15 Surprising Food Bars You’ve Never Seen Before

Treat guests to one of these awesome DIY food stations.
by Simone Hill
Creative wedding food bar ideas
photo by Colette Kulig Photography; Brandon Kidd

While we'll always appreciate a great cocktail bar, but some of our favorite bars actually serve food. The variety a top-it-yourself food bar provides means that everyone can fix their plate exactly how they like it. See all the creative ways you can adapt a food bar to suit your tastes.

1. A Pickle Bar

Wedding reception pickle bar food station idea
photo by Justin & Mary

For a totally unique snack idea, create a pickle bar with different herbs, veggies and—of course—pickles.

From: A Nautical, Whimsy Wedding in New Haven, CT

2. Late-Night Snack Bar

Late-night snack bar for a wedding reception food station
photo by Front Room Photography & Videography

Want to refuel your guests between the reception and after party? Some fast-food favorites in a beautiful presentation should do it.

From: An Enchanting, Ultra-Sparkly Wedding at Milwaukee Art Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

3. Mashed Potatoes Bar

Mashed potato bar for a fun wedding reception food station
photo by Sarah Kathleen

Let mashed potatoes be the blank slate for your guests' culinary imaginations. Also, bacon bits. (You could also turn this into a baked potato bar too.)

From: A Rustic Mountain Wedding at a Private Residence in Tincup, Colorado

4. Sushi Bar

Wedding reception sushi bar food station idea
photo by Casey Fatchett Photography

A platter of all different types of sushi to be tried at your guests hearts' content? You'll have the most popular wedding of the year.

From: An Elegant Waterside Wedding at The Liberty Warehouse in Brooklyn, New York

5. Seafood Bar

Wedding reception seafood station idea
photo by tPoz Photography

A clam or mussel bake sets the tone for a quintessential New England affair.

6. Pie Bar

Individual pie bar idea for wedding reception dessert station
photo by Rodeo & Co. Photography

Pie is cake's handsome brother (just look at that golden brown tan).

7. Pretzel Bar

Pretzel bar idea for wedding reception food station
photo by Colette Kulig Photography

A pretzel bar with varied dipping sauce options? We'll RSVP "yes."

From: A Colorful Backyard Barbecue Wedding in Rutland, Vermont

8. Coffee Bar

Coffee bar idea for a wedding reception beverage station
photo by Jessica Sparks Photography

Having a fun drink alternative to alcohol will help supplement the bar, and not to mention that caffeine will help keep the dance floor packed all night.

From: An At-Home, Rustic, DIY Wedding in Woodville, Alabama

9. Cookie and Milk Bar

Wedding reception cookie bar
photo by The Canovas Photography

Let your guests dunk to their hearts' content with an array of different cookie flavors.

From: A DIY Shabby-Chic Wedding at a Private Residence in DeLand, Florida

10. Charcuterie Station

Charcuterie station for a wedding reception food bar
photo by Michelle Walker Photography

Perfect for a vineyard wedding or a reception with a handful of different wine options for a fun tasting.

From: A Colorful, Whimsical Wedding at a Private Estate in Sonoma, California

11. Fruit and Veggie Bar

Wedding reception veggie bar
photo by Ryan & Jacy Photography

A fruit and veggie focused bar is as healthy as it is tasty (and colorful!). Extra points for artichoke and lettuce floral arrangements.

From: A Yellow Backyard Wedding at a Private Residence in Maple Valley, Washington

12. Go Nuts For Doughnuts Bar

Wedding reception doughnut bar food station
photo by Embrace Life Photography

A bar full of doughnuts and sauces to dip? Is there anything better?

From: A Garden-Inspired Beach Wedding at Adamson House in Malibu, California

13. Bundt Cake Bar

Bundt cake dessert bar idea for fun wedding reception food
photo by Brandon Kidd

Put a twist on tradition with a wedding bundt cake.

From: A Rustic, Elegant Beach Wedding at Monarch Bay Club in Dana Point, California

14. Popcorn Bar

Fun popcorn bar wedding food idea
photo by Alicia Lucia Photography

Sweet? Salty? Cheesy? All of the above? 

From: A Modern, Industrial-Chic Wedding at Rail Yards Market in Albuquerque, New Mexico

15. Crostini Station

Crostini station idea for fun wedding reception food bar
photo by Annie McElwain Photography

Go for sSomething crunchy and savory to balance out that wedding cake.

From: A Villa at Sunstone Vineyards Wedding in Santa Ynez, California


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