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Everyday dinnerware

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I need to buy new every day dinnerware and have been looking on the internet to see what's out there. I really don't want to spend a day shopping going from store to store. I want something that I can use in the microwave, or keep warm in the oven. Something that I can put in the dishwasher too.

I found some gray, simple stuff at IKEA for $20 a set but they are made in China and I'm trying to avoid that if at all possible. I know I might have to spend $20 a plate elsewhere but it's okay as long as it lasts and I like it.

Quality-wise, Villeroy & Boch and Portmeirion look good. Maybe Denby. White is a bit boring but there is no conflict with the food then so perhaps it's a good idea. Potrmeirion is botanical but it does seem sturdy so I could live with the pattern. (I originally wanted something plain.)

So what do you all like? By the way, I am in Chicago.

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  1. A few years ago my husband and I decided we were the ones we should treat to the best so we replace our dinnerware with Wedgwood Nantucket Basket for our everyday use.

    It is bone china without a metal trim so we do all the things you mentioned. It has worn like iron. We have only had one or two breaks (and we have slate floors in our kitchen) and then it is easy to buy a replacement piece.

    I like to look of food on a white bone china surface. Most of the fine china companies have one or more simple pattern that you might consider.

    Here is our choice
    http://tinyurl.com/yuqhn9

    5 Replies
    1. re: BostonZest

      I love Nantucket Baket and the other plain white Wdegwood designs.You can dress it up or down. I'd love to come up with justifiction for buying NB but I have a set of very plain white so I'd need to pass those on. The Strawberry and Vine is quite nice too.

      1. re: BostonZest

        This is very pretty. I've been doing a lot of food photography lately, and there's no denying that most food looks best on a white plate! Do all of the crevices in this pattern make it difficult to clean?

        1. re: pikawicca

          Nope, we'll go over the out-let in Ohop or Pegeon Ford or Lake Michigan. Bone white does a womedrful job in the DW

          1. re: Candy

            I shulld not be up late respondng to a note on Chowhound. The Nantuckt basket can go ito the dishwasher with no pronlem at all. There outlet shops for Wedgwood/Waterford in Pigeon Forge and Michigan City. They are all over the place and you can get a pretty good deal at them. I got my plain white bone china at a Royal Doulton outlet. They were on clearance so I bought a dozen at $5.00/plate

        2. re: BostonZest

          I have some Wedgwood Strawberry & Vine that I use every day, and I agree that it wears well. Some scratching, but that's just part of life. Just one bowl has broken.

          I also have some Portmeirion I use every day. It has worn very well, but I'd say just be careful of the glaze--mine is a bit rough, not a smooth surface. (I forget what it's called--it's glazed & overglazed, not the pattern you're talking about.)

        3. I've been very happy with my Villeroy and Boch dinnerware - we've had it for about 11 years now, and other than a minor chip or two and one or two knife marks, it's held up very well. Unfortunately our pattern is no longer made, but I've been able to fill in pieces from ebay.

          1. We're very fond of our Fiestaware which we get from Amazon, mostly. Very sturdy stuff, does everything you mentioned wanting to do with your dishes and comes in great colors. We got service for 4 in red and service for 4 in black and various other pieces in assorted colors. We can do one color, or just two if we want a table that looks a bit more thought out, or just have fun with it and have a very cool looking multi colored table.

            3 Replies
            1. re: ccbweb

              We got into Fiestaware too, but we bought 12 4 piece settings all different colors. We like the never know which color you're getting thing.

              1. re: ccbweb

                I've been using Fiesta for years now. I have everything they've made in the non-vintage colors. Most look as good as new, other than the very light colors. I haven't broken a single piece yet, but even if I do, nearly all of it is still available to be replaced. I love all the various accessories, the variety of colors (they look great in my glass cabinets) and the durability.

                This website is the best source I've found yet: www.megachina.com

                1. re: sivyaleah

                  My everyday stuff is also Fiesta. It's black and white, although I have serving pieces in other colors. I'm hard on dishes, so having started out with eight place settings 16 years ago, I'm down to five of everything except cups and saucers. (Don't use them much, so I don't have as much occasion to break them.) My mom has some actual antique Fiesta stuff she inherited from a great-aunt 40 years ago. She, wisely, doesn't let me touch it. It ain't cheap, but I like it. I'm going to pick up some more pieces one of these days, but we normally have only two or maybe three people eating here, so it hasn't really been enough of an issue to mess with.

