The Picture Dictionary of Dinnerware

How well do you know your dinnerware? Discover the particular purpose of each dish on your table with this handy reference guide.

Dinner Plate – Used for serving entrees or main courses, generously-sized dinner plates are usually 9” to 11” in diameter. Rim shaped plates such as these have a flat, distinct edge. 

Salad Plate or Dessert PlateSide plates typically range in size from 6” to 8” in diameter. Perfect for serving side salads or appetizers. Does double-duty for desserts; small enough in size for breakfasts.

Accent Plate – Specially decorated, accent plates sit on top of the dinner plate and serve up sides or small desserts. 

 Charger – Slightly larger than a dinner plate, the charger fits beneath the place setting for an added touch. The visible rim complements your dinnerware pattern.

Soup/Cereal BowlAll-purpose bowl is an easy choice for soup, oatmeal, ice cream, etc. Coupe-shaped bowls like this one do not have a distinct rim.

Soup Bowl – This shallow soup bowl, sometimes with a wide rim, is perfectly crafted for courses such as pasta, stew or soup.

Serving Bowl – Comes in a variety of sizes. Goes from serving salad at the dinner table to popcorn on movie night! You can even use your serving bowl to display fruit. 

Oval Platter – Serves meats, bread, vegetables, fruits and cheeses. Comes in a variety of sizes; may or may not have handles. An oval serving platter is essential at every feast!

Cup & Saucer – The round cup and saucer are traditionally used for serving tea or coffee. Cup fits into the recessed center of the saucer, which catches any drips (or holds a cookie!). 


Mug Large-sized mug with easy-grip handle is perfect for early-morning coffee and other hot beverages. 

Dipping Bowl – These small condiment bowls are great for dips. Dip your chips, crackers or bread into your favorite concoctions, or use for oil and vinegar. 

Oil Bottle – Used for pouring olive oil, vinegar or other sauces. Oil bottle may be made of glass or other materials.

Creamer – The creamer is the piece of the tea service used for pouring cream into coffee or tea.  

Sugar – Also included in a tea service. The covered sugar bowl with lid makes a charming accessory and is used for serving sugar or other sweeteners.

 Teapot – With its stout shape, the teapot is used to serve hot water or steep tea. A beloved tradition around the world, the teapot an entertaining essential.

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