Square Plates vs Round Plates: Which One To Choose?

Square vs Round Plates
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Square vs Round Plates

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Plates are the most essential part of any kitchen, and no matter how delicious of a dish you can come up with, you need the right plates to serve it in.

If your plates are not good enough, it will ruin not only the presentation but the very way that the meal is enjoyed, but more on this coming soon.  

The appetite depends more than we realize on presentation. Every good chef needs to be precise about each part of the plating and table setting relative to the food that’s being served.

Chef is plating food
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Out of the various options available to anyone who wants to serve a meal that’s not only delicious but plated properly, we have square plates vs. round plates.  

This comprehensive comparison of square and round plates covers everything that you need to know to decide which is best for any given meal.

There’ll be no confusion left after our upcoming breakdown, letting you plate perfectly every time. 

Square Plates Vs. Round Plates Comparison

 Square Plates Round Plates
Basic Appearance Attractive Design With Rigid 90° Angles, Curved Corners Also Available, Framing Accentuates Meal Plating Round With Recess And Lip, Reduced Visual Appeal Due To Curved Design As Opposed To Bold Square Edges
Design Square Plates Match Square Table Settings, Use Aside Square Dinnerware, Square Plates Offer Maximum Flat Space And Are Designed To Enable Impressive Plating Rounded Design For Daily/Frequent Use, Varied Designs And Surfaces, Greater Versatility But Less Visual Appeal, Round Plates Pricing Begins More Affordably
Benefits Maximum Surface Area For Plating Possible - Larger Portions, More White-Space, Meal Aesthetic Enhancement Thanks To Intelligent Framing Broader Range Of Plates Available, Precise Dinnerware And Tableware With Square & Strong Lines Are Not Required For Striking Table Setting, Holds Stews/Soups/High-Moisture Food Better Than Square Plates
Considerations Square Plates Chip Easier Than Round Plates, Square Plates Don't Hold Liquid Well Harder To Achieve Striking Visual Appeal On Round Plate With Most Meals, Round Plates Don't Chip As Easily As Square Plates
Uses All Chic Dining Experiences, Asian Foods, Gourmet Meals, Elevated Recipes, Framed Food For Photographs And Visual Appeal, Easier To Plate Attractive Food Meals With Sauce, Gravy, Stock Or Other High Liquid Concentration

Square Plates vs Round Plates

There is a perfect time to use both square and round plates. Each has distinct benefits.

Our breakdown has everything you need to know to make the perfect choice for your next meal coming up.  

Square Plates

Serving up a Tomahawk steak and want to offer the most enjoyable dining experience with the most space on a plate available? It’s a square plate you’ll be looking at.

Tomahawk steak
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Sharpening your skills and plating up a picture-perfect dish ready for photos? Square plates are the go-to choice.

Here’s a breakdown of the defining characteristics of square plates and how to make the best use of them.  

Basic Appearance 

The most attractive square plates offer the maximum surface area to plate upon featuring rigid 90° angles without any rounding.

Square plate appearance
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There are also rounded square designs with curved corners that aim to reduce accidental cracking while holding liquid slightly better.

Unfortunately, the curve detracts from framing and the effect achieved with matching dinnerware.  


The basic design of a square plate matches a table setting with similar design lines.

Look for right angles across everything from side plates to saucers, cubist salt, pepper shakers, and even square dispensers for vinegar, gravy, and the like if you want to make a statement with square plates.

Plate setting
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They are designed to impress and offer the maximum amount of flat space possible on a plate.

Square-shaped plates are not necessarily designed with practicality in mind or the mindset forced upon one with limited resources and dinnerware. The square design is set to impress.  


Square plates grant the maximum surface area possible. This serves twofold benefits.

It both allows one to serve larger portions and larger cuts of meat, and it offers more white space for decorating, garnish, and attractive plating.

Dish on square plate
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The meal pops, drawing your attention more than when using a round plate due to the way that square framing centers focus on the components being served and their arrangement.  


While elegant and strikingly designed with bold lines to carry precisely plated cuisine, such as is commonly found in Asian meals, square plates chip easily.

Food on square plate
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The flat edges require handling with care and careful placement in a dishwasher, should one be used. They’re far more susceptible to damage.  

Another key consideration to keep in mind before plating is that square plates don’t hold sauces and liquid-rich meals particularly well.

The sauce, gravy, or soupy-stew being plated typically wells up spoiling the appearance of the meal while significantly raising the risk of messing.  


Square plates are the plate of choice for anyone who wants to pull off a chic dining experience.

It’s also the ideal shape for serving Asian foods and deconstructed gourmet meals that require an extremely clean plate with a lot of unused open space to effectively “frame” each component of the recipe.

Gourmet meal
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Despite this being true, any food can be elegantly served on a square plate achieving a far more striking aesthetic result easier than when using a round plate. 

Round Plate

Round plates are the style that everyone grows up with and a design that’s stood the test of time. There’s nothing more convenient than eating off a round plate.

Let’s take a closer look at what benefits this tried and tested shape of plate offers and when it’s a better choice than a square plate.  

Basic Appearance 

Round plate
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There are several types of round plates available, but each creates a shallow bowl-like surface to eat from.

The recess and lip of the plate reduce the surface area available but at the same time serve as a container to hold saucy, soup, or moisture-rich meals effectively.

Furthermore, the curved appearance doesn’t have the same impact as square dinnerware with clean, bold lines, but it is far easier to pair with a larger variety of settings and tableware.  


Both mundane, bland designs intended for rugged daily use and vivid, sheer surfaces of various sizes and colors are available when shopping for round plates.

Variety of round plate
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The rounded design is far more utilized and therefore offers a greater scope of choice. In addition to more options being available, round plates have a broader budget range.

You find them far cheaper than square plates, but this doesn’t mean that there aren’t high-end options available. Furthermore, the recessed design translates to less surface space for plating.  


Round plates, as mentioned, pair better with a broader range of dinnerware and tableware.

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There’s no need for precise decor or a vast selection of containers, vessels, and plates needed to match the primary dinner plate used.

If there’s liquid in the meal you’re dishing up that isn’t firm enough to remain in place after being dished up, then a round plate is typically the better choice as it always holds sauce and soupy stews better than a square plate.

Soup in round plate
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It will be considerably more challenging to make a high-end or elevated meal look stunning on a round plate than it will be when plating on a square plate.

This isn’t true of meals with high liquid content, but for everything else, plating on a round plate has a limited visual appeal.

Dish on round plate
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Round plates don’t chip and break as easily as square plates due to the lack of rigid lines and corners. Keep this in mind if clumsy staff or hasty kitchen habits are a factor for you.  


Use a round plate to dish up anything with anything more than a little sauce, gravy, stock, or other liquid.

Pasta with sauce on plate
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If the liquid content in your meal is susceptible to moving around, as is a sauce, a round plate or alternate receptacle is best.  

Which Is Better, Square Plates Vs. Round Plates? 

As one can see by the breakdown of differences, the best plate between square plates vs. round plates largely depends on what you’re serving and how you’re serving it.

We advise keeping a collection of square and round plates accompanied by matching side plates.

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With this selection of dinnerware kept at a bare minimum, you’ll always have a stunning setting whenever it is needed. 

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