              2. I have used my Bennington Pottery daily for over 20 years...does everything you list, doesn't chip (at least not so far), really good looking, hand-made in their Vermont pottery...I especially love their mugs....

                http://www.benningtonpotters.com/

                1. I used to have a set of the IKEA dinner plates and I gave them away after a year of them staying at the bottom of the plate pile. When you scrape a fork against it (like if you were trying to scoop up a bit of potatoes or corn or whatever) it made this awful noise akin to nails on a chalkboard. It gives me goosbumps just thinking about it.

                  We use cheapy Corelle plates or glass plates from Cost Plus. I have some Villeroy & Boch serving pieces and they are very nice.

                  I've also seen some nice looking china at Sears Essentials (the old KMart). I don't know what brand is on them, but the set I was looking at was white china with a Tiffany-blue border around them. It was very simple but classy and clean. They had other patterns, too. It might be worth a look?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: leanneabe

                    I just bought some La Rochere 10" Glass Plates with a "Bee" on them from a Retailer on ebay and love them. Amazon has them also. They are inexpensive and made in France. Just an idea or "alternative" to conventional everyday Dinnerware, and plain for sure! I paid $50 (US$) for 6 Plates, or a little less than $10 per plate.

                  2. The plain white porcelain from Apilco is beautiful. It's been made by the same family in France since 1826 and is used in some of the top restaurants in the world. Always available - obviously, since it's been made for almost 200 years - and it's MW, oven and freezer safe. Really more durable than its delicate appearance would lead you to believe. I've had many of the serving and baking pieces for more than 30 years and use them daily but have no problem mixing them with my best heirloom china.
                    Chefs.com has a sale on it now. They appear to be discontinuing the line and I just bought more serving pieces. Not inexpensive but in line with V&B, Portmeiron and Denby. Apilco is really wonderful.

                    1. Why don't you go to Crate and Barrel? In my mind they are the go to place for good quality basics. If you wanted a "name", I'd go with Rosenthal, they do basic white like no one else.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: crawfish

                        I second Crate & Barrel. We have the Maison dishes and they have held up very well after 5 years. They have a variety of white dishes, and they're not too expensive.

                        1. re: valerie

                          Another vote for C&B. We just got the Century pattern for everyday. Its made in England. Its a plain creamy color, but the shapes are really organic and it can be dressed up or down.

                      2. My wife and I chose Denby White (http://www.amazon.com/Denby-White-Din...) as our day-to-day dinnerware. We both really liked the simple, clean design that emphasized the shape of the pieces. I especially like the rice bowls.

                        1. I'm slowly building up a collection of local pottery. Beautiful, domestic, not as pricey as you might think if you deal with an artist directly.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: itsrob

                            The trouble with pottery is that it is more fragile than it looks and can chip very easily. It is ironic since it looks so sturdy and substanstial. Bone china and porcelains are actually very sturdy and less prone to chipping. Another reason to go with a well known maker of dinnerware is replacements. Their patterns are around for quite awhile and if you break a piece it is fairly easy to replace it. If you buy a set and subsequently break a piece you may be SOL to replace it

                            1. re: Candy

                              Agreed. My dinnerware is simple white porcelain, open stock. Wouldn't have anything else. I tried other things but hated, hated, hated getting down to three plates and not being able to fill in because the style had been discontinued. Garage sale. What a waste of money!
                              (Do have heirloom sets but that's a different matter since they're not in day-to-day use.)
                              I have the same love for one-of-a-kind and craftsman pieces that itsrob does so I buy serving pieces like that. They jazz up my tables and especially entertaining but I don't have to worry about mismatches.

                              1. re: MakingSense

                                crate and barrel is great i have had mine for almost 3 years and no breaks!

