Whether you’re throwing a themed party or just want to bring some old favorites back into rotation, these festive finger foods, dips and a cornucopian salad represent the best of ’80s party food—back when people mingled in their parachute pants and leg warmers and were less inclined to sit still. None of these dishes ever completely left the dinner-party canon, but their relative exodus since the ’80s makes them ripe for revival.
Spinach and Artichoke Dip in a Bread Bowl
This creamy, cheesy dip is a classic crowd-pleaser. Although a toasty bread bowl isn’t necessary, it certainly amplifies the fun.
Get the Recipe: This Spinach and Artichoke Dip Bread Bowl Is Pure 80s Nostalgia
Baby Potatoes with Sour Cream and Caviar
Back in the 80s, the Yukon Gold potato kicked off a decade of fancy potatoes. Case in point, these caviar-topped spuds.
Get the Recipe: These Tiny Caviar-Topped Potatoes Are Totally Luxe
Green Salad with Poppy Seed and Raspberry Vinegar Dressing
This simple salad’s irresistible dressing takes inspiration from three 80s trends: fruit vinegars, nut oils and poppy seeds.
Ready to party? This stellar appetizer of refried beans, guacamole, cheese and more comes together in less than 15 minutes. All hail the 7-layer dip.
Get the Recipe: 7-Layer Dip Is the Ultimate Party Appetizer
This eggy ’80s staple has still got it. The recipe’s filling is just a suggestion; you can use whatever cheese, meat or veg you have on hand.
Get the Recipe: These ’80s-Era Mini Quiches Bring the Party
Baked Brie with Honey and Walnuts
Who doesn’t love baked brie? Keeping the wheel whole lets it get melty inside without oozing out before you cut into it.
Get the Recipe: This Baked Brie with Honey and Walnuts Is a Showstopper
Simply Red Sangria
This sangria recalls Celestial Seasonings’ hibiscus-based Red Zinger Tea, which enjoyed its greatest popularity in the 1980s.
Get the Recipe: This Tequila-Spiked Sangria Is a Burst of Hibiscus Flavor
Bottles to Bring to the Party
The crisp and easy-drinking wines popular in the 1980s work well with the creamy-cheesy flavors on this menu. Most are now being made in drier and more modern styles, and cynics may be struck by their sheer deliciousness, especially in a social setting.
Blue Nun “Authentic White” NV (Rheinhessen)
Just a smidge sweeter than most in the vague feinherb category, this mostly-Müller Thurgau blend is especially good with the baked brie at this party.$22.99 TIPXY
Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Loosen 2021 Eroica Riesling (Columbia Valley)
91 Points Wine Enthusiast
Chateau Ste. Michelle gained international attention with their “Johannisberg Riesling” a halfcentury ago, and their Rieslings are still a terrific U.S. wine value.$21.99 Wine.com
Robert Mondavi Private Selection 2021 Chardonnay (California)
90 Points Wine Enthusiast
Mondavi Chard remains a good example of balancing the ripe and buttery style that emerged in the ’80s with crisp apple and spice.$9.44 Vivino
Sogrape 2021 Mateus Dry Rosé (Portuguese Table Wine)
In its classic bulbous flask-shaped bottle, this is a still, dry version of the semi-sweet and semi-sparkling wine that captured hearts in the ’70s and ’80s.$13.99 Wine.com
Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau 2022 (Beaujolais)
Those who dismiss Beaujolais Nouveau might want to revisit this; think of these light and cheery whole-cluster, carbonic-macerated wines as the original “glou glou.”$12.99 Vivino
This article originally appeared in the May 2023 issue of Wine Enthusiast magazine. Click here to subscribe today!
Last Updated: June 6, 2023