The Hudson River once again plays host to this year’s Macy’s Independence Day firework display, but New Yorkers dwelling in more eastern locales need not fear. The city, as usual, is teeming with parties that promise stunning views of the display, as well as events that place more of an emphasis on food and drink than the fiery light show itself. Below is our guide to surviving the jam-packed day from start to finish.
- What better way to celebrate our country’s independence than a salt-water pool party in Williamsburg, complete with specialty cocktails and DJs spinning all day? A $55 entrance fee to the King and Grove Williamsburg event includes a towel, full pool and deck access, and 10 hours of festivities. 160 N. 12th Street, Brooklyn // (718) 218-7500 // 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Japanese hot-dog inhaler Kobayashi takes on his own personal record of 69 hot dogs in ten minutes at Chelsea’s Eventi Hotel. The competition kicks off at noon, followed by a selection of food and drinks from Asian specialty vendors. 851 6th Avenue // (212) 564-4567// 11 a.m. doors, 12 p.m. event
- Owned by Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio, East Side eatery Riverpark promises a pregame for the ages complete with smoked wagyu brisket, a pig roast, “red, white, and blue sangria,” live music, and carnival games. The event ends early, allowing ample time to mosey over to the West Side to catch the big show. 450 E. 29 Street // (212) 729-9790 // 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
PARTIES WITH A VIEW
- It's not all about the Macy's show on the Hudson. After all, who needs Manhattan crowds when you’ve got a Coney Island breeze? Join other smart city dwellers at MCU Park, the home of the Brooklyn Cyclones for some live music, a cookout, and yes, explosions in the sky as the sun sets. 1904 Surf Avenue, Brooklyn // (718) 449-8497 // 4:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m
- If you're looking to catch a piece of the main action, however, switch up your barbecue expectations with some authentic Korean grilling at Gaonnuri. This 39th floor rooftop restaurant, located in midtown, promises a $100 5-course meal complete with panoramic fireworks vantage points. Spare ribs, anyone? 1250 Broadway Penthouse (39th fl.) // (212) 971-9045 // seatings at 7:30 p.m., 7:45 p.m., 8 p.m., and 8:15 p.m.
- If you feel like braving the crowds, you can keep the casual Colicchio festivities going at the Chelsea Piers outpost of the chef’s 'wichcraft. The eatery promises waterfront views, an open bar, and an array of party pleasers like pigs in a blanket and lobster rolls for a set price of $125. Chelsea Piers (Pier 62) // (212) 780-0577 // 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
- Though the quintessential NYC harbor cruise line offers its annual July 4 boat party, keep yourself grounded on the Circle Line’s private Hudson River pier. DJs will keep the crowds dancing as chefs grill up your standard summer fare with unobstructed views of the celebration. Pier 81 at 12th Avenue // (212) 563-3200 // 7:00 p.m. to 10 p.m.
- If you’re feeling hungry post-fireworks, head down to Recette for a celebratory feast that includes salt cod fritters, courtesy of chef Jesse Schenker. In search of something sweet? Pastry Chef Christina Lee has you covered with some summery s’mores. 328 W. 12th Street // (212) 414-3000 // 8:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
- With an open bar from 10 to 11 p.m. and a DJ set by renowned producer Sander Kleinenberg, Cielo is the place to be seen downtown following the fireworks. Make sure you’re on the list and get your dancing shoes on early, as admission is free until 11. 18 Little West 12th St // (212) 645-5700 // 10 p.m. to close
- Though pizza isn’t typically understood as Independence Day grub, Bushwick mainstay Roberta's offers personal pies and dancing until the wee hours of the morning at its Flushing bash. With a $5 entrance fee, the Knockdown Center is sure to fill up fast. 52-19 Flushing Avenue, Queens // (347) 915-5615 // 8:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.
DIY FOURTH OF JULY Perhaps you have your own West Side rooftop, or just want to avoid the holiday city crowds. No matter your reasons, if you choose to stay at home on the good ol’ Fourth, New York restaurants have you covered with party packs that’ll last you until the last illegal firework pops outside your window past midnight.
- Momofuku Noodle Bar is serving up Korean style fried chicken rings, ginger scallion noodles, and all the sides you could need for a group of 8-10 that’ll run you $250, while sister restaurant Momofuku Ssam Bar is cranking out whole slow roasted pork shoulder, sides, and sweets or $350. You can check the menu out here. Noodle Bar: 171 1st Ave // (212) 777-7773 Ssam Bar: 207 2nd Ave // (212) 254-3500
- Meanwhile, Brooklyn newbie BrisketTown has three Independence Day platters with various sandwich fixings (brisket, potato rolls, pickles, and onions) and sides (if you consider Texas hot-link sausages a side). 359 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn // (718) 701-8909
- Andrew Carmellini’s perpetually crowded restaurant The Dutch is also jumping on the brisket wagon, adding to its offerings suckling pig, St. Louis ribs, mouthwatering pies and more. You can dine in or take your basket of goodies to go. 131 Sullivan Street // (212) 677-6200