Summer Themed Party Food Ideas [Fun Recipe Themes for Parties]

Need summer themed party food ideas, summer sleepover snacks, summer lunch ideas for entertaining, outdoor party food ideas, or end of summer party food ideas? We have simple summer party food ideas for adults and kid parties that everyone will love!

Summer Themed Party Food Ideas overhead view of summer foods like grilled corn, fresh squeezed lemonade, watermelon pops, grilled vegetables

Best Summer Themed Party Food Ideas

A summer party food theme is super fun! It can include elaborate summer party food ideas for adults or a simple summer buffet for all ages! Adapt these to meet your summer theme ideas!

Theme Summer Party Dinner Menu Ideas:

  • Backyard Barbecue Theme (BBQ Party)
  • Red White and Blue Theme Party
  • Backyard Camping Theme Party
  • Luau Theme Party
  • Pool Party Theme
  • Fiesta Theme Party
  • Garden Party Theme
  • Beach Party Theme
  • Simple Summer Buffet Theme

Don’t miss more summer party food themes below. They work great for summer party menu for a crowd or even a smaller party during the summer with just a few friends gathering. Keep scrolling!

Affiliate links are used on this site. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Read more in our DISCLOSURE.

What do you serve at a summer buffet?

Serving summer buffets is one of the easiest party food ideas for summer parties and works well with any summer holiday party theme! Use make ahead outdoor party food, refrigerate the summer dishes, and then set up the buffet right before everyone arrives. A summer buffet can be elaborate or easy finger food for outdoor party snacks and works great for summer party food for large group (especially if you need summer party menu for 10 and up) or even a small gathering.

Summer Buffet Menu Ideas:

  • Fresh salads
  • Fruit waters
  • Cold pasta salads
  • Grilled pineapple
  • Hamburger and hotdog bar
  • BBQ meats for sandwiches
  • Grilled vegetable skewers
  • Egg salad
  • Taco bar
  • Fruit salad (use ice cream cones as an easy, edible bowl!)
  • Grilled corn on the cob (make cut them in two to make mini cobs — easier to eat and carry!)
  • Meat, cheese, fruit and cookie graze boards
  • Fruit salsas
  • Fresh vegetables
  • Dips and chips (summer party food favorites for all different summer themes!)

Buffets are also easy to account for different dietary needs. Be sure to include vegetarian recipes for summer party menu, too!

ALSO CHECK OUT: Summer Theme Party Ideas for Kids and Adults

Summer Party Food Themes

• BBQ Theme Food: Serve up burgers, hot dogs, chicken, pulled pork and all of your favorite BBQ sides. Use fun ice bins for beer and drinks to set a casual atmosphere.

• Red, White and Blue Theme Food: Whether you’re having a July 4th party or just a red and white and blue theme, have fun creating themed party foods like: watermelon salad, infused waters with red, white and blue drinks, layered red-white-blue drinks, red salsas and white chips, and more.

• Luau Theme Party Food: Serve up a variety of island-inspired dishes like grilled shrimp, pulled pork, pineapple salsa, grilled pineapple skewers, and coconut rice.

• Pool Party Food: For this theme, you want easy pool party food that guests can grab when they’re taking a break from swimming and then dive back in after they’ve refueled. Serve up a variety of easy poolside favorites like hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken wings, sandwiches, pizza, chips, popcorn, and these easy fruit salad in cone cups. Just keep summer pool party recipes super simple.

• Beach Party Food: Serve up a variety of beach-inspired dishes like shrimp tacos, mini crab cakes, mussels, clams, and crab legs. If you want to go simple (and a cheap summer menu), think of things you would take to the beach in your cooler or picnic basket: sandwiches, hummus and vegetables, chicken wraps, etc., and top it off with fun things like sand dollar cookies or “sand in a cup.”

• Backyard Campout Theme Food: If you’re having a backyard sleepover party, think about food you would have while camping: foil wrapped foods cooked in the campfire, hotdogs on a stick (we love these telescoping sticks for kids), s’mores, popcorn popped over the fire, and more.


• Fiesta Party Food: Taco bar buffet, chips and salsas, fresh fruits, and fruity umbrellas drinks are all easy ideas for a fiesta summer buffet!

summer theme food party ideas with different summer buffet foods on a yellow table

Summer Party Drink Themes:

• Layered Drinks: Layered drinks are fun (and can be with or without alcohol) because they can be adapted to match your party theme colors. (LEARN HOW TO LAYER DRINKS HERE)

• Margarita Bar: Serve up a variety of margaritas in pitchers, including classic lime, strawberry, mango, and peach (with alcohol or without!) and don’t forget the salt! Use fun party glasses, drink umbrellas, and fun summer straws.

• Sun Tea: Sun tea is fun to make and great for a summer buffet because you can leave it “cooking” right in the sun! LEARN HOW TO MAKE SUN TEA HERE

• Infused Water: Infused waters are super easy and refreshing summer drinks and even fun party drinks. Use sets like these to label and display the beautiful waters. (LEARN HOW TO MAKE INFUSED WATERS HERE)

Recipe Ideas for Summer Party Food

Many of these are make-ahead outdoor party food recipes that will save you time and sanity! Have fun with these summer dinner party menu ideas recipes, whether it be to start off summer or end of summer party theme.

Summer Themes Recipes

Let us know your favorite food entertaining ideas and food ideas for summer party and we’ll add them our list!

We hope you have fun with these summer themed party food ideas!

DISCLOSURE: Affiliate links are used on this site. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please refer to our DISCLOSURE.

About the author

Friends have called Jackie the "Midwestern Martha" [Stewart] because of her 20 years of over-the-top theme parties, super fun sleepover tips, and fun theme recipes.

Leave a Comment