3 Ideas for a Diner Themed Party

Diners are known for their friendly charm and down-home hospitality offered in nostalgic, retro style. Serving American food such as hamburgers, French fries, sandwiches, and soups, they offer hearty fare at a reasonable price. You can host a friendly diner themed party with these three easy ideas.

Diner Themed Party Ideas

Checkers and a Jukebox

Anything checkered is reminiscent of a diner setting; black-and-white checked floors with red vinyl booth seats are classic diner decorations. I used my red-checked tablecloth and wrapped my silverware with paper napkins, like they do at a diner.

Pads of order-taking paper could serve as place cards or notes to your guests. If you’re lucky enough to have a jukebox, that’s amazing! If not, you can stream 50s sock-hop tunes from the web for your event.

Diner Themed Party Ideas

All American Fare

Breakfast, lunch, or dinner, they’re all good choices at a diner. It’s up to you which meal to serve at your diner themed party.

For mine, I chose a classic lunchtime burger-and-fries menu. I bought my slider patties pre-made from the vegetarian frozen section. You can find plain slider buns at your local store, but I discovered these amazing, sweet Hawaiian rolls that were just the right size. I kept the toppings simple with cheese, greens, and tomato.

Create a fancy burger slider with brie cheese and fig jam, or bacon, onion rings, and bar-be-que sauce. Or, set up a burger bar with an assortment of fixings, and have your guests assemble their own.

Diner Themed Party Ideas

For a unique twist on your side of fries, check out this recipe for Almond Crusted Sweet Potato Fries with Creamy Sriracha Sauce. Your guests will go ga-ga for these gourmet taters.

I decided to go with a throwback potato option: tater tots! Easy to bake up in the oven, get them crispy while you prepare the rest of your meal.

How about a tall glass of refreshing iced tea for your diner themed party? Try the Passion Blend — an Oolong tea base is paired with peaches and bourbon vanilla to create the perfect storm in your iced tea pitcher.

Diner Themed Party Ideas

Dessert Pairing

Milkshakes are a staple of the American diner. For dessert, I made two kinds of mini ice cream drinks. The first offering was a Classic Strawberry Milkshake, topped with whipped cream and a cherry.

Strawberry Milkshakes


  • 2 scoops strawberry ice cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup strawberries, chopped
  • Whipped cream (optional)


Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into your desired glassware and top with whipped cream.

Tip – even though the ice cream is sweet, your milkshake will be as sweet or as tart as your strawberries are. To spruce up your recipe, try using Earl Grey Tea-Soaked Strawberries.

My second dessert-in-a-glass was a Ginger Root Beer Float. I discovered a delicious Ginger Root Beer sweetened with stevia at my grocery store. While I wasn’t expecting it to be clear in color, it made for a beautiful and tasty treat, poured over a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Hosting a diner themed party is simple and fun! Provide a cozy place with some down-home comfort food, and your guests will be tickled to join you.

3 Ideas for a Diner Themed Party