Had to check this off my list :). The place is expensive, but I knew that going in. I went during the afternoon and both my husband and I were allowed in casually dressed, assume it would be different at night. Posted up at the bar, ordered 2 Bellini's, paid and left. Very small hole in the wall bar but I am glad I went and I would do it again... Oh and yes, the Bellini truly was delicious!!
Only if you must.
The founding family somehow managed to take a goldmine and turn it into debts so the banks have taken over. Bellinis are good, extremely small, and extremely expensive. Gentlemen should wear long trousers or be prepared to be shunted to the "leper room" upstairs which is truly hideous. Otherwise one of the most forgettable bucket list stops you'll ever have.
If you really want a Truman Capote + Hemingway vibe go to the bar at Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans and they'll throw in William Faulkner and Stephen Ambrose to boot.
Harry's .... only if you must.
Terrible, this is not what Venetians are like, high prices, sour waiters, go to Piazza San Marco you will more fun.
Very expensive!! We came here being it is the home of the Bellini, however it was €16 for one very small Bellini. Cool to say you've been there but not worth the money.
Once I navigated the streets of Venice and arrived at Harry's the people with me were elated. Yes, in some people's eyes I would have made a few wrong turns, but to me I was exploring without a map and the using the stars on a foggy night to guide my way. Walking into the world famous (maybe now notorious) Harry's, I was welcomed with a warm glow of the people and the lighting of the bar. Walking in was like walking in the room with warm glow that James Cameron used when he did the movie the Titanic, except the fashion was not circa the time period and Harry's would have been 1930-40, resembling the brink of a depression. But I would say it was a wonderful experience.
The notorious part of Harry's would be their prices. Just shy of 20€ for the basics and it goes up from there. Going to Harry's isn't about drinking on a budget it about a level of service and experiencing a piece of history. A place where Hemingway was once know to hangout in the Concordia room. Other such as Charlie Chaplin and Orson Wells would also frequent. It is for some, a once in a lifetime experience so order a Bellini and drink it in.
The story goes a little something like this...
There once was a dude from Boston named Harry Pickering who visited Venice quite frequently. Supposedly his family cut him off for some reason or other. Giuseppe Cipriani, a bartender at the hotel bar, loaned Harry some money. A few years later, Harry returns to Venice and repays Giuseppe with the original money he loaned him and money for a bar! This bar is called Harry's Bar and is part of the Cipriani brand that is so well known. It is also home to the "original" Bellini!
Harry's Bar is the most popular bar in Venice. It is very quaint but you never know who you might end up rubbing elbows with since it attracts not only tourists but many celebrities! Of course when we learned about it we had to pay a visit. Do we think the Bellini's are the best ever...no. Are we glad we tried it...yes. Will we ever go back...maybe to try a different cocktail.
The one star is for the history and the bragging rights. I'm sure it was once a wonderful place to hang out and rub elbows with the blah, blah , blah...
Unfortunately it is now only a claustrophobic, sad little space filled with bored , arrogant waitstaff and wannabes. I don't think a local would be caught dead in here. The 25 dollar Bellinis were good but certainly not worth the price, which would have been ok if the atmosphere had made up for it. Disappointing.
Come here for a Bellini and to people watch but it's pretentious and insists upon itself.
Le Sigh... My receipt currently reads: 2x ravioli di spinaci 48E; 2 bottles of water at 6E each; a SPRITE at 11 E!!; Gin Martini 14E; 2x Harry's hamburgers 36E; Mai Ta 14E. FOR A TOTAL OF 135E.
For hamburgers and bowls of pasta. Worst food and worst value we had in 16 days anywhere in Italy during our trip. A total disappointment.
You can do considerably better than Harry's and I hope they turn this around because the setting is just very special.
Went here on our honeymoon because we wanted to try a Bellini in the place that invented it. The bottom line is that it's worth the experience just to be able to say you've done it. The Bellini is actually quite good...and INSANELY EXPENSIVE. The place is also insanely crowded...apparently, with tourists like us who really wanted to try a Bellini in the place that invented it. Go once...say you've been there, convince others it makes you as cool as Hemingway, order a Bellini, pay the bill...and then run like hell out of there.
The legendary Harry's Bar has been written about in every tour book about Venice. A restaurant and watering hole still targeted to the smartly dressed and well monied, it was a favorite of Hemingway's. Hitchcock loved it, too. So did Capote, Onassis and all the jet-setters of another era. Your curiosity level will depend on how enraptured you are with its past.
