Encinitas, CA614 Appetizer Caterers near you

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Encinitas Appetizer Caterers

Browse these appetizer caterers with great ratings from Thumbtack customers in Encinitas.

Top Pro
Baja's Tacos & Catering
4.8
from 142 reviews
  • 13 years in business
  • 162 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Yvonne C.
Verified review

My employer hired Baja's Tacos to cater a company event at Qualcomm Stadium on 12/27. We host an annual tailgate party for clients and industry partners, and have used other caterers in the past. I got quotes from 5 caterers, and ultimately went with Baja's because it was evident that they are very passionate about what they do, and really dedicated to quality and authenticity. (side note: although cost wasn't a factor in our decision, Baja's price was probably the lowest of all 5 companies) Jesus was always quick to respond and answer questions, and every interaction I had with him was pleasant. We were extremely happy with the service that Jesus and his team provided, and the food was amazing. We had three types of tacos (carne asada, pollo and adobada) with fresh corn and flour tortillas and extra chips and guacamole as an appetizer. I appreciated that they included all the toppings including various salsas, guacamole, etc. in the price, as well as rice and beans. It was also very important to us that the tortillas be made fresh onsite, and they did not disappoint! In fact, they made everything right there, including salsa, guacamole. The team arrived well in advance of the event start, and were completely set up and ready to go before any guests arrived. They also provided plenty of staff to serve and cook., so no one had to wait in line. Overall, we would highly recommend Baja's Tacos and look forward to using them again in the future.

Top Pro
Mr. WorldWide Catering
4.9
from 93 reviews
  • 8 years in business
  • 152 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Simone N.
Verified review

I got so many compliments on the food at my wedding. Even the veggie appetizer was a hit! Jose was awesome from the start and everyone loved him! For the tasting he drove to our house and essentially provided me and my fiancé with a delicious dinner. So convenient when you are busy with wedding planning. With very minimal instruction from me he pulled off a flawless dinner at our reception. He also provided the bar tenders, who were a hit as well! Jose made sure my husband and I got food and always had a full glass of whatever we wanted. Amazing, reliable service and excellent food! I would and will recommend him to everyone I know.

Top Pro
Busy Bee Cook for Me
5.0
from 75 reviews
  • 19 years in business
  • 98 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
LouElla S.
Verified review

Amazing! Sit down dinner for 32. Everything perfect. People asked me for her card. First time hiring a catered dinner won't be the last. She made the party a celebration from the specialty drinks and passed hors d'oeuvres to the fillets and fish and through to dessert. Lilian, YOU made my husband's birthday special! Thank You so much.

Top Pro
Best Mobile Chef
5.0
from 62 reviews
  • 4 years in business
  • 94 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Lauren H.
Verified review

I just gave a dinner party Saturday September 23, 2017 and Chef Shawna did an outstanding job. The food was so delicious. We had the cheesy bacon turkey sliders and the meatballs for appetizers (so yummy). Our salad was a beautiful presentation and the chicken marsala! .....I've never had any that tasty. The cake with berries was outstanding. Thank you Chef and Ms. Paulette for making me look good and you took all the stress out of throwing a party. I hope we will work together again (the holidays are coming).

Chef Mumsie LLC
4.6
from 58 reviews
  • 28 years in business
  • 113 hires on Thumbtack
Richard H.
Verified review

1) BUSINESS MEETING WITH APPETIZER AND REFRESHMENTS 2) I LOVED THE PRESENTATION 3) LARGER VERITY, ALL THE DISHES WERE GREAT, WOULD HAVE BEEN NICE TO HAVE MORE OPTIONS

La Mexicana Tacos & Catering
4.4
from 56 reviews
  • 14 years in business
  • 78 hires on Thumbtack
Lucia V.
Verified review

Everybody loved the food. There was plenty and we even had leftovers. The caterers didn't mind all the stairs they had to take to carry their stove, tables etc. We will hire them again for sure when we are in the area.

