Fodor's Expert Review Harry's Bar
For those who can afford it, lunch or dinner at Harry's Bar is as much a part of a visit to Venice as a walk across Piazza San Marco or a vaporetto ride down the Grand Canal. Inside, the suave, subdued beige-on-white decor is unchanged from the 1930s, and the classic Venetian fare is carefully and excellently prepared. Harry's is not just a fine restaurant; it's a cultural institution. When founder Giuseppe Cipriani opened the doors in 1931, the place became a favorite of almost every famous name to visit Venice (including Charlie Chaplin, Orson Welles, and Ernest Hemingway) and still attracts much of Venetian high society as regulars. Today, many still remember Harry's as one of the few restaurants in town that continued to serve Jewish patrons during the period of the Fascist racial laws. Try the delicate baked sea bass with artichokes, and don't miss the signature crepes flambées or famous Cipriani chocolate cake for dessert. Because a meal at Harry's is as much about being seen there, book one of the cramped tables on the ground floor—the upper floor of the restaurant is the Venetian equivalent of Siberia (take heart if seated there: views from the second-floor windows look like framed paintings). Be sure to order a Bellini cocktail—a refreshing mix of white peach puree and sparking prosecco—this is its birthplace, after all. On the other hand, true to its retro atmosphere, Harry's makes one of the best martinis in town.
San Marco 1323
Venice, Veneto 30124, Italy
- Being the birthplace of the Bellini cocktail
- See-and-be-seen atmosphere
- Signature crepes flambées and famous Cipriani chocolate cake