Celebrate Bastille Day in Austin

Parlez-vous français?

With the Fourth of July behind us, it’s time for the Fourth of July of France. Or the 14th of July, to be precise. That’s right, folks, it’s Bastille Day – a celebration of the world’s most famous jailbreak, your yearly chance to eat some snails, listen to Edith Piaf and, I don’t know, blow up a baguette or whatever the French equivalent of fireworks is.

With all of the exciting Bastille Day events around town, you won’t even need a passport to get into the holiday spirit, a full day of Frenchified events that will take you all over town.

Do the French know how to party or what?

Le Politique

The folks over at the popular brasserie/coffee shop Le Politique are going all out, with a full day of 14th of July programming. There will be red, white, and blue macarons, savory and sweet crepe stations, and dinner specials including salmon rillettes and pommes dauphine, potato pâte à choux napped in chives and sauce Mornay. If you’re sticking to our itinerary, you’ll come early for the main event of the day, a Champagne waiter’s race where participants will compete to complete the quickest lap of Second Street with the minimal amount of spillage. The winner gets a magnum of Taittinger and bragging rights, and the rest of us get half-off on bubbly all day.


You’ll need something a little stronger after all that Champagne, so once the races have been run, head over to Péché where, starting at 5pm, they’ll be serving up $5 absinthe cocktails to get you into the jailbreaking spirit. Try a French 75, a supremely refreshing mixture of lemon juice, gin, sugar, and Champagne, or get down to business with a glass of Pernod absinthe.

Parker Jazz Club

After drinks, why not a little live music? From 8-11pm, jazz singer Julie Slim and her band RendezVous will transport you to Paris, or at least, to the particularly cool Parker Jazz Club, with a set of standards including tunes by chanteuse Edith Piaf. Sip themed cocktails, eat some Bastille Day snacks, and let the music take you away.

Justine’s Brasserie

You’re probably ready for a late-night dinner by now. Anything to soak up all that absinthe! Justine’s is our personal favorite source for all things French in the heart of Texas, and while they don’t appear to be doing anything different from their usual brand of late-night debauchery, record spinning, and oyster eating, it’s without a doubt the best place in town to slurp down a few escargot in the wee hours of the morning as you nervously wait for the France vs. Croatia World Cup final to begin at 10am.

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We're not sure if you knew this, but the World Cup is kind of a big deal. See all our coverage of the planet-wide celebration of fútbol excellence at austinchronicle.com/worldcup.

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