Fourth of July Dining and Drinking Guide 2014

There is nothing more patriotic than bingeing on grilled meat and drinking yourself stupid. Wave your inner American flag this Fourth of July at any one of the following dining/drinking destinations in Chicago to properly celebrate our American freedom; especially the freedom to eat, drink, and be merry. 

Tavern on Rush pina colada
(Tavern on Rush displays pina colada patriotism)

EPIC: Seeing as July is National Grilling Month, appropriately enough, EPIC is inviting guests to wander up to the rooftop and partake in a little urban cookout. EPIC owner Steve Tavoso will be manning the grills, serving up American classics for the Fourth of July such as hot dogs, brats, and ribs. To drink, there will be red, white, or blue sangria and root beer float shots made with ROOT and Bailey's.  

Porkchop: No better way to bolster your patriotic spirit than with a good old fashioned al fresco pig roast. Porkchop is doing it up right in the West Loop with their patio party, featuring pork aplenty alongside chicken, Red Bull bourbon lemonade, and whiskey galore. 

Trump International Hotel & Tower: Rebar in the Trump International Hotel & Tower offers a lavish vista for all the downtown fireworks action, especially since guests can simultaneously imbibe Firecracker cocktails comprised of Ciroc Berry vodka, muddled strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries, and simple syrup. It's all garnished with fresh blueberries, star fruit, and an American flag. Upstairs, the Terrace at Trump is getting festive in its own right with fruit raspados made with vanilla ice cream, berries, shaved ice, and red, white, and blue syrups. 

Ombra: Just because Ombra is Italian doesn't mean the Andersonville restaurant can't celebrate its American spirit. The dainty Italian haunt is serving up special red, white, and blue bellini flights for the Fourth, made respectively with strawberries, white peach, and blueberries. 

Frontier: One surefire way to up the American ante on Fourth festivities is by cooking a bison barbecue. Frontier does just that on July 5, where for $40 per person, guests can indulge in a meaty melee of all-American comfort. From 3:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m., the barstaurant will be offering a bison BBQ and craft beer tasting, which includes bison burgers, bison sausages, smoked chicken, baked beans, potato salad, and mac & cheese. Craft beers to be sampled include products from Greenbush, Metropolitan, and Lagunitas.   

Takito Kitchen: Fried chicken is essential eating on the Fourth of July. Even if said chicken is folded inside a tortilla and served well outside the traditional template. Takito Kitchen continues to innovate and satisfy with its holiiday special pairing. For $20, diners get fried chicken tacos and a choice of wine, either Chandon American Summer or Charles and Charles Rosé.

Shaw's Crab House: Both Shaw's Crab House locations embrace their patriotic spirits this holdiay by discounting oyster deals in the bar all day long to 50% off. This entails enjoying East or West Coast oysters at a delicious discount. Plus, from 4:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m., the Schaumburg location will offer offers for just $.50 a pop, while the Chicago outlet will feature a New Orleans-style crawfish boil for $30 per person. 

Tavern on Rush: Things get refreshing and delicious at Tavern on Rush in the form of the quintessential summer sipper. Tavern's Fireworks Strawberry Pina Colada is the perfect salute to Americana, made with strawberry puree, Cruzan rum, coconut, pineapple, and Blue Curacao. 
Bub City: Celebrate the Fourth like a true patriot by eating barbecue and giving back to the community at Bub City. As if enjoying down-home-style 'cue and Bloody Marys isn't patriotic enough (the restaurant is also opening its doors early at 10:00 a.m.), a portion of proceeds for the day will go to USO Illinois. Plus, all service men and women will receive 50% off their food. 

Additionally, Sweetwater Tavern and Grille is amping things up with a friendly cocktail competition. 
Currently, the bar and restaurant is offering two Fourth of July-inspired cocktail specials, Sammie's American Dream made with Tito's Handmade Vodka, St-Germain, fresh watermelon, lime, mint, and blueberries; and Kevin's Patriotic Elixir featuring Jeremiah Weed, strawberry puree, and lemonade. Once July 4 arrives, lead bartenders Sam Scholl and Kevin Blake will go head-to-head with a little friendly cocktail competition. Beginning at 2:00 p.m., votes will be counted for the special cocktail over the past two weeks, along with input from the judging panel. When it's all said and done, a cocktail champ will be announced, taking home the glory. 

- Matt Kirouac