The Best Father’s Day Is A Chill Father’s Day

You don’t even have to man the grill to enjoy it.

7 min read

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Here’s what my husband does not want for Father’s Day this year: more grilling equipment. Here’s what he does want: a chill day where he can put his feet up, free from his house-specific responsibilities. No mowing the lawn. No cleaning the pool. Just a day full of relaxation, pure and simple. 

Not sure what to do on Father’s Day to make Dad feel special? I can’t guarantee my husband great weather in June, but one thing I can guarantee is a day that’s fun, festive, and super relaxed — no matter the weather. To keep things simple, I rely on a few store-bought items, a pre-batched cocktail that I know he’ll love, and a homemade strawberry-rhubarb pie (his favorite). If you want to give the dad in your life the best Father’s Day possible, check out these tips for a delightfully laid-back afternoon, no matter where you may find yourself. 

Dad Vibes


If you’re headed outside, picnic blankets and extra outdoor pillows can make for a quick and comfy dad vibe. Hosting indoors? Spare pillows for guests make for a great lounging space, and you can set out blankets on the floor to make it feel festive no matter where your party ends up. 

If your space is more limited, celebrate dad with a collection of cool photo frames filled with your favorite pictures of him and the kids. You can purchase collage frames for a fun memory board (recent vacations are a great way to spark nostalgia) or simply spread the photos out on a coffee table for perusal. Both are memorable homemade gifts for Father’s Day.

Batch that Bourbon

Set the tone for the day by making a batch of a bourbon-based drink that dad will love. The easy-to-prepare Boulevardier is a great choice for dark spirit lovers, and a batched cocktail will serve six. Combine 9 ounces each of bourbon, Campari, and sweet vermouth into a large pitcher. Add 4 ounces of water and stir vigorously. Set aside and serve over ice in rocks glasses, garnished with a thin slice of orange. 

If you don’t have matching glassware, that’s cool, too. Grab your coolest, most unique glasses and collect them in one designated area for a Boulevardier bar that’s hard to beat. 

Tacos for a Crowd  


Hosting inside? Hosting outside? It doesn’t matter if you’ve got tacos on the menu. This easy-to-assemble dish easily feeds a crowd and looks great on a buffet table, making it a great Father’s Day food idea. Many of the components (guacamole and salsa, for instance) can be purchased pre-made, saving you time and energy. Marinate flank steak ahead of time and grill for about 5 minutes on each side for medium-rare (or for 10-12 minutes in a 400-degree oven, until it reaches an internal temperature of 130°F). Slice it paper-thin and you’re ready to go. 

Warm tortillas in the oven if you have the time; 5 minutes wrapped in aluminum foil at 350 should do it. Then set them out with fresh cilantro, sour cream, and whatever hot sauce you have on hand, and — voila — a taco buffet is born. You can zhuzh it up by plating it all on a decorative cutting board or setting out cute bowls for guests to select from. Feel free to add additional pantry and fridge items to your taco buffet, too, like pickled jalapeños, sliced ball radishes, and even crushed peanuts — with this dining option, there are never too many choices. 

The Pie’s the Limit 


You can make this shareable dessert well in advance of having people over (and since pie dough isn’t for everyone, here’s a hack: Pillsbury Pie Crusts, which taste great and involve far less work). With strawberries in season for June, take advantage of the fresh produce with this homemade pie. And top it all off with a pint of your favorite ice cream

Pie Filling

  • 5 cups strawberries, halved

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

Add the strawberries to a medium-sized bowl. Combine the sugar, and cornstarch in a separate bowl and then add it to the fruit. Set aside for a minimum of 15 minutes before using. 


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon water

  • 1 tablespoon raw sugar 

Preheat oven to 425°F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan with one of the two Pillsbury dough rounds. Add the fruit to the pastry-lined pan and top with the butter. Brush the edges, where the pie meets the top of the dish, with the egg wash mixture. Take the second pastry round and fit it onto the top of the pie, making sure it hangs slightly over. Pinch the two layers of pastry together and cut back any extra pastry with kitchen shears. Brush the pie with the remaining egg wash and top it with the sugar, making two or three slits in the top of the pie to allow the air to escape. 

Bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Then lower the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 40 minutes, until the pie is brown and the filling has bubbled through the top. Remove the pie from the oven and set the plate on a cooling rack. Allow to cool for a minimum of 2 hours before serving.


Photography: Paul Quitoriano
Art Direction: Sarah Ceniceros Gomez
Food Styling: Mieko Takahashi