The Basics Bar Tools

The 8 Best Serving Trays to Get in 2021

Serve your drinks and snacks in style.

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Now that you’ve got the wine glasses, the bar cart, and most of your basic cocktail kit supplies covered, the only thing you’re likely missing is an epic serving tray. Although the former three categories are definitely the foundation of at-home drinks service, there’s something undeniably classy about serving up your friends’, neighbors’, or in-laws’ libations on a beautifully crafted tray. However, not all serving trays are created equal. Material, functionality, and of course, price point, all play major roles in finding that perfect go-to piece for your home.

Not sure where to start? We’ve narrowed down a handful of our favorite serving trays from a variety of purveyors, available at a diverse range of price points and an array of different aesthetic preferences. Head to the bottom of our list for all you need to know about serving tray storage, maintenance, and general serving tray specs. 

Best Overall: Bleecker Glass Bar Tray

Bleecker Glass Bar Tray

Courtesy of Pottery Barn

Pros
  • Functional

  • Good size

  • Fair trade certified

  • Art deco inspired

Cons
  • Slightly pricey

  • Hand wash only

In terms of quality, price, functionality, and overall appearance, Pottery Barn’s Bleecker Glass Bar Tray is one of our favorite serving platters on the market. Its simple-yet-elegant design makes it the perfect addition for at-home bar carts, and its uses go far beyond cocktails: think appetizers, snack platters, simple breakfasts, and more.

This tray is made from tempered glass and aluminum and comes in both antiqued gold or blackened bronze finish options. Best of all, the product is Fair Trade Certified, meaning that the people employed to create this product are ensured a safe and fair labor space. 14.5” diameter, hand wash only. 

Best Wooden: West Elm Deco Handle Tray (Brass Handles)

West Elm Deco Handle Tray

Courtesy of West Elm

Pros
  • Easy to carry

  • Two sizes available

  • Multi-purpose

Cons
  • Coasters/napkins recommended under drinks

Crafted from solid mango wood, this brass-finished tray from West Elm promises to serve up all of your breakfast-in-bed-inspired dreams. The tray’s metal handles ensure easy transportation, while its overall functionality allows the tray to double as a workstation organizer, snack platter, and beyond.

At just 2.25 inches high, the tray stores well in tight spaces, particularly in smaller homes (urban apartment dwellers, we’re looking at you). Made in India. Hand wash with a damp cloth or sponge. Note: Not for use in microwaves or dishwashers.

Best Marble: Williams Sonoma Marble Round Platter

Williams Sonoma Marble Round Platter

Courtesy of Williams Somona

Pros
  • Naturally cool surface keeps food fresh

  • Handmade

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Heavy

Produced from solid white marble in India, this stunning marble platter from Williams Sonoma is as gorgeous as it is useful. The platter comes cut, ground, and polished by hand, plus its naturally cool surface ensures that produce and cheese stay fresher longer. The platter is ideal for display or serving and is equipped to handle a variety of food items, including appetizers, desserts, and more. 12” diameter, hand washing / towel drying recommended. 

Related: The Best Bar Carts

Best Budget: 2-Piece Oval Platter Set in White

Modern Farmhouse Organic Bead 2-Piece Oval Platter Set in White

Courtesy of Bed Bath and Beyond

Pros
  • 2-for-1 package

  • Affordable

  • Easy to find

Cons
  • Not suitable for beverages

Who says that serving platters have to break the bank? This 2-pack set from Bed, Bath, and Beyond is one of the most versatile and useful options on the planet. This rustic and durable set of trays come with a beautiful beaded accent and are both microwave and dishwasher safe. We’ve found that the trays work best with prepared meals or already assembled appetizers, but the platters could equally be used as cheese boards as well. For under $15 (just over $10 for members), the deal doesn’t get much better than this. 

Related: The Best Bar Sets

Best for Food: Marin Large Oval Serving Platter

Marin White Large Oval Serving Platter

Courtesy of Crate and Barrel

Pros
  • Large (20-inch diameter)

  • Five color options

Cons
  • Not suitable for beverages

When it comes to serving up breakfast platters, baked goods, or a variety of homemade appetizers, this Marin Oval Serving Platter from Crate and Barrel is our go-to pick. Crafted from glazed ceramic, this large and easy-to-carry option comes in five different colors and is dishwasher, microwave, and oven safe. The platter also beautifully doubles as a cheese and charcuterie board, though with regards to happy hour, we’d steer clear of putting any glassware on this tray. Note: Matching Marin dinnerware also available in white.

