Whether you’re a homesick expat or just a USA-enthusiast, you can celebrate Independence Day in style without leaving London this Sunday. Here are some of the best places to wave your star-spangled banner on 4th July.
Byron – Yes, it’s a chain but if all you need is a decent burger, fries, onion rings and a shake, then you can’t go wrong. We love the chilled out basement at their Soho site and the roughed-up Upper Street branch, but you can’t find them all over London. Check out the new sites at Covent Garden and Canary Wharf, order a burger with real American cheese and an Oreo shake – you won’t be disappointed.
The Blues Kitchen – Camden’s bluesy bourbon bar is hosting a full day of all-American fun including a hot dog eating contest and the chance to sing for your supper. (The winning singer eats for free!) If you’re hungry, tuck into mains like seafood jambalaya or Southern Fried chicken and your dessert is free. Just drinking? Try the Stars & Stripes shake (layered strawberry, blueberry and vanilla) or the Flamin’ Bonfire cocktail – a fiery mix of bourbon, Chambord, cranberry juice and a little chilli.
Circus – This Covent Garden newcomer split the critics when it first opened but now seems to have settled in and won over the West End crowd. Pop in on Sunday for an all-American brunch complete with tableside entertainment and classic dishes like spiced crab cakes, Mexican quesadillas and pancake stacks with caramelised bananas and honeycomb butter. They’re open from 11am to 3pm so if you show up fashionably late you can probably justify a cocktail or two. (The mixed berry julep is definitely worth a try.)
The Lexington – This Kings Cross drinking hole became a favourite with the london-eating team after a great meal there when it first opened. The food (American) is still pretty good but the real draw at this laid-back saloon bar is the fine selection of bourbons, which includes hard-to-find favourites like Pappy Van Winkle, Four Roses and Parkers. There are just six cocktails but they’re all made with love and the best of the bunch is the St Lucius – Buffalo Trace, apple juice and maple syrup in a cinnamon-crusted Martini glass.
The White Horse – At the infamous Sloaney Pony in Parsons Green, they’re hosting an American beer festival from 2nd to 4th July. Stop by and try draught beers from Stateside brewers like Flying Dog, Goose Island and Yard’s Brewing. Stick around for a hog roast and barn dance in the evening. (Too far south? Check out the Strongroom American Beer Festival in Shoreditch – ends 4th July).
Bodean’s – Few places can satisfy your beefy cravings like Bodean’s. From 1st-5th July, their Independence Day meat platter is piled high with pulled pork, three kinds of sticky ribs, barbecue chicken, fries and coleslaw. It’s priced at £17.76 per person, in honour of the original date of US Independence in 1776.
If nothing takes your fancy, there's always the option of a meaty brunch at Hawksmoor or a taco and Tequila combo at the new Cantina Laredo in Covent Garden. Check out our New Openings list for more inspiration.