The 7 Best Restaurants in America for Watching Summer Fireworks (Slideshow)
June 16, 2016
The best seat for a fireworks show is at a nice restaurant with a tasty meal; here are the best places to do this all summer
Cinderella’s Royal Table, Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom
Many adults adore fireworks, but nothing beats seeing the kids witness colorful magic in the skies above their heads. With that in mind, the best place to bring the little ones is Disney World, and there’s no better restaurant to see the park’s nightly fireworks than Cinderella’s Royal Table. Upon entering the two-story stone foyer, guests meet the lady herself before proceeding to the red-carpeted, winding staircase to the dining room of Cinderella's Royal Table. Surrounded by royal flags, huge chandeliers, and stained-glass windows that look out onto your "royal subjects" playing their day away in the Kingdom, guests can feast on pork belly confit, pan-seared scallops, gnocchi with roasted vegetables, and slow-roasted pork tenderloin. Kids’ options include beef tenderloin and chicken nuggets. As they dine, Disney princesses (and sometimes a prince or two) chat with each visiting family, and gifts can be added to each dinner package for an extra special experience. You’ll of course need to pay the park admission first. Also, dinner reservations can be made up to 180 days in advance — and you’ll need one.
Key West Grill, Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Broadway at the Beach is the best place in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to catch fireworks all summer long, with shows at 10 p.m. almost every Tuesday and Friday between May 31 and August 30. There are numerous restaurants in the waterfront dining, shopping, and entertainment complex, but most of the eateries are chains like Señor Frog’s, Joe’s Crab Shack, Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, and the Hard Rock Café. We opted for Key West Grill instead, which, in addition to an outdoor patio, also offers casual bar appetizers, thin crust pizzas, pasta dishes, Cuban rice bowls, burgers and sandwiches, and the fresh catch of the day — served in one of the eight unique preparations. The restaurant also features a happy hour from 4 – 6 p.m. daily, with drinks starting at only $2.75 for domestic brews.
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Scottsdale
“Fireworks are magical to behold, and relegating them to a few times a year like the 4th of July and New Year’s isn’t fair to the kid inside each of us,” reads the ExperienceScottsdale website in a moment of absolute truth. We couldn’t agree more, and were delighted to learn that the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess will be hosting a brief show every Saturday this summer at 9 p.m. from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The catch? Only hotel and hotel restaurant guests will get to see them — up close, at least. Thankfully, the resort offers numerous dining options with patio views, including Toro Latin Restaurant & Rum Bar, Ironwood American Kitchen, and La Hacienda Mexican Restaurant. If you can’t nab an outdoor seat at any of these eateries, simply head to the Plaza Bar, an indoor/outdoor living room lounge slinging signature craft cocktails.
Ocean Front Waterfront Seafood Restaurant, Virginia Beach
The fireworks in Virginia Beach are launched near 23rd Street from a barge on the water, which means the twice-weekly shows can be seen anywhere on the boardwalk. A place with a patio is obviously key, and the Ocean House Waterfront Seafood Restaurant has two: one on the first level, and another directly upstairs. Watch the show while tearing into coconut-breaded mahi mahi, Buffalo shrimp, or fried calamari, along with mains like flounder and crab cakes — served either fried or not. For landlubbers there’s a number of sandwiches and land fare as well.
On the Bay Seafood, Ocean City, Md.
Yelp/ Missy H.
Ocean City, Maryland, has fireworks all summer long on Mondays and Tuesdays between July 11 and September 3, at 10 p.m. They can be seen from numerous restaurants along the boardwalk, but our nod goes to the no-nonsense, all-outdoor seafood joint On the Bay. The seating is at picnic tables, the floor is covered in sand, and the menu all seafood, all the time — add a free fireworks show, and what else could you ask for?
Riva Crabhouse Navy Pier, Chicago
What better place to see the fireworks over Lake Michigan in Chicago than the city’s only seafood restaurant on the water? The Aon Summer Fireworks (formerly called the Navy Pier Fireworks) show runs twice a week on Wednesday and Saturday nights all summer long through September 3, and Riva Crabhouse on the pier boasts floor-to-ceiling windows along the water, offering picturesque views for diners digging into jumbo lump crab cakes, colossal white shrimp, Atlantic salmon, or Riva’s signature lobster diavolo. If you happen to be coming from another entertainment venue, the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, your same-day ticket will get you 20 percent off regular menu prices, or the opportunity to try an exclusive three-course prix fixe menu.
Thai Rock, Queens
The Coney Island Boardwalk shoots off fireworks every Friday night between June 17 and September 2, but the eateries in the area generally only provide both limited outdoor seating and limited menus. Head over to neighboring Rockaway Beach instead, and grab a table with a view on the outdoor patio at Thai Rock. Situated on a small pier, the restaurant features a bountiful cocktail selection, 24 draft beer lines, authentic home-style Thai cuisine (including steamed dumplings, Thai rock chicken, and the Ta-lay Delight seafood combo with steamed shrimp, scallops, mussels, squid, and white fish), and live music on the regular. This place took quite a beating during Hurricane Sandy, but it’s back now and stronger than ever before.