Beach Party Menu Ideas


Beach parties are all about sun, sand, surf and seafood. The events tend to be casual in nature, with plenty of activities and food. Whether you go with a basic picnic or fancy luau menu, include plenty of cool drinks and side dishes. The cool refreshments help balance out a hot entree so that everyone remains comfortable in the warm beach air.


  • Serve a rich seafood dish as an entree. Teriyaki shrimp and pineapple kabobs with coconut rice provide a tasty dish that even kids may enjoy. Grilled swordfish in mango-chutney sauce is a sweet dish. Coconut shrimp and fried-clam finger foods also work for a beach buffet.

    Serve dishes that are easy to warm up and travel well in a cooler for a beach party. Less common entrees include cucumber and shrimp finger sandwiches, salmon lox and cream cheese finger sandwiches, jerked pork hoagies, or honey-roasted ham wraps.

Side Dishes

  • Chilled fresh fruit helps guests stay hydrated and cool. A carved watermelon basket filled with watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew and grapes adds a juicy selection to the serving table. A glass bowl filled with fruit salad consisting of mango, pineapple, coconut, banana and strawberries adds a tropical selection to the table.

    There also are non-fruit side dishes that fit in with a beach party theme. Chilled chives and ham potato salad, sweet Hawaiian rolls, cheese-stuffed celery sticks, and California sushi rolls can be made or purchased the morning of the party and stored until needed.


  • Strawberry shortcake works for a beach party if you keep the shortcakes, strawberries and whipped cream separate until serving time. Chocolate-covered strawberries, coconut cupcakes, and pineapple upside-down cake also work well, as long as you keep the desserts chilled in a cooler until serving time.


  • Any cold, fruity and/or tropical drink is suitable for a beach party. Alcoholic and nonalcoholic cocktail flavors include coconut, pineapple, strawberry, mango, orange, lemon, lime or cherry. Cocktails include margaritas, daiquiris and mojitos. Complex cocktails can include Bahamas Mamas, coconut mojitos, strawberry-kiwi daiquiris and pina-coladas.

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  • Photo Credit Fruit salad in hollow watermelon and fruits image by Elzbieta Sekowska from
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