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July 3, 2014 at 6:15 AM

What are the best restaurants for watching July 4 fireworks?

Photo courtesy of Westward

Photo courtesy of Westward

From about the minute Westward opened on Lake Union in August, diners were thinking about how good Seattle’s July 4 fireworks show would look from its dock (pictured above.) The good news: There’s a big viewing party planned there for Friday, with a paella dinner, sides, lots of beer, wine and sangria, plus a DJ. Then, there’s the price tag: Tickets run $175 for adults, $40 for children ages 9-18. The silver lining: A portion will benefit Food Lifeline’s summer program for kids. Restaurant staff had a fireworks paella party last year on the dock before the restaurant was open, a spokeswoman said, and “We wanted to continue the tradition of a festive, special occasion as we don’t do that often. This will probably be the one special private event we do each year.” Tickets available online here.

For those expecting seats at their usual prime lake view spots, check ahead. Little Water Cantina will have live music and a Mexican-American menu on its patio, but reservations for 6-8 person patio tables require a $300 to $400 food & beverage minimum before tax and tip (details here.) Sky City at the Space Needle has been booked up for some time. Daniel’s Broiler is full, says Open Table. Ivar’s Salmon House is also booked, but it’s worth trying for a seat at the bar, which is first-come-first-served.

Some other options for dining while oohing-and-aahing at the show:

Walk-ins are welcome at Duke’s Chowder House on South Lake Union, and the patio’s late-night happy hour is on despite the holiday.

A Terrible Beauty, an Irish pub, will be open and is also entirely for walk-in customers. (When I called to inquire, they suggested arriving by 6 or 7 p.m. to nail down one of the excellent view tables upstairs.)

While Ponti Seafood Grill doesn’t have a fireworks view, the restaurateurs have a novel suggestion this year: Take advantage of the restaurant’s complimentary valet parking July 4, dine before the show, then walk to one of the great vantage points nearby while leaving the car in the restaurant lot. “Parking is always an issue for firework events, and we’re hoping to make the 4th a little more pleasurable and safe for everyone,” a spokeswoman said.

Got a suggestion for a great dining spot for fireworks, besides the food vendors at Gas Works Park? Add it in the comments below.

Comments | Topics: A Terrible Beauty, Duke's, Fourth of July

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