I've spent 19 summers living in the DMV, so I know a thing or two about what's happening in the District on the 4th of July. It's hot, it's humid, and it's crowded, but for at least one day, the patriotism and excitement throughout our nation's capital makes it all worth it. 

Of course, there are all of the classic celebrations such as the Independence Day Parade, the fireworks on the National Mall, and the Nationals' Independence Day baseball game. These are all spectacular events, but any true DMV native knows that as patriotic as they are, they leave out one key factor of every holiday—the food. To make sure D.C. foodies get to celebrate America in the most delicious of ways, here is a list of 10 fun and festive local celebrations on July 4th. 

1. Astro Doughnuts and Fried Chicken picnic baskets

Astro Doughnuts and Fried Chicken is a D.C. legend and for the 4th of July, they offer a special $50 picnic basket. It includes eight pieces of their signature fried chicken, four biscuits, one large coleslaw, and a half-dozen doughnuts.

The doughnut flavors include Birthday Cake (chocolate cake with vanilla glaze, buttercream, and colored sprinkles), Cherry Pie (tart cherry compote, red cherry glaze, shortbread cookie crumbles, and sugar dusting—pictured above), and the USA doughnut (vanilla glazed doughnut with raspberry drizzle, blueberries, and chocolate 'USA').

2. Republic's 4th annual Freedom Fest

Republic commemorates the repeal of government restrictions on beer sales each year by throwing a giant outdoor barbecue that exclusively features local breweries. This year's lineup features Denizens, Jailbreak, The Brewer’s Art, RAR, Manor Hill, Hellbender, 7 Locks, Oliver Ales and more (including some limited releases).

This event is just outside the District, but rest-assured Maryland knows how to have a good time in the name of independence just as well. Throw in live music and incredible food, and you've got quite the daytime celebration. 

3. Café Du Parc at The Willard

The Willard InterContinental Hotel throws an annual block-party-style 4th of July BBQ each year. The menu is full of American classics like hot dogs and hamburgers, served on the restaurant's patio with a backdrop of live music. To combat the outdoor heat, they also serve fruity ice pops and cold drinks and if you're in a rush to watch the parade, you can grab a to-go box instead.

4. The Smithsonian Folklife Festival

The 4th at the Folklife Festival boasts free food opportunities on the schedule ranging from "The Pie Car: Snacks and Desserts" to "After the Show: Backyard Meals" and "Holidays, Fests, and Special Meals". This one's definitely underrated for those who aren't particularly drawn to the folk culture—the performances and workshops are a fun way to do something unique on the 4th.

5. 701 Restaurant BBQ

Yes, most D.C. locals already know about the quintessential 4th of July patio BBQ at 701 Restaurant. But there's also a pig roast starting at 2 pm, where a whole hog will be served with loaded potato salad, lobster rolls, hot dogs, burgers, a pit beef sandwich, cornbread and lots of other sides. If you're a meat lover without Independence Day plans, this is definitely your calling.

6. City Tap BeerBQ

Every Independence Day, City Tap competes with local breweries to see who makes the best BBQ, and this year they're up against Evolution Craft, 3 Stars, and Hardywood. Guests sample each competitors' BBQ and sides, ultimately voting on a winner. This year's competition also features a cornhole tournament, allowing guests to battle it out amongst themselves while enjoying the food.

7. Lincoln's bottomless BBQ

How could you not go to a restaurant named after a President on America's birthday? Lincoln's Fourth of July barbecue features dishes off the grill from around the country (think Maryland sweet grilled corn and North Carolina pulled pork), salads, drinks, desserts, and of course, apple pie. There will also be a DJ at the party from 2 pm to 10 pm.

8. Teddy & the Bully Bar

Lincoln's sister restaurant has slightly less obvious presidential marketing in its name, but once you enter the restaurant there's no doubt that you're eating in the name of former president Teddy Roosevelt. Teddy & the Bully will be serving all-you-can-eat barbecue and the restaurant offers amazing views of the firework show. The menu will be featuring all-American flavors (of course), such as Maryland peach cobbler and pickled-brined fried chicken.

9. Penn Commons picnic for two

Situated in the heart of downtown D.C., Penn Commons offers an easy stop for those looking to grab some food on-the-go to enjoy during the rest the the city's 4th of July celebrations. The picnic for two features buttermilk fried chicken, dill potato salad, sweet corn chow-chow, and peach mini pies.

10. Rare Sweets' First Ladies

No July 4th is complete without quality desserts, so each year Rare Sweets prepares several First Lady-themed desserts for Independence Day. Last year's lineup included Lady Bird Johnson’s lemon bars, Mamie Eisenhower’s chocolate fudge, and Hillary Clinton’s oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

As a girl who's favorite part of holiday parties is selecting the perfect combination of foods to pile onto my plate, you can bet that I'm excited to celebrate America in style with these D.C. restaurants. Pick an event, eat to your heart's content, and watch some fireworks—HBD America.