Food  |  Things to Do

Where to Celebrate Bastille Day 2018 Around DC

The best parties, prix-fixe menus, Champagne toasts, and more.
Le Diplomate goes all-out for Bastille Day with day and nighttime celebrations. Photograph courtesy of Le Diplomate

With France in the final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the Washington region’s 12,000-odd French expats have another reason to sing La Marseillaise on Bastille Day (Saturday, July 14th). Commemorate the storming of the Bastille with Alsace wine, Champagne tastings, tricolor snow cones, escargots, and much more. Note that some of these events may span a few days and aren’t limited to solely Saturday.

Brabo
1600 King St., Alexandria
The Moulin Rouge comes to Northern Virginia for an afternoon of fun. This French and Belgian-inspired restaurant will convert its outdoor courtyard into an open-air theater, screening Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 hit at 3 PM, 5 PM, and 7 PM. Chef Sebastien Rondier will serve up a variety of Parisian snacks for $5, including black truffle or cinnamon sugar popcorn or bacon and onion Alsatian tarts. Top it off with a Champagne tasting and specialty Champagne cocktails.

Le Diplomate
1604 14th St., NW
Stephen Starr’s ever-popular French brasserie features a two part Bastille Day celebration. From 11:30 am to 5:30 PM on Saturday, Le Dip will celebrate with live accordion music, face painting, and a balloon artist for a family-friendly fete, as well as all-day cafe service. Madness and debauchery will descend on the corner of 14th and Q at 9:30 PM for “Bastille Noir,” an evening of drag queen performances, partying, and handmade caricatures. The rowdy, Champagne-fueled spectacle is set to rage until 2 AM.

Central Michel Richard
1001 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Downtown’s classic French bistro will offer a three-course Bastille Day dinner menu on Friday and Saturday for $50, with an optional $26 wine pairing. The prixe-fixe lineup includes gougères (cheese puffs) for the table, ahi tuna carpaccio nicoise as an appetizer, duck breast l’orange with spring vegetables for the main course, and a wheel-shaped pastry with ice cream for dessert. Each course can be paired with a different French wine, and will be served until close.

Bastille
606 N Fayette St., Alexandria
Chef Michelle and Christophe Poteaux, a Parisian native, have declared a seven-day French Restaurant Week at Alexandria’s Bastille. The bistro is serving a three-course $25 prix fixe lunch and a $35 dinner to celebrate liberté, égalité and fraternité until July 15. Choose from starters like escargots and salmon rillettes, or entrees like mussels with fries. 

Opaline
806 15th St., NW
Take a break from the heat and cool off with a tricolor snow cone at this new French brasserie. From 2 to 4 PM on Saturday, Opaline will offer snow cones on its patio in flavors like blueberry, coconut, and raspberry.Enjoy live music, French picnic fare, special pricing on Champagne and rosé, and a caricaturist. Prizes will be awarded for best French attire and best parasol.

The Embassy of France
4101 Reservoir Rd., NW
While only French citizens are invited to the embassy’s annual party, the Comité Tricolore’s Bastille Day celebration on Friday will showcase the Alsace region of France, and you don’t need to be French to join in. Local chefs from 2941, B Too, Convivial, Plume, and more will prepare Alsatian specialties like Belgian flammenkueche waffle with smoked sour cream or chicken schnitzel and Alsatian potato salad while you sip on Alsace wine or Champagne. Guests can also take in in live gypsy jazz and French tunes from the Hot Club of Baltimore. Tickets start at $115 and $175 will grant you access to the VIP reception at 6:30 pm. Register online and make sure to wear red and white.

Bistrot du Coin
1738 Connecticut Ave., NW
Dine on escargots, French onion soup, boeuf bourguignon, and foie gras at Dupont Circle’s tradional French bistro. Bistrot du Coin will celebrate into the night with special dinner service and a DJ after 11 PM. Stay tuned for a yet-to-be-announced special menu, and stay until close to experience the “French, fun, and friendly” atmosphere Bistrot du Coin promises to deliver.

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Christian Paz
Editorial Fellow