On Thursday, Seattle honors French Independence by eating lots of frites.

Photo: Bastille via Facebook

Can you picture a bunch of Parisians standing around the Weber on the fourth of July eating Oscar Mayers and potato salad, stars and stripes decorating their plastic cups of macro-brewed Colorado lager?

Me neither. Only in America do we so zealously celebrate other nations’ independence days as if they were our own. It’s kind of cute, when you think about it.

Here in Seattle, we are particularly fond of Bastille Day, or La Fete Nationale as it’s called in France. What we do is crowd into French cafes and restaurants, which then feed us discounted food and plenty of alcoholic beverage.

This Thursday, July 14 is Bastille Day 2011. Here are places to party like it was your people that overpowered the famous prison in 1789, closing the doors on Louis the 16th and the whole Ancien Regime thing.

Bastille in Ballard is opening up its beer garden starting at 4:30pm on Thursday. Pints of Kronenbourg are $3 and there will be oysters, charcuterie, and wine for $5. I’ve also heard tell of a bocce ball tournament.

Meanwhile, in Pike Place Market, there is Cafe Campagne and its famously festive Bastille Day party. Five dollar food specials include garlic sausage sandwiches, brie or ham en baguette, and the cafe’s always-amazing fries with aioli.

Le Pichet’s party runs from 6pm to midnight on Thursday and will include live music from Le Quartet (7-9pm) and Bastille-Day stalwarts The Djangomatics (10pm-midnight). Again, Parisian street food is on the menu. That menu isn’t quite finalized but owner Jim Drohman says there will be sandwiches—pork shoulder and roasted pepper with sheep’s milk cheese among them—a pissaladiere, and sweet crepes. Sister restaurant Cafe Presse on the hill will operate as usual on Bastille Day—if you want the party, go downtown.

Luc in Madison Park has drink specials on Thursday: Lillet, pastis, and rose are $5 and wines from Vacqueyras in the southern Rhone are $6. Food specials include a honey-roasted duck breast, a salad Nicoise, and a strawberry shortcake.

Michael Mina’s Downtown sensation RN74 is currently running a Twitter promotion to get people amped on its Bastille Day celebration. If you tweet the following: “#BastilleDay party @rn74seattle on July 14 with awesome food and drink specials” you are eligible to win a free wine dinner. If you just want to go to the party, well, I hear there are going to be “awesome food and drink specials.”

Finally, ViaVita Café and Wine Bar in Bellevue is celebrating with a five-course meal—pate de lapin, coq au vin, etc. That’s $55, a $20 wine pairing is also available. Call 425-449-8917 to reserve.