Its present feels somewhat irrelevant. Harry's is known as the birthplace of the Bellini, which now costs 15 Euros for a small glass. At the current exchange rate, that is approximately $22.50 for a mix of Prosecco and peach puree that can be downed in thirty seconds flat if you're thirsty. There are only five stools at the small bar in front, so be prepared to pounce and/or elbow your way to one.
BELLINI - 2.5 stars...extravagantly expensive for what you get
AMBIANCE - 3 stars...crowded and not all that considering its legacy
SERVICE - 3 stars...how do you say "automatic pilot" in Italian?
TOTAL - 3 stars...try it once, take the requisite photo, and then buy a bottle of cheap chianti as you squat on Piazza San Marco
Very expensive!!! We came here because of all the history associated with the place but it was very claustrophobic and insanely expensive. It's a tourist trap. Everyone was none Italian and rather an older crowd. We ordered 3 Bellini drinks which is what they r famous for and the bill was 56 Euros. That's insane considering the glass is only two inches and my hotel bar provides a tastier version of the same thing using fresh peaches at a far cheaper price.
It is the thing to do to come to this historic spot so that you can experience the spot where Hemingway would often visit. If you keep that it mind you won't be disappointed by all the tourists, the ordinary exterior/interiors, and the expensive food and drink ($24 for the famous Bellini!). We weren't allowed to take photos inside and had to leave after 15 minutes of sitting in Hemingway's booth because another large party with reservations was coming in ( okay by me as 15 minutes was more than enough). Our waiter gave us postcards to commemorate our visit.
I agree with Ed U. and Tanya B. - Harry's USED TO be a thing; now it's just a polished tourist trap. It feels fake and stodgy. The bellini tastes alright (not great), and it's gonna cost ya.
One visit to Venice, I got a wild hair and decided to try it anyway. The "service" and "ambiance" were... vacant. The most fun I got out of the whole experience was looking around the room at all the bellinis on all the tables - all of us obvious out-of-towners, most reading guidebooks.
Do it if you personally feel the need to have a bellini at the alleged source, but there's no longer a trace of what Hemingway came for (well, except booze.... but it's ridiculously overpriced, like everything near San Marco).
Courteous staff, making ridiculous amounts of Bellinis, that everyone was ordering. I did like the bar, but it was much more low key than I'd imagined. Had a quick look upstairs, menu prices range from 20-30 euros for starters, to 40-50 for a main.
I was happy to stay and have a drink, but did not feel the need to linger. It may be historic but there are livelier places to spend your time and money.
Great Belinis, very low kep and small bar.
We stopped by Harry's Bar to try one of the infamous Bellinis (they invented them after all) - and they were fabulous. As they should be at £15 each.
The smell of the food coming from the restaurant was simply mouth-watering and -what were we thinking?! - we asked for a table for two.
A bottle of wine and two risottos later, we paid our £200 bill and shuffled back to our hotel.
It was the best risotto we've ever tasted, but I'm not sure the venue lives up to the exorbitant prices.
I'm not so sure what the fuzz about this place is about!?
The place is in need of a profound refurbishment as it currently looks more like a council block pub inside, at least on the ground floor. Shame it lacks the atmosphere it deserves!
Nice Bellini's though, as you would expect at these prices!
2 stars for the vibe and patrons. 1 star for service and the bellinis
I don't get it. I know that this place is famous but it's just not worth it. The food is mediocre and everything is beyond overpriced. There is a $25 (Euro) sitting fee, a $5 (Euro) fee for bread, a sizable gratuity will be included in your bill whether you want it to be or not, and the prices of the menu items are nothing short of obscene. We went here for our first anniversary dinner and regretted our decision afterwards.
I guess we should have known that our meals weren't going to be out of this world when we looked around both the bar downstairs and the restaurant upstairs and did not see a single Italian customer in the joint. It was entirely filled with wealthy American tourists.
My husband and I each ordered bellinis which were served in those tiny juice glasses you get at breakfast---$15 (Euros). We had a bowl of boring bean soup that equated to over $40 American dollars. (The "authentic Tuscan bean soup" was not at all like the traditional bean soups we had in Tuscany, but instead, tasted like someone added water to refried beans and ladled it into a bowl.) There was a hamburger on the menu (nothing special-- no kobe beef or brie or anything) that equated to approximately $70 American dollars.
Looking at the menu (or the prices, rather) and expecting the most fantastic meal of my life, I thought I'd splurge and get something nice, instead of scouring the menu for an item that would do the least damage to our bank account. I ended up ordering a veal dish recommended by our server. It was completely underwhelming. It was simply chunks of meat in an unexciting sauce with some artichoke hearts, served alongside the most boring and flavorless rice pilaf I've ever had. I think it equated to about $120 American dollars. What a waste.
