We rented a small Indian restaurant and had a buffet for a couple of hours with some close friends and children (about 25 people). It was great to have the whole place so the kids could run around. There were 2 other kids there the same age (1 year old) and 3 10 year olds and a couple in between.
It was buffet style and there was lentils, chicken, rice and spinach, salad, etc. something for everyone! We had a regular white cake homemade with love by a friend (we normally do not allow such cakes but what the hell!)
It was a lot of fun. I'm Puerto-Rican so we tend to make a big deal out of first birthdays but we didn't want / couldn't afford to rent a hall so this worked out nicely. And it was nice not to have to clean up. And it was pretty inexpensive as we did it on a Sunday afternoon.