'60s Party foods

Updated March 23, 2017

With the advent of the '60s-era TV show "Mad Men" in 2007, people are throwing '60s themed parties again. Whether you've got a cocktail event or a dinner party to throw, there is are a lot of options for your food choices. Food in the 1960s was rich, decadent and what you might call "sinful" today. But, indulging in '60s fare for an evening will add to your good time and might even bring some nostalgia to guests.


Housewife was the average married woman's occupation in the '60s, so events were home catered. This is your advantage for party throwing. A cocktail party usually had simple appetisers. Try rolling miniature sausages in cheese and crescent rolls for pigs in a blanket. Pick up some cocktail sauce and frozen shrimp at the store and you've got shrimp cocktail, a popular dish for the era. Anything wrapped in bacon is relevant too. Rumaki is liver wrapped in bacon, skewered and dipped in soy sauce. You might reserve devilled eggs for picnics, but in the '60s, they were classy cocktail party favourites.

Main Dishes

Dinner parties were just as popular as cocktail parties. Having the boss over for dinner was considered a way to curry favour and somewhat of an honour. If you want to impress your guests with '60s fare know-how serve beef Wellington or 'surf and turf'. Beef Wellington is steak coated with pate, wrapped in puff pastry and baked. Surf-and-turf is another red meat winner composed of steak on the same plate as a serving of seafood. Common seafood for the 'surf' was shrimp or lobster.

Side Dishes

A party host (usually a housewife) wouldn't be caught dead serving a main dish without at least one side dish and usually there was more than one. Casseroles of any kind were common as were homemade white bread dinner rolls. If you want to infuse some kind of healthy food with your dinner, broccoli is a choice; however to remain true to '60s style you'll have to drench it in butter first.


Dinner parties were three course affairs and after appetizers and the main course came drinks and dessert. Pie and cake (pineapple upside-down) was common and easy to prepare. But Jell-O was just coming into its own, too. Moulded Jell-O with pieces of fruit suspended inside it is consistent with the time period. If you're doing a cocktail party and want to serve something sweet, finger food desserts abound. Try meringue drops, fudge and peanut brittle.

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