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Plates, Dishes?

Hello all-

My wife and I selected an "everyday" pattern from Crate and Barrel a few years ago when we were registering for our wedding. From the start it began to chip and after a few years of everyday use the set is looking pretty shoddy. Does anyone have a recommendation for a pattern, set, or brand that holds up a bit better than others? Thanks for any help you can offer!


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  1. I, too, bought a set of everyday dishes from Crate & Barrel, and they chipped right away also. They had that clear shiny glaze on them. Other items I had with that sort of glaze chipped too, so I have since stayed away from that. I now have Noritake Colorwave dishes that have a sort of satin finish to them and they have held up beautifully. It's similar to traditional Pfaltzgraff dishes, which seem to last forever.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jacquelyncoffey

      I live a few minutes away from a Pfaltzgraff outlet. A few years ago I was in a pinch where I desperately needed a new set of dishes but didn't have much money to spend (having just completed a renovation on our kitchen.) I ended up buying a set of plain, cream-colored dishes from the outlet for almost nothing.

      Well, now it's about 10 years later and the dishes still look like new. A few got broken here and there because they got dropped on a tile floor but I bought service for like 16 because they were so cheap, so I still have plenty of them. I almost wish they WOULD just up and die already because I would love to replace them wtih buffalo china. But I just can't justify the expense at the moment when the darn dishes still look so good! ;)

    2. My Bennington Pottery is 25+ years old...no chips, no dings, no dingy fading... looks as good as the day I bought it. Cannot recommend it highly enough...


      1. fruitbooter, Of all the plates and bowls we have gone through over the 38 years that we have been married, hands down the most durable have been the Dansk ones that say "NR/VRM PORTUGAL" (Printemp pattern) or "NR/PORTUGAL"(Bayberry pattern) on the bottom. They are porcelain, and surely can be defeated by a drop from a high place to a stone floor, but mere shuffling of the dishes within the cupboard (we always put the dishes we take out of the diswasher onto the botom of the stack in the cupboard, and take dishes out of the cupboard for meals from the top of the stack) or rattling against each other in the dishwasher will not chip them.

        Although the patterns we have are probably discontinued, the current Concerto Allegro series look to be the same shapes and type. http://www.dansk.com/pg/index.cfm?fus...

        1 Reply
        1. re: Politeness

          Ditto that - we have the Dansk Gridworks pattern, also made in Portugal, also discontinued. We have a total of over 100 pieces (16 basic settings plus some extras and serving pieces), close to ten years old, and maybe 3 or 4 small dings altogether despite daily use from the microwave to the dishwasher.

          Label on the bottom says "BAS/NR PORTUGAL." I don't know what that stands for but it means durability in my book.

        2. Hi, FB. Is your current pattern stoneware? I would stay away from stoneware and stick with porcelain. Mine is from Mikasa and I was fortunate enough to find it at Homegoods/TJ Maxx for a very affordable price.

          I bought small "Bistro" bowles at CB to complete my set. So far, I have no problem. No chips etc. They are made in Vietnam.

          2 Replies
          1. re: hobbybaker

            If durabillity is the issue, my suggestion is Fiestaware. Classic styling and loads of colors -- don't get all the same color.

