I’ve put on 15 pounds just writing this darn blog post. There’s only so much talk of smokey gumbo, BBQ ribs, sticky buns, malt shakes, and pineapple-caramel bread pudding a girl can take before lunch. But I got through it – with some bottomless coffee, rather than Harvey Wallbangers. So, stuff yourself silly at these American restaurants for 4th July feasting.
An American in Paris or London? Don’t resort to the neon yellow ‘M’ just yet. There are some 4th July restaurant recommendations for you homesick lot at the bottom too!
An unofficial beacon of America, locals and tourists alike love Katz’s Deli. Get your ticket, get brusque service and get gorging on a salty pastrami New York classic. Inside, it is every bit the NYC Jewish deli and your eyes will dart from American staple to American staple with hunks of cheesecake, dripping cheeseburgers, tossed salads and homemade iced tea.
Katz’s Deli 205 E Houston St
Open: Daily Mon-Tues, 8am-9:45pm; Sun, Wed & Thurs 8am-10:45pm; Fri & Sat 8am-2:45am
Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain
This dolled-up Farmacy is both gorgeous-looking and tasting. But dear, oh dear, decisions, decisions! The peanut butter cup sundae leaves your mouth watering but the winter wonderland makes you feel all warm and gooey inside, can you go wrong with an ice cream sandwich? Would it be too much to dunk the Saturday donuts or Sunday sticky buns? Thirsty?
Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain 513 Henry Street, Brooklyn
Open: Tues-Thur, noon-10pm; Fri-Sun, 10am-10pm
1300 on Fillmore
Describing itself as ‘Soulful American’, 1300 on Fillmore dishes up delectable BBQ shrimp and creamy hominy grits. Aside from Independence Day dining, the Sunday gospel brunch will warm the soul with catfish Po’ Boy sandwiches, live music accompaniment and their house Bloody Mary or Wallbanger cocktails hit a spot.
1300 on Fillmore 1300 Fillmore Street
Open: Daily, Sunday brunch, 10:30am-2:30pm; Sun-Thur 4:30pm-10pm; Fri & Sat 4:30pm-midnight
Dottie’s True Blue Cafe
Good things come to those who wait. All American hardliners won’t be deterred by the 7am arrival time to get a good spot in the queue – order a hot choc while you wait. You’ll be greeted by giant homemade muffins at the counter and their ever-changing specials mean there is never a dull moment. Expect to pay around $13 for a ginormous breakfast including your coffee. We dare you to find better.
55 Jones Street at O’Farrell St, Union Square
Open: Wed-Mon, 7:30am-3pm
You’ll be seated next to fellow servicemen from police to firefighters all devouring delicious corned beef classics, baked hamburgers and pastrami focaccia. They’ve been practising since 1942 and the walls are plastered with newspaper clippings and paraphernalia.
Manny’s 1141 S Jefferson, south of Loop
Open: Mon-Sat 6am-8pm, closed Sundays
For a carry-out to the nearest park, Lagniappe could pack you a picnic with a punch. Smoky gumbo and a rich Jambalaya rounded off with hot pineapple-caramel bread pudding. New Orleans old timers will be happy here with owner Mary Madison creating a backbone for authentic and freshly made dishes. On hot days, the sweet tea will cool your bones.
Lagniappe 1525 W 79th St (at Justine St) South Side
Open: Tues-Thurs 11am-8pm, Fri & Sat 11am-10pm
If you can’t be doing with stoking your own, Redbones does a mean BBQ. There’s a lively atmosphere and with a heaving list of microbrews on tap, you can see why things turn jolly. Soak them up with cornbread or hushpuppies – fried cornbread with garlic and served with vinegar – for a greasy stomach-lining. St Louis ribs and collards are a great taste of the Deep South, and you might not have tasted a corn pudding before.
