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Bastille Day Celebrations Around SF

Bastille Day, you're wondering? It's the French national holiday celebrating the storming of the Bastille and the start of the French Revolution in the late 1700s. These days, it's a pretty good excuse to get positively sloshed and start the weekend early. Here are some happenings around town!

As a hub of the French-American community in the city, Belden Place throws one of the biggest Bastille Day parties in the country. Trademark kicks things off at 4 pm by converting their outdoor patio into a full-on beer garden during happy hour. Plouf and Café Bastille start their own parties at 5:30 pm with live DJs, classic French food and drinks. Trademark takes over again at 10 pm with their own DJs, late-night food, and $6 Absolut drinks until closing.

Just down the street, The Irish Bank bar welcomes Belden Place's runoff for a debauched block party of their own. Festivities start at 5 pm and it's only $5 to get in. Hear DJ Pat spin tunes and guzzle from 20 oz. beer cups for only $7. And don't be afraid to try their Irish version of the Bloody Mary (topped with Guinness!).

Cafe de la Presse exudes an old-world, European charm that brings a more romantic side to downtown's Bastille Day celebrations. They'll showcase signature French dishes such as duck confit, cassoulet, and dry-aged rib eye steak. Grab a bite of these delicacies for lunch or dinner!

Chez Papa Bistrot rolls out their Bastille Day welcome mat with a luscious 3-course prix fixe menu. For $34.95, choose from entrees like bouillabaisse with black cod, clams, mussels, prawns, bay scallops, fingerling potatoes and rouille; pan roasted Red Trout with braised cabbage, smoked bacon, pearl onions, and lemon-tarragon beurre blanc; Lamb Daube with rosemary-red wine sauce and seasonal vegetables; or Duck Confit Leg with fennel puree, lardons, wild mushrooms, and périgourdine sauce. The restaurant will be serving dinner from 5:30 to 10 pm.

Grand Café on Geary will deploy a Marie Antoinette look alike bearing cake bites to patrons, as well as free glasses of champagne to toast the French holiday with. Sip those to live accordian music all night long, or head to the Petit Café for a beef bourguignon and red wine special for $19 per person.

La Folie is ground zero for those who really want to get indulgent. They're offering a $95 seven-course prix fixe dinner with entrée choices of Roasted Emigh Farms Lamb Rack with marble potatoes and lamb tongue salad, fennel and lamb jus or Rôti of Quail and Squab stuffed with mushrooms, wrapped in crispy potato strings with truffled jus. Hours of service will be 5:30 to 10:30 pm.

Where will you celebrate Bastille Day? Tell us in the comments below.