harrys bar venice

Jan 9th, 2007, 05:01 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 148
harrys bar venice

i know this is probably quite the tourist trap and costs way more than its worth but have any of you been there? we saw a thing about it on food tv the other day and i really want to go there for a bellini and a panino. i would love to hear from others that have been there tho.....thanx
randola is offline  
Jan 9th, 2007, 05:20 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 656
I too felt that I had to go there so I threw away my money on the really bad 12 Euro drink and put up with the snotty waiters. I went, I saw, but I would never go back and I would never recommend it to anyone. If you want to go just to say you did it then by all means do so otherwise you may regret it when you leave. If you want good food and drink at fair prices then I would not go there. The choice is yours. You will love Venice and I envy you the trip. Enjoy!
jdraper is offline  
Jan 9th, 2007, 05:25 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,190
We walked to Harry's Bar, admired the door, glanced inside, walked away - having a drink there was just not important to us. We loved Venice - you will, too!
dorkforcemom is offline  
Jan 9th, 2007, 05:33 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 656
dork - I wish we had been as smart as you and looked and kept on walking. That was the most stupid purchase we have ever made on vacation and we still laugh at our foolishness. Smart move.
jdraper is offline  
Jan 9th, 2007, 05:49 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 2,560
If you go, be sure to be dressed up...i mean long pants for guys and no shorts for women. we got into St Mark's but were turned away from harry's! DH had on bermuda length, black linen shorts..not exactly tacky looking.
cmeyer54 is offline  
Jan 9th, 2007, 05:56 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2,456
To give you another perspective, I'm glad to have been there once a few years ago, fortunately not too crowded, off season and off hour, nobody like dork (sorry!)who opens the door just to peek inside and turn away.

Take a look at the following current thread on TA site about the bar. There should be some truth in negative comements but I like the post by illyria2, a frequent visitor to Venice.

kappa is offline  
Jan 9th, 2007, 06:31 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 136
Yes, the Bellini's are expensive, but since they invented them, you won't find a better one anywhere else. I don't mind paying top dollar at famous places if they try to maintain quality. I took the family in July 05 and the experience was OK. My 18 year old son didn't feel like a Bellini so ordered a hot chocolate. He said it was the best he ever tasted.

I've also paid $10 for a hamburger at the top of Aspen Mountain and felt more ripped off.
gforaker is offline  
Jan 9th, 2007, 06:55 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 45,322
Well personaly Harry's Bar is a special place to me, and a late nightcap there is wonderful. I have also been there with Italian friends who live in the region of Venice..they always enjoy Harry's Bar. Expensive yes, but enjoyable, yes. I have gone there since the 1970's..in fact I still have an ashtray they gave me back than, a sweet keepsake.
LoveItaly is offline  
Jan 9th, 2007, 07:04 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5
When I was in Venice a couple of years ago, I had a very nice visit to Harry's. I sat at the bar and relaxed while drinking a couple of bellinis. It is a neat, historic place and a nice spot to chill out for a bit - and I loved the drinks. What have you really got to lose? Since you really want to go, I suggest you should - otherwise you'll probably feel like you missed something. Worst case scenario is you don't like it (which seems unlikely) - then you're out 20 minutes and a few bucks. Better than missing something you're really interested in checking out.
dfwtrips is offline  
Jan 10th, 2007, 06:12 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,145
Hi r,

>i know this is probably quite the tourist trap and costs way more than its worth..<

You are absolutely correct.

Hemingway used to hang out there because it drew the tourists and they comped him.

Are you sure that you want to drink peach juice and prosecco?

ira is offline  
Jan 10th, 2007, 11:00 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
Well- it's certainly not cheap - but I wouldn;t call it a tourist trap. You're paying for the location, atmosphere and history as well as the food and drinks.

We go at least once every tine we're in Venice - and have found the drinks fine, the food excellent (not THE best in the city but very good) and the staff attentive and very helpful in explaining details of menu items.

the only unpleasant time we had was when we were seated next to 2 older americans who thought who they were. Apparently a couple of big fish from some very small pond - who were intent on proving their importance by complaining about everything:

tables too close together - a fire hazard (they're incredibly far apart to someone used to eating in Manhattan)

food not what they expected (but they didn;t ask any questions)

not being able to get a window table (but they didn't have resies - AND they were apologized to for this at least twice)

poor service (if I had been the waiter I would have dumped something on them they were so rude - snapping fingers and yelling waiter as if the whole world were deaf)

then they complained about the price (which was clearly marked on the menu)