My husband ordered pasta, which was just adequate. If you order pasta in Italy and start to count all of the Italian American restaurants in your hometown that make a way better dish, that's a bad sign. We were both regretting coming to Harry's when we could have gone to one of the countless other restaurants in Venice that serve really good, authentic Italian cuisine.
Harry's is overrated and overpriced. It completely banks on its history to get customers in the door. I have no problem with having an expensive dinner now and again, especially for a special occasion, but the meal has to justify the price. The food should be delicious and memorable. It just boggles my mind that people still flock to this place, given it's very average food and unconscionably high prices.
My advice: Peek your head inside of Harry's if you want to catch a glimpse of this "historic" bar, but don't waste your Euros.
The only good thing to do at Harry's is to score a corner table, or at least a table against the wall, order an astronomically overpriced gin and tonic (or two) and watch the people. Not quite the bar in star wars, but close. DO NOT EAT ANYTHING!
Iconic it may be, and the cocktails were excellent but the manner in which our party of six was treated was unforgiveable. Arrogant and dismissive staff if we'd just shoved our heads around the door for a look that would be one thing, but EUR120 for six cocktails deserves at least a smile.
World famous...you have to go in for a Bellini...nice cream walls and hint of art deco but very overpriced with snooty staff. Do it to tick it off your list then head for the Gritti Palace hotel nearby, as at the desk: "Non stiamo qui, ma possiamo avere qualcosa da bere?" They'll let you have a swift one in the beautifully mirrored bar with it's own private jetty, great view and worth every penny. I love this place. One day, when I win the lottery...
OK, our last stop on the Grand Tour, but a good place to finish!! For the unitiated, Harry's Bar was THE "In" place for the rich and the moviestar elite in the '60's and '70's, and, fortunately NOTHING has changed!! The bar is a mere spit away from the Gondola and Vaporetto dock area, and offers a classy, classic experience with great cocktails at a gloriously EXPENSIVE price... but who cares, as it keeps in In people in, and Out people out. The bar staff could not have been more helpful, enthusiastic and efficient. Chairs appeared by magic as soon as extra people arrived, and there is now, apparently, a restaurant upstairs as well. Perhaps fortunately we had already decided to hit the Hard Rock Cafe for dinner instead because, well, with a Negroni at 17 Euros (HONEST!!), I doubt we could have afforded dinner. So fab and cool though!!!
For a western icon in a mostly tourist town this is a nice spot. Firendly staff, outstanding martini's and not a bad place to casually mingle with the passers through
I guess like a lot of people visiting Venice the idea of taking a drink or two at Harry's Bar crops up in conversation at some point during your trip. After a bit of debate and a bottle of wine with dinner we decided to visit last Friday night.
After it making it past the doorman (watch out there is a dress code here which goes something like we don't like the look of you so you are not coming in) despite wearing jeans I was surprised at the cosy, unassuming space. A few stools around the bar and possibly no more than 10 or so tables for folk who were having a bit of snackage with their cocktails.
We were very lucky arriving at 10pm as a couple of young ladies vacated their stools at the bar so we quickly hopped aboard, ordered a very expensive Martini and Bellini (both pre made) and surveyed the scene. For me the people watching is why a visit to Harry's is worth the cash ladies who have seen far too much Botox, ageing lotharios with their martini soaked partners and an occasional sighting of the beautiful and the dammed would sum up the crowd on our visit.
Great stuff we ordered up another round. Whiskey sour for me and a gin fizz for B the barman engaged us in conversation and thanked us for having requested a drink which he actually had to make to order.
Fortunately it was by now 11pm and that's closing time unless you are having food. I was having fun watching how the other half live and this could have got seriously expensive if the bar had opened late. We paid just under 80EUR for our 4 drinks and tumbled out the side door in search of a cheaper nightcap, well pleased with our one and only visit.
The original home of the Bellini! Expensive and can get crowded but you must try it as it is a part of history!
Visited Harry's Bar in the Summer of 2008. It was an experience that I loved and wished I could have stayed longer but at around £15 for one drink we were sipping as slowly as we could! It is only pretty small so unless you are eating you may not be lucky enough to get a table and may need to sit at the bar. The Bellinis were beautiful and the staff were fabulous, we felt like such ladies. Make sure you dress up.
home of the bellini!! there really nice but expensive! the place itself is tiny, and generally full of tourists! appears to be on everyone's must see places in venice list!
This user has arrived from Qype, a European company acquired by Yelp in 2012. We have integrated the two sites to bring you one great local experience.