Trader Vic's

London, United Kingdom
Bar & Restaurant
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22 Park Lane
London, United Kingdom
Opened in 1963
Sun-Thu 5pm-1am
Fri-Sat 5pm-3am

Critiki ratings

Trader Vic's



by 72 people



Everyone You
Decor 9.5
Drink Quality 8.4
Drink Selection 9.1
Food Quality 8.1
Food Selection 8
Mood 8.5
Music 6.5
Service 7.7
Tikiness 9.2
Tilt 8.6
Vibe 8.1

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Humuhumu’s description

When the London Trader Vic's opened at the London Hilton in 1963, it was the first expansion outside of North America. In 1978, Warren Zevon immortalized the London Trader Vic's in his song "Werewolves of London" from his Excitable Boy album: "I saw a werewolf drinking a pina colada at Trader Vic's... his hair was perfect."
In July 2011, a fire in the hotel caused some minor damage, requiring a short closure and a bit of remodeling in the dining room.


bowlofpretzels has visited Trader Vic's.
October 24, 2017, 7:55 PM
Oh hell no. Don't go.
There's a reason it is French Polynesia, not English Polynesia and it has nothing to do with colonial power struggles and everything to do with not finding blasted lamb on a Trader Vic's menu.
So, after going round Hyde Park Corner on foot from the Underground from the EuroStar from the most boring train station in Belgium from Köln ("Hooray, we're still alive!") from watching Polizie inspect Gummie Bears at a Haribo outlet store from waking up in the bosom of the Nurburgringinging, you'd think I'd be beyond the moon to discover that, for once, my nearest tiki bar was just 14 floors below my room.
Until I went there. Actually twice, just to make sure I hadn't been unfairly unimpressed during the first visit.
The decor is spot on. The music was in the neighborhood. The drink menu looked magical. However, the first tip off should have been the bowl of slightly stale popcorn dropped on our table by a distracted waitress. The world's smallest and most costly bar bites came along with our *cough* tiki slushees, er, drinks.
Again, I've been in Florida for more than two and a half years now. I know there are some beach bars that got excited and bought a slushee machine to expedite the Tiki drink creation process. That's fine. I don't go to those bars for that reason - it's just not my thing. However, encountering such watery, iced-up rotgut at a Trader Vic's was beyond puzzling. If you're thinking I'm being harsh with rotgut, consider this - I've had two Extra Spiky Pineapples at Trader Sam's as a nightcap to a day of tipsy Disney adventures and not had half the headache I had after one of the Trader Vic's London drinks.
Perhaps I've wandered a bit, let's return to the scene of the crime. Wait? Where did all of these posh businessfolk come from just now? Ah, a business dinner must have gotten out of the fancy, upper-floor restaurant and now we're awash with Brits drinking beer around the bar. Oh, and "business" ladies sitting with bottles of sparkling wine at the tables. Super. We paid our $115 USD for three drinks and three apps and headed out into the London night to think long and hard about what we had just done.
Two nights later, with a narrowing window of dinner opening hours and flagging energy, we decided to give the restaurant portion a try. In the last two years, I've opened a menu at a Trader Vic's in Atlanta and, the last two weeks, Munich (for which I still need to write a review), and I've never encountered more than 25% of local fare up for offer. The rest, of course, is Polynesianed-up Chinese food. That, my friend, is just how the world works. And, despite everything else at play these days, that works well.
Unless you're in London, where the Trader Vic's chef has injected incredibly expensive English cuisine (did I mention the lamb?) into the menu like Botox into an eyeball - it just doesn't belong there. We actually read through the menu three times just to be sure we weren't hallucinating from hunger and then lied to the waitress that the fourth member of our party who was, in truth, running late, had decided to eat elsewhere.
We left. I can't even remember the last time I did that at a restaurant. Save yourself the horror and don't go to start. I'm so sorry I had to type that.
NinthLevelDan has visited Trader Vic's.
October 23, 2017, 4:13 AM
The place is fantastic, as you would expect, but reeeeally expensive. I know London is an expensive town, and this is in a classy part of the city, so they don't want college party kids. But I think they're in danger of pricing themselves out of business. Maybe I'm wrong, and the place is always busy. But I worry, long term
JayTiki has visited Trader Vic's.
September 11, 2017, 11:01 AM
I was fortunate to choose this as the location for my 40th birthday dinner on a recent trip to London.

The decor was nice and similar to what I remember from the Dallas location about a decade ago. You descend a staircase into the restaurant, which is a nice touch and helps to create that "I'm visiting someplace other than I am" atmosphere that great tiki bars create.

I opted for the 1944 Mai Tai to start, and it delivered. I can recommend this classic (and classically made) drink with no reservations. For my second drink, I wanted to give a nod to my London locale, so I opted for the Queen's Park Swizzle. It was good, but if the '44 MT was a 10, it probably clocked in around a 6.5 or 7. The various other drinks delivered to our group were all well-received, including the non-alcoholic ones for the kids.

Everyone also enjoyed the food, which was my primary concern going into the night. One note, if you're planning to order one of their Signature Wood-Fired Oven dishes, I recommend doing so when you make your drink order, because I was told only when we all started our meal orders that it was going to take 45 minutes to cook, even though it's not mentioned anywhere on the menu. So word to the wise, have people figure that part of the meal out and order a bit earlier than everyone else.

A few nit-picks include the music. It was some kind of instrumental, and while not top-40 (thankfully!), it wasn't the Exotica I'd hoped and that I enjoy in other good tiki bars.

They also had VEEEEERY few TV items for sale, which was something I was banking on for my birthday. The only "mug" available was a rum barrel, and they had no TV London-emblazoned items to be found...not even simple napkins I could bring home for my home tiki bar. We did get a couple Menehunes out of some drinks we ordered, but those, of course, aren't location-specific either.

Those small nit-picks aside, I would highly recommend you stop into the London Trader Vic's, even if just for the bar. It's a classic that deserves our tiki respect.
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