"Always start out with a larger pot than
what you think you need."
— Julia Child

Best Australian Dinnerware

Carole Stephens
• Tuesday, 24 November, 2020
• 8 min read

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. Furthermore, dinnerware sets are also an extension of your style and help create the ambiance for any occasion, from casual solo meals to fancy dinner dates.

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We know it can be daunting having to navigate through all the different options, which is why we've created a list of the best dinnerware sets to help you get started. Plus, the dishes are safe to put in the microwave, oven, freezer, and dishwasher, making them a practical choice.

To find one that's best suited to your personal needs, learn about the pros and cons of each before making a final purchase. It’s a cliché you’ll hear all the time if you watch cooking shows: we eat with our eyes first.

So if you’re having company over or setting the table for a formal occasion, you’ll want to use dinnerware that looks particularly lovely. This set is durable though and in fact, Leno offers a lifetime replacement program for broken dishes.

Delicate blue stripes ring the outer edges of plates and the exterior of bowls and mugs in this set. The speckled background and blue stripes are eye-catching, but flexible enough to match a wide variety of tablecloths and place mats.

While you’re not probably regularly serving a salad course, the variety of plates and bowls offers you a lot of versatility. Salad plates can be great for breakfast toasts, and bowls can serve ice cream as well as cereal.

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Unlike “silverware,” which has become a generic term for all flatware regardless of material, plenty of dinnerware sets today are considered “china,” which is the same thing as porcelain. While we often think of fine china as the special-occasion plates that brides might register for in a chosen pattern, you can get porcelain dinnerware at big box stores for low prices.

Earthenware, which is made from clay and has a more porous surface than stoneware, is traditionally seen as an even less expensive option. Melamine, a lightweight, non-porous plastic that won’t easily scratch or break, is a good option for outdoor dining or families with young children.

You can find porcelain these days that has a more organic, handmade feel, and stoneware with delicate detailing. Even if you want to play it safe with color, you can find many subtle embellishments that still make your set unique.

Some designers will also play with shape to update dinnerware, making plates square instead of round, for example. The Spruce Eats On a more practical note, small changes in design, like the depth of a bowl or the size of a mug handle, can have a real impact on your day.

If you like big cups of coffee (or just the occasional chamomile tea), your ideal mug is going to reflect that. Another thing to consider is if the dinnerware set you’re looking at also offers coordinating pieces like platters or serving bowls or even gravy boats.

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Whether this is important is a matter of preference, but if you want a clean, unified look on your table, it’s good to know what your options are. You can pick up porcelain at Target for under $5, or you can register for a set that can cost thousands of dollars.

It also has a cult following: fans will devotedly track down a rare color or scour the internet for vintage pieces. This American company has been making fine china for over a hundred years and has supplied dinnerware to the White House on more than one occasion.

A Japanese brand with a storied history, Heritage was founded in Japan in 1876 by two brothers who wanted to sell porcelain in the American market. The brand's designs have changed with the times, and collectors will pay top dollar for some of its hand painted vintage and antique sets.

Be sure to check the care instructions before you buy: handmade items might not stand up to a dishwasher, for example, or gold detailing on a fine china plate can render it unsafe for the microwave. The Spruce Eats If you can avoid chipping, porcelain is probably the easiest to care for: it's non-porous, so you can let it soak or let coffee linger in your mug without worrying about staining.

In general, stoneware shouldn’t be soaked, and tough stains or scuffs can be removed with baking soda. A wire sponge can scratch glossy surfaces or ding up plastic or enamel.

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There aren’t a lot of hard-and-fast rules with dinnerware : porcelain can be less expensive than stoneware and earthenware, and melamine can look like handmade ceramics. We've been all over the shop, ransacking the racks and shelves of kitchen and tableware purveyors across the land, to round up Australia’s best national boutiques.

At their Woollier showroom you'll find all their classics, as well as place mats and table-runners from New York designer Sandy Childish and artisan wooden chopping boards from Philadelphia brand Oil Often. What to buy The pretty (and extremely versatile) “Pebble” bowls are a great place to start your Mud portfolio.

The versatile label was created 12 years ago to offer stylish and affordable pieces for inner-city dwellers. While the furniture range is extensive, West Elm also does good lines in kitchen and tabletop pieces, especially bar accessories, table linen, cutlery, dinnerware and serving ware.

Dinnerware range 365+, which has long been a bestseller, is now available in a selection of soft pastel colors and the matching cookware is worth a look, too. A visit to any of the stores is met with an explosion of wild color combinations, and the new collection Seed Pod is no exception.

Vases, pitchers, bowls, cutlery and salad servers have “perfect wedding or birthday gift” written all over them. Take their exclusive dinnerware line with Royal Moulton, for example, or their collaboration with Robert Gordon, which includes pastel-dipped plates and bowls and a barista-inspired range of little milk bottles, jugs and espresso cups modelled on takeaway coffee vessels.

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From sleek, modern plates you’ll use every day to fine china that’s perfect for special occasions; timeless white porcelain or colorful stoneware, we’re bound to have dinnerware that’s right for every meal. We’ve also got a wide range of individual plates, bowls and serving pieces.

The sets are co-signed by Kali ta, who lists the Main plates in a locked Pinterest board of dinnerware she keeps for her clients. “I think is great if you care about design, but you’re 23 and just moved into a teeny tiny apartment and you just want something that looks good,” she said.

All the dinnerware from Mud Ceramics have a beautiful, slightly odd silhouettes, and a shiny matte finish. “I think it's a good registry item, if you can get a bunch of people to cobble a set together for you.” Henderson has amassed a collection of Mud pieces over the years, with a preference for the company’s softer colored options.

For those who tend to destroy their dinner sets, and are willing to lean into the mess-hall-kitsch-vibe, Eggs suggests looking into dishware made from melamine. Depart's ceramic dinnerware sets itself apart with a hearty gloss glaze and a pronounced rim.

Despite mostly being into white dinnerware, Kali ta says she makes an exception for Danny Kaplan's deeply colored glazes. Kaplan was an interior designer and food stylist before discovering a knack for ceramics in a class he took for fun.

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The beautiful and delicate lines of Royal Copenhagen tableware is a natural extension of that love.” She says they’re just as good in a traditional setting as they are in a Park Slope townhouse with modern chairs and globular lighting fixtures. They're super hearty and reminiscent of the kind of plates you'd find at your neighborhood Greek diner, especially in the “Line” pattern.

Though Eggs notes that IKEA's dinnerware sets have a notably short shelf-life (“they look so terrible after being used like, 14 times”), Hampering says they’re fine for any person with an “as long as it holds soup” mentality.

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