            1. re: hobbybaker

              I'd like to add some clarification to this discussion. Ironstone, pottery, and earthenware are all the least durable dinnerware selections. Ironstone was given that name well over a hundred years ago and it got the name to imply that it was sturdy, not so. All three of those are easily chipped and cracked. The clay is porous and you have the potential for microbial growth. Next up is stoneware. This is totally different and the dinnerware or whatever the mfg. is producing is fired at a high enough heat that it is vitrified. It is extremely durable. Pfaltzgraf is a good example of this. Royal Doulton has made it, Wedgwood etc. They are more casual patterns and made for everyday use. If you break a piece be very careful, you can get a nasty cut because it is very sharp. Next in line is fine china and bone china. This is the top of the line believe it or not for sturdiness and durability. The clay used is very fine and capable of producing very thin dinnerware. Fine china can be both casual and dining room quality Lenox's dining room quality fine china has a creamy background instead of white. Almost all of the well known companies produce a fine china line. There is also porcelain. You will notice the body has a slightly greyish cast. Royal Worcester Evesham for example. Bone china at the top of the heap uses very fine clay with bone ash added to it to give it that beautiful white color and aids in durability. It is usually quite thin and delicate looking. Don't let that fool you. jillp who post here can tell you that her Wedgwood White (bone china) that she has used almost daily for over 20 years has had only one plate chip. She and I are dinnerware junkies and i used to be a china buyer. Between us we could open a china shop. We both have a dozen dinner plates in undecorated white. Hers is Wedgwood, as i said. Mine is by Royal Doulton. When we need we combine so we can serve 24. They are almost indistinguishable. One thing I always told brides or couples shopping for dinnerware, don't buy sets. Always go for open stock. If you do break a piece you should be able to replace it.

              Hope this clears up any confusion out there.

            2. Really, it's a matter of your taste preference and pocketbook, and it sounds like you're ready to upgrade from the C&B stuff. Everyone will have their own favorites, there is no one best brand. Spend some time in the china departments of your local department stores, or Williams-Sonoma, or look for specialty china and glassware shops to discover the range of brands, patterns and prices that exist, and then select the brand/pattern that suits your pocketbook and taste. I've had a Villeroy & Boch set of china since 1989 and it has held up stupendously. Wedgewood's Nantucket Basket is areally nice pattern and Wedgewood is a quality brand, but quite pricey so I went with the V&B. Apilco procelain lasts, and is a good plain white option, as is Pillivuyt. Another poster mentioned Pfaltzgraff, which also sells in outlet stores. Another favorite is Denby pottery, but I've not owned any dinner plates. Really you need to do some shopping.

              10 Replies
              1. re: janniecooks

                this is probably your best advice so far in the sense that C&B might be a housewares store, but it certainly doesn't specialize in tableware and are only likely producing it to create a one-stop-shop type experience and maximize their offerings. inevitably this would lead to generally poor quality... i personally feel it's just a step up from ikea.

                i went with a well known (but soon to be out of production possibly) brand, rosenthal, based on their history of making lovely and quality tableware and that they had a pattern that i really really liked. if they don't also make couches, you're already going miles in the right direction toward tableware that will stand up for years. btw, mine bounce slightly when the drop and haven't had any chipping/breaking issues going through the microwave, dishwasher and occasionally low temp oven. i've been a bit abusive though with stacking and have had a couple scratches from silverware. pretty much unnoticeable though and i'm about 3 years in.

                1. re: pinstripeprincess

                  Why do you think Rosenthal will be out of production soon? I love Hutschenreuther's pieces, a brand under Rosenthal, which our relatives gave us.

                  1. re: hobbybaker

                    news was that they went bankrupt last year... i haven't heard any news otherwise that anyone has gone in to save them or buy their patterns. so i guess they're actually already out of production. but there are still a lot of lingering pieces left.

                    1. re: pinstripeprincess

                      Thanks. I identified the news by gooling! Another turmoil after Wedgewood. I considered their Thomas line before I settled with my Mikasa. Too bad for them. I guess they were also negatively affected by "Made in China' products.

                      1. re: hobbybaker

                        i have the thomas loft white in the square/oval patterns but am considering getting a few round ones too before they're completely gone.

                        i know it's a pretty silly recommendation considering they're bankrupt... but when many of the upscale-casual places in my city are using it as their dishware, you know it's gotta be durable stuff ;)

                        1. re: pinstripeprincess

                          I like Tomas line a lot and I don't think it is a silly recommendation. Good idea to buy things you like before it is completely gone or transffered to somewhere else to become different quality.

