Independence Day in D.C. takes on historic proportions. Our nation’s past is palpable everywhere you look, from haunts favored by George Washington, to stately buildings and imposing statues of heroes astride horses. This intimate connection with history is why people come from across the country to celebrate the Fourth of July in the nation’s Capital. In and around the National Mall there are concerts, fireworks, picnics, and parades with a collage of red, white, and blue bunting, flags, and streamers. Some restaurants serve nostalgic, traditional dishes, while others put their own twist on patriotic fare. This week, we’ve made it easy to find a range of holiday themed food and drink for Independence Day by dedicating our weekly menu report to special Independence Day menus. So go — indulge in cherry pie and red, white, and blue drinks — we’re certain John, Abigail, Thomas, and good old Ben would join in if they were here.
Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery
Louisiana chef David Guas is showing his patriotic colors at Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery’s newest location on Capitol Hill. For July 4, they will be selling Music Box Meals to go for $15, which are perfect for dining al fresco during the fireworks show. Each box includes three sandwiches (chicken salad, pimento cheese, and cucumber) with gourmet fixings, plus a bag of Zapp’s Kettle Chips, a lemon-cornmeal cookie, and fresh fruit.
Burger, Tap & Shake
Each month, Burger, Tap & Shake offers a special milkshake, and throughout July, their special shake is the Red, White, and Blue. It’s made with decadently rich and creamy house-churned vanilla ice cream, blueberry purée, and crushed raspberries and could be just the thing to cool you down as you trek to the Mall to watch the fireworks.
City Tap House
For some, nothing says the Fourth of July like beer and barbecue, and we can’t think of a better place for both than City Tap House. On the big day, they are hosting their second annual Beer BQ Brewery Battle and Cook-Off from noon until 5 p.m. All day, the cooks from City Tap House will compete with cooks from 3 Stars Brewing Company, Evolution Craft Brewing Company, and Adroit Theory Brewing Company for the honor of best beer and best barbecue. The cost for food $15 and comes with City Tap House potato salad, coleslaw, and watermelon. Drafts from all three brewers will be on tap for just $5 each, and guests are encouraged to vote for their favorite barbecue and beer selections.
Do a bit of rebelling yourself for Independence Day and head over to District Commons. They are serving a special drink in honor of the Whiskey Rebellion. Order the Whiskey Rebellion cocktail made with High West Silver Oat White Whiskey, pineapple, fresh lime, and simple syrup. It is shaken and strained tableside, poured into a chilled martini glass, and garnished with a house-made Maraschino cherry.
Celebrate the Fourth in style at Fiola Mare and order heaps of freshly caught delicious seafood. Incredible views of the Potomac River are the best, but it’s the restaurant’s view of the fireworks that makes dining here worth the splurge. The restaurant will serve its à la carte menu until 7 p.m., and after that a special five-course Stars and Stripes Menu ($125 per person) is served exclusively. Look for standout Italian dishes like grilled branzino and rigatoni with Spanish octopus and wild tiger prawns, or order from the Stars and Stripes menu, which includes riffs on American classics like Oysters Rockefeller and the clam bake.
Pearl Dive Oyster Palace
Sweltering heat seems custom made for eating cold, briny oysters, but they just don’t make good picnic fare, which is why Pearl Dive Oyster Palace is going a different direction. They are packing their signature fried chicken dinner buckets for pickup and including all the traditional sides you need for a great meal. Each bucket includes six dark meat pieces of fried chicken, three jalapeño corn muffins, spicy cole slaw, potato salad, three blueberry streusel pies made by pastry chef Carri-Anne Hamer, a tablecloth, and Greenware eco-friendly utensils, all for $35. Hurry and reserve yours now, as they are only accepting orders through June 29th, with two pick-up windows available July 3 and July 4 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Penn Commons, a great American tavern in Penn Quarter, has nailed the nostalgia thing. They are offering libations George Washington would have loved such as the Good Ole Apple Pie with Apple Pie Whiskey, whipped cream-flavored vodka, Southern Comfort, lemon juice, and bitters. Don’t want to cook or pack a picnic? Order Picnic on the Mall. It’s made to go for two people and includes buttermilk fried chicken, dill new potato salad, sweet corn chow-chow, and summer peach hand pies, all for just $17.76. Now that’s revolutionary!