A Guide to Fourth of July Specials and Parties Around Washington

A BYT pool party, bottomless brunches, and lots of barbecue.

Head to the west lawn of the National Building Museum for an Independence Day picnic with live bands. Photograph courtesy of Hill Country.

If you don’t have plans to skip town on July Fourth, don’t sweat it—there’s lots to do around these parts. Below you’ll find parties, picnic baskets, and other ways to celebrate our freedom from colonial British rule.

Bottomless “independence” brunch at Ambar

Richard Sandoval’s Barracks Row Balkan spot is your destination for a bottomless $35 brunch from 10 to 4. There are also brunch cocktails and, from 4 to 10, a $5 red, white, and blue margarita on the rocks—which also pops up in several places mentioned in this roundup.

Picnic baskets from Astro Doughnuts and Fried Chicken

July 4 through 6, the Metro Center destination for deep-fried goodies will pack you a picnic to enjoy on Independence Day, provided you give them 24 hours notice—all orders should be in by 5 PM on the 5th. The $35 special includes eight pieces of fried chicken, three “firecracker” doughnuts—a yeast-raised vanilla pastry with sugar, cinnamon, and a blend of spices on top—three of the chocolate cake, vanilla-glazed fritters known as “birthday cake” doughnuts, plus two baked potato salads and Asian slaws.

BYT pool party at Capitol Skyline

“Hipster boobs” and Dangerously Delicious pies are among the advertised draws at BYT’s annual Independence Day pool party. Head to the Eventbrite site to purchase a $15 advance ticket to the Capitol Skyline event—if it rains you get a refund.

Rooftop drinking at DNV

For a no-cover poolside party on the Fourth, head to the top of the Donovan House hotel, where the DNV bar is offering a $12, one-day-only frozen cocktail called Red, White, and Damn Nice View. The drink blends bartender Josh Berner’s white Dancing in Botafogo caipirinha with flavored blue vodka and strawberries. The fireworks show on the Mall will be aired on a large screen.

Freedom happy hour at El Centro D.F.

As at Ambar, Richard Sandoval’s 14th Street taco spot will make you a red, white, and blue margarita for $5. Another enticement: all-night happy hour from 5 PM on the roof. Latin-flavored deejay tunes begin at 10.

Picnic at Hill Country’s backyard barbecue at the National Building Museum

Live music and slow-cooked meats will be in abundance at the barbecue spot’s outdoor area on the west lawn of the National Building Museum. Pork and a side will run you $10; bands begin at noon. Head to the Seventh Street restaurant for $1 Patriot Pops—red, white, and blue Jell-o shots. (Don’t forget to hydrate as you go, kiddies.) The regular menu will be available from 11:30 on; at 9:30, downstairs bar Boots hosts a free show. There’s more music on the 5th, too—consult HC’s website for all the information.

Patio barbecue at J&G at the W Hotel

Beginning at noon, a barbecue takes over the patio outside J&G Steakhouse at the W Hotel. The $35 food menu includes lobster rolls, cheeseburgers, and shrimp cocktail. A bucket of beer will cost you $25 extra. Other beverage options include margaritas, wines by the glass, and watermelon coolers.

Brunch, beer, and barbecue specials at Lincoln

Sunday, June 30, marks the return of Lincoln’s Patriotic Brunch, available at the downtown restaurant from 11 to 6. It also has beer specials from the 30th through the Fourth: $3 PBRs and Miller Lites and $5 Hopback Amber Ale, DC Brau the Public Ale, Original Sin Cider, and Port City Porter.

Bottomless brunch at Masa 14

El Centro’s nearby sister restaurant will also offer the aforementioned margarita, as well as its well-loved all-the-small-plates-you-can-eat $35 brunch. The restaurant will also be open for dinner on the Fourth; a deejay spins from 10 into the night.

Barbecue bags to go from Society Fair

For $100, this Alexandria wine bar, butcher, and retail shop will make you a complete to-go dinner for four with wine and dessert. The meal: barbecued Berkshire pork shoulder and chicken, summer tomato salad, local potato salad, potato rolls, and peach butter cake. Order yours—online or by calling 703-683-3247—before noon on Tuesday, July 2. You can pick it up between Wednesday, July 3, after noon through Thursday, July Fourth, at 10 AM.

That same margarita at Zengo

Here, again, is a Sandoval restaurant offering a $5 red, white, and blue margarita. It’s available until the 2 AM closing time; dinner is served from 5 to 10.