Whether you’re preparing to host post-pandemic houseguests or simply want to replace the IKEA plates you inherited from an old college roommate, it sounds like it’s time for a dinnerware upgrade. More specifically, you’re looking for grown up plates that tell the world (but mostly yourself) that you’re a fully realized adult who can not only scroll through TikTok incessantly but also has their life in order. Hey, we all contain multitudes!
Grown up plates don’t necessarily have to mean expensive, but they should at the very least look and feel like they won’t shatter if you accidentally place them down on the counter too hard. Plus, there are some interesting color palettes that will let your home cooked (or re-plated takeout) dishes shine through. That said, this can get pricey but think of it this way: plates are something you’ll use every day so it’s worth splurging for something high quality made from ceramic or stoneware, that’ll last.
While what makes a dish “grown up” is up for personal interpretation, you can’t go wrong with neutral color palettes or bright ceramic glazes. I tend to like plates with a little heft, but melamine is also great if you want a more lightweight option or are worried about pets or friends knocking your fancy new purchases off a table. You’ll also want to check if your ideal plates are dishwasher, oven, or microwave safe, because nothing says responsibility like having the foresight to buy something you’ll get the most use out of.
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Bento Inspired Dinnerware
This dinnerware set was made in collaboration with Merci, the concept store in Paris’ Le Marais that’s known for their great design finds and picturesque courtyard. The rounded rectangular plates and bowls all nest and stack, giving the appearance of a Japanese bento meal, but are also highly customizable to suit any menu. The plates themselves are made out of stoneware that looks and feels very grown up, but they’re not so fancy that they can’t be (gently) thrown into the dishwasher.
A Perfectly Imperfect Melamine Set
If you’re looking to upgrade your dinnerware but don’t necessarily trust yourself with delicate ceramic or stoneware, these melamine plates are shatter-proof and dishwasher-safe. The neutral white and terracotta color palettes are also great for letting your food be the true star of the show.
The Plates With A Cult Following
We’ve raved about East Fork’s exquisite hand-made pottery servingware and mugs before for their perfect blend of beauty and durability, and these dinner plates are no exception. We love the newly released Taro color, but there are also plenty of neutrals if that’s more your style.
The Trendy DTC Set
The Always Pan from Our Place gets a lot of hype, but we’re also very into their dinner and glassware. These hand-painted ceramic plates are dishwasher, microwave, and oven-safe, and they have a small lip that makes it easier to scoop up last bites of pasta or keep loose sauces or dressing off your floor.
A Beautiful Monochrome Green Set
As we settle into the 2020s, it’s safe to say that pastel pinks can feel a little, well, cheugy. Green tones are a welcome change of pace, especially when it comes to home decor. This dining set from Food 52 is not only on-trend, but is also classic enough that you won’t want to replace them in five years. The six bowls and two plates all have slightly different (but still harmonious) shades of green and teal, and everything nests together in a very satisfying way.
The Plate That's Really A Bowl
I’m of the belief that bowls are superior to plates for their noodle and rice slurping capabilities, but this piece of dinnerware is a happy medium between the two. The sloped edges let you easily scoop up sauces or errant pasta noodles, while the large surface area lets you evenly dress your dishes or top them with cheese. I love the bright pop of color with this yellow bowl, but it’s also available in a more neutral gray, as well as a beautiful ocean blue.
A Pink Set You Won't Regret
If you’re looking for a grown up, hosting-dinner-parties-with expensive-wine version of a millennial pink dinner plate, a muted currant color palette might be the way to go. Since these plates are on the understated side, they won’t feel dated. Made of glazed stoneware, they’re dishwasher and microwave safe. One little detail that’s nice to note: they’re imperfectly round, which give them some character and a more rustic, handmade look.
A Fine Clay Plate
This elegant number is handmade locally in Nepal by Nepalese artisans who source their clay from the Kathmandu Valley. Your purchase of this very-grown-up plate will not only stand up to the dishwasher, oven, and microwave, but it’ll also help promote sustainable trade.
Basic, But Not Boring, Plates
These white speckled plates will go with just about any other dishware or accessories in your kitchen. A slight raised lip stacks well and will help keep sauces from dribbling off. Made from stoneware, it’s both dishwasher and microwave safe as well as durable enough for everyday use.
A Striking Smaller Plate
Inspired by Slovak culture and folk artifacts, this small batch ceramic plate helps preserve traditional craftsmanship and customs.
A Refined Hand-Finished Plate
Nothing says “I’m an adult” like sleek neutral stoneware plates. These plates from Material Kitchen are hand finished and are made from natural Korean soil.
The Plate You'll Find At Trendy Restaurants
Heath Ceramic is a cult favorite among restaurateurs, so it’s the perfect choice for a grown-up plate. We love this bright blue Moonstone glaze, but the plate is also available in 11 other gorgeous finishes.
A Very Elegant Plate That Also Doubles As A Lid
Our Senior Staff Editor, Lani Conway, raved about Hasami Porcelain’s stackable bowls back in March. Not only does the brand’s plates pair beautifully with their corresponding bowls, but the plates also double as lids for covering food or saving leftovers.
The Avant Basic Pink Plates
If you want to upgrade your plates but don’t want to live in a sea of neutrals, these milk glass plates from Mosser Glass are the perfect compromise. They’re dishwasher and microwave safe, plus they’ll match any other highly aesthetic pink accessories you have.