                                1. re: drewb123

                                  Crate and Barrel has some good values in their line, particularly their porcelain, which is very durable. You can buy it open stock too so it's easy to get only the pieces you actually use rather than place settings. How many people use cups and saucers any more? I use espresso cups or mugs now and they don't even have to match your pattern since you don't set the table with them. I think Candy mentioned above that she had gotten an additional 12 dinner plates for her pattern which is a good idea for entertaining.
                                  As long as you get a good classic style that they're unlikely to discontinue, you're in good shape.

                          2. Give Corelle a try. I have had it for years and it holds up so well. Only on rare occasions has a piece chipped or broken. It is dishwasher safe, I use mine all the time in the dishwasher, etc. It is plain white, but is more expensive looking than it is. I have provided a link below for you to view, be sure to read the comments also. Btw, I do have a very expensive set of dishes to use for holidays and special occasions, but we use these every day. They are also available as individual pieces if you would not want the whole set.

                            http://www.amazon.com/Corelle-White-3...

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: cheri

                              I'll second Corelle. It's cheap, lightweight, durable, readily available, and can be used in the dishwasher/microwave/oven.

                              1. re: jzerocsk

                                I love Corelle, no tears even if you break a whole set. Lightweight is important to us as my wife has MS and heavy plates are much to tough to handle. I simply refuse to have good china vs. everyday . . . ("if it ain't good enough for company it ain't good enough for us etc.") I apologize if I offend but this is my choice. I did manage to break 3 pieces of Corelle at one time once back in my bachelor years when I was putting away a bowl which fell onto the counter where two other things were drying. When Corelle breaks . . . it is an amazing explosion. . . tiny tiny tiny bits everywhere.

                                1. re: jzerocsk

                                  I also have Corelle (white) and use it for every day. One thing I especially like is how little space it takes in the cupboard. You could easily have 12 plates stacked in little more than three inches height.

                                  Very good in the microwave, and I also find inverted pieces to work well as lids in the microwave whenever it's desirable to contain some heat and I'd rather not use plastic wrap.

                              2. If you can get by the made in China, the C&B outlet on Clybourn has a great line of plain white diner plates, bowls and cups. They're very cheap, very well made, exceedingly durable and in permanent stock. I think the line's name is Staxx (?)

                                9 Replies
                                1. re: Sam Harmon

                                  Thanks for all of the input. I have ruled out the Villeroy & Boch as they seem to have cheapened things up upon close examination.

                                  I am seriously looking at Buffalo China vs. Apilco. They are similar but Buffalo China is made in the USA and is less expensive. The Buffalo China is also a creamier color. I'm not sure if it will be too "diner" clunky though. Does anyone have experience with this?

                                  1. re: twodales

                                    It is very clunky, made for that diner look. I have a set of Syracuse that was made for the Lake Placid Club in Lake Placid, NY. I use it in the winter. But it really is heavy and clunky.

                                    1. re: Candy

                                      Thanks Candy. Looks like it will be Apilco after all even though it's more expensive. By the way, Buffalo China is on sale at Chefscatalog at the moment.

                                      1. re: twodales

                                        Good choice, Aplico has been around a long time and they make many beautiful pieces to compliment their dinnerwear. I am a true table top junkie and have been a buyer in the past. I have 11 sets that I rotate throughout the year or use for special occasions like my Wedgwood Peter Rabbit for comfortfood nights. The bug can bite you and then you cannot stop. I am always looking at table top items. I don't know what I am going to do when we have to downsize. I love it all.

                                        1. re: Candy

                                          Just don't adopt my Ebay Regency-era Spode addiction! I too love tableware, and am now justifying my purchases as antiques and therefore investments.

                                          I am curious about the OP's comments about Villeroy and Boch going down hill - wondering what led to that observation.

                                          1. re: MMRuth

                                            My comment on V & B's quality was based on the transfers on the plate. I have never liked when the pattern transfers are so visible. You could see the little dots (almost like looking closely at a comic strip) on the plate. So rather than looking "painted", the plate looked "stamped". It makes the item look cheap. Just a pet peeve of mine.

                                            1. re: twodales

                                              My set is about 12 years old and doesn't have any transfers - I'll have to take a look at the new stuff next time I'm near one of their stores.

