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Best Bets for 4th of July

Posted July 1, 2013 by Mary Kong-DeVito in Dining Out


kay, so it kinda sucks that the 4th of July is on a Thursday this year. That means you only have 1 day (4½ if you work for government) to celebrate.

Not to fear.  GMF is always first on the scene for disaster, emergency and untimely holiday relief.  Check out this long shortlist of things to do when the 4th of July rolls around. After all, it’s your God-given right to express how much you appreciate barbecue and beer.  I mean, really appreciate barbecue and beer:

  • Warm up your drinking arm. The Midtown Liberty Bar Tour will tear through 20 of Dupont Circle’s bars and restaurants July 3rd from 5 pm until you’ve vomited everything you ate this week: Recessions, Buffalo Billiards, Rumors, McFadden’s, Mackey’s, The Front Page, Irish Whiskey, The Gryphon, Café Citron and more. $16 admission plus $2 Coors Lights, $3 Blue Moons and other food and drink specials.
  • Admit you’re pie-sexual. Pearl Dive is holding a pie sale all month long with flavors like Strawberry-Rhubarb, Blueberry, Peach Crisp, Florida Key Lime, Brazos River Bottom Pecan, Kentucky Derby and Peanut Butter Black Bottom, $30 each.  Order by phone 202.319.1612.
  • Go to DC’s largest cookout.  The DC Fairgrounds is holding an all-day, marathon cookout July 4th from 9 am – 11 pm, starting with a Nationals vs. Brewers game, live music from Black Dog Prowl, The Fuzz, Mission South and Atlas Road Crew. Plus, there will be beer, $1 hot dogs, peanuts & cracker jacks and games. Free admission.  1299 Half Street, SE Washington, DC.
  • Kiss your diet goodbye. Astro Doughnuts is putting together a picnic for 4, with 8 pieces of buttermilk fried chicken, 3 firecracker doughnuts, 3 birthday cake doughnuts, 2 baked potato salads and 2 Asian slaws, $35.  Pick up July 4-6 with 24 hours’ notice.  1308 G Street NW, Washington, DC.  202.809.5565 or [email protected]
  • Let someone else cook. Society Fair in Alexandria is preparing elaborate 4th of July BBQ Bags-to-Go for 4, including the hooch and sweets too, for $100.  Order by July 2 for pick-up July 3-4.  277 S. Washington Street, Alexandria, VA.  703.683.3247
  • Then get high. The newly renovated, swanky DNV Rooftop Lounge at Donovan House on Thomas Circle is open to the public pleebs at 5 pm and offers the best views of the fireworks from the bottom of the sky. Admission is free, and food and drinks are available for purchase from the Asian-inspired Zentan.  1155 14th Street NW, Washington, DC. 202.737.1200
  • Act like a tourist. Most DC museums will be open on the 4th, including the Corcoran Gallery of Art, National Gallery of Art, Spy Museum, Newseum, Madame Tussaud’s and more. Check out the citywide “Civil War to Civil Rights” commemoration, and don’t forget to walk six abreast on all sidewalks as people try to get by.
  • Watch fire on the water. The 500-person capacity, 3-deck floating Spirit of Washington has a nighttime cruise July 4th starting at 6:30 pm with open bar, a dinner buffet, DJ’s and dancing, $160.  There’s a family-friendly lunchtime cruise, too.  600 Water Street SW, Washington, DC. 202.484.2320
  • Crash a ‘cue. Hill Country’s popular Backyard Barbecue will be happening July 4th at noon on the beautiful green West Lawn of the National Building Museum, with award-winning Texas barbecue, ice-cold beers, cocktails and live music from Mic Harrison and Kevin Abernathy. 401 F Street, NW. 202.272.2448
  • Dress like a pirate.  The 90-seat Boomerang Pirate Ship will sail on the Potomac July 4th, matey, with 3 cruises from 4:30-11:30, with a live DJ plus food and alcohol (and non-alcohol if you don’t want to have fun) for purchase.  From $25-$79. Departs from Georgetown Waterfront.
  • Cool off poolside. BYT does it MTV-style at Capitol Skyline Hotel, with a live DJ, pool games, water balloons, pool inflatables, a Dangerously Delicious Pie eating contest, and food and drinks for purchase. $15 admission.  10 I Street SW, Washington, DC. 202.488.7500
  • Have Thursday Brunch. Restaurants are breaking out the brunch mid-week like Whitlow’s in Clarendon, Old Glory, Founding Farmers, Kangaroo Boxing Club, Masa 14, The Heights and Ambar.

Photo: Capitol Skyline Hotel

About the Author

Mary Kong-DeVito

Mary grew up in New York where the food-centric city and her family's restaurants were literally her playground. Instead of eating dirt, she ate duck blood and rotten eggs. You never know what you'll find on the sidewalks.Mary is a veteran of the hospitality industry who's worked with numerous celebrities such as Barbra Streisand, Patrick Ewing, Vanessa Williams, Michael Stipe and Jane Krakowski. Her writing has appeared in DC Modern Luxury, Washington Post Express, Eater, Scoutmob, Washington Flyer and Washington City Paper.She eats "normal" stuff too, like cheeseburgers. Kangaroo cheeseburgers.