La Fête Nationale, or Bastille Day for all the Anglophiles, is one of the biggest national holiday celebrations in Washington (besides July Fourth, of course). While the official commemoration isn’t until Monday, July 14, bars and restaurants are celebrating all weekend long with special menus, free-flowing French wines, dance parties, and more.
3100 South St., NW
The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown hosts a celebration of all things French. Enjoy free Champagne for the first hour, followed by cake served by a Marie Antoinette lookalike. DJ Sabeel Chohan spins the tunes all night long. Tickets are $20 in advance, or $30 at the door.
When: Sunday, July 13, 7 to midnight.
1201 N. Royal St., Alexandria
Before moving to a new location, Bastille Restaurant will celebrate its French holiday with a special menu for $39 that includes warm goat cheese with peaches, rosemary-lemon chicken, and crème brûlée.
When: Sunday, July 13, all day.
1738 Connecticut Ave., NW
Dupont’s stalwart French bistro supplies its big Bastille Day party with two deejays. Before hitting the dance floor, pick between dinner seatings at 7 or 9:30, where you’ll find an à-la-carte menu and festive specials.
When: Sunday, July 13, 5 to 2.
1001 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Drink like a Frenchman at Central with 20 percent off all French bottles of wine. The bistro is also serving a special menu of French favorites including escargot and roast chicken with ratatouille, along with a $12 French 75 cocktail. Complimentary gougères (cheese puffs) come with purchase of any entrée.
When: Saturday, July 12, 5 to 11.
3815 Georgia Ave., NW
Petworth’s Francophiles can sip $5 glasses of wine all night long, enjoy complimentary hors d’oeuvres, and listen to deejay sets by Yann Talvez.
When: Sunday, July 13, 6 to close.
2000 18th St., NW
Rounding out a decade of Bastille Day celebrations, this European-style cafe is hosting its annual blowout block party on Saturday. Pay $10 to witness a French maid race and can-can dancers, taste from a beer garden and food truck pavilion, and dance the night away at a masquerade ball after. Guests also have a chance to win two tickets to Paris.
When: Saturday, July 12, 3 to 11.
1601 14th St., NW
Stop by this buzzing Parisian-style bistro for food and drink specials such as “chicken marengo,” a rumored favorite of Napoleon, and a St. Germaine-based cocktail served by the pitcher (perk: you can take the vessel home). Entertainment includes mimes, a beret giveaway, and French music.
When: Monday, July 14, regular dinner hours.
3401 K St., NW
The Bastille Day celebrations start at brunch with a special menu plus $22 bottomless Champagne cocktails, $9 specialty cocktails, and a sweet-and-savory crepe station.
When: Sunday, July 13, 11 to 3.
801 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
For the French chain’s fourth annual Baguette Relay Race, guests will split into six teams and speed-walk around the Navy Memorial, using baguettes as batons. Each member of the winning team gets a $25 Paul gift card—and kudos for burning off at least some of those carbs.
When: Monday, July 14, at 11 (kid race) and 11:30 (adult race).
2941 Fairview Park Dr., Falls Church
Celebrate Bastille Day in style with a seven-course tasting menu ($75; $60 wine pairing) featuring lobster bisque, pithivier (duck and foie gras baked in puff pastry), dark-chocolate eclairs, and more. Reservations required.
When: Sunday, July 13, 5 to 8.
1940 11th St., NW
At this U Street wine bar, all French vin by the glass is half off. Think Bordeaux, Beaujolais, Chablis, and more.
When: Monday, July 14, all day.