Six Great New Group Dining Trends For You To Try Now

If you love eating out and socializing, there’s good news. Many of today’s hottest food trends feature group dining elements. Here’s a look at six ways you can both get together with friends and meet new people, some of which bring back old-fashioned dining themes and others that capitalize on current technology in exciting ways.

Communal Tables

Long a staple of European restaurants, communal tables are starting to take off in the United States as well. Many establishments, especially those offering bistro or tavern fare, have some if not all of their seating devoted to shared tables. This style of dining is ideal for meeting locals while traveling, and it makes seating larger parties easier and more flexible.

Food Halls

Food halls hark back to the turn of the century in places like New York and Boston, where immigrants gathered in vast numbers to socialize and eat hearty food, and they’re still popular in places like Germany, where beer and traditional cuisine attract visitors from around the globe.

New food halls have sprung up in cities around the country, often taking advantage of large-scale real estate renovation projects. They are the perfect venue for group outings from work or to celebrate events with friends and family without worrying about reservations and seating charts.

Farmers Markets

While farmers markets used to be limited to shopping only, many have now added on-site dining, so buyers can sample fare and try new food combinations. Go with the family, and grab fresh sandwiches, or head out on your own for a wine and fruit pairing where you’re sure to meet new folks.

Bar Dining

Like the farmers market option, bar dining lets you roll the dice when it comes to your eating companions. Many high-end restaurants now serve a full menu at the bar, a great way to accommodate small parties and single diners. If you’re comfortable chatting with strangers next to you, you could wind up meeting anyone from a neighbor you’ve never seen before to local artists or business magnates from across the globe.


Tastings have soared to new heights lately. While you can certainly still find traditional wine tastings, why not go a step further, and try your favorite bottle with a cheese menu or plate of gourmet chocolates? Some establishments are bringing in experts to help diners learn the intricacies of selecting olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and imported pasta.

Try an entire menu, from soup to nuts, at a chef’s table tasting. Many restaurants offer single spots at the table, where you can meet other foodies, or book all the seating for a group dinner with your friends for a fabulous night out.

Social Dining Sites

To make coordinating group dining even easier, there are now social dining sites that allow you to sign up for a meal at the restaurant of your choice. You can see if your friends are eating out or sign up solo and enlarge your social circle at a group table. This is a wonderful way to dine if you’re looking to meet new people or simply don’t like eating alone, whether in your home town or on the road.

Group dining has never been easier or more fun. Try some of the trends above, and you’ll be on the cutting edge of a culinary craze. To learn more, contact a business like Sabatino’s Italian Restaurant