How to Celebrate Bastille Day in San Francisco

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A spread of French eats at Gaspar
A spread of French eats at Gaspar

Foie gras, Chanel, Champagne, Yves Saint Laurent, baguettes—the list of wonderful items that France has shared with the world is plentiful. Anyone who has spent time in Paris, Nice, or Burgundy can’t deny the fact that when it comes to living the good life, the French know how to do it. That’s why, come July 14 we like to celebrate Bastille Day. This year, it happens to fall on a Friday, so it’s the perfect excuse to throw on a red, white, and blue dress and have a French-inspired evening out. Here are six ways to celebrate Bastille Day in San Francisco.

Upstairs at Gaspar

All of Franc LeClerck’s French restaurants in downtown San Francisco—Gaspar, Gitane, and Cafe Claude—are hosting La Fete de la Bastille, a two-day event where hand-crafted cocktails are $7.89. For authentic French cuisine, dine at Gaspar or Cafe Claude and for food inspired by the Basque region that borders France and Spain, grab a spot at Gitane’s super sexy bar.

Wine and charcuterie at Amelie
Wine and charcuterie at Amelie

At Amelie, our favorite wine bar in San Francisco, the Bastille party starts at 6 p.m. Wine lovers are encouraged to “dress a la francaise” for the event which will feature music, wine, and French food. The awesome thing about Amelie is that many of the employees are natives to France, so if you want to practice speaking the language, this is the place to do it. Also: the Polk Street hang out is a hot spot for foreigners.

RN74's bone marrow
RN74’s bone marrow

At RN74, Michael Mina’s soon-to-be-closed French wine bar in the Millennium Tower, the team is hosting an all you can eat and drink Bastille Day celebration from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The fete takes place in RN74’s event space, behind the square-shaped bar, which will be decked out in French-themed decor. There will be a silent auction with some of the restaurants prestigious cellar wines, cocktails, live entertainment, Chartreuse slushies, and French bites.

Cafe de la Presse
Cafe de la Presse

If you simply want to enjoy a delicious French meal in a classic French atmosphere, Gamine and Cafe de la Presse are excellent options and two of our favorite French eateries. (Want French pastries? Go to the best bakery, Le Marais!) Gamine is a tiny bistro on Union Street that giant bowls of steaming mussels with crisp addictive fries. Other classics on the menu include French onion soup, escargots, baked cambozola with roasted garlic, beef tartare, and lamb stew. Cafe de la Presse is a large bustling downtown brasserie that makes superb steak frites and croque madam. Order an Aperol spritz and toast to la revolution!

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