                                        2. re: twodales

                                          Candy. If you ever get tried of the Lake Placid dinnerware, let me know, I am half way to a setting for 24 and am looking for sets, complete or not. I just love it, being a guy, excellent for steak and eggs, a family fave!

                                          1. re: Ojinaga

                                            I am hanging on to it right now. I change over to it when I put the Spode Christmas Tree away after the first of the year. I change patterns seasonally. Being a table top junkie is a curse sometimes. i just checked e-Bay. There are a few dinner plates for sale and a creamer.

                                  2. Online sources to check - crate and barrel, pier one, pttery barn, world market (cost plus), target - all have websites. You are right to be careful about Chinese dishes. 40 percent of Chinese goods are estimated to be tainted/defective now. Lead or other toxics in dish glazes is a possibility that you do not want to risk.

                                    1. I'm in the process of re-populating our tableware. I'm going for restaurant quality all white for our main pieces with clear glass items. I'm filling in with various black or black and white pieces for interest and will eventually add in some red glass items for special occasions.

                                      Our local restaurant supply place opened to the public and it is a much better deal than any of the stores. I picked up pub glasses for half the price of ones at a retail store and they are far better quality.

                                      I want something that looks good w/ the food, had flexible uses and can be replaced.

                                      1. If I were to replace my tableware - I would get this -

                                        http://www.replacements.com/webquote/...

                                        No idea about the prices or availability, but have seen it at a number of hotels and it is just lovely - beautiful shapes, lids, etc.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: MMRuth

                                          http://www.replacements.com/webquote/...

                                          This is my newest obsession, 3rd. set of sterling. Oh dear God, I just noticed they have a key ring! I am looking for the old pieces (antiques you know) they are also heavier than the newer copies. I'll take what i can get. Enlarge that photo and look at the detail!

                                          1. re: Candy

                                            Beautiful - at least those pieces are relatively reasonable. I made the mistake of registering for Christofle Sterling and after 11 years only have three place settings and just can't bring myself to spend the money on pieces myself

                                            Edit - BTW - have you heard about this place:

                                            http://www.jeanssilversmiths.com/abou...

                                            I've bought some interesting pieces for my mother there and they also do a wonderful job of sharpening table knives (though I realize you aren't in the NYC area - the people who work there are great, and their prices seemed better than those at Replacements).

                                        2. You might look at a nearby restaurant supply house. One of the advantages here is that you don't buy a set. You just buy the pieces you would use.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: yayadave

                                            I found some really sturdy "diner" style (oval) white tableware at the C&B outlet. It's simple, solid, and inexpensive.

                                            1. re: foodstorm

                                              Anyone have suggestions on how to "modernize" an old-fashioned china set? I have Pfaltzgraff tea rose set, including covered casserole, gravy boats, s/p shaker, creamer set, coffee cup/saucer,...the whole lot. I picked it up supper cheat at a yard sale. First of all, I'm not sure putting a gravy boat, or any other dish on the table is considered "formal" or appropriate at a dinner or not. I was thinking of trying to turn the country feel into a more modern/chic look by putting down bamboo place mats, sage green table runner, flowers, etc. Any ideas? Thanks!

                                              1. re: blackfoot98

                                                Hmmm...if I had a Pfaltzgraff tea rose set, I'd modernize it by using crisp white table linen instead of bamboo placemats & table runner. And instead of using the accompanying s/p shaker, creamer set, etc, I'd probably opt for stainless/chrome and/or glass. The modern look is usually clean and simple. You can also update the look by using simpler flatware. You can probably get all these for a good price @ either a restaurant supply store or Ikea. And this way, you still get to use most of your dinnerware w/o spending too much $$$.

                                                I love the idea of fresh flowers, but for my tastes, I'd keep them simple & elegant. Going for one or two colours; a simple orchid would be lovely...and I wouldn't match the colour of the orchid/flower to your dinnerware.

                                                One more thing on cups and saucers. I hate having to wash saucers--and since it takes up precious table space, i usually don't set them out. For coffee/tea, I've used the larger Japanese tea cups that feel great in the hand; but lately, I'm using the Bodum glasses since they work nicely for hot & cold beverages (though they shatter miserably if you accidentally drop one). You have a few options with these double-wall tumblers http://www.bodumusa.com/shop/group_li...

