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18th Birthday Party Catering Ideas – 6 tips for creating exciting party food for teens

Party Food for 18 Year Olds, 6 Things I Wish People Had Told Me!


Ok so you’re turning 18 and we all know what that means but you’re going to need something to soak up all those margaritas and prevent your guests peaking too soon!


Here’s some inspiration and top tips for providing fun and exciting catering when planning an 18th party.


Food is a great way to add to the theme of the event.


If you haven’t already, why not introduce a theme around your party to add elements of personalisation and tie everything together. How about a Mexican Day of the Dead theme, Love Island, Oktoberfest or Marvel super heroes. You could even theme it around a favourite place you’ve travelled too perhaps.


Whatever the theme, get creative over what food you like that fits with this. For an Oktoberfest theme, you could welcome guests with a beer stein and German pretzel followed by bratwurst & sauerkraut later on in the evening.


Get all tropical at your Love Island inspired gathering with grilled pineapple burgers and coconut curry (or serve tuna melts and scrambled egg & ketchup if you want to be super authentic!).


Going with a Mexican theme will allow you to treat your guests to perfect late-night snacks such as tacos, nachos & burritos, finishing with some fresh churros.


Have some tasty treats for when guests arrive


Laying out a few bowls of fancy crisps and dips or tapas style dishes will help keep hunger at bay and may prevent people going in ‘too deep too soon’ with the drinks (especially if you are offering a free bar!)

Sticky cocktail sausages, mini pizzas and cheese wrapped in bacon are all simple but winning snacks that hungry teenagers are likely to devour.


If you want to be a bit more fancy, have waiting staff carry trays round of ‘mini’ snacks such as sliders, prawn skewers or sushi. If you have a theme, this is a great way to help set the scene as people arrive and mingle.


Don’t underestimate how much 18 year olds can eat!


When planning dinner or a main course, it’s becoming more popular now to keep things casual and enlist the help of a street food truck or similar whereby guests can come up at their leisure and choose the food they fancy. This takes all the hassle out for you as you don't need to worry about things such as cutlery, seating or kitchen space.

When booking a food van for 18 year olds, you can’t assume each guest will just have one thing! Depending on the timings of the food and what else is available, it is often a good idea to assume some people will be back for seconds, especially if you’re inviting the school rugby team!


Have some back up sausage rolls and scotch eggs that you can whip out later on if you feel guests have still got the hunger. Remember the more people drink, the hungrier they tend to be!


All about the desserts


Everyone loves a sweet treat to top it off. Get creative with your desserts, think boozy sundaes,

donut walls and brownie jenga towers. You could even create your own ‘eton mess’ station where guests can load up their own bowls with a mix of fruits, meringue pieces, cream & syrups. Prepare for this to get messy!


Don’t forget the late night munchies!


Guests will love you even more if you bring out some pizza slices or hot bacon rolls just as they are beginning to flag.


Whatever your favourite guilty pleasure, now’s the time to whip it out. Whether this be oozing cheese toasties, fully-loaded kebabs or even turkey twizzlers, your guests will thank you the next day!


Have everyone covered.


Although you may be a meat fiend, not all your guests may be, so make sure you ask everyone for their dietary requirements in plenty of time prior to the event so you can prepare and let you caterer know.


There are so many delicious vegan dishes out there (think cauliflower pakoras or BBQ jackfruit) that you won’t need to compromise on your theme or taste.



If you want some more inspiration and someone to take the hassle out of the catering for your 18th party, just drop us a message, we’d love to treat your guests, ChilliDogs style!
We have delighted hundreds of teenage revellers with our one-of-a-kind sexy food truck and drool-inducing street food for all!

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