After they left we apologized to the waiter for their behavior - he said don;t worry - they get a lot of people who are "confused by being out of their own country" - I thought a very charitable way to put it.
nytraveler is offline  
Jan 10th, 2007, 12:35 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 148
thanx for the answers.....i think we are definitely go in and have at least a bellini....i really want to be able to say i was there as i might never get another chance to do this....
randola is offline  
Jan 10th, 2007, 01:45 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 2,560
Its definitely a place to go, don't get me wrong. Sort of like the top gelato place, angelina's in paris, etc. Just know that they enforce a strict dresscode which seemed odd given that it was mid-afternoon in August....an evening at any time of the year I'd understand...and they were totally empty.
cmeyer54 is offline  
Jan 10th, 2007, 01:47 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 45,322
Hi randola, a funny story (but not at the time). We had been in Italy for about two weeks. We arrived in Venice and the next night went once again to Harry's Bar for drinks and dinner. My linen suit skirt was feeling rather tight (to much good for for two weeks!). Sooo, my husband ordered wine which we were enjoying, we were looking at the menu, I leaned forward to say something to him and the button popped off of my skirt. And to my horror it rolled clear across the floor!

A waiter evidently saw the whole episode, picked the button up off of the floor, put it on a tray and proudly carried it back to me with a slight bow, a smile and a "signora" as I swear the entire place looked on.

One of life's humiliating moments. But I told myself I would laugh about it later. Which I did of course.

The service is quite good but regarding that incident I just wished the waiter had pocketed the button and then quietly slipped it to me a bit later, lol.

Have fun, you will enjoy Harry's Bar I am sure!!

BTW, thanks to your post I took the Harry's Bar ashtray out of the cabinet just to look at it and suddenly realized after all these years that it has a hole on the bottom side of it so it can be hung. So thanks to you it is now hanging on my wall instead of being tucked away. It is quite lovely and a sweet reminder of many fun times with more in the future.

LoveItaly is offline  
Jan 10th, 2007, 01:51 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,145
Hi r,

>.i really want to be able to say i was there as i might never get another chance to do this..<

You can save a lot of money by looking up H's Bar on the internet and then telling everyone that you went.

With the money you save, you can have a drink at San Marco and listen to the dueling bands.

Also, you won't have to drink peach juice and prosecco.

ira is offline  
Jan 10th, 2007, 02:21 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,793

I must tell you that of all the posters on this forum, you are my favorite. You seem like such a classy, fun person. I would be a lucky woman to have as happy a marriage as you did (we're going on 3.5 years now) and such a great outlook on life.

I apologize if you find this comment odd, but your posts often bring a smile to my face.

Tim_and_Liz is offline  
Jan 10th, 2007, 02:22 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 400
I dared to criticise Harry's bar here a few years ago and got a slew of personal insults in reponse...happily the poster in question seems to have left.

It's expensive, but most places around St Marks are expensive, so if you would like to have a Bellini there go for it. After all, compared to the airfare in getting to Venice, an $11 cocktail is insignificant.

The feedback I found on the food (from the UK restaurant critics I trust) was that it isn't worth the price. But again, once you've paid for the hotel, airfares etc, if you want to go in order to say you've been then by all means go for it. After all, there are a lot of terrible overpriced meals to be had in the vicinity of Piazza San Marco and at least if you go to Harry's Bar you'll be overcharged in sophisticated surroundings with excellent service.

Even though we went during white peach season (so the Bellinis are officially authentic) I didn't think the cocktails were worth the money. But the waiters deserved a medal for maintaining perfect politeness in the face of yet more tourists wanting Bellinis.
papagena is offline  
Jan 10th, 2007, 02:39 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 45,322
Oh Liz, you are making my face red. But thank you dear one for your lovely post. Yes I was quite fortunate to have such a beautiful marriage and Italy holds so many wonderful memories for me. I haven't travelled as much as most Fodorites have but our trips were always fantastic. I still giggle about the only serious arguement we had on any trip..in the Gucci's store in Rome. Another time later that day as I was tromping around Rome by myself I said to myself "this too will be a funny experience to remember some day". I even still smile to myself everytime I see the Gucci name be it in an ad or one of their stores.

I sincerely wish to you two that you have many decades together along with love, good health, joyous times and many wonderful trips.
LoveItaly is offline  
Jan 10th, 2007, 02:52 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,134
LOL, Loveitaly, at least it didn't pop over to another table and put someone's eye out!!

I love this, it is so characteristic of the Italians: "confused by being out of their own country"

I am sorry that when I walked into Harry's I was met with people loudly yelling in English and it was very crowded so we turned around and walked out. I was used to the Harrys in Los Angeles where I dined or had drinks a few times a week for years. It could get noisy there too but it wasn't a cultural shock like in Italy.
SeaUrchin is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:55 AM.