Nothing screams summer quite like sharing drinks and appetizers outside on a patio. At the peak of the season, new food is now at its prime. Because of this, you app-solutely need to incorporate new dishes into your menu.

In this blog post, we’re covering all the summer appetizer foods that are at their peak. Pick a few that match the cuisine of your restaurant and add them to your menu. Here are 11 for you to choose from. These shareable summery appetizers are the perfect start to a great dining experience.

From The Water

There’s no doubt warm weather calls for fresh seafood. A raw bar offers a variety of seafood products served over ice. Here are the best summer appetizers you can offer from the sea. Cool, light, and crisp for a hot summer day dining outside. What more could you ask for?

Shrimp Cocktail

This is a seafood classic. Shrimp cocktail is delicious with big, fat, and perfectly cooked shrimp. It’s served chilled and often with cocktail sauce. But this sauce isn’t the only thing that can help your shrimp reach its maximum flavor; put your twist on dipping sauces that pair well with this dish. Think light and bright flavors like creamy lemon or vanilla mustard sauce.

Fresh Oysters

From raw to Rockefeller, there are countless ways to enjoy an oyster. Oysters are full of sharp flavors that wake up one’s palate. Add lemons and grated horseradish to the app to make it even more bright. Everything down to the mignonette sauce can add flavor and nice acidity. The mignonette sauce is a bright complement to oysters. For summer, a cucumber-hibiscus mignonette would be perfect. 

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Summer Ceviche

Ceviche is the definition of cold, citrusy seafood for the summer. It can be made in many different ways, the most popular is Mexican ceviche. A variety of fish can add new flavor to your ceviche. Fresh white fish, shrimp, or even raw tuna chunks. Your guests won’t be able to resist this app. To accommodate all dietary restrictions, check out this tasty vegetable ceviche recipe.

Another great thing about ceviche is that it’s a quick dish that can get on the table fast. Great to share when served with tortilla chips.

Ahi Tuna

This fish is a summer craving that needs to be incorporated into your menu. Ahi tuna nachos are just one way to start. Fresh diced ahi over crispy wonton chips with a mix of mango, pineapple, avocado. Topped with a spicy Sriracha aioli that would act as the “cheese” in nachos. Super light, easy to make, and so refreshing.

Seared ahi can also be the perfect summer salad add-on. Ahi is quite versatile making it perfect for any summer occasion.

From The Land

Add some flair to your summer appetizers with fresh produce picked right out of a garden. Tomatoes, avocado, or zucchini, you name it. We’ve got summery appetizers that can combine all of these. Here are a few your customers will love.

Bruschetta

Bruschetta is the ultimate in-season summer snack. Toasted bread with bright and juicy tomatoes is irresistible. Different cheeses such as goat cheese and ricotta can boost flavor to this simple app.

Another idea is serving all the bruschetta toppings in a bowl with the toast slices on the side. This way they remain crisp and guests can build their own.

Guacamole

Who can say no to guacamole? It’s smooth and has so much flavor. Always made fresh to order and easy to share as an appetizer. It’s a great way to enjoy avocado in its prime season.

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“Share my Guacamole with me”…said no one ever?? #SharingIsntAlwaysFun #HomemadeGuacamole

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Here are the 20 best guacamole recipes from the Academy of Culinary Nutrition. They’ve created everything from an avocado tomatillo dip to detox guacamole. Be sure to try one of these recipes out.

Fried Zucchini

Zucchini is in its peak season! This green summer squash is ideal for a light starter. This zucchini appetizer can be breaded and baked giving them a good crunch. Fried zucchini can be a great substitute for french fries. Get creative in your dipping sauces or even turn them into buffalo zucchini fries.  A snack everybody can dig into.

From The Farm

Summer season means it’s time to grill. Classic summer cookout foods turned into appetizers are customer-favorites.

Sliders

Sliders are a fun mini form of a hamburger. Being small in size makes them appealing to share with friends and family. Put 3 together and it makes a great splitting dish. Sliders are fun because you can also do mix & match with different meat offerings. You can do beef, chicken, pulled pork, and so much more with these. Add some caramelized onions, cheese, and a thousand island to top it off.

Wings

Sweet, spicy, or smoky, wings are a summer go-to. There are so many unique flavors that you can offer. Chili-garlic barbecue or ginger-spiked Asian sauce, the choice is yours.

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Chicken Skewers

Chicken is lighter meat suitable for warm weather days. Add some fresh pineapple and or vegetables to this skewer to give it a flavorful twist.

Charcuterie Board

Charcuterie boards steal the show for summer appetizers. You can’t beat a mix of hummus, cheese, meats, olives, fruits, and veggies. Paired with some nice wine and everyone will want one on their table.

Act fast

Summer is here, but not for long. Right now is the best time to add some of these summer appetizers to your menu. These foods are in season and are trending among consumers.

We recommend picking two to three appetizers to focus on and see how well they do with your guests. We’ve also rounded up the top summer cocktails you need to add to your drink list. Ahi tuna nachos and a watermelon cucumber cooler sound like the perfect combo.

CAKE’s point of sale system can help track which drinks and apps perform the best this season. Get set up today because these summer specials are bound to make another appearance.