You don’t need to know French for these Bastille Day celebrations, just grab a beret, spruce up the mustache and no one will know the difference. Celebrate the storming of the Bastille and the beginning of the French Revolution with a week of French tastes and events in the Chicagoland area.
For a complete list of events happening in the Chicagoland area, visit Pioneer Local’s event calendar.
Bastille Day Events
Bastille Day 5K/8K Run and Block Party, 7:15 p.m. July 10
Laissez les bons temps rouler, or let the good times roll in Lincoln Park this weekend. Runners take to the streets donning French apparel for the 5K and 8K run and walk (smoke breaks not included). The races end at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum with a Bastille Day block party. Proceeds benefit Mercy Home for Boys & Girls, a Chicagoland children’s charity. Intersection of Cannon drive and Fullerton avenue, Lincoln Park, Chicago.
Claudia Hommel in Concert, noon July 11
Singer Claudia Hommel and accordionist Patricia Spaeth serenade you with the sounds of France, but don’t stop there, the Bastille Day preview wouldn’t be complete without brie and wine to enjoy through the afternoon. The luncheon is $18 for members and $23 for nonmembers. Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Dickinson Hall, 100 East Old Mill Road, Lake Forest.
Jazz on the Patio, 6:30 p.m. July 11
Head out to the patio to enjoy the soothing sounds of jazz performed by a local band. The regular dinner menu will be available. Suzette’s Creperie, 211 W. Front St., Wheaton.
Being a Chef: Gulf Coast Bouillabaisse, 10 a.m. July 12
Learn how to cook like a Frenchman with French cooking teacher Madelaine Bullwinkel. The group learns how to prepare soup with fish fumet, red pepper rouille and toasted croutons. The class is $70 for members, $80 for nonmembers, plus a $15 material fee. Alliance Française de Chicago, 810 N. Dearborn St., Chicago.
Bastille Day Cooking Demonstration and Open House, 10:30 a.m. July 12
Head to the cooking school to watch up-and-coming chefs prepare French-culinary dishes. But don’t just watch, learn how to add a French twist to any bland dish. Tours of the school will also be available. Registration is limited. Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, 361 W. Chestnut St., Chicago.
Bastille Day at the French Market, 11 a.m. July 12
Celebrate La Fête Nationale or the French National Day with French flavors from a variety of vendors. The market offers shoppers crepes, cheese plates, bread, wine, macaroons and more. Make sure to take a break from all of the shopping to enjoy a performance by jazz vocalist Linda Solotaire. Chicago French Market, 131 N. Clinton St., Chicago.
Gypsy Jazz Night, 4 p.m. July 12
Enjoy a night of live jazz music in celebration of the upcoming Bastille Day. The regular dinner menu is available as well as a special appetizer menu. Suzette’s Creperie, 211 W. Front St., Wheaton.
Bastille Day Potluck Picnic, 11 a.m. July 13
The best thing about a potluck is that you can cook something terrible and still enjoy a delicious meal. So try to whip up a French dish to share and remember to keep your voice low when you lie to people about which dish is yours. The celebration includes games for the whole family. Blackwell Forest Preserve, Illinois Rte 56, Warrenville.
Bastille Pool Party, 2 p.m. July 14
Dive into the holiday with a French-themed pool party. Stick on a mustache and be French for a day by practicing your mime skills and enjoying a cheese tasting, but all mimes must wait 30 minutes after eating for pool games and prizes. GH2O Aquatic Center, 240 Civic Center Plaza, Glendale Heights.
Grand French Picnic, 4 p.m. July 14
Grab a picnic blanket and celebrate Bastille Day with a French buffet outside. Suzette’s Creperie, 211 W. Front St., Wheaton.
Bastille Day Festival, 5 p.m. July 14
The highlight of the French holiday in Chicago is held right here in Daley Plaza. The party begins with a concert by the French group HK & Les Saltimbanks followed by a performance by the French singer Naila. Make sure not to miss the La Course de Garçons de Café, where servers race through a course balancing a tray of Grand Cru. Then let the French games continue with a game of pétanque, the coolest French sport ever. If that’s not enough French for one day, the festival also includes raffles, a photo booth and more. Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington St., Chicago.
Claudia Hommel in Concert, 6:30 p.m. July 14
Kick up your heels and unwind with a performance by singer Claudia Hommel and accordionist Patricia Spaeth featuring the sounds of France. No cover charge. Cyrano’s Farm Kitchen, 546 N. Wells St., Chicago.
French Classics Cooking Class, 10 a.m. July 19
Skip the fancy French meal and learn how to whip up unpronounceable French dishes on your own at this delectable cooking class. Join Mon Ami Gabi executive chef Bruse Williams to learn how to make confit tomato and peppers, steak tartare, peach melba and so much more. Top off the mouth-watering demonstrations with perfectly paired French wines. The class is $55 per person. Reservations required. Mon Ami Gabi, 260 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook.
