Our Guide To The Bastille Day Parties And Feasts In Philadelphia

Bars, restaurants and historic sites are celebrating Bastille Day with fun events spanning all weekend. (Photo by G. Widman for GPTMC)

Celebrate the storming of the historic Bastille this weekend that fueled the French Revolution with a number of blockbuster parties, bar crawls and dinners.

Practice your French accent and don a beret for a weekend full of French-centric happenings. Events range from a blockbuster street party in front of Eastern State Penitentiary to French beer specials to multi-course French feasts.

Read on for our Bastille Day weekend guide.

Eastern State Penitentiary’s Bastille Day: The epic Bastille Day celebration returns to Eastern State Penitentiary on Saturday, July 13 with its annual Fairmount block party. The Penitentiary has once again paired up with Philly’s experimental cabaret troupe, the Bearded Ladies for a hilariously unique Bastille Day performance and celebration. A mock-storming of the Bastille (the Penitentiary) occurs and revolutionaries take over, Marie Antoinette cries “Let them eat Tastykake!” and 3,000 Tastykakes are flung into the crowds from the prison’s towers. Yum. Guests are encouraged to dress up in their finest French revolution apparel and join in the fun along Fairmount Avenue.

When: Saturday, July 13, 5:30 p.m.
Where: Eastern State Penitentiary, 2020 Fairmount Avenue
Cost: Free

London Grill and Paris Wine Bar: Steps from the festivities at Eastern State Penitentiary, London Grill and Paris Wine Bar provide French Revolution party goers with events all weekend. The events begin on Thursday, July 11 with a French Fling bar crawl around Fairmount, and continue on Friday, July 12 with French trivia at the bar. On Saturday, July 13, enjoy a special french menu all day and a Bastille Day after party on the street featuring The West Philadelphia Orchestra. On Sunday, July 14, a special Bastille Day brunch will be available for diners. Also enjoy special French-centric drink specials all weekend.

When: July 11-14
Where: 2301-2303 Fairmount Avenue
Cost: Pay as you go

The Alliance Française de Philadelphie Presents Bastille Day at the Independence Seaport Museum: Party with the Alliance Française de Philadelphie on Sunday, July 14 at their annual Bastille Day celebration. This year’s celebration is located at the Independence Seaport Museum and boasts the same tasty food, drinks and live music that you’ve come to expect from a Bastille Day fest. Brûlée Catering and Chef Jean-Marie Lacroix will serve up a buffet dinner, and an open bar will be available for all guests. Fred Hall Orchestra will provide music for twilight dancing and a silent auction with some lofty prizes (including a Parisian vacation!) will also occur. The festivities begin at 6 p.m. Registration is required, click here to register.

When: Sunday, July 14, 6 p.m.
Where: Independence Seaport Museum, 211 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard
Cost: $130 and up

Bistrot La Minette: Indulge in a tasty four-course feast at Bistrot La Minette’s Bastille Day meal. From 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 14 the French eatery will serve brunch dishes to guests, and immediately following brunch, a $40 prix fixe menu will be available until 9:30 p.m.

When: Sunday, July 14, 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
Where: Bistrot la Minette, 623 S. 6th Street
Cost: $40

Parc: Two fun celebrations come together at Rittenhouse Square’s Parc this Sunday, July 14. Not only is it Bastille Day, but it’s Parc’s 5th birthday! Sip St. Germaine cocktails and dine on seasonal seafood like snow crabs, king crabs, lobsters, west coast oysters, mussels, scallops and littleneck clams. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., nosh to the tunes of an accordion player serenading guests with French selections.

When: Sunday, July 14
Where: Parc, 227 S. 18th Street
Cost: Pay as you go

Devil’s Den: Discounted French brews fill Bastille Day weekend at Devil’s Den. Receive $1 off every French beer at the South Philly spot, and indulge in French-inspired brunch fare over the course of the weekend. Menu highlights include homemade croissants, an apple tart and steak au poivre.

When: July 13-14
Where: Devil’s Den, 1148 S. 11th Street
Cost: Pay as you go

Bistro St. Tropez: For $38 per person, Bistro St. Tropez transports taste buds to France with a three-course french meal on July 13 and 14. Indulge in French favorites like escargot, paté, crème brûlée and much more. Bonus: The picture windows offer guests picturesque Schuylkill River views.

When: July 13, 5:30-10:30 p.m., July 14, 3-10 p.m.
Where: Bistro St. Tropez, 2400 Market Street, 4th floor
Cost: $38

Media’s 7th Annual Bastille Day Celebration: Downtown Media turns into an art, music, dance and history mecca this Saturday, July 13 for its annual Bastille Day Celebration. State Street closes to vehicular traffic, and the arts of all forms come alive at this evening festival. In addition to local performers and artists, more than 40 businesses join the festivities. At 6:30 p.m., watch a reenactment of the storming of the Bastille performed by the Hedgerow Theatre, and at 8:30 p.m. the headline performance, The VooDUDES take the stage at Picasso’s Restaurant.

When: Saturday, July 13, 6-10:30 p.m.
Where: State Street from Jackson to Orange Streets, Media
Cost: Free

International House presents The Janus Collection: The Earrings of Madame de…: International House Philadelphia brings back a Bastille Day celebration for 2013. Enjoy a screening of The Earrings of Madame de…, a classic French film that tells the story of an aristocratic woman and the financial and personal consequences she faces after selling a pair of earrings to pay off debt. To get in the French mood, the flick will be shown in its native language, with English subtitles. The film begins at 7 p.m. on July 13.

When: Saturday, July 13, 7 p.m.
Where: International House Philadelphia, 3701 Chestnut Street
Cost: $9 non-members, $7 students and seniors, Free for members

Caribou Cafe: This Bastille Day, Caribou Cafe is providing diners with $3 Kronenbourg 1664 drafts all day, live accordin music from 1 to 4 p.m. and Lillet wine party from 4 to 6 p.m. We can say “oui” to that.

When: Sunday, July 14
Where: Caribou Cafe, 1126 Walnut Street
Cost: Pay as you go


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