Bastille Day Guide: 10 Ways to Celebrate the 14th in Chicago

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Photograph by Julio Wolf

Prepare to discover the richness of French culture, cuisine, and spirit in the city of Chicago! Bastille Day, Le Quatorze Juillet, is the French National Holiday, so a perfect occasion to witness the essence of France. Chicago offers an array of inspiring events and festivities to mark this historic day. From wine tastings and French delicacies to live music and art, the Windy City is set to celebrate Bastille Day with joie de vivre. Join us as we explore the top places to go and celebrate, where you can indulge in French-inspired experiences that will transport you to the streets of Paris and beyond. Let the festivities begin!

Alliance Française: Day Time

Celebrate Bastille Day at the Alliance with a variety of activities for the whole family! Children can enjoy face painting, arts and crafts, and more, while adults can savor rosé accompanied by live accordion music. Patrons will witness the special moment of the French national anthem, La Marseillaise, sung by Sam Dubin. Be part of the fun on Saturday, July 15th, from 3pm to 5pm. Admission is $25 for members, $30 for non-members, $10 for ages 6-12, and free for ages 5 and under!

Alliance Française: Night Time

Continue the Bastille Day celebration into the night with a lineup of entertainment, delicious food, and more things to do! DJ Mwelwa Musambacine will keep you grooving to the beats of trendy French artists and music. Unwind on the dance floor before joining a language session to freshen up on your French words and phrases. Sip on some specialty cocktails, savor crêpes, capture fun memories in the photo booth, and participate in the lively waiters race! The nighttime event takes place on Saturday, July 15th, from 7pm to 10pm. Admission is $30 for members and $35 for non-members!

Bastille Day Picnic Festivities

Join the Committee of French Societies in the Midwest for an incredible celebration honoring Bastille Day at Navy Pier, Polk Bros Park, Lake Stage area on Friday, July 14th, from 5:30pm to 9:30pm. Enjoy family-friendly entertainment, including Pétanque, kids’ activities, and the vibrant music of the Polyphonia Orchestra from Reunion Island. Try affordable wines, champagne, and treats from La Boulangerie & Co. as you set up your picnic in the park. This is a joyful event for the whole family to experience the rich culture and history of France, so don’t miss out!

Bastille Day French Market

Spend Bastille Day at the Bastille Day French Market, located in the Lincoln Common Plaza in Lincoln Park on Thursday, July 13th, from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. Enjoy live music by La Tosca Chicago, try French food and wine from local vendors, and explore a variety of offerings such as macarons, croissants, crepes, and imported French treats. Discover Parisian prints, designer silk scarves, fresh flowers, and more. Don’t skip out on the fun activities like face painting, caricature artists, and giveaways. It’s a festive event for all to enjoy, so bring your family!

Chicago French Market

Experience the lively spirit of Bastille Day at the Chicago French Market, a year-round culinary destination. Celebrate the French national holiday by exploring the diverse offerings of over 30 local vendors, including French patissier Vanille where you will be able to find some Bastille Day specials. Indulge in the Parisian ambiance of the in-house seating area and capture photographs against the backdrop of an original art mural. Although the French Market is a CP staple any day, Bastille Day makes their offerings seem even better!

Good Grapes

Join Good Grapes as they celebrate Bastille Day! Enjoy drink specials throughout the day and live music from 7pm to 9pm. Be one of the first 10 people to spend $25 and receive a complimentary 1-pound bag of French Roast coffee beans from Pete’s Coffee! In the meantime, you can browse French cookbooks and novels at The Book Stall while sipping on pink bubbles. All specials are valid on Thursday, July 14th, for 21+ individuals. Let’s take pride in local businesses and the French Revolution simultaneously!

Testaccio & Soif

Experience a delightful Bastille Day Wine Tasting event at Soif and Testaccio. Celebrate the occasion by indulging in a variety of over 40 exquisite French wines available for tasting on the Testaccio Patio and in the underground French wine lounge, Soif. Purchase your ticket here for access to the tasting, where you can also savor typical French bites. Arrive at 5pm to explore and order from our impressive selection of wines until 8pm. Let your taste buds revel in the flavors of French wine as you celebrate Bastille Day in the only true way!

La Terrace

Join in on a spectacular Bastille Day celebration at La Terrace! Witness the live-action street artist, RAWOOH, as he creates a masterpiece on Sofitel Sense of Summer. Cool off with a refreshing Chandon Garden Spritz cocktail and customize your garnish. Attempt some French-inspired coastal eats, including Oysters on the Rocks and Tuna Niçoise Salad, as well as delectable treats like Tarte Tropézienne. Don’t miss the Chef attended stations, where you can savor a Truffle Brie Grilled Cheese or Mediterranean Bouillabaisse. This event is simply bathed in French culture, and takes place on Friday, July 14th, 2023, from 5:30pm to 8:30pm!

LeTour

Head to Evanston and be a part of LeTour’s first annual Bastille Day celebrations! Taking place on Friday, July 14th from 5pm to 9pm and Saturday, July 15th from 12pm to 5pm, the party promises French food, drinks, live music, and live art. Spoil yourself with made-to-order crepes, Bouillabaisse, raclette, mini creme brûlées, tartines, and mini baguette sandwiches. Sip on French 75s, French Martinis, frosé, rosé, and tap beer! Live French music will ensue as captivating live painting takes over. Inspired by trips to Paris, LeTour celebrates Bastille Day with their favorite French items. Secure your tickets here to avoid missing out!

Venteux 

Experience a patriotic celebration at Venteux, the glamorous French brasserie at the Pendry Hotel in the iconic Carbide & Carbon building. In honor of National Bastille Day on Friday, July 14th, the establishment wishes to transport you to the French countryside with their special $25 ‘Let Them Eat Cake Combo,’ from 4pm to 10pm. The specialty will feature a delectable selection of France’s finest pastries expertly paired with sparkling champagne. Toast to the spirit of liberty with their exclusive Heads Will Roll cocktail, a tantalizing blend of Gunpowder Gin, Lillet Blanc, zesty lemon, and delicate elderflower!

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