Where to eat and drink if you're staying in town for the 4th of July

Cabin or not, you gotta eat. Here's where to dine and drink on the 4th.

Cabin or not, you gotta eat. Here's where to dine and drink on the 4th.

We've been there. The city can take on the depressing pallor of a ghost town during the long weekends of Memorial Day, Labor Day, and the Fourth of July. It seems like all the cool kids have packed up and gone — to their smarter, richer, and more fabulous parents' lake homes, or at the very least, all the smart, fabulous, and good-looking kids scored an invite. 

Well, you know what? Think of it another way. You haven't been left behind at all. Instead, you've got free rein of the city. It's like Jewish Christmas, only with less snow. And these heroic restaurateurs and chefs are keeping their doors open for all of you lucky souls with three days off and nothing to do but pound tall boys and eat meats like marauders: 

Bulldog Northeast is open for all your burgery hungries and are offering these drink specials for added gaiety: $5 wine by the glass, $4 MN pints, $2 sliders any way you like them, and $2 off all apps, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. 

Block out the obnoxious persistence of firecracker racket by noisily slurping ramen noodles in true Japanese tradition. Masu Northeast is open regular hours and Masu MOA is open until 7 p.m. Zen Box, also known for ramen and other Japanese bar snacks (izakaya) is also open from 4 p.m. until late. They tell us their patio on Portland Avenue will have a good view of downtown fireworks, if you're into that sort of thing. 

Oxcart Alehouse, Lowertown's newest addition, is open all day. They serve laid-back pub fare and all the drinkies you need to go along with it. 

What's more all-American than people eating copious amounts of meat, as fast as they can? If you've had your fill of abusing your own digestive system, head down to the Depot, where they''re hosting the Sixth Annual Diamond Dog Eating Contest. You ask: "What is a Diamond Dog?" We answer: It is a quarter-pound all-beef hot dog, wrapped with pepper bacon and deep-fried, served on a pretzel bun. You ask: "How in heaven's name could anyone eat more than one?" Head down to the Depot to find out. 

Saturday, July 4, 11 a.m. 

South Minneapolis's sweetest neighborhood bistro, Grand Cafe, is hosting a "flea market brunch" starting at noon on the Fourth. Music from Lonesome Dan Kase, Mike Gunther, David Foley from the Record Spot spinning and selling; Edward Vogel's games of math and music including QUOXLZ, building blocks with a puzzling twist, and Twister with a twist; AudreyRose Vintage, JobyLynn Sassily-James and her Gypsy Wagon Mobile Gallery, Rosebud was the Sled, and lots of other local artists/collectors selling and showcasing their goods and creations. 

Our new favorite of-this-moment restaurant Il Foro is open, and no matter how stylish your ex's cabin is, it ain't got nothing on this art deco beaut. 

Chef Shack Ranch will be providing perhaps the closest facsimile to a cool cabin, plus BBQ like your dad never made. And, mini donuts. 

Sea Change is hosting an all out, balls out, baller lobster boil. For $200 bucks, all you can eat plus all you care to drink beer, champagne, beer and margaritas will be served on the riverfront with rock-star views of fireworks. 

Call 612-255-6478 to reserve a spot. 

If it's a lake you're after, you too can have one at 6Smith, which has the only public rooftop that overlooks Lake Minnetonka. Also, great prices on oysters and other classic American bar food. 

Whooo! 'Merica!