Perhaps you’re still using your mom’s dinnerware on loan or you never upgraded from the mishmash of dishes you had in college. These plates only come with a select few dinnerware sets and are ideal if you host dinner parties.
Whether you prefer a minimalist aesthetic, elegant dishes with sophisticated style, or something more geometric and modern, you can find some great options below. Any of these fancy dishes will surely impress friends, family and dates you cook for in the near future.
AmazonBasics offers an affordable and attractive set that has everything you need to serve dinner for six. If you’re looking for affordable basics for everyday life, you’ll want to check AmazonBasics, which makes everything from cheap dinnerware sets to air fryers and yoga mats.
These incredibly lightweight dishes can be used indoors or outdoors thanks to their plastic melamine construction, but they look attractive enough to serve as your main dinnerware, too. When designing your tables cape, you can go for several styles, but the most popular and traditional is light plates against a darker table and metallic decor.
The deep blue ceramic set is offset by golden accents. As an added bonus, these dishes are dishwasher, microwave and oven safe.
These lightweight yet durable dishes are made to blend into your existing kitchenware with their white and black modern design. The DIY Doodle Plates allow you to draw pictures or write sayings on them using the four included markers.
Each plate looks like a piece of notebook paper so that it feels natural to draw on them. The ink only sets once you place the plates in the oven at 300 degrees for 30 minutes.
These plates are neat to have in your home or make a great gift for kids and adults alike. Millennials have given up on the polished silver and fine china used by Baby Boomers in favor of practical, durable and easy-to-clean dishes.
Courtesy of Food52, these matching dishes and bowls come in a variety of pastel colors perfect for the millennial kitchen. Even better, each of the dishes is crafted from sustainable bamboo fiber and non-GMO corn starch.
This top-rated dinnerware set from SPY favorite Corell includes enough plates, bowls and side dishes for an 8-person dinner party. And for under $120, this affordable dinnerware set offers an incredible value to young people still acquiring kitchen essentials.
While this 16-piece dinnerware set is more appropriate for a double date than a full dinner party, it comes with plenty of handsome plates and bowls for your kitchen cupboard. Corell made a splash on the dinnerware scene a few decades ago but has remained popular thanks to the company’s uniquely durable dishes.
This set combines Corell’s signature durability with a trendy terrazzo design that is sure to impress your guests. Blue-and-white is a classic color combination for kitchens, whether we’re talking about the tile beneath your feet or the dishes in your cupboard.
However, this set from Abner takes that color scheme and remixes it with bold patterns. The Durable French Glass Dinnerware set is made in France where it is very popular among starter households.
The dishes themselves are extremely sturdy, and the glassmaking process used ensures they are impact and chip resistant, too. The plates each feature a unique shape that’s not quite round, while the mugs have rivets that run along each edge.
They also boast a reactive glaze finish for an extra touch of class. West Elm has a reputation for chic and modern home decor, and we love this elegant dinnerware set.
While this striking pattern might look delicate, these dishes are perfectly safe for both the microwave and dishwasher. Unlike your mom’s fancy serving plates, you don’t have to wash these by hand.
This set is made in Portugal and has a distinctive glaze that makes each piece unique. You’ve watched Gordon Ramsey verbally abuse chefs with incredible results on TV.
Now bring his attention to detail and perfection to your dining room table with the Royal Moulton Exclusively for Gordon Ramsay Maze 16-Piece Dinnerware Set. These simple white dishes with concentric rings really allow food to take center stage.
This large dinner set from Stone Lain is quite affordable for a 32-piece set and comes in a green and cream color scheme that will match most dinner table color schemes. The two-tone dishes have speckle in them as well for a balance between trendy and classic with an artful design along with a durable construction that’s dishwasher and microwave safe.
Designed and made by food experts Food52, this set is chip-resistant, subtly textured and microwave and dishwasher safe. It’s also neutrally toned, so you can mix and match these dishes with your existing set or add colorful mugs and glass without an issue.
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.
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. 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.
To help keep track of everything, we've put together a comprehensive guide to stocking a kitchen with cookware, featuring both essential items and a few handy extras. As a result, it’s rare to find what we regard as “full-size” cookware, such as a 12-inch skillet, 4-quart saucepan, or 8- to 12-quart stockpot, in a set.
Frankly, quality can also be an issue: We’ve seen cookware sets for astonishingly low prices, but too many consists of a pile of flimsy, nonstick-coated aluminum pans. It’s false economy if you’re constantly fighting your pans just to cook a good meal and you replace them every few years.
They focus on construction quality, sell directly to consumers to reduce prices, and offer standard combinations of pans, with some even featuring practical pieces of full-size cookware. In the skillets, we seared steaks, made pan sauce, and browned beef for shepherd’s pie.
In the saucepans, we browned butter and boiled and mashed potatoes to top the shepherd’s pies. In the stockpots, we seared batches of beef for stew and tried to cook 2 pounds of angel hair pasta to test their capacity.
We were pleased that every set contained fully clad cookware composed of three or more layers of aluminum and stainless steel bonded together. Handle angles mattered, too, especially when hoisting heavy stockpots or sliding skillets full of shepherd’s pie under hot broilers to brown the potato topping.
The balance of a pan’s weight, an underrated design element that affects cooking efficiency, became particularly evident when lifting handled skillets and saucepans. Some sets’ pans felt off-balance, clunky, and harder to lift and maneuver, whether we were sautéing foods or scooping out sauce.
One of the attractions of a cookware set is the idea that someone wiser has preassembled the most functional combination of pieces for you. That’s not always the case: Two of the sets in our lineup had no stockpot or Dutch oven; their largest vessels topped out at 3 quarts, not big enough to cook 2 pounds of angel hair pasta or to make our beef stew recipe.
These sets lost points for lacking the pans we deemed necessary for a foundational package of cookware. One of the 10-inch skillets tapered down to just 7 inches of available cooking surface, barely enough room for a single steak.
Browning ground beef for the shepherd’s pie in this pan was frustrating, since pieces were constantly falling onto the stove top if we didn’t stir very carefully. It was interesting that all the sets included sauté pans: We don’t find them essential and typically reach for a 12-inch skillet or 7-quart Dutch oven instead.
We could cook a single pound of angel hair in it, but it took work to prevent the pasta from clumping. An innovative “compact” set from a familiar brand had a different version of a 5-quart stockpot: It was as flattened and low-sided as a sauté pan.
Again, we barely managed to cook just 1 pound of pasta in it, and water splashed everywhere as we frantically tried to prevent clumping. This fully clad cookware is hard to beat with its clean, “Goldilocks” design of sturdiness without heaviness, outstanding cooking performance, and remarkable durability.
Our runner-up, the Tramontina Gourmet 12-Piece Triply Clad Cookware Set, contained an astonishing number of full-size pans and is moderately priced at about $230. In the skillets, we made steak with pan sauce and browned beef for shepherd’s pie.
This smaller version of the Downtown Block secured all our knives nicely, though the blade of the slicing knife stuck out a bit. An acrylic guard afforded extra protection against contact with blades but made it a little harder to insert knives and to clean; the wood itself got a little scratched during use.
This is small, scratch-resistant model had a stable, rubber-lined base and could hold all our knives, though the blade of the 12-inch slicing knife stuck out a bit. It lacked a nonslip base, and its extra-strong magnets made it unnerving to attach or remove our heavy cleaver.
Finally, though the bristles could be removed and cleaned in the dishwasher, their nooks and crannies made this block hard to wash by hand. This plastic block required us to aim each knife into the folds of an accordion-pleated insert that was removable for easy cleaning but got nicked easily with repeated use.