Nothing makes a party like well curated snacks. Finger foods in particular have a way of fitting in as both elegant Oscar party bites or raucous Superbowl party apps. But no matter the holiday, celebration, or fête, the best case scenario is when the dishes you choose to serve at a gathering are unique and inspiring—not just the same few go-to staples.
While we’ll never turn down a well-made cheese plate or a delicious party dip, to change up our game, we turned to a number of cuisines around the world to source ideas for more exciting party bites. In addition to Korean fried chicken to authentic Mexican nachos, this includes the likes of cheesy broiled oysters, DIY spring rolls, and fried ravioli.
Now when the question of what appetizers to serve at a party comes up, the only question you’ll have is: how many of these recipes can I pull off?
Korean Fried Chicken
Double-frying chicken wings is the secret in Korean recipes to achieving the delicate, crackly crust that is the hallmark of this popular Korean specialty, made famous in this country at the Los Angeles restaurant Kyochon. Cathy Danh wrote about this snack in “The Other KFC” for our March 2010 issue. Get the recipe for Korean Fried Chicken »
Learn how to make our classic latkes. Author Joan Nathan, from whom this recipe is adapted, likes hers with applesauce; we find them equally delectable with sour cream. Alternating between onion and potatoes when grating keeps the potatoes from darkening. Get the recipe for Classic Latkes
Krisciki (Polish Bow Tie Fritters)
Also referred to as angel wings, these sugar-dusted fritters are both crunchy and pillowy. See the recipe for Krisciki »
These are the Buffalo-resident’s Buffalo wings: true to the original 1964 recipe, wings are fried in peanut oil and then tossed in a mixture of melted margarine and fiery hot sauce. Serve them up with blue cheese dressing and celery sticks to complete the classic dish.
Pork Rind Roosters
Roosters are an oyster bar standard made up of a single saltine topped with an oyster, horseradish, and several slices of jalapeño. The tradition: You shoot one back, grimace, chase it with a beer, and before you know it, you’ve eaten a dozen and got a T-shirt to prove it. This is not that. This tastes good. Instead of something you’d eat only after partying a bit, this version is an adept way to start a party. Get the recipe for Pork Rind Roosters »
Upperline’s Oysters St. Claude
Fried oysters are paired with a garlicky sauce in this toothsome appetizer served at Upperline, a restaurant in New Orleans’ Uptown neighborhood.
Gribenes, the deeply-flavored result of cooking chicken skin and onions down in fat—a byproduct of rendering schmaltz—is perfect fodder for schmearing on this crostini from Wise Sons Jewish delicatessen in San Francisco. Get the recipe for Shtetl Toast »
Chickpea Fritters with Coconut Chutney
The menu at the tiny, brightly colored Jesus é Goês restaurant is filled with Goan dishes that pop with traditional Indian spices and ingredients. Many take advantage of Lisbon’s fresh seafood—shrimp and fish in curries and biryanis—and produce. Here, in one of chef Jesus Lee Fernandes’ most popular starters, pillowy, onion-flecked chickpea fritters are served with a pungent chutney made from a blend of common Indian ingredients: cilantro, tamarind, chile, turmeric, and freshly grated coconut. Get the recipe for Chickpea Fritters with Coconut Chutney »
Meat Croquettes (Polpette)
Rich ground veal and potatoes are seasoned with garlic and parsley and fried for a classic Venetian snack.