  • 3 years in business
  • 66 hires on Thumbtack
Kathy H.
Verified review

Chef Keith and his staff were great! He arrived early, set up amazing food stations and a bar for our non-profit cocktail party. The lamb chops, POKE station, "mushroom en croute", short rib skewers, cheese platter, and dessert bar complete with deep fried brownies were all a huge hit. Chef Keith really impressed my guests and made me look like a superstar hostess. I would hire him again and many of my friends and associates took his card for future catering events. Loved the bartender, server and Keith's helpers. My kitchen was spotless also...worth it!

Avian's House Catering, LLC
4.6
from 26 reviews
  • 3 years in business
  • 38 hires on Thumbtack
Jan F.
Verified review

Chef Avian and his team provided a delicious taco feast with three meats and all the fixing plus rice and beans. Everything was freshly made at the event and everyone thought the food was fantastic! Chef Aboan and his team were friendly and worked constantly to provide a delicious meal!

Enjoy Dining In
4.9
from 21 reviews
  • 5 years in business
  • 16 hires on Thumbtack
Michele L.
Verified review

I hosted a bachelorette dinner party at my home. We wanted the dinner to be special and unique. Not only did Christine deliver she went above and beyond. The food was excellent from beginning to end. Everything was fresh delicious and exceeded any expectations. Chris is not only an amazing cook but lovely to be around. She made our dinner party so wonderful from the first bite of the appetizers to the last bite of dinner. She was very professional but not stuffy and uptight she had a great balance. All of the women could not have been happier and could not stop talking about how great the dinner was. I would recommend to anyone! We appreciate how wonderful she did.

Chris Gardner Catering
5.0
from 19 reviews
  • 16 hires on Thumbtack
Kristin E.
Verified review

Chris was very easy to talk to, which was important since this was my first catered event for our Preschool Fundraiser. He walked me through the process and his prices were great! I asked him for a tasting and he came to the school and fed several of our teachers. Everything was delicious! Our event was for 100 people and was an evening event with appetizers and wine/beer. It went perfectly. Not only was the food great and beautifully served, his staff was awesome. They totally blended in. A bonus was his bartender: she arrived a half hour early and instead of sitting around, jumped in and unloaded cars and set up with us. We can't wait to book him for next year's fundraiser!

  • 3 years in business
  • 33 hires on Thumbtack
Annette S.
Verified review

We ordered lunch for our wedding rehearsal day through Steal Your Taste Catering Company. Our menu consisted of tacos, beans, rice, and salad. It was all delicious and affordable! We had a ton of left overs that kept us fed and satisfied all the week. David also rented a margarita machine on our behalf and has it delivered with all the mixings. This company was organized, yummy, and reliable! I would highly recommend David and Steal Your Taste Catering Company.

Chef Stephani Hunter
5.0
from 17 reviews
  • 1 year in business
  • 9 hires on Thumbtack
Linda H.
Verified review

Stephani did a wonderful job. We all enjoyed the tea party set up & the foods she prepared! I hosted the party; another person paid for it, so I cannot answer to Value, however, my guess is it was very good, as that person told me she & her sister, Staci were GREAT to work with! Linda H

Top Chef
4.4
from 16 reviews
  • 12 years in business
  • 28 hires on Thumbtack
Tina A.
Verified review

I hired Diane to cook a multi-course meal in the comfort of our home in order to surprise my husband for Valentines Day. We agreed upon a menu, a time, a price and we were good to go. On the day of we corresponded a bit and she offered some of her personal items to help decorate for the special night which was above and beyond. I didn't need them but I did appreciate the offer. Diane is friendly, responsive and the food she made was DIVINE! Part of our meal included cream corn and French onion soup, both my husbands favorites. He loved both items. We were so full, we couldn't even eat the dessert we had planned for the evening. My husband said one more bite and he would have exploded. Diane was efficient in the kitchen, we were able to see the flambé for the steak from the dining room where we were enjoying our salad. She served the meal and cleaned up as each course went along. It was a new experience for both of us and it ended up being a very special evening.

Top Pro
Daily Chew Catering
5.0
from 12 reviews
  • 17 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Kathleen K.
Verified review

Wow Carly made our event so easy! I contactcted her on SHORT notice and wow she delivered ! Fed 13 of us a great meal with dessert and brought it all ready to serve !! Really loved the Mac and cheese and fried chicken, salads and dressing was yummy ! Loved that we could enjoy the company and not be busy in the kitchen, and—- she even took our group photo !!! Thanks Carly !

