Posted on August 1, 2022

What Are the Different Types of Appetizers?

When you first get to a restaurant, you’re likely already hungry, so hungry that you don’t want to wait too long for your meal to cook. We understand that feeling, when we know good food is coming, we only get hungrier. To help you whet your appetite, a smart person a long time ago invented the idea of appetizers. Now we have several different types of appetizers that work to keep you sated until your meal is ready.

The Different Types of Appetizers

Yes, there are different types of appetizers, seven in fact. What they all have in common is that they are big on flavor and small on size compared to full-on meals. They work perfectly to tide you over until your dinner is ready, but they also ensure you’re not full when your meal comes.


Cocktails are some of the most popular appetizers. They’re so well-liked that it’s common to have a “cocktail hour” during a party or function before the main meal. What separates cocktails from other appetizers is what goes into them.

Don’t mistake these for the drink. Cocktail appetizers are small pieces of cold food paired together around a sauce, usually something tangy flavored. The foods are usually something cold that can easily and quickly be put together, or else a guest might as well just wait for their dinner. 

It’s popular to have cocktails with fish, shellfish, fruits, vegetables, and some kind of cocktail sauce. Cocktail sauce usually contains ingredients like ketchup, horseradish, fruit juice like lemons, and Worcestershire sauce.

Hors D’oeuvres

Hors d’oeuvres are immediately different cocktails in that they can be served hot or cold, and come highly seasoned rather than with cocktail sauce. They’re also typically foods that can be served while talking, walking, and/or standing. While someone would sit and eat other appetizers like cocktails, hors d’oeuvres are perfect for walking around.


Bite-sized finger foods are called canape appetizers. These can be hot or cold, but typically have a base and a spread with a topping or garnish. Small pieces of bread or biscuits are common canape appetizers you’ll be offered.

Relishes & Crudite

These are pickled items that are paired with raw, crisp vegetables. Julienned carrots and celery sticks are perfect examples of relishes and crudite. There are easy-to-eat, cold finger foods with a lot of nutritional value compared to other appetizers.


Everyone knows what a salad is. This collection of vegetables, fruits, seasonings, cheeses, and/or meat on top of lettuce. They come in hundreds, if not thousands, of different combinations and variations. There are common and popular plain salads that utilize cucumber, tomato, and beetroot.

There are also compound salads that use more than lettuce and one other ingredient to create a mixture of tastes. Some common ones that many salad lovers have had before include:

    • Caesar salad: In this salad, the lettuce is mixed with vinaigrette dressing along with garlic, croutons, and grated parmesan cheese.
    • Salad Russe: This salad mixes diced vegetables in mayonnaise.
    • Waldorf salad: This salad mixes diced apples, celery, and walnut with mayonnaise. Changing the apple allows for a wide variety of different Waldorf salads.


These warm dishes can make for quality meals and, due to the varied serving sizes, serve as perfect appetizers too. Also, being that soups are liquids, they don’t fill people up the way other foods do. 

Chips & Dips

The chips are usually potato chips or some kind of tortilla chips. The experimentation comes in the dips that turn this from a party snack to an appetizer for a whole table. What makes chips and dips perfect appetizers are how they take away your hunger while leaving plenty of room for dinner.

Check Out Kevin’s Appetizers by Making a Reservation

At Kevin’s Restaurant, we serve a slew of appetizers that include various cocktails, soups, salads, hors d’oeuvres, and more. If you want variety in the food that holds you over until you get your dinner, there’s no better place to go than Kevin’s Restaurant. Make a reservation now!