                        2. re: hobbybaker

                          hobbybaker: "Another turmoil after Wedgewood. I considered their Thomas line before I settled with my Mikasa."

                          But hasn't ARC dumped Mikasa? I know that the formerly Mikasa branded Kwarx "unbreakable" crystal now bears the "Chef & Sommelier" brand.

                          1. re: Politeness

                            Hi, Politeness. I googled ARC as the name is new to me :) Was Mikasa their brand one time? Mikasa is a brand of LCUT, whose name I did not know until today. Just another curious mind but where Mikasa got their name? Are their products originally made in Japan? (Mine is made in Portugal.)I am sure if someone here knows it, it must be you!

                            1. re: hobbybaker

                              hobbybaker, In my understanding, Mikasa was founded by Japanese-Americans in California after the internment camps were closed at the end of World War II. Over the years, Mikasa has sold some products imported from Japan, but so far as I am aware, Japanese-sourced products never were the lion's share of Mikasa offerings. Eventually, as markets consolidated, Mikasa was sold to a company that became a part of the French conglomerate ARC. Until very recently, Mikasa was a big component of ARC marketing.

                              1. re: Politeness

                                Politeness - Thank you for your insights. Whenver I see their name, something struck me as I know it must be a Japanese name. Now, I learned one more thing from you. Thanks :)

                2. We did away with everyday vs. occasion and went with something in between.

                  We scored a find @ a Tuesday Morning store recently with a beautiful set of Bernardaud Limoges porcelain "Phoebe White". mugs, small & big plates, bowls, charges, serving plates, oval bowls. They are plain white. The quality/feel elegance is quite a substantial. Interestingly we see them in use on the Food Network alot (especially Paula Deen and Giada). It's nice to dress up the everyday.

                  We also bought a set of Mikasa Concept White that we use in the same capacity from a Century21 Dept store.

                  They are kind of fancy forward/modern pieces for some but they work great everyday for us.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: global_dev

                    Hi, global, I clearly remember the deal of Bernardaud at Tuesday Morning, but I was too late to get it!! I am so jealous ! If I had bought it, I wouldn't have bought my simple white Mikasa, although we really like it for everyday use as it goes with every dish, from Asian to European.

                  2. Hi, everyone, Just FYI:

                    I have just received the email from WS outlet regarding French Porcelain, Apilco & Pillivuyt, on sale 50-60% off. They are on sale for a while with 30-40% off , i guess, but it looks like the discount % has become higher for this weekend.

                    1. I like the post-86 Fiesta for everyday dishes. It's very durable, lots of different colours to suit different tastes, completely lead-free and available from a number of different places. Since it was first reissued in 1986, I have been buying it, adding new colours along the way. The only piece that has ever gotten damaged was the lid to a sugar bowl. I dropped it and it hit the dishwasher door on the way to the floor and the finial broke off.

                      Best of luck with whatever you choose.

                      1. French porcelain - Apilco and Pillivuyt. White. You can mix in pieces easily which I much prefer as I don't want to search for replacement pieces in discontinued lines. It wears beautifully and always looks great in casual or formal dining settings.

                        1. My everyday dinnerware is Dansk Cafe Blanc. It's basic white and I paid relatively little for it at the Dansk outlet store. I've had it about 3 years and it's held up without so much as a nick or scratch. What I especially love about it is that I can pair it with open stock pieces from other manufacturers to completely change the look of my table. The photo I've attached shows the Cafe Blanc paired with Pottery Barn's "Sausalito Ridge."

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: CindyJ

                            Just curious - is this Dansk set also made in Portugal like the ones politeness and I discussed above?

                            1. re: BobB

                              No, the bottom of the plate is stamped "NR Thailand."

