Here are some ideas for a fun, memorable, and easy-to-plan birthday party this summer. 

How to Feed a Large Crowd in the Summer

If you’re planning a big party, you want summer birthday party food ideas that will appeal to everyone. It’s also important to pick easy and light menu items. No one wants to heat up a kitchen when it’s hot outside. 

Ask your guests ahead of time to determine their food preferences. For example, do you know if any vegans or vegetarians are coming? Is anyone lactose-intolerant or gluten-free? What about loved ones with food allergies? 

With a little planning, it’s easy to make sure there’s a little something for everyone. Here are just a few ideas for a varied menu. 

A buffet table set outside with salad, pasta, and a charcuterie board.

Appetizers

Start with appetizers and display them as guests arrive. Food helps party-goers break the ice, and hungrier guests feel less anxious for the meal to get started. Here are some options:

  • Caprese plate with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, and a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette
  • Tortilla chips and salsa or other dip options
  • Veggie plate with sliced cucumbers, carrots, baby tomatoes, and dip
  • Pitas, carrots, and celery with hummus
  • Potato chips and varied dips
  • Cheese plate with various cheeses and crackers

Drinks

Beverages should also be out and available as guests arrive. Some people want a drink as soon as they walk in.

  • Water
  • Soda and diet soda
  • Lemonade
  • Iced tea, both sweetened and unsweetened
  • Beer 
  • Wine
  • Sangria 
  • Punch

Make sure to supply everyone with plenty of ice—especially if the party is outside. 

A counter with colorful dishes filled with carnitas taco meet, Mexican corn salad and taco toppings.

Main Dishes

When the meal is ready to be served, these ideas will please your guests and give them a lot to rave about. Consider using the grill for authentic summer tastes. 

  • Burgers and hot dogs or sausages
  • Plant-based burgers
  • Chicken
  • Salmon or grouper
  • Shrimp, beef, chicken, or veggie kabobs
  • Quesadillas
  • Tacos
  • Subs or sandwiches

If you’re serving burgers, don’t forget to provide iceberg lettuce instead of buns for gluten-free guests. People typically like ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise on their burgers. Also, include toppings such as cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and pickles. 

These are also great toppings for subs and sandwiches. You’ll also need pre-sliced turkey, roast beef, ham, salami, and veggies for those sandwiches. It’s also fun to offer a couple of different kinds of bread. 

If you decide to go with quesadillas or tacos, make sure to have shredded lettuce, sour cream, salsa, and guacamole.

Side Dishes

Some of these side dishes are often considered meals themselves, but they go great with many of the main dish items mentioned above. 

  • Pasta salad
  • Green salad
  • Caesar salad
  • Potato salad
  • Macaroni salad
  • Fruit salad or fruit tray
  • Corn on the cob
  • Potato chips
  • French fries

Leave enough room on the table for salad dressings if you are doing a green salad. You’ll want salt, pepper, and butter for the corn and ketchup or vinegar for french fries. 

A father, mother and son in a hammock eating s'mores

Desserts

A birthday party isn’t complete without a birthday cake, right? Or, maybe cake just isn’t your thing. Here are some delicious and fun dessert ideas that you can make or buy that will satisfy any sweet tooth!

  • Gourmet cookies
  • Brownies
  • Ice cream
  • S’mores
  • Smoothies
  • Popsicles
  • Strawberry shortcake (or just strawberries and cream!)

The Most Important Ingredient is Fun!

Once you’ve decided on the ultimate summer birthday party menu, people might ask you what they should bring. No one wants to show up empty-handed! There’s something for everyone with these unique birthday gift ideas.

Need even more help finding a gift that says what’s in your heart? There’s an app for that! 

If you can’t be there to celebrate in person, send some love with everything your loved one needs to enjoy dinner at home with soup, rolls, and birthday cookies

No matter what cool summer birthday party ideas you include, simplify your party planning with meals from Spoonful of Comfort. Some extra love is always a welcome ingredient.

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