Bastille Day Eats
Bon appetit! Explore the tastes of France with one of these Bastille Day dining specials that cover everything from French cocktails to macaroons in the Chicagoland area.
Pinecone Cottage Tea House and Catering | 1029 Burlington Ave., Downers Grove
If you thought that crepes could only come with Nutella inside, you are in for a surprise at this crepe-buffet dinner. The holiday menu also includes French-style chicken and mushrooms, seafood mornay and, of course, crepe desserts. The BYOB dinner begins at 5:30 p.m. July 11 and is priced at $39.50 per person.
Heaven on Seven | 224 S. Main St., Naperville | @Ho7Naperville
The restaurant adds a twist to the holiday with French-Cajun inspired courses paired with wines from Lynfred Winery of Roselle and deVine Cellars. Reservations are required. The holiday menu begins at 7 p.m. and is priced at $45 for dinner and $60 for dinner with wine.
— Brianna Ballschmidt (@BriannaKayB) March 11, 2014
Bistrot Zinc | 1311 N. State St., Chicago | @BistrotZincChi
“Let them eat cake.” The authentic French restaurant takes the holiday to a new level with Marie Antoinette greeting guests at the door with a piece of cake. Then take a seat and eat like French kings as chef Tim Kirker prepares dishes such as duck liver pate, sautéed calamari, coq au vin, almond butter cake and more. The holiday menu is from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. is priced at $32.95 per person.
Bastille Day is next Monday, July 14. Join us as we celebrate with a pre fixe menu and some surprises throughout… http://t.co/lt1BlBFskI
— Bistrot Zinc (@BistrotZincChi) July 7, 2014
Mon Ami Gabi | 260 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook | @MonAmiGabiOB
Mademoiselles and monsieurs can dine like Parisians for an evening at the “Picnic in Paris” dinner. Executive chef Bruce Williams whips up an interactive dining experience featuring seasonal French courses paired with French wines. Reservations are required. The family-style course begins at 6 p.m. July 15 and is priced at $75 per person.
Join us for a picnic in Paris…no passport required! http://t.co/mS8wx81f9s
— Mon Ami Gabi (@MonAmiGabiOB) July 1, 2014
Taste of Paris | 162 N. Seymour Ave., Mundelein
The French bakery and restaurant is offering a celebratory menu all day that includes escargot (yes, snails!), trout almondine, fillet rossini, cherry clafoutis and other delicious options. Reservations are available. The holiday menu is available July 10 and is priced at $30 per person.
Osteria Langhe | 2824 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago | @OsteriaLanghe
Take the French holiday for a spin by exploring the French influences on Piemonte, Italy. The Italian restaurant offers a three-course prix-fixe menu prepared by guest chef Eric Aubriot. The Bastille Day menu is available all day and is priced at $45 per person with French wines and cocktails available for purchase by the glass and bottle. Reservations are available.
Bistronomic | 840 N. Wabash, Chicago | @bistronomicfood
In honor of the holiday, the modern French restaurant offers a chef-inspired Bastille Day menu, or choose to enjoy the French export that we Americans are most thankful for: French wine. The Bastille day menu is priced at $40 with a bottle of French wine for $17.89. All of the Bastille Day specials are available July 12-14.
— Christine S (@cristynes) June 28, 2014
D & J Bistro | 466 S. Rand Road, Lake Zurich
Grab your beret and stick-on mustache for a specialRevolutionary dinner and French costume contest, extra points for accents.
Brasserie by LM | 800 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago | @BrasseriebyLM
The South Loop brasserie will feature $5 French cocktails, aperitifs and French treats to top off the mouth-watering night. The Bastille Day specials are available July 14.
Troquet River North | 111 W. Huron St., Chicago | @TroquetRivNorth
As Americans, we find a way to fit food and drinks into any holiday. So celebrate this holiday with classic French 75 cocktails for $5, a croque monsieur for $8 and a croque madame for $10. The specials are available July 14.
Cyrano’s Farm Kitchen | 546 N. Wells St., Chicago
Celebrate Bastille Day with a special French-inspired menu paired with French wines and topped off with live entertainment. The holiday menu is available July 14.
Suzette’s Creperie | 211 W. Front St., Wheaton
New Orleans knows how to do brunch and they have the French to thank for that. Celebrate the benefits of French control with delicious food accompanied by jazz music at the New Orleans style jazz brunch. The Bastille Day brunch begins at 10 a.m. July 13.
— K8 (@Kate_Brazier) August 3, 2013
Know of a Bastille Day event not listed? Add it here.