Fourth of July means firing up the grill out back and hanging with family, unless you're more into the whole barbecue bash with interesting-people-in-fascinating-places thing, Short Order has put together a guide to restaurants and hotels that are serving up a plate of barbecue favorites -- and others that are simply serving up great views.
Find food trucks and fireworks at the Biltmore, open to the public, or attend a VIP barbecue.
Courtesy University of Miami
Key Biscayne/Coral Gables/Coconut Grove
On the waters of Key Biscayne, the Rusty Pelican is the ideal spot for waterfront dining and fireworks viewing from all angles. All day from noon to 11 p.m., the restaurant will have a BBQ buffet with all of the essentials: hot dogs, hamburger sliders, guava barbecue ribs, Caesar salad, potato salad, cole slaw, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, and mac and cheese, with apple pie and Georgia peach cobbler for dessert. It's all-you-can-eat for $25 per person, and for an additional $25, you get to drink from the open bar. Fireworks are from 8 to 9 p.m.
The City of Coral Gables Independence Day celebration will be held at the Biltmore Hotel starting at 5 p.m. It's free to the public and features music by the Greater Miami Symphonic Band at 7 p.m. and a fireworks display at 9 p.m. You can enjoy the food trucks that will be gathered on the golf course, or for a sit-down option, reserve a table at the Center Terrace, where you can eat a Stars and Stripes BBQ dinner between 6:30 and 8:45 p.m. and drink from the open bar from 4 to 9:45 p.m. This VIP option is $120 per member adult and $40 per member child, or $150/$45 for resort guests.
An old-fashion picnic in the park is a family-friendly Fourth of July activity. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., enjoy board games, crafts, a scavenger hunt, and kite flying. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children 6-12, and free for kids under 6. Purchase hot dogs and burgers from The Barnacle Society, or pack your own picnic. The cafe at the Bookstore in the Grove is offering a special picnic bag at $10 with an empanada of your choice, watermelon, crispy critters, and a water bottle or soda.
The 5th Annual Independence Day Hot Dog Eating Competition in the CocoWalk Courtyard begins at 4 p.m. Before watching people stuff their face, there will be live music and fun for kids starting at 1 p.m. Look out for holiday giveaways, face painting, and festive balloons, plus a performance by South Florida's Sans of Thyme Band from 7 to 11 p.m.
Fireworks go off at 9 p.m., but before you head out to watch the show, dine at restaurants in Coconut Grove offering Fourth of July specials. At GreenStreet Cafe, you get a free dessert with any two entrees ordered, and all Vodkas are $5. From 8 to 11 p.m. at Barracuda Raw Bar & Grill, get 20% off all drafts and frozen drinks and other bottle/can specials. Also, Calamari Restaurant is offering the All-American Special: steak and truffle fries, plus a glass of prosecco for $19.95.
Waterfront Cafe Sambal at the Mandarin Hotel offers views of fireworks over Biscayne Bay.
Azul is closed on July 4, but Café Sambal at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel offers stunning waterfront views. Diners looking for an alternative to the traditional American fare can dine on grilled items with Asian inspiration, like grilled kurobuta pork chop ($36) and roasted duck on scallion flat bread ($16). Then you're invited to walk over to the pool area, look out at Biscayne Bay, and watch the fireworks go off at night.
Starting on Independence Day and running through July 7, Area 31 at the EPIC Hotel is offering Fourth of July specials exclusively for Florida residents. Guests can enjoy happy hour all day on the 16th floor terrace (the interior dining room is undergoing renovation). That means $9 terrace menu items and $5 beer, premium well drinks, house wine, and champagne from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. There are no age restrictions or entrance fees, and DJ Kristian Caro will be spinning music all weekend. From the sky-high view of Biscayne Bay, guests Thursday night can see the fireworks go off from Bayfront Park.
Brother Jimmy's is celebrating America with a courtyard party at Mary Brickell Village. This Fourth of July bash will feature a pig roast, beer and cocktails, plus live music by Liza Quin and The Bureau with Robert Elias and DJ Vertigo. It lasts from 2 to 11 p.m. and costs $5 for a pork slider with coleslaw from the pig roast and $6 for the drinks.
The St. Regis is hosting a contemporary cookout at its Ocean Palm Court, with a view of the Atlantic Ocean. Expect fresh Florida seafood, steaks, chops, Kobe sliders on the grill, along with raw bar favorites like chilled shrimp, clams and oysters. Not to mention desserts made by executive pastry chef Antonio Bachour. The event is from 5 to 9 p.m., includes live music and will be topped off by Bal Harbour's fireworks display. It's $95 per adult and $35 for children ages 5-12 (free for the little ones). Call 305-993-3432 to purchase a ticket.
A few blocks north, Mister Collins is hosting a Fourth of July BBQ buffet with endless craft beer on draft. Barbecue chicken and burgers as well as oysters and jerk shrimp will be hot off the grill, with mac and cheese, green beans, and cole slaw served on the side. It's $50 per adult and $30 for kids. The BBQ runs from 5 to 10 p.m., with fireworks going off at 9.
Eat pork sandwiches and ribs by the Mondrian pool.
Celebrate poolside at the Mondrian while enjoying BBQ and festive drinks. The Restaurant at Mondrian offers a special Fourth of July menu of American favorites, including pulled pork sandwiches ($12), St. Louis BBQ ribs ($15), and grilled jumbo turkey bratwurst ($10). The event starts at noon and is open to the public. There's a $50 minimum in food and beverage consumption per person.
The Clevelander's American Backyard Bash with beer and BBQ (21+ only) starts at 11 a.m. It's free on the patio all day and $25 for general admission to the rooftop fireworks viewing from 6 to 9 p.m., or $50 for the Bacardi and Grey Goose open bar. The event benefits "Operation Gratitude," which sends care packages to members of the U.S. Military. Fireworks go off at 9 p.m.
The Delano is having an all-American backyard barbecue with ribs, seafood, white truffle ice cream and other treats for $75 per person. It's happening from 4 to 10 p.m. in the orchard. Meanwhile the Delano Beach Club will be having its own poolside party with local DJs starting at 6 p.m.
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Atop the penthouse of the 1111 parking garage, Juvia offers the perfect penthouse view of Miami Beach's Fire on the Fourth. Juvia's menu includes crudos, oysters from the cold bar, salads, and Asian fusion entrees, but a NY strip ($39) or 32 oz. rib-eye ($79) on the grill with sides like mashed potatoes may be more up your alley for this American holiday. The restaurant will be holding two seatings on Fourth of July, one at 7:30 p.m. and another at 10 p.m. for post-fireworks dining. Call the restaurant at (305) 763-8272 to make reservations.