Tour de Brooklyn: Where to celebrate Bastille Day

Tour de Brooklyn: Where to celebrate Bastille Day
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

Sacre bleu, Bastille Day is back!

Don your finest beret and most comically terrible faux-French accent for the annual celebration of all things Gallic. If you don’t know Normandy from Brittany, don’t worry — our ultimate guide to Bastille Day in Brooklyn has you covered.

Kick things off early on July 13 (which is actually the day before the real Bastille Day) on Smith Street — which is also known as Brooklyn’s “Little France” and is the epicenter of the borough’s Bastille Day festivities. The street will be closed off and covered in sand for the annual petanque tournament — which is like bocce but more French — taking place near Bar Tabac [128 Smith St. at Dean Street in Boerum Hill, (718) 923–0918, www.bartabacny.com] at 11 am. Bar Tabac will also have live music and an outdoor barbecue, and will be screening the final World Cup game on the big screen at 3 pm.

If it is still too early for a glass of Lillet at the bar, head down the street to French eateries Provence en Boite [263 Smith St. at Degraw Street in Carroll Gardens, (718) 797–0707, www.facebook.com/provenceenboite] or Cafe Luluc [214 Smith St. between Baltic and Butler streets in Carroll Gardens, (718) 625–3815] for brunch, or swing by Francophile bakery Bien Cuit [120 Smith St. between Pacific and Dean streets in Boerum Hill, (718) 852–0200, www.biencuit.com‎] for a cafe au lait and pain au chocolat.

On Bastille Day itself, July 14, catch the G train — Brooklyn’s answer to the Paris Metro — to Williamsburg restaurant Juliette [135 N. Fifth St. near Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg, (718) 388–9222, www.juliettewilliamsburg.com], which will celebrate the beginning of the French Revolution with a DJ and cocktail specials, in addition to its standard French fare such as escargot and steak au poivre.

And if one weekend of French frivolity isn’t enough, do it all again on July 19, when Downtown cubicle monkey-favorite La Defense [2 MetroTech Center between Bridge and Lawrence streets, (718) 855–4200, www.ladefensenyc.com] hosts its own celebration at the tres-chic MetroTech Commons. The party starts at 10 am, and will include another petanque tournament, live music, and an outdoor bar.

Then hop on a Citibike — New York City’s answer to the Paris Velib — and cruise over to Red Hook, where the Jalopy Theatre [315 Columbia St. between Hamilton Avenue and Woodhull Street in Red Hook, (718) 395–3214, www.jalopy.biz] will host an evening of musique starting at 8 pm. The line-up includes Les Chauds Lapins, who specialize in French swing music from the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s, and Paris-born composer Pierre de Gaillande.