When you visit Trader Vic’s, you know what you’re going to get. The outlets vary slightly from location to location, but what you’re guaranteed is Polynesian décor, a warm welcome and tiki-tastic drinks.
There are six branches across the UAE, but one of the most beloved is in Al Ain. It helps that there’s not a wealth of options in the area, meaning that the bar is always packed – but the friendly staff and ace menu keep us coming back, too.
The brand, which was established in 1934 by Vic “The Trader” Bergeron, has gathered a massive following over the years. Although it might be a little dated in some areas, it’s in the best possible “old-school” kind of way.
It’s on the bright side for a bar (the room might benefit from a bit of mood lighting) but the vibe is upbeat and buzzing.
It can be hard to find a seat, as it’s always so busy, but pull up a stool to the bar, if you can, and watch the mixologists at work. Order a drink and your exotic mixed beverage will most likely come in a quirky vessel.
The drinks menu has a wide range of mixed beverages, so take some time to peruse it properly. Drinks at Trader Vic’s aren’t the cheapest you’ll find, but neither are they bank-breaking, so it’s a good mid-range spot for date nights or a catch up with friends. Don’t miss the snacks either – the jalapeño cheese balls are a favourite, as are the chicken skewers, best dipped into rich peanut sauce with a chilli kick.
With all the décor you’ve come to know and love (think ceiling-strung canoes and lobster pots hanging from the ceiling) and a fun and friendly crowd, it’s a fail-safe spot for pre- or post-dinner drinks.
The bottom line
A popular bar that’s an oldie, but a goodie.