There are a few Independence Day essentials you should never miss: the fireworks, the barbecues, the beer. But if your grill’s broken or your view is no good, fortunately, there are plenty of places around town to find these Fourth of July fundamentals, whether it’s rooftop grills downtown or the pyrotechnics from George Washington’s estate along the Potomac.
The Brixton: Head upstairs to the rooftop of this U Street bar for a view of the fireworks and a DJ set, along with a holiday-themed “Guts & Glory” special: a shot of Powers whiskey and a PBR tallboy for $10. But the real draw might be at 5 p.m., when the bar throws a free hot-dog eating contest for anyone to enter. You might want to skip lunch. 901 U St. NW. 1 p.m. to close.
Brookland’s Finest: Maryland blue crab is on the special holiday menu at this Northeast spot, where chef Shannan Troncoso is cooking up a crab boil with the titular crustacean alongside sweet corn, red potatoes and andouille sausage. The menu, which comes with a flight of local beers, runs $35 a person. On the patio, you can find scoops of D.C.-made ice cream from Bri’s Brookland Creamery. 3126 12th St. NE. 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Crimson: The rooftop of this bar inside the Pod D.C. hotel is throwing a picnic of fried chicken and barbecue, with a DJ and prime sightlines to the fireworks show. Twenty dollars gets you a plate to this all-you-can-eat affair. Admission is first-come, first-served. 627 H St. NW. 1 p.m.
Jack Rose Dining Saloon: The “AmeriCAN Drink Dependence Day” celebration at Jack Rose returns for a sixth year to offer a roster of beers from Maryland’s Flying Dog Brewery. Head to the bar's terrace, where cans go for $4 and drafts for $5 all day until the fireworks show ends. 2007 18th St. NW. 3 p.m.
The Lot at 1st and Pierce NE: The NoMa Business Improvement District hosts a family-friendly bash with such events as face-painting, a moon bounce, arts and crafts, and live bluegrass. Arrive early for free hamburgers and hot dogs, which they’ll be grilling up while supplies last. 1150 First St. NE. 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Republic: For the fifth year, this Takoma Park spot will hold its annual Freedom Fest, serving Maryland beers from Brewer’s Art, Denizens and more. Alongside a special cookout menu of such fare as brisket sandwiches and Mexican street-corn-on-the-cob, there’ll be plenty of kid-friendly activities, like face-painting, giant Jenga and cornhole games. 6939 Laurel Ave., Takoma Park. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
City Tap House: The Dupont outpost of this restaurant chain is hosting an unlimited-food-and-drink Backyard Cook Out, featuring classic staples such as hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad and coleslaw. On the drinks side, you’ll find red and white wines and beers from Founders Brewing, giving an extra salute to the Founding Fathers on America’s birthday. 1250 Connecticut Ave. NW. 1 to 5 p.m. $35.
Flight Wine Bar: Seating is sparse at this Chinatown rooftop — there will be just 50 spots available — but those who get tickets will get a buffet dinner and open bar with an emphasis, of course, on wine. Fireworks will also be visible from the rooftop, but the restaurant cautions that you might have to get up from your table for the best view. 777 Sixth St. NW. 7 to 10:30 p.m. $125.
Mount Vernon: Independence Day at the home of George Washington starts with a visit from the first president himself, as a historical reenactor inspects the costumed Revolutionary troops on hand. After that, visitors can see a wreath-laying, music performances and a naturalization ceremony for new Americans. Starting at 1 p.m. is a “made-for-daytime” fireworks show over the Potomac, followed by, of course, cake — after all, what would a birthday party be without it? 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy., Mount Vernon. 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. In advance, $11-$18. At the door, $12-$20.
Nationals Park: Celebrate the Fourth of July with a nod to America’s pastime. Wednesday will find the Nats playing another team from a town steeped in Independence Day lore, the Boston Red Sox. The game will surely be heavy on the patriotism, with a ceremony featuring members of the military kicking off the proceedings. 1500 South Capitol St. SE. 11:05 a.m. $25 to $455.
Nellie’s Sports Bar: The drag brunch at Nellie’s turns into a special drag lunch for the Fourth, with two afternoon seatings. A ticket not only gets you a seat for the super-popular drag queen performance but also an all-you-can-eat buffet and your first mimosa or Bloody Mary. 900 U St. NW. 12 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. $41.91.