                          2. Hi! Did you buy the dinnerware that is unevenly shaped? They are so gorgeous and I almost bought them but read the reviews and everyone had problems with chipping so I decided against them. Anyway, I like the simple white heavy plates that are used in diners and finally found a website that had salvaged some diner dishes some years back from a burned out barn and they decided to copy them and market them. The website is fishseddy.com and I like the diner white collection. They have different sizes and shapes too and many cool serving stuff to choose from with lots of unusual patterns.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: RouxGirl

                              Fishs Eddy has a store in NYC and it's soooo much fun to shop there.

                            2. I would stay away from the Pfaltzgraff stoneware. It's cute and very light for it's thickness, but that shiny glaze has chipped rather easily on mine.

                              To be honest my most durable dishes have came from thrift stores. The salvation army in my area usually sells dish sets, so I can usually find matching plates/bowls/mugs. Gibson sets are usually rather common and have lasted me well with everyday use, although they are mostly simple looking (white with colored stripes).

                              Sets older than 40 years have the potential of containing lead (although new sets imported from china have that problem as well). You can apparently test old table ware with lead strips. I have recently purchased a beautiful vintage set of dishes (missing the bowls) of preimere colorama in country air, but because it is (1) hand painted, (2) brightly colored, and (3) is crazed on some pieces I have put off using it until it can be tested. But it is high quality, very durable, and oven to table safe so if it tests fine then I will have some wonderful dishes at a discount price, and if it doesn't then I have some beautiful vintage tableware to display.

                              1. Also, I should add that in my experience everyday china used for years will not end up as pristine as the stuff you pull out for special occasions. The everyday stuff will show some wear, and will chip from time to time. What you describe with your present set is not good and you want better durability. But you will never have a perfect set after years of use.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: sueatmo

                                  Not necessarily. As I wrote above (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6895...) our ten-year-old set has VERY few dings. I can easily lay out service for 12 - 15 people that looks as good as new.

                                  1. re: BobB

                                    Same is true of my Bennington...zero dings, chips, signs of wear after 25 yrs of daily use & at least four moves..still looks perfect....http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/689518

                                    1. re: fauchon

                                      My ten year old set of Pfalzgraf has very few dings. I continue to use it every day and it has held up well in the dishwasher. However china will not continue to look pristine with ten years of use. It will get some dings. Luckily I have no cracks in this, but I have had cracks in previous patterns. If you hold up old plates you will probably see knife marks in the glaze. With use, dishes look used, even the best.

                                      That is one reason why I think you should buy everything all at once if possible. It all ages together. Having a complete matching set is a real treat.

                                2. This post goes out to jillp and candy in Indiana, or anyone who has experience with Wedgwood white and / or Pillivuyt plates.

                                  I'm setting up my registry and am in need of some guidance when it comes to dinnerware. While I love love LOVE wedgwood ulander ruby http://www.wedgwoodusa.com/shop/colle... I know it is not in my or my guest's price range. Additionally I'm a huge klutz and can't be trusted with something that is $750 a place setting. No other patterns are contenders because I know that in 5 years or so I will get bored of lenox opal innocence or anything else that is so overdone.

                                  I'm looking for dinnerware that is understated, elegant, and timeless - so pretty much plain white. No white basket weave, no white on white designs, just plain white.

                                  I'm currently debating between Wedgwood White and Pillivuyt Sancerre. Sancerre has a simple rim around the edge and nothing more.

                                  Ideally whatever I would choose would be durable enough for everyday use, must be dishwasher safe, and the finish not get too scratched up as I pull a plate out of the cupboard.

                                  To jill p or candy who see's jill's dishes frequently - do you run the wedgwood plates through the dishwasher 300 days a year? If so, do you use a gentle cycle? Or do you baby your dishes and hand wash? Do you store them any special way in the cupboard or just stack them? How is the finish looking after 25 years? Scratches and knife marks?

                                  And for anyone with pillivuyt dishes, how are your plates looking after years of use? How scratched are they from knives and sliding on top of one another when you take one out of the cupboard?

                                  Thanks in advance for anyhelp you CHers can provide.