It’s a given that you pay homage to the stars and stripes on our country’s 239th birthday with fireworks and parades. But what will you eat all day?  Branch out beyond hot dogs & apple pie and embrace food inspired by our flag that kids will devour with delight. Follow our foodie guide to the most patriotic grub in town, from blue velvet pancakes to red sauce smothered enchiladas this 4th of July.


photo credit: Shirley T. via yelp

Breakfast: Red and Blue Velvet Pancakes, Larchmont Bungalow
Sure you could have eggs and toast, but that wouldn’t be as festive as kicking off the day with the red and blue velvet pancakes from Larchmont Bungalow. Topped with cream cheese spread, these super moist pancakes are make from an in-house secret recipe. It’s all topped with fresh whipped cream, candied walnuts and maple syrup. The plate is big enough to share (with the whole family!) and it tastes just as good with a cup of iced cold milk as it does with a mug of hot coffee. It also comes in half orders, which is just enough for everyone to get a bite or two. Order a side of fruit (blueberries, strawberries and bananas, to keep the theme going) to even the meal out and make you feel a little bit better about the impending sugar rush.

Good to know: Breakfast is served all day here, so come in as early or as late as you like.

Larchmont Bungalow
107 N Larchmont Blvd


photo credit: Totes Juices

Snack: Red, White and Blue Juices, Totes Juices
Jump on the juice bandwagon, and try one of three red, white, or blue juice offerings at Totes Juice in Sherman Oaks. It’s one of the healthiest trends around and after one taste, you’ll know why it’s so addicting. The kids get a healthy heaping helping of fruits and veggies, and you get a snack that is portable and satisfying. Bring a few to these to keep everyone hydrated and healthy as you head out to a parade or fireworks show.  As for the red white and blue challenge, here are the drinks to down:

Yolo (Red): This sweet and tangy blend of organic beet, carrot, apple, wheatgrass and parsley has a brilliant red hue. Although this might be best for adventurous palates, some kids just love the fact that it turns their tongues (and later, poop!) red.

Almond Mylkey Way (White): Drinking this one down is easy. It’s packed with organic almonds, dates, carob, cinnamon, and a pinch of sea salt. Some kid taste testers say it tastes just like a milk shake. We love that it packs a protein punch. When you pick up one for the kids, get another to go; it makes for a mean latte.

Seasonal Summer Special, Blew Me Away (Blue): Get this organic blueberry, pineapple, orange and cucumber blend while it lasts. It takes like summer in a bottle.

Good to know: Head in during happy hour between 4-5 p.m. weekdays for $1 off any 16 oz juice.

Totes Juices
13569 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks


photo credit: David P. via yelp

Lunch: Namesake Meals from Pie and Burger
Just like Washington, we cannot tell a lie. You can’t get more American than a hamburger. And if you want a good ‘ole fashioned burger lunch, complete with toasted bun and all (or none) of the fixings, this is the place. With a medium rare burger and tomatoes or ketchup on a white bun, you’re 2/3 of the way there, but really we just get the burger as a base for dessert.  Pie!  Whether you get red (strawberry, rhubarb or cherry) or blue (blueberry), you can order each with a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream. Teach your kid what à la mode means and they’ll never have a naked piece of pie again.

Pie and Burger
913 E. California Blvd.


photo credit: Christina Montoya Fiedler

Dinner: Blue Corn Enchiladas and Much More, El Cholo
Celebrate our nearest neighbors on Independence Day by ordering some of the tastiest and kid-friendliest Mexican food in LA at one of the oldest eateries around. El Cholo serves up superb margaritas and endless bowls of chips and (red) salsa that starts everyone in the family off happily. So what about those patriotic colors? Try the blue corn enchiladas with red sauce and jack cheese or the kids’ meals that come with a red, white and blue bomb pop for dessert. And as you sip your strawberry margarita (red, in keeping with the theme) kids can have any of the daiquiris virgin style or try an ice cold Shirley Temple, with extra cherries upon request.

El Cholo
1121 S Western Ave
There are also locations in Santa Monica, Irvine, Anaheim Hills and La Habra.

What red, white and blue treats have you had at your local restaurants and shops? Or do you stick to burgers, dogs and apple pie on this patriotic holiday?

—Christina Montoya Fiedler