Clumsy Friends and Chic Outdoor Parties Can Coexist With This Unbreakable Dinnerware

From melamine plates to acrylic glasses.

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Sure, you could bring your fine china out to the backyard picnic table for an alfresco meal, but when kids and clumsy guests are involved, using plates and glasses that are made to withstand the elements (including potential crashes to the ground) is essential. That means looking for materials such as melamine, bamboo, and thick glass.

In the past, melamine plates and bubble glass have gotten a bad rap, but today’s versions are as stylish as they are durable. There are ones that set a beachy boho vibe and others that are delightfully nautical. Whether you’re eating poolside, on the patio, in the backyard, or on your stoop, here’s the best tableware for dining outside, divided by material.

Bamboo and Melamine Dreams

Melamine isn’t just for the kids’ table. With a mix of wild colors and patterns, your outdoor table will draw just as much attention as the party’s natural surroundings, and in some cases guests might be truly fooled that they’re not eating from stoneware. The best part? Each of these options, even the bamboo and melamine blends, are dishwasher safe, so you can reuse them all summer long. 

Bamboo Dinner Plate Set in Waves


Melamine Lunch Plate in Summer Stripes Print


Melamine Faience a la Corne Salad Plate

John Derian

Sylvie Side Plate, Xenia Taler ($40/set of 4)


Modern Melamine Dinner Plates, West Elm ($34/set of 4)


Melamine and Bamboo Dinner Plate by Threshold


Puebla Melamine Dinner Plates, Potterybarn ($48/set of 4)


Italian Dinner Tray

Svenskt Tenn

Enamel Everything

No matter what you’re making for dinner, enamelware gives your table a cool retro vibe—and it’s heavy-duty enough to keep from flying off the table when a strong breeze blows by. (No wonder it’s a camping staple.) Also, no two patterns are alike; from melt-y marbling to Splatterware, you’ll always be serving up a one-of-a-kind meal.  

Large Marbled Enamelware Plate by Bornn

Mr Porter

Enamelware Metal Classic Salad Plate by Red Co., Amazon ($25.99/set of 4)


Enamel Serving Bowl by Hay


Cobalt Swirl Dinner Plate by Golden Rabbit ($75/set of 4)


Plastic Fantastic

You guests might do a double take when they pick up one of these acrylic options and realize it’s not made of glass. Plus their unbreakable nature means they’re perfect for poolside cocktails, and the pitchers (big-batch margs, anyone?) ensure your glass will stay full all afternoon. 

Acrylic Pitcher in Green with Amethyst Handle by Caspari

Shop Olivia

Palla Acrylic Pitcher by Mario Luca Giusti


Striped Tumbler, Zara Home

$6.9 $1.9

Fluted Acrylic Glassware

West Elm

Julia Stevens

Contributing Editor

Julia Stevens is a Domino contributing editor. Basically, she’s a professional online shopper. She started at Domino as an intern and spent almost seven years in the style department curating products for our gift guides, trend roundups, and product reviews and on set styling the beautiful homes we get to share. Off hours, you can find her scouting New York’s newest design shops and restyling her shelves