This Sunday, July 14 is la fête nationale (French national day) commemorating the storming of the Bastille fortress 229 years ago and the beginning of the French Revolution. Celebrate the occasion with an abundance of Champagne, crepes, an oyster shucking contest, and more at festivities across the city. Several events span the entire weekend, if not the week.
La Maison Française at the French Embassy
4101 Reservoir Rd., NW
Kick off the festivities early on Friday with a gastronomic Tour de France party and feast at the French Embassy. Local restaurants like Mirabelle, 2941, and Convivial gather to provide tastes while an open bar provides the drinks. There’s also live jazz, a raffle, and more to keep the party going. Tickets are $55 to $175.
1337 11th St. NW
It’s only natural that Frenchy’s Bastille Day party lasts all weekend long. Friday through Sunday, the restaurant will serve $20 bottles of rosé and 25% off on all bottles of French wine. On Bastille Day itself, the restaurant hosts an all-night happy hour on their sidewalk terrace featuring food specials such as brioche grilled cheese.
1015 Seventh St. NW
Oyster lovers, this one’s for you. The finer-dining restaurant is honoring Bastille Day with a speciality brunch from 11 AM to 1 PM beginning with small plates and cocktails and ending with stations, including an oyster shucking contest between chef Eric Ziebold and wife/business partner Celia Laurent. If you stick around into the evening, the restaurant is hosting a celebration at their bar with a selection of French wines.
1601 14th St., NW
Two days of festivities kick off on Saturday with Bastille Noir, a rowdy celebration with drag burlesque performances and DJs from 9:30 PM to 2 AM. Then on Sunday, the family-friendly Le Grand Fête commences with Parisian specials, an ice cream cart, face painting, music, and more from 11:30 AM to 5:30 PM. Both events are open to the public.
1813 Columbia Road, NW
Head to Mintwood Place’s outdoor patio on Saturday afternoon for a Bastille celebration to remember. Chef Matthew Cockrell will lead a crepe demonstration and there will be plenty of French hors d’ouvres such as cod croquettes and and gruyere gougeres to go around. Drinks include flights of red, white, and blue-themed French wines. Tickets are $35 for adults and $17 for kids.
Dio Wine Bar
904 H St., NE
Head to this H Street bar for gougeres, cheese, and French natural wines on Sunday from 3 to 9 PM. Dressing the French part is encouraged. Admission is free but you can register here.
806 15th St. NW
Grab your best French costumes and your poodle because Opaline is honoring Bastille day with a canine-friendly picnic. Guests can enjoy specials on Champagne, tri-colored snow cones, musical entertainment, and prizes awarded for the best French attire.
606 N. Fayette St., Alexandria
Celebrate Bastille Day at the French brasserie of the same name all week long. Chefs Christophe and Michelle Poteaux will be offering a three-course $35 prix fixe dinner of French classics, including steamed mussels with frites, ratatouille, and Nutella crepes.
1600 King St., Alexandria
All weekend long, this Old Town brasserie will transform their outdoor courtyard into a venue for French song and dance with back-to-back singalong screenings of Moulin Rogue. As you watch (or sing as loud as your heart desires, no one’s judging), chef Sebastien Rondier will serve a variety of French snacks including macarons and smoked salmon crepes.