                                                But that's just my taste. =) Good luck & have fun modernizing!

                                          2. we bought a teapot at heath ceramics in sausalito (I believe they also ship). The teapot is both beautiful and functional. The dinnerware is gorgeous, and it's certainly made in the usa
                                            http://www.heathceramics.com/go/heath/

                                            1. I found a Lenox outlet about five years ago and stocked up on some pretty every day stuff there. It is microwaveable, some pieces can be put in the oven, and it looks really nice. You might want to consider visiting the Mikasa and Lenox outlet centers to see what they have before ordering over the internet. Pricing can vary. I remember paying up to about $17 per large plate, less for smaller, but I was able to purchase the pieces I needed in the quantities I needed. For example, I really didn't need twelve of everything, I needed sixteen of this and maybe twenty of that. I don't know if V&B, which is great stuff, is available at outlet centers. But I second the notion of buying quality. There is something really satisfying about serving on nice looking plates. Not that there is anything wrong with the cheap stuff, but at some point I know I decided I wanted something nicer.

                                              1. I got some nice-looking, French-made, white dinnerware from Williams-Sonoma at what I consider a great price. Not even on sale.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: mpalmer6c

                                                  Did you get the Apilco dinnerware? I have a set of those dishes from WS and absolutely adore them. I also have some shallow pasta bowls from the WS line of basic or everyday dinnerware (can't remember the exact name) and they are also terrific - great heft and the white is a clean looking white (not with a greyish tint you sometimes see).

                                                  1. re: pellegrino31

                                                    FIESTAWARE IS AWESOME!

                                                    1. re: pellegrino31

                                                      Yes. I did get the Apilco. Tradition. With the smaller bowls. Sturdy, nice looking, shows off the food well. So far, I'm happy with it. Thanks for all of the imput!

                                                  2. We have 3 sets:

                                                    Generic Corelle set: Cheap. Perfect for everyday not-for-show use or if you have kids. Amazingly unbreakable. Stacks nicely.

                                                    Villeroy & Boch: Looks new out of the box even after 10+ years of decent usage, without any special attention to how we clean/care for it. Worth the $. Does not stack as compactly as Corelle, of course.

                                                    Tiffany Nature (?) set: Never used. Only sees the light of day when we move. Definitely nice looking, but what a waste. Hopefully we can find a way to show it off some day.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: pharmnerd

                                                      +1 for Denby.

                                                      Does the job perfectly.

                                                      http://www.distinguisheddinnerware.co...

                                                    2. The selection of a new dinnerware always seems to make people uneasy. Why does it have to be a THIS or THAT -type of choice? I like the idea someone suggested about Crate & Barrel or Wedgwood's Nantucket Basket.....but then spice it up with either some colorful glass plates....or maybe some Michael Wainwright gold designs. Think about it - you'll use this nearly every day, so shouldn't it be fun and something you enjoy? And another thing....consider that you menus or your taste may change over time...so why be locked into a whole set of china that matches and then some manufacturer decides to discontinue the pattern? Mix it up...have fun....and buy pieces on a regular basis to keep up with your menu changes. We cover the professional side of the tabletop (ie, restaurant & hotels) and they are contiually evolving. Be sure to spend a little more on the things that touch your lips, too. Having quality appropriate tabletop items (napkins, china, flatware, glassware, accessories) enhances the dining experience in a restaurant .... why wouldn't it in the home? Color is part of it...but so is the overlall quality and asethetic. Invest in yourself....

                                                      1. ...one more thing...on the mention of IKEA.....
                                                        ....I might not buy my dinnerware there, but they have some incredible votive candle holders. The best part is they are so cheap you can change them out continually and keep your tabletop fresh. I love IKEA - for certain things.

                                                        1. Look up Mikasa Antique White and read the reviews. I have this set and love it. Got it on sale for $159 for set of 8 of everything plus serving pieces. Coordinates nicely with other dishes, cleans perfectly, doesn't scratch, is lightweight but very sturdy.