From the South Street Seaport to 42nd Street, there won’t be a bad seat along the East River forMacy’s Fireworks Spectacular. But you don’t have to camp out all afternoon to catch the action. Instead, head to one of these waterfront hotspots (all of which still had tickets available as of July 1) for drinks, music and great food while you wait for the show.
SolarOne,2420 FDR Drive (Service Road East & 23rd St.)
Put a twist on your all-American barbeque atBig Bang on the East River, hosted by the German restaurant and biergarten Zum Schneider. For $99, you’ll get hotdogs and corn on the cob, plus bratwurst and endlessly flowing German beer, too. The party, which lasts from 4-11:30 p.m. will have DJs and traditional oompah music. It’s all right on the river, directly in front of two of the Macy’s barges, so you’ll have one of the best views in the city.
60 S. Second St.
Once a police car repair shop (hence the name),Crown Victoria Bar and Gardens is now enjoying its retirement as a hip Williamsburg hangout with a 9,000-square-foot patio about a block from the water. They’ve got plenty of picnic tables, plus games like Ping-Pong and beanbag toss while you’re waiting for the fireworks to start. They’ll be serving a la carte specials from 2 p.m.-4 a.m. of classic American cookout fare like ribs, sausages, beer and more, all sourced locally.
Pier 15, 78 South St.
Make a day of it atSouth Street Seaport, which is hosting free public events beginning at 1 p.m. But when it comes tothe best view in Lower Manhattan, roll up to theFreedom Fest barbecue bash on Pier 15, where you’ll be watching the show from right on the water. Tickets start at $109 with open bar, DJs and a buffet with Fourth of July staples, from burgers to chicken wings. Doors open at 6:15 p.m., and before the fireworks you can explore the pier’s observation decks and greenery, plus check out the docked ships.
8-08 Queens Plaza South
Grab a festive cocktail, snack on gourmet BBQ and dance to the DJs all night long at Ravel Hotel’s Penthouse808 rooftop bash in Long Island City. The 21+ party goes from 2 p.m.-midnight, and for just $50 you’ll get clear views of the fireworks set against Manhattan’s skyline. If you’re willing to fork over a bit more dough, for $125 you’ll also have access to the observation deck, the hotel’s highest point just one floor up.
12 Furman St.
With a ticket to this hidden gem tucked among the trees of Brooklyn Bridge Park, you’ll have the best seats across the river for the lightshow. Brooklyn Bridge Garden Bar‘s bash seems like a splurge at $125 per person or $175 for reserved seating and a better view, but the ticket price includes three drinks (including top shelf) and it’s well worth it for the front row seat right by the bridge. The 21+ party goes from 6-10 p.m. and includes an outdoor buffet of picnic classics like corn on the cob, pulled pork sandwiches and potato salad.