Swamp Daddy's BBQ
5.0
from 8 reviews
  • 4 years in business
Andy A.
Verified review

Every time Swamp Daddy delivers a GREAT meal! their BBQ beef is fabulous!

URBN Catering
4.5
from 8 reviews
  • 18 years in business
  • 6 hires on Thumbtack
Jessica D.
Verified review

They were quick on their toes when the parking situation wasn't ideal. They set up a beautiful table for salads and appetizers and the food was incredible! Highly recommend them!

commis.
5.0
from 7 reviews
  • 9 years in business
  • 7 hires on Thumbtack
Dustin S.
Verified review

For the last 3 years, Chef Monterey has been a constant fixture at our events.  Her food is absolutely top-notch, and she always comes up with just the right dishes for each dinner!  We've done everything from a Western-themed birthday party with authentic BBQ to a classy Old Hollywood New Year's Eve where she served an eight (!!!) course tasting menu, and her food just knocks it out of the park.   Chef Monterey is most definitely in our top 3 private chefs in Southern California (and we've gone through A LOT), and if you want absolutely AMAZING food made by a dynamic young chef with a personality to match, she's your girl!

Flavor Affinity
5.0
from 7 reviews
  • 5 hires on Thumbtack
Ian S.
Verified review

Flavor Affinity and Chef Baker came highly recommended by a co-worker of mine.  I decided to use this service because Chef Baker was not only the first to respond to my email,  (I sent out the same email to 3 private chef/caterers) but had the most value built into his quote. He had pre-built packages but ultimately allowed us to design the whole menu! We chose a 4 course option and could not have been happier with the food, ambiance, and decor.  Lastly, as the party began to wind down, I noticed that almost the whole service area and glassware was cleaned up without anyone noticing. It was a truly impressive evening and Flavor Affinity comes highly recommended from myself and surely anyone who has had the pleasure to work with them.

O'SIDE BBQ MAN
5.0
from 4 reviews
  • 17 years in business
  • 7 hires on Thumbtack
Greg R.
Verified review

Mahalo Alvin. You and your food was outstanding, Great BBQ meal at a great price. Ordered for 25 and got enough food for 30 plus. Thank you again. Call you for our next occasion.

  • 9 years in business
  • 7 hires on Thumbtack
Thumbtack Customer
Verified review

We hired Unique Luxury Catering to prepare a family dinner for 8 for my wife's birthday on our patio at the Villa we were staying in at Pelican Hill.Chef Brad prepared a spectacular meal and the carrot cake was over the top.The red wine reduction with vanilla bean was a very special treat for everything to be plated in.The cucumber with lobster & quac & apricot / almond appetizers were perfect starters.Great evening ,Great setting ,fabulous meal ! Thanks !

APRIL'S on GIRARD Catering
4.0
from 4 reviews
  • 9 years in business
  • 9 hires on Thumbtack
Carolann N.
Verified review

Simply put....AMAZING! April is our new go to event caterer, she is the best of the best. Details, exquisite food, and she is so warm and kind on top of that! All if our guests were so impressed!!

Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

How do you find a good caterer?

Reviews, interviews and menu tastings will help you find the right catering choice for your big day. Start by screening possible wedding caterers based on past reviews. If a caterer you are interested in has a review that concerns you, ask them about it; how they respond will be very telling. Next, ask about their availability for your wedding date.

If the wedding caterer is available on your date, it’s time to talk about menus and prices. Be clear about what your maximum budget is find out what choices this will allow you. Caterers may custom-create a menu for your event, or they may have menu templates within different price ranges that can guide your decision. A clear budget gives the caterer clear parameters within which to work and offer creative suggestions. Schedule a menu tasting to confirm you love your wedding menu. Once you have a menu and date, and have paid a deposit to reserve the caterer’s services, confirm additional details including when the food will be delivered to the site, what kind of service will be provided, how many servers will be onsite and for how long, and who is responsible for setup and cleanup. The more specific your contract, the fewer worries you’ll have on your wedding day. Get more smart hiring tips here.

