5 Ways to Celebrate Bastille Day Wherever You Are

July 14, 2017

If you're a Francophile at heart, as I am, you know that today is Bastille Day!  C’est quoi le jour de la Bastille?  What is Bastille Day?  Bastille Day is the common name Anglophones (English-speakers) use to describe this French National holiday.  In France, it's rather known as le 14 juillet (the 14th of July) or la Fête nationale (National celebration).  Le 14 juillet commemorates the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, which was the turning point of the French revolution, and Fête de la Fédération, commemorating the unity of the nation in July 14, 1790.

The official celebration in France includes a military march along the Champs-Élysées and a phenemonal feu d'artifice (fireworks) at the Eiffel Tower.  If you're not in Paris to watch the festivities, don't fret.  I've listed 5 ways to celebrate Bastille Day and French culture when you're not in Paris.

1.  Bastille Day Feast
Because a celebration without food is no celebration at all.  We usually venture out to French bistros to enjoy a delicious meal.  Below are some of my favorite French restaurants in LA.

Bouchon  closed

Church & State

Le Petit Paris


Petit Trois

Trois Mec


Figaro Bistrot


Garçons de Café

Crêpes Sans Frontières  closed

Café Beau Soleil

2.  Indulge in Pastries
A lunch or dinner is not complete without dessert...at least for me.  Like all things French, I'm very passionate about pastries.  I'm always on the lookout for the best of the best French pâtisseries in Paris and here in the US.  When I'm not in Paris and missing the desserts from "home", I get my fix at these locations in Southern California:


Le Mervetty

Bo Nuage

Sweet Nuns



Bottega Louie

Napoleon's Macarons


Crêpes Sans Frontières  closed

Bouchon  closed

3.  Watch French films
Catching a firework show on le 14 juillet is hard to come by when you're not in Paris.  So why not celebrate French culture by watching French films.  There's a great list of them on Netflix that is worth checking out.

4.  Wine, cheese and charcuterie tasting
What better way to celebrate le 14 juillet and French culture than with wine, cheese and charcuterie tasting!  You can enjoy this at specialty establishments or at home.  Here are a few of my recommendations:

Wine and cheese bars
Garçons de Café

Little Next Door

Shop and enjoy at home
Cheese Cave

Urban Radish

The Butchery

5.  Festivals
As you can see, there is a plethora of ways to celebrate.  However, festivals are a great way to meet other Francophiles and French expats alike.  Here are some events in LA where you can join Francophiles and French expats alike:

Bastille Day Soirée
This soirée hosted by French Tuesday in LA is an evening celebration.  Watch a Can-Can performance and sip on some champagne!

Pétanque tournament
Do you know how to play this traditional French game?  You can either join in as a competitor at the Los Angeles Pétanque Club Bastille Day Tournament or just simply watch while enjoying coffee and pastries.

French Festival
The French Festival in Santa Barbara is an annual celebration held in the weekends of Bastille Day.  Enjoy live performances, French music and celebrate French culture with food and wine.  The admission is FREE!!

Tell me how you celebrate le 14 juillet.  Have any suggestions?  Comment below.

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