Best with Handles: Fishs Eddy Gilded Café Mirror Tray

Fishs Eddy Gilded Café Mirror Tray - Round

Courtesy of West Elm

Pros
  • Great for cocktails

  • Easy to carry

  • Excellent quality-to-price ratio

Cons
  • Not recommended for food (directly on tray)

  • Use small serving plates / napkins

This gorgeous gilded cocktail tray comes from Fishs Eddy in New York City, a long-standing Flatiron staple known for vintage kitchenware and unique household items. Crafted in conjunction with the company, this brass-and-glass tray is ideal for serving up a myriad of cocktail creations at home.

Measuring 13” in diameter, this mirrored-glass tray comes equipped with an antique brass finish and easy-to-carry handles. The product is made in a Fair Trade Certified facility—and best of all, it’s currently on sale. 

Related: The Best Cocktail Glasses

Best for Cocktails: Williams Sonoma Antique Brass Tray

Antique Brass Tray

Courtesy of Williams Somona

Pros
  • Hand hammered

  • Unique

  • Gold plated

  • Excellent quality-to-price ratio

Cons
  • No handles

  • Slightly expensive

Sticking with the cocktail theme, this antique brass tray from Williams Sonoma is also one of our go-to picks. Shiny, sleek, and ideal for a variety of hors d’oeuvres or cocktails, this hand-hammered tray is the perfect addition to any vintage bar cart. The tray is crafted from stainless steel and comes hand antiqued, which gives the platter its signature shine. Each piece is unique, gold plated, and lacquer finished. Just be careful when carrying without handles!

Best for Cheese: Round Wood And Marble Board With Matching 3-Piece Knife Set

Round Wood And Marble Board With Matching 3-Piece Knife Set

Courtesy of Wayfair

Pros
  • Knives included

  • Versatile uses

Cons
  • Hand wash only

Every food and wine lover’s kitchen needs a go-to cheeseboard, and this adorable (and affordable) option from Luxe Designs is one of the best. Equipped with three mini-sized cheese knives, this marble board is perfect for meats, cheeses, and a variety of happy hour snacks.

The platter also doubles as a cutting board and can equally be used as a large coaster for pitchers, pans, and more. We personally love the design, aesthetic, and all-inclusive knife factor of the product, which makes it one of our go-to picks for housewarming and wedding gifts. 

Final Verdict

When it comes to choosing the best serving tray, consider its primary use first. Will you mostly be using the tray for drinks, appetizers, or fully prepared meals? This is the biggest factor to consider. Price point and aesthetic follow. While not mandatory, we’ve found that the easiest serving trays to use have been those with handles. 

FAQs

What's the average size of a serving tray?

Serving trays vary in size depending on their manufacturer, material, and destined use. However, most round serving trays clock in around 12”-14” in diameter.  

How many glasses / plates will the average serving tray hold?

The number of glasses and plates that will fit on an average serving tray is dependent on the size of the tray itself. We’ve found that with an average of four cocktail / spirits glasses or mugs fit comfortably on an average-sized round serving tray (12”-14” diameter). 

What is the best way to clean / care for a serving tray?

Although a handful of platters (mostly those used for food) are dishwasher friendly, most serving trays should be wiped down with soft, damp cloths. To verify if soap can be used, check out the products specific recommendations or search its material via Google. 

How should one store a serving tray?

Above all, serving trays should be stored in dry places where moisture is not present, especially if made from rattan or wood. If not used frequently, simply wipe down the serving tray with a damp cloth prior to use. 

Why Trust Liquor.com?

Vicki Denig is a wine, spirits, and travel journalist who splits her time between New York and Paris. Her work regularly appears in major industry publications. She is the content creator and social media manager for a list of prestigious clients, including Sopexa, Paris Wine Company, Becky Wasserman, Volcanic Selections, Le Du’s Wines, Windmill Wine & Spirits and Corkbuzz. She is a Certified Specialist of Wine.

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