When it comes to national celebrations, let's admit the facts: The French have us beat. The Fourth of July celebrates the signing of some papers that transferred control of America from aristocrats across the ocean to aristocrats in Virginia. Bastille Day? A bunch of revolutionaries stormed a castle to free political prisoners and arms themselves with gunpowder and ammunition. Sorry, America. No contest. So here's how you can celebrate liberté, égalité, and—what was the last one?—vin rouge? tonight in the Bay Area.
What: Belden Place Alley Party
Where: Belden Place, San Francisco
When: Tonight starting at 5 pm.
Why: DJs and drink specials at the row of restaurants tucked into Belden Alley in the Financial District. Specials include half-priced appetizers, dollar oysters at Taverna, drink specials, and $4 shots of green chartreuse. Cafe Claude will be serving "Gateau de Libération," a special toasted almond cake.
What: White Party at Amelie
Where: Amelie Wine Bar (1754 Polk)
When: Tonight from 5:30 pm to 1:30 am
Cost: No cover.
Why: Live music provided by Hot Pocket, champagne, dancing, and a white dress code.
What: Irish Bank Block Party
Where: 10 Mark Lane
When: 5 pm to midnight
Cost: Free admission from 5 to 6, $10 after 6
Why: Quoting the organizers, "We honor the French for their independence from the aristocracy as only the Irish can."
What: Bastille Day Celebration at Left Bank Larkspur
Where: 507 Magnolia Avenue, Larkspur
When: Tonight until 10 pm.
Cost: Regular menu prices
Why: Live music, a caricature artist, festively attired staff and dishes like smoked pistachio sausage and Provençal fish stew.
What: Bastille Day Bash
Where: Two Embarcadero Center
When: 4 pm to 9 pm
Cost: Free admission
Why: Presented in partnership with BEATS San Francisco, enjoy hot music by Frenchy le Freak and special guest DJs. Hosted by KCBS’ Foodie Chap, Liam Mayclem, the evening will feature bites from Embarcadero Center eateries, and beverages from Rye on the Road.