July 11, 2022
Bastille Day is the annual celebration of the start of the French Revolution in 1789. Though most commonly celebrated in France, countries throughout the world join in the festivities each year on July 14 with French food, parties, champagne, and large festivals.
More than 20 cities in the United States recognize the holiday each year, including Philadelphia, which has a wide selection of French restaurants and bistros.
Restaurants in the city are commemorating the holiday this year with specials on food and champagne, block parties featuring family-friendly activities, and a DJ set with a French-born entertainer. Here is a rundown of events happening this Bastille Day and over the weekend.
Parc is one of Philadelphia's most popular restaurants. The Parisian-style bistro sits just across the street from Rittenhouse Square, and celebrates Bastille Day with food and drink specials, family activities, and live music each year.
This year, head over to Parc all day on Thursday from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. for specials including ice cream and specialty spritzes.
Location: 227 S. 18th St., Philadelphia, PA 19103
Forsythia, the Old City contemporary French bar and restaurant is used to celebrating French culture, particularly as part of its ongoing French AF series. This Bastille Day, check out a commemorative happy hour from July 13-15. Shawn Miller, Forsythia's beverage director, is serving up "A Drama In Paris," made with vodka, absinthe, Cappelletti, smoked simple syrup and lemon.
Chef Christopher Kearse is creating two holiday dishes to celebrate: the "escargot a la provencal" made with tomato and chartreuse-almond butter, pearl onion, and bergamot crouton for $12, and the "seared foie gras" with pickled cherries, marcona almonds and truffle for $25.
Location: 233 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19105
Old City's French bistro is celebrating Bastille Day on Thursday evening with a special dinner featuring French tapas, champagne-based cocktails, French music, and a burlesque performance from Lelu Lenore from 5 to 8 p.m.
Location: 52 S. 2nd St., Philadelphia, PA 19106
Chef Lee Styer of The Dutch is the former owner of Fond, which closed its doors in 2021 after 12 years serving up French cuisine in Philadelphia. The Dutch is holding a Bastille Day dinner, available on Thursday for two seatings at 7 and 7:30 p.m.
Each dinner is $150 per person, and the five course meal includes tuna crudo, sweetbread pate, striped bass bouillabaisse, pork belly, or beef tenderloin, and a vanilla custard eclair. Each food offering is paired with a glass of wine. Reservations can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with name, party size, and desired time.
Location: 1537 S. 11th St., Philadelphia, PA 19147
After a two-year pandemic delay, The Good King Tavern in Bella Vista is bringing back its Bastille Day celebration from 12 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 16. The party features a cornhole tournament, face painting, and live music.
There will be house wines, canned cocktails, and a French street food menu available both indoors and outdoors. A smaller, indoors-only menu includes steak frites, mussels and charcuterie selections. The celebratory cocktail of the day is the "Maseille, Afternoon" made with Ricard (pastis), pistachio orgeat, lime, and sparkling wine. It is canned for easy outdoor drinking.
A raffle giveaway is also being held, with proceeds going to benefit the Abortion Liberation Fund of PA.
Location: 614 S. 7th St., Philadelphia, PA 19147
Alliance Française is a nonprofit dedicated to helping people learn how to speak French and deepen their knowledge of French culture. Though they are headquartered on Walnut Street, the organization is celebrating Bastille Day on Thursday and Saturday with a variety of cultural events.
At 11 a.m. on Thursday, Alliance Française will be joined by city officials at City Hall for a flag ceremony. Later that day, at 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., it's hosting a French dinner at Cafe Gabi at 339 N. Broad St.
On Saturday, July 16, join Alliance Française for a BYOB outdoor picnic at Clark Park from 2 to 5 p.m. Check out accordion players, listen to live music, play games, and spend some time in the sun on Saturday afternoon.
On both days, a virtual auction and raffle is being held by the organization, sponsored by Delta Airlines. Two Delta airlines round-trip tickets to Europe — valued at more than $5,000 — will be given away on Saturday. Each raffle ticket is $5, or you can buy five for $20.
You can register for the auction online.
Location: Various locations including City Hall, Clark Park, and Cafe Gabi
Stratus, the rooftop bar situated on the 11th floor of the Kimpton Hotel Monaco in Old City, is kicking off its summer lineup with "Vino & Vinyl" on Thursday. French native DJ Romain is performing, and guests will be joined by roller skating dancers from 8 to 11 p.m.
Imbibers can check out Stratus' new cocktail menu or opt for half off of select bottles of wine. General admission is $20 per person.
Location: 433 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19106