I like writing about my experiences drinking in Paris almost as much as I enjoyed the experiences themselves — almost. That’s why I decided to fill you in on another drinking hole in the French capitol that had me seeing stars on more than one occasion. With a cocktail list that reads like an alcoholic’s encyclopedia, Le Crocodile in Paris is a necessary stop on any libation enthusiast’s itinerary.
Located in the popular Latin Quarter on the left bank of the Seine, Le Crocodile can be hard to miss if you don’t know what you’re looking for. In fact, if it weren’t for the occasional throngs of people waiting outside it wouldn’t look like a worthwhile spot at all — it’s small, it’s dark, and it’s on an otherwise stagnant side street. Those who know about Le Crocodile, however, know that the establishment holds some of Paris’ strongest drinks and one of the city’s most relaxed closing times.
The aforementioned cocktail list contains over 250 different drinks, each of which is served with a Haribo gummy crocodile as a garnish. Classic cocktails are available, but the real fun comes when you start experimenting with the hundreds of drinks that Le Crocodile invented on a whim.
For instance, I remember going for the first time as a naïve 20-year-old during my time studying abroad and ordering a cocktail called “the American” because I’m totally a patriot and wanted to see what the French thought the USA tasted like. It tasted like what I imagine cowboys sip out of a flask on a cold night in the desert or wherever it is that cowboys are wont to roam. It burned my throat something wicked, but it also made me want to eat a slice of apple pie and scoff at public health care like a real American. Emboldened by my firewater, I decided to sample some of the stranger sounding mixes.
Luckily, the bartenders at Le Crocodile understand that their products can induce confusion and slurred speech and every table is equipped with a small notepad and pen for patrons to write their orders on. This feature was extremely useful to me after drinking a few more interesting cocktails and a shot of Absinthe.
Besides the extensive array of potent elixirs, Le Crocodile is also popular because it stays open well after other bars in Paris shut down at 2 a.m. Like any good after hours spot, they will pretend to lock their doors and send everybody home to weed out the lightweights. The door man says outside, though, letting in late night revelers at his discretion. If he tells you they’re closed for the night, just hang around and keep pestering him in French if you know how to speak it. Once the crowd thins out you have a good chance of getting in and staying tanked on creative cocktails until the sun comes up.
At its core, Le Crocodile in Paris is just like any other cocktail bar — a quaint, dimly lit room where you can get loaded on hooch and chat with your friends, lovers, or parents (if you’re that type of family). What sets it apart is that you probably won’t be able to find the cocktail you drink there anywhere else in the world. Cool, right?
6 Rue Royer Collard
5e arrondissement, Paris
Tel: +33 01 43 54 32 37
Have you ever been to Le Crocodile? Let us know what drinks you tried in the comments!