How to Set Up a DIY Sandwich Bar for Casual Parties: Tips to Product Picks!

Having family or friends over for a casual get-together? Want to keep things relaxed, no-fuss, and fun? Then, stick to the simplest approach to the party food. Have a sandwich bar! No cooking required and minimal cleanup afterwards. Simply open up packages, cans, and bottles of your chosen sandwich ingredients, and lay them out in an appealing buffet setup. For styling inspiration, borrow some ideas from these sandwich station examples we found. Choose from our suggested serving essentials. Then you’re ready for company! (*this post contains affiliate links)

DIY Sandwich Bar Tips to Consider

The whole point of opting for a sandwich bar is so that you can enjoy the gathering, minus the hosting stress. So, keep these hints in mind. Then, have a great time!

  1. When buying your sandwich ingredients, you may want to select them based on the season (a holiday wine and cheese soiree, a summer cookout with burgers or hotdogs), the occasion (a baby shower, a Super Bowl party), maybe even your favorite foreign cuisine (Italian, Mediterranean).
  2. Select a spot for your sandwich bar that allows easy serving for your guests: your dining or kitchen table converted into a buffet, your kitchen counter or island, your living room coffee table, your patio bar, or even a bar cart if space is really tight.
  3. Arrange the ingredients either all on one large serving platter (be sure it’s artful and appealing!) or on separate wooden boards, trays, plates, and bowls according to type: cold cuts, cooked meats, cheeses, spreads, veggies, condiments, bread and/or wraps.
  4. Label the food items with flag picks or mini chalkboard signs, especially if you’ll be serving some unusual toppings, spreads, or fillings.
  5. Provide appetizer plates, spreaders, knives, forks, and napkins for everyone – then let them “be creative” in assembling their sandwiches as they wish.
  6. Display a variety of breads such as French bread, bagels, rye, wheat, and sourdough. Have a toaster on hand, too, in case some may like warm, crunchy bread.
  7. Add snacks and munchies like potato chips, nuts, popcorn, and dried fruits as yummy accompaniments. As well as beverages like wine, beer, juices, flavored water, coffee, or tea.

Sandwich Buffet Ideas and Inspiration

Now, to take a look at what others have done. So you can create your own personal variation on a sandwich bar for upcoming parties.

Image courtesy of Cupcakes and Cashmere

With all eyes glued to the screen at an Oscars viewing party, this inviting selection of cold cuts, cheeses, and sliced veggies found on Cupcakes and Cashmere allows uninterrupted watching while eating!

Image courtesy of Savvy Mom

Such a hearty spread with vegetables at center stage. This is a sandwich station setup for a Super Bowl Party, courtesy of Savvy Mom. A perfect way to feed a crowd and enjoy the game at the same time.

Image courtesy of Maria Makes Muffins

For a little one’s 2nd birthday seen on Maria Makes Muffins, a sandwich station gives everyone – grownups and kiddie guests alike – a choice of what fixings to add to pre-made gluten-free sandwiches. Note the adorable transport-shaped sandwich cutters in the center!

Image courtesy of A Beautiful Mess

Look, no meat! It’s a fancy and fun grilled cheese station from A Beautiful Mess, with interesting toppings to add on – like pesto, spicy blue cheese mustard, candied pecans, wasabi sauce and sun dried tomatoes.

Image courtesy of Market Hall Caterers

If you really want to wow your guests, take inspiration from the “cheese and salami platters” from Market Hall Caterers in the Bay Area. Real showstoppers, with cured meats and fine cheeses from around the world plus fancy add-ons like pistachios, apricots, figs, and more!

Photo via Lulu the Baker

Back to cozy home entertaining with everyone’s sentimental comfort food, peanut butter and jelly! But this PB&J bar from Lulu the Baker goes all out with 4 kinds of bread and toppings like homemade strawberry jam, black raspberry jam, peach preserves, marshmallow fluff, dulce de leche, Nutella, chocolate almond butter, Biscoff cookie butter, and orange blossom honey. Sweet!

Photo via Peanut Butter Fingers

From a delightful baby shower shared on Peanut Butter Fingers, here’s another great variation of a grilled cheese bar. A simple setup but with interesting toppings like pear slices, caramelized onions, avocado, and more!

Photo via New House New Home New Life

A clever way to “pace yourselves” before the holiday feasting is to host a casual pre-Christmas lunch featuring a sandwich bar – as spotted on New House New Home New Life.

Photo via  A Second Glance

Make it Italian! Focusing your sandwich fillings around a cuisine you love (or have been wanting to try) is a great way to “theme” your party. Thanks to A Second Glance for the delectable cured meats, cheese, vegetables, and condiments suggested.

Photo via Easy Peasy Pleasy

Salad is an ideal pairing for the sandwiches on your party buffet. So, offer the ingredients for both, as in this charming panini and salad bar we discovered over at Easy Peasy Pleasy. Note the butcher paper table cover – great for a handwritten sign and for easy clean-up!

Product Essentials for Setting Up Your Sandwich Bar

Ideal for sandwich-bar styling, these items are also versatile home entertaining must-haves. You’ll find great use for them on many occasions.

1 – “Delicious Sandwich Served All Day” Metal Sign (*affiliate link from Amazon)

2 – Cathy’s Concepts Collection Personalized Slate Serving Board (*affiliate link from Pier 1 Imports)

3 – 3-tiered Rectangle Server (*affiliate link from Pier 1 Imports)

4 – Stonewashed Collin Bread Basket with Warmer (*affiliate link from Pier 1 Imports)

5 – Libbey 3-piece Glass Condiment Set with Wood Serving Tray (*affiliate link from Pier 1 Imports)

6 – Concrete Collection Utensil Caddy (*affiliate link from Pier 1 Imports)

7 – 10 Strawberry Street Party Packs Square Appetizer Plates (Set of 12, White) (*affiliate link from Amazon)

8 – Stainless Steel Spreader Knives for Sandwiches (Set of 4) (*affiliate link from Amazon)

9 – Luminarc 15 Ounce Stemless White and Red Wine Glasses (Set of 12) (*affiliate link from Amazon)

10 – Jubilee 3-Ply Cocktail Beverage Napkins (80 Count, Green) (*affiliate link from Amazon)

This post contains affiliate links and Bellenza, Inc. will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking the affiliate links. You can find our disclosure statement here.


  1. Thanks for sharing these tips. These are some amazing tips to set a casual sandwich bar.

  2. Thanks for sharing this post.

    The tips you mentioned in this post will definitely help us a lot at parties. Keep sharing.

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