How much does wedding catering cost per person?

Wedding catering costs will always vary based on the number of guests you’re inviting, the menu you want to serve, and the way the food will be served to your guests. As you interview wedding catering companies, you’ll be presented with a cost per person for various menus. On the low end, wedding catering may cost approximately $15-$18 per person. This would include prepared food only, with no setup or service of any kind. The starting price for a simple buffet meal with minimal service typically averages $22 per person. Opting for the same menu with all organic ingredients could raise your costs to about $33 per person. A moderately upscale menu (finer ingredients, more elaborate presentation) could range from $24 to $34 per person. High-end wedding catering cost truly has no limit. Lobster, filet mignon, specialty seafood, organic ingredients — menu choices like these can boost your cost per person up to $150 and more.

What should you look for in a caterer?

A delicious meal is a critical element of a successful wedding, with happy guests fondly remembering your fabulous wedding food. The right caterer for you will be:

  • Available: Even the best caterer is no good if they aren’t available on your wedding date. Ask early before you get your heart set on someone.
  • Affordable for you: Find a caterer that you can afford. Having a spending plan ahead of time will mean you won’t overspend on food.
  • A good personality fit: Wedding planning is stressful, so work with someone that you can get along with and communicate with easily.
  • Experienced and recommended: Ensure the company has a proven track record with events of your size and the references to back it up.
  • Transparent about money: Steer clear of shady pricing. Find a caterer who is very clear about costs and is happy to talk you through budgets and pricing options.
  • Transparent about food: Find someone who is clear about where they source their food from and where it is prepared.

How much should catering cost for a wedding?

The cost of wedding catering will reflect the level of service, the menu you choose, the luxury you desire and the number of guests you invite. Where you live also plays a major role in your wedding catering costs. The regional cost to do business and local cost of food will affect your catering bill. There is no set price for wedding catering, because each wedding and each menu is different. This is why many caterers provide a per-person price. This allows you to break down what it costs to feed each person based on the menu you want. Working with your caterer, you can adjust menu items, service level and more to accommodate your budget and guest count. Keep in mind that wedding catering costs are not just for the food. The bill reflects all the components that go into commercial food catering: a commercial kitchen, ingredients, staff, insurance, marketing and more. Here are some examples of average costs:

  • Three-course plated meal, moderately upscale, for 125 in Los Angeles: $14,000. Because of staffing costs, a true plated meal costs about twice as much as a staff-assisted buffet.
  • Buffet meal, standard menu, for 100 in Los Angeles: $5,000.
  • Per-person cost for hors d'oeuvres, dinner and nonalcoholic beverages: $24–$37, depending on menu selection, in Southern California.
  • Drop off prepared food for 50: $1,000 in North Carolina. Price does not include any service, setup or breakdown.

How do you serve food at a wedding?

Food service at your wedding will affect your catering costs and influence the atmosphere of the reception. Buffet style is more informal; plated meals are a bit fancier; family style encourages sharing. Read about the different food service styles to select your preferred wedding catering choice.

  • Buffet: Caterers can drop off prepared foods for a DIY and budget-friendly buffet option where you set everything up and food is entirely self-service. For a fuller-service buffet, the caterers set up food, oversee the buffet throughout the event, and clean up afterwards. For food only, prices per person might average $16-$18, while a service buffet may start around $20-$22 per person. Adding food stations can increase per-person costs by at least $3-$5.
  • Family style: Servers bring large platters of food to guest tables in courses. It’s less formal (and less expensive) than a plated meal, but more formal and higher-cost than a buffet. You’ll need large tables to accommodate the platters, so plan accordingly when renting furniture for the event.
  • Plated: A plated event is a formal dining experience; waitstaff serve your seated guests for each course, fill their drinks, and attend to them throughout the dinner. A plated dinner is typically the most expensive option for both food and service.
  • Food trucks: Similar to buffets, with food trucks your guests get their own food and bring it to their table. A food truck gives a relaxed and playful vibe to your reception.
  • Cocktail reception: If you don’t want a formal seated dinner, you can opt for a wide assortment of passed appetizers at an extended cocktail hour reception.
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