Bastille Day — also known as French National Day — commemorates the turning point of the French Revolution when an angry mob stormed the Bastille on July 14th, 1789, as well as the Fête de la Fédération, celebrating the unity of the French people on July 14th the following year. Since you may not have the time to hop on a flight to Paris to celebrate, we’ve gathered the very best French restaurants, bistros, and bakeries, to bring the City of Lights into your own backyard. Read on for the best places to celebrate Bastille Day in Hoboken and Jersey City this Sunday, July 14th.
Cafe Esme | 485 Marin Boulevard, Jersey City
(Photo credit: @cafe.esme)
The locale’s owner, Daniela Sarbu, was born and raised in Romania and fell in love with the French-style cafes that had become popular there. In Bucharest, the capital, there’s a huge Parisian infusion, Sarbu explained. It’s called “The Little Paris.” The doughnuts, cheese pockets, fruit pockets – everything at Café Esmé is made in-house.
Choc-o-Pain | Multiple Locations in Hoboken + Jersey City
From croissants to quiches, this Hoboken and Jersey City spot is known for its reliably warm, flaky French pastries, delicious lunch items, and quality coffee. And, with four locations, it’s getting more and more convenient to visit regardless of where you live! The bakeries are quaint, the service prompt and for an added touch of authenticity, you can actually see them baking behind the front counter at the downtown Hoboken location. If you need a recommendation, you can’t go wrong with their namesake “Choc-o-pain” chocolate croissant.
Crepe Guru | 110 Bright Street, Jersey City
(Photo credit: @crepeguru)
Billed as “Contemporary American Crepes,” Crepe Guru offers both a mix of traditional sweet crepes like Nutella, tiramisu, and caramel apple, as well as savory meal options crepes filled Southwest chicken, bacon, and steak.
Elysian Cafe | 1001 Washington Street, Hoboken
(Photo credit: @elysiancafehoboken)
For a Bastille Day date night, Elysian Cafe is your go-to. This French-inspired restaurant offers a literal can’t-go-wrong ambiance, whether you’re inside or out. Outside, you’ll sit in a quaint area surrounded by plants that give you a slightly secluded effect on the busiest street in Hoboken (it’s also great for people-watching if that’s your thing). Inside, you can take in the original 1895-saloon décor while dining on a traditional French Bistro-Esque menu (steak frites for the win).
Read More: A French Fries Tour of Downtown Jersey City
The Little Grocery | 1212 Washington Street, Hoboken
(Photo credit: @littlegrocery1)
You’ll enjoy the Parisian Bistro-vibe as soon as you walk in the door of this quaint storefront. With a menu peppered with everything you’d find in a French cafe — from croissants to quiche to croque monsieurs, plus a selection of petite pastries including macarons and madeleines for an après-breakfast snack — trust us when we say this place will start your morning off right.
Madame Claude Bis | 390 4th Street, Jersey City
(Photo credit: @madameclaudebis)
Serving up French comfort food in the heart of Jersey City, Madame Claude Bis offers an authentically French atmosphere without coming off as stuffy or pretentious. Everything from the and French onion soup and cheese plate starters to the après-dinner crepes and crème brûlée are mouth-wateringly amazing and taste as if they were imported from Paris. Live music and outdoor seating complete the fresh European feel — oh la la!
La Bouche Cafe | 207 Washington Street, Hoboken
(Photo credit: @labouchecafe)
A small, cozy bistro with a touch of French charm, La Bouche Cafe is the place to be for breakfast standards like croque madames, croissants, and (of course) crepes galore. And in true Parisian fashion, the cafe au lait is parfait.
Satis Bistro | 212 Washington Street, Jersey City
(Photo credit: @satisbistrojc)
When you see an entire Fromage et charcuterie section on the menu of a French bistro, you know they’re not messing around on the Euro-authenticity front. Satis bills itself as a European-style bistro, which means that alongside French standards you’ll find more menu items from a range of nearby countries like vegetarian moussaka, risotto gamberi, and heritage pork schnitzel. The indoor and outdoor seating offers a rustic yet welcoming ambiance that, if you let yourself, might just trick you into believing you’re on a cobblestone street in the EU instead of … well, dining a few blocks from the Hudson. Now, if only every meal could start with a meat, cheese, and bread plate like the one at Satis Bistro’s brunch… Ah, c’est la vie.
Read More: Romantic Restaurants in Downtown Jersey City
Bistro La Source | 85 Morris Street, Jersey City
(Photo credit: @bistrolasource)
Talk about upscale classics: If you’re craving escargot, foie gras, ratatouille, or steak tartare, this is your spot. It’s got the most extensive, quintessentially French menu on our list, a great selection of wines to pair with your dishes, gorgeous outdoor seating, and a parking lot. The menu looks five-star (and the taste-test measures up), but the prices are super affordable.
Barbès | 1300 Park Avenue, Hoboken
(Photo credit: @barbesrestaurant)
Barbès is a unique spot, especially to Hoboken, as it not only serves French fare but Moroccan cuisine (Moroccan-French) as well. Traditional French food items include duck confit and steak au poivre with pommes frites. Some Moroccan specialties include couscous — Marocain Traditionnel which is couscous with chicken or steak, kefta tagine which is lamb meatballs, French green peas, and Moroccan spices in a light tomato sauce, and a variety of brochettes which are skewers served with quinoa tabouleh or French fries.