Redbones 55 Chester Street, Somerville
Open: Daily, lunch from 11:30am, Dinner from 4pm-10:30pm
Trina’s Starlight Lounge
A bit kitsch and quirky, the American staples are lovingly dished up while the speciality cocktails leave you grinning like the Cheshire Cat. Unique twists include BBQ dusted rims or black tea infused bourbon. Start with a strawberry gazpacho, then warm the cockles with their reputable cioppino stew or fried chicken for comfort food.
Trina’s Starlight Lounge 3 Beacon Street, Somerville
Open: Daily 5pm-1am; Fri & Sat until 2am; Mon brunch served from noon-4pm
Only a real American – who understands the important and comfort factor of a grilled cheese – will read beyond this point. Throw in some chorizo, provolone or tackle one of their weekly specials; the grilled cheese can handle it. But of course, you’ll be forgiven for sticking to plain ‘ol cheese.
Clementine 1751 Ensley Ave
Open: Mon-Fri, 7am-7:30pm; Sat, 8am-5pm, closed Sun
God bless the burger, so flexible. The Counter’s page-long variations on meat, cheeses, sauces and toppings demands your full attention. Grab a clipboard and pencil and beginning building your own American dream – I mean, burger. Nothing beats a key lime pie for pudding or devour an oversized chocolate chip cookie dunked in a malt.
The Counter 2901 Ocean Park Blvd
Open: Daily, Mon-Sat, 11am-10pm, Sun 11:30am-9pm
Blink and you’ll miss the all-black frontage of Spuntino which shines less brightly than Soho’s neon and naughty lights. It’s nice and rugged round the edges and the humble name is chalked up above the black door, almost as an after thought. It’s got something of a speak-easy about it with a limited but lovely cocktail list and heady array of bourbons. Serving sliders, dreamy-smelling macaroni cheese, less sensation grits and a whopping ice-cream take on the peanut and jelly sandwich.
Spuntino 61 Rupert Street W1D 7PW
Open: Daily Mon-Sat, 11am-midnight; Sun, noon-11pm
Dishing up heart-warming New Orleans grub in candlelit booths, The Blues Kitchen goes the extra mile on 4th July. Their hotdog-eating contest pays homage to 4 immigrants who, on 4th July 1916, commenced battle at Nathan’s Famous restaurant on New York’s Coney Island to determine the most patriotic. At the Blues Kitchen from 7pm, contestants must stuff themselves silly with as many hotdogs as possible. If you are still hungry, they will be serving up American diner-style suppers, with live music. Fellow Americans, bring your passports for a free drink.
Blues Kitchen 111 Camden High Street
Open: Daily, Mon-Wed, noon-midnight; Thurs, noon-1am; Fri, noon-3am; Sat, 11am-3am; Sun, 11-midnight
Harry’s New York Bar
Homesick Americans can drown their sorrows in Harry’s New York Bar. This place gave birth to the bloody mary and white lady so they mix a mean cocktail. You can swoon in the downstairs piano bar and feel like one of the celebrities who spent many a happy hour here in days gone by. It became a spot for Americans to feel at home in Paris, and it still does the job today.
Harry’s New York Bar 5 Rue Daunou
Open: Daily noon-2am or 4am
Breakfast in America
The French like their food so they are bound to be a tad apprehensive of a diner appearing on the block. But before you resort to MacDonalds, try a Breakfast in America. Traditional American portions have crossed the Atlantic, as has the bottomless coffee concept. And if you have a bottomless stomach, happy hour is 5-9pm Mon-Fri.
Breakfast in America 17 Rue des Ecoles
Open: Daily 8:30am-11pm
Mmm, want more food inspiration? Check out our round-up of 8 Exciting Food Markets
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Thanks to whatleydude, Frédéric de Villamil, numb3r, gsz, djnordic, Southern Foodways Alliance, LWY, Yogma, SimonDoggett and cJohn for the images off Flickr! Please note, all images were suitable for use at time of publication under the Creative Commons License.