The 7 Best Thanksgiving Dinnerware Sets to Take Your Table to the Next Level
Thanksgiving may feel a bit different this year: maybe it’s a smaller affair, a Zoom dinner or you’re holding off on making a judgment call until it’s closer to the big day. Whatever shape it takes, that doesn’t mean your table can’t look as ravishing as ever. We could all use a little extra cheer this holiday season, which is why we’ve rounded up the best Thanksgiving dinnerware sets to achieve just that. (Bonus: Many of these resources can be used year-round, so it’s an investment that will truly pay off.)
First Things First: How to Set Your Table
After months of using our dining room tables as homework zones and work stations, we’re all feeling a bit rusty on setting up a formal table. This video will bring you back up to speed.
Step Two: Build Your Table Setting
To make your dining table not only Instagram, but also Zoom-ready, you may need to put in a little extra work. That’ll include sprucing up the table runner, the table settings and picking out a centerpiece. I would recommend looking to Cultiver for beautiful linen placemats and napkins, and to Parachute for an eye-catching table runner.
Centerpieces can be as simple as a seasonally appropriate flower arrangement (think mums, asters, black-eyed Susans, or even a vase full of dried wheat). A few candles nearby—ideally unscented, so they don’t interfere with the taste of the food—can also create a more intimiate, cozy setting. You could pour your own soy candle with help from the team at Siblings, or go for a real showstopper by placing votives in hollowed-out apples.
Step Three: Choose the Best Thanksgiving Dinnerware Set for You
1. Made In
Known for premium cookware that is trusted by chefs like Tom Colicchio and Jamilka Borges (not to mention the team behind Le Bernadin), Made In has recently expanded its direct-to-consumer offerings with truly stunning dinnerware. Their simple, elegant plates and bowls are made in England and Italy, and are protected by a one-year “no chip” guarantee (if it does, they’ll replace it). Pieces come either in a sophisticated white or a slightly edgier white with red rim, which may be better suited for the holidays. All pieces are dishwasher safe too.
You can build your own set to customize the price of the Made In dinnerware or purchase one of Made In’s preordained sets, starting at 37 pieces, for $459.
2. Our Place
I use my Our Place main plates for most of my solo meals but would be just as happy to entertain with them. The hand-painted porcelain plates are large enough to accommodate a Thanksgiving meal, and I love the lip along the edge that keeps even the messiest meals in check. Plus, cleanup for these plates is a breeze—they’re dishwasher, microwave, and oven safe, so you can keep Thanksgiving dinner warm in pre-portioned servings.
Available in three colorways, the plates are paired well with the brand’s bowls, whose modern design works just as well for your morning cereal as it would for servings of pie and ice cream. Based on season, Our Place also sometimes offers what they call “traditionware,” additional pieces inspired by various global culture and cuisines, including table runners, serving platters, and serving dishes. All pieces, and a full set of four plates, bowls, and glasses will set you back $125.
3. East Fork
Your ceramic-loving friends will instantly recognize any tableware from East Fork, a pottery company that has developed a cult following for its elevated stoneware. Most famous for their made-to-order, two-tone mug (which always seems to be sold out), the brand also offers a range of plates and bowls perfect for larger families.
Featuring a distinctly bohemian aesthetic, East Fork offerings use Southeast American clay with various mineral flecks for a distinct design. As a pottery company first and foremost, these pieces, much like another brand on our list, Beau Rush, feel more like art objects than tableware. Plates and bowls are quite heavy, so don’t count on passing plates back and forth across the table. East Fork pieces are certainly pricey, with plates selling for $42 a pop, but they’ll certainly be on your Thanksgiving table for years to come.
If you’re planning on dining al fresco this year (which we would recommend if you live in an area with amenable weather), you may not want to deal with carting heavy ceramic or glassware in and out of doors. And that’s where Sophistiplate dinnerware comes into play. As the name implies, Sophistiplate’s extensive line of single-ware tableware features unique and, yes, sophisticated patterns and colors. And to be honest, in photographs, you won’t even be able to tell that you weren’t using the real thing.
Most of the company’s plates are made out of recycled paper, but because the company adds a special coating to make them more durable and heat resistant, not all recycling plants will accept these pieces when you’re finished for the evening. The plates weigh between 350 and 400 grams, making them extremely portable while still being strong enough for hearty Thanksgiving sides. Sets of tableware start at $44.
Based in Houston, Rigby is a relatively new stoneware company that sources its materials from Portugal. Promising tableware that is “designed for your real life,” Rigby’s plates and bowls are simple and unassuming, and won’t distract from the feast you’ve prepared. They’re a bit thicker than some of the offerings on this list, but that makes them feel more durable.
The brand values minimalism and offers only a few essential pieces—a breakfast bowl, salad plates, pasta bowls, dinner plates, and a mug. Accessibility comes in more than just the brand’s aesthetics—the pieces are also fairly affordable. Dinner plates and pasta bowls will set you back $64 for a set of four, whereas cereal bowls and salad plates are $56 for a set of four.
6. Beau Rush
If you’re looking to make a statement with your plates, bowls and serving dishes, Beau Rush is undoubtedly the place to go. Honestly, with dinnerware like this, it’s unlikely that anyone will really care what you’re serving for dinner— they’ll be too busy checking out what you’re serving it on. The team behind Beau Rush turns ceramics into art. Should your goal be to Instagram your entire meal, the brand is worth a closer look. I’m particularly fond of the black clay collection, including the O'Keeffe Plate. (Fair warning, though: Each piece is handmade, which means that shipping takes about two to three weeks.)
Of course, design like this doesn’t come without a price tag. The aforementioned O’Keeffe Plate is a cool $52 (it’s 7 inches in diameter and about half an inch in height), whereas a set of nesting bowls—perfect for serving mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce—will set you back $78. But with craftsmanship like this, these are pieces that you’ll keep—and display—for years.
7. Jono Pandolfi
Jono Pandolfi designs dinnerware for chefs and some of the finest restaurants in the United States (and the world, for that matter), but you can also bring that same level of sophistication to your own dinner table. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has allowed the brand to truly flex its creative muscle, and home chefs will be pleased to find a few new limited-edition offerings, like its blue-banded dinnerware, which features a lighter, toasted clay than its classic four-piece set. The interior of the bowls and plates are glazed a bright white, and an artisan hand paints a blue band along each rim. As a result of this work, each piece is unique. Oh, and the bowls and plates are microwave- and dishwasher-safe, making last-minute reheating—and post-meal cleanup—that much simpler.