The best of French in Chicago: Celebrate Bastille Day in the Windy City

Bastille Day commemorates the storming of the Bastille – and the start of the French Revolution – on July 14, 1789. Today, people in France and around the world mark the day with festivals, parades and more.

In Chicago, there are many ways to celebrate the French national holiday. It’s worth planning ahead to make sure you don’t miss a special French meal, festival or run – all designed to toast the blue, white and red.

Here are a few ways to celebrate Bastille Day in Chicago this year…

French treats at ‘The Summer of Sweet Independence’

Thursday 4 July – Sunday 14 July

For the Fourth of July and Bastille Day, Toni Patisserie and Cafe will celebrate ‘The Summer of Sweet Independence’. Sweet offerings include macarons in red, white and blue. Enjoy blueberry and cherry gelée striped with vanilla bean panna cotta and raspberry and blueberry clafoutis tart dusted with powered sugar. A selection of patriotic-colored savory items are also available.

Toni Patisserie & Cafe
65 E. Washington St.

French walk to freedom – 5K & 8k walk & block party

Thursday 11 July

Why not celebrate Bastille Day with a run through Chicago’s beautiful Lincoln Park? The Bastille Day 5K & 8K kicks off at 7.15pm (5K) and 7.30pm (8K), followed by a post-race party outside the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.

Lincoln Park
Cannon Dr. & Fullerton Ave.

Bastille dinner à la française

Friday 12 July – Sunday 14 July

Le Bouchon is offering a special $25 prix fixe menu, which includes escargot or salad Lyonnaisesteak frites or trout Grenobloise, and mouse au chocolat or creme caramel, plus $1 Kronenbourg lager.

Le Bouchon
1958 N. Damen Ave.

Celebrate French cuisine at Le Cordon Bleu

Saturday 13 July

Starting at 10:30am, Le Cordon Bleu in Chicago commemorates Bastille Day with French cooking demonstrations. The free event offers tips for budding chefs and provides a closer look at the LCB kitchens. Space is limited so be sure to RSVP in advance.

Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts
361 W. Chestnut St.

Bastille fun at the Chicago French Market

Saturday 13 July

The Chicago French Market will celebrate with an afternoon of events from 11:30am – 3:00pm. See a cooking demonstration by Le Bouchon Head Chef Jean Claude Poilevey and his son, Sous Chef Oliver Poilevey, plus a performance by Sarah Young Trio and a free bubbly tasting.

Chicago French Market
131 N. Clinton St.

France in the heart of Chicago

Saturday 13 July

Aimee Thompson, 06.30.13

This year Daley Plaza will play host to the second annual Bastille Day 2013. It is hosted by the Consulate General of France in Chicago, French American Chamber of Commerce – Chicago, and other French, French-American and Francophone Associations.

The free event runs from 4–10pm, and offers a wide range of music and entertainment for all ages. And, of course, plenty of French food options to sample and enjoy. Try crêpes from Crêpes Paname, macarons from Sugar Fixé Patisserie, and an assortment of crêpes, croissants and sandwiches from La Boulangerie – to name a few. And, enjoy a selection of beer from French Craft Brewers.

Daley Plaza
50 W. Washington St.

The Tour de France – Chicago style!

Sunday July 14

The Bastille Day festivities at Webster Wine bar get off to an early start from 9-1pm with ‘Tour d’Henriot’. The annual event features teams from local restaurants and wine retailers vying for a trophy and a jeroboam of Champagne Henriot Brut Souverain. Be sure to catch the teams’ ‘spirited’ costumes and celebrate at the post-ride fête.

Then, celebrate all things French from 1-8pm, with French wines, Champagne Henriot and a Provençal signature cocktail. Try French charcuterie, cheese, baguette sandwiches, quiche, salads and pastries. The festivities even include French wine tasting classes and a free pétanque tournament.

Webster’s Wine Bar
1480 W. Webster Ave.

How do you plan to celebrate Bastille Day? Share with us in the comments below!

Image Credits:
1. Courtesy of Hannah Duke.
2. Toni Patisserie & Cafe, Chicago.
3. Le Bouchon, via Yelp.
4. Courtesy of the Chicago French Market.
5. Courtesy of Aimee Thompson.
6. Courtesy of Bastille Day Chicago 2013.
7. Webster’s Wine Bar, via Yelp.

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Aimee Thompson

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