Build-Your-Own Bar Ideas For Special Events

When you're planning any type of special event, creating the menu can be a stressful task. Make things a bit easier by having a build-your-own bar, which will keep guests engaged and allow them to design their perfect plates. Party-goers of all ages will enjoy mixing and mingling while they get hands-on with their meals.

Build-your-own bars are ideal for any type of special event or occasion and will work for both indoor and outdoor venues. Consider hiring a professional catering company to set up a food bar at birthday parties, corporate and family holiday get-togethers, anniversary soirees, graduation celebrations, family reunions, bridal and baby showers, and even wedding receptions. Build-your-own bars are also versatile in that they work for everything from casual gatherings to elegant affairs. 

Here are some build-your-own-bar ideas for your next special event:

1. Build-Your-Own Taco Bar 

You can't go wrong with serving tacos at any meal, including brunch, lunch, dinner, and late-night snacks. Before planning the menu, check whether any of your guests have dietary restrictions or concerns. For instance, provide either bean or soy-based meat alternatives for the vegans and vegetarians in the crowd. 

Include all of the essential ingredients on the taco bar, such as hard shells and both flour and corn tortillas. Corn tortilla bowls are another option, and will allow guests to mix and mingle easier while eating. 

In individual serving bowls, provide diced tomatoes and red onions, sliced black olives, shredded lettuce and cheese, and seasoned ground beef or turkey. Traditional taco toppings include sour cream or Mexican crema, guacamole, salsa, and hot sauce. Serve ingredients on the milder side if it's a kids' party, or if there are many children in attendance. 

2. Build-Your-Own Pita Bar

Similar to tacos, hand-held pitas make the perfect party food because they are easy to eat on the go, as well as simple to customize. Provide fresh pitas already cut in half for convenience. As guests move down the buffet table, they can fill their pitas with hummus, falafel balls, grilled chicken or steak, shredded lettuce, and diced tomatoes, among other traditional Greek ingredients. 

Serve the pitas with garden salads featuring vinaigrette dressing, roasted potatoes and vegetables, rice pilaf, and French fries. Offer party-goers tzatziki sauce for dipping or pouring over their pitas. 

In addition to the pitas, you can provide an option for making fresh wraps as well. Large spinach- and tomato-flavored flour tortillas are ideal for holding all of the pita bar ingredients and may appeal to pickier eaters such as children.