Dinner Party Ideas: Modern Greek

Tomato salad
Manuel Breva Colmeiro / Getty Images

When you find yourself in the mood for a party that's just a little bit different, one that conjures up a dreamy, romantic, sunny place, we suggest hosting a Greek dinner party. You can't help but smile with thoughts of sun-splashed, bright white buildings, and azure seas. Combine the sunny images of Greece with the bright flavors of the cuisine, and your spirits and that of your companions is sure to be transported in short order.

Even if you aren't from the islands, the Greek culture is so warm and inviting that everyone feels they have a place at the dinner table. This is one dinner you won't want to miss! Celebrate the sunny flavors of the Mediterranean without leaving your own home. 

Setting the Stage

When planning a greek party it's nice to keep things classic and traditional with decorating a table in the colors of the Greek flag: blue and white. To help the blue's on the table punch plan a mostly white foundation with white plating, serving ware, and tablecloth. Add punches of blue with striped napkins, bright blue flowers, and maybe the glassware. Either purchase table linens that have blue and white stripes, or top a bright white cloth with an azure runner.

If you are planning your party for night candles and string lights create a beautiful and relaxing atmosphere. The flicker of the candles will transport your guests to the islands and put them in a Greek state of mind. Purchase clear votive candle holders and paint them with metallic gold stripes around the base. Fill with white candles and create a circle of them in the center of your table. Place a low vase of white roses in the center of the votive circle. ​

Create a place card for each guest by writing their names with a sleek blue marker pen on clean, white clamshells. Roll white linen napkins into a tight cigar shape and place inside a gold-colored napkin ring. Play traditional Greek music in the background.

The Menu

There are certain flavors and ingredients that will automatically find their way to your table when you plan a Greek dinner party. Olives, olive oil, lemon, eggplants, lamb, honey, seafood, and herbs are some of the dominant elements in this cuisine. Here is a menu that guarantees you've captured the flavors of a Greek meal at your party.

Start with a Meze Platter

Meze, or small bites, is a ubiquitous part of Greek culture. They can be served at any time of the day, and their purpose is to accompany drinks and facilitate conversation. Meze can be simple, assembled nibbles, or tasty cooked morsels. For texture and interest assemble a meze platter as the appetizer course of your meal using a combination of ready-to-serve ingredients along with a few prepared bites:

  • Olives
  • Feta cheese chunks
  • Hummus dip
  • Greek eggplant dip
  • Pita bread wedges
  • Stuffed grape leaves
  • Spanakopita

Accompany your meze platter with glasses of the famous Greek liquor, Ouzo.

Main Course

  • Lamb souvlaki with tzatziki: Much of the work for these savory lamb pita sandwiches can be done in advance which will allow you more time to spend with guests. Lamb is crucial in going Greek for a dinner party.
  • Meatless moussaka: This is a satisfying accompaniment to the lamb that can also be prepared ahead of time.
  • Greek wines and beer: Choose an assortment.


  • Baklava: The most classic and recognizable of all Greek desserts, baklava. A delicious bite that comes in many shapes sizes and forms. Who can resist this classic honey and nut Greek treat?
  • Greek coffee: Very strong and legends say you can even tell your fortune from the remains of your coffee. Ending a meal with a coffee is very important to aid digestion of your large feast and to help the conversation and laughs flow into the night.