Playing against national juggernauts Bonefish and Red Lobster is Harry’s Seafood Bar and Grille, a local (to Florida) chain not afraid to put their take on seafood against some of the strongest franchises in the country. A downtown Lakeland favorite, Harry’s is the perfect place to have dinner and a couple of beers before heading out to the area bars. It is also positioned perfectly for a light lunch when strolling downtown in the daytime. With reasonable prices and excellent food, it’s hard to find fault with the place. It’s easy to see why their tagline is “Hooked on Harry’s”.
Where Harry’s differs from other area seafood options is in the atmosphere. Instead of venturing into the damp driftwood of a sunken ship (the feeling Red Lobster always seems to impart) or into the classy confines of a faux-fancy establishment, you get a remarkable take on New Orleans. Both the setting and the menu is flavored with this Big Easy spirit, adding a unique touch to a restaurant this far south of Louisiana. At the very least, they outdo Popeye’s.
Of course, even if you aren’t charmed by the New Orleans milieu, you should find some comfort in the delicious Creole menu. With a jambalaya that will overwhelm your tongue without sending you in search of cold milk and a plate of red beans and rice that hits all the right notes, you would be hard pressed to find a more striking taste of Bourbon Street without actually showing up at Mardi Gras. Even if you don’t care for Cajun spice, you can find plenty on the menu to suit your craving for steak and seafood. Make sure you save room for the chocolate bread pudding, one of the finest desserts being served in Lakeland.
Harry’s Seafood Bar and Grille
101 North Kentucky Ave.
Lakeland, FL 33801
Harry’s is a great place to get a taste of New Orleans, but you don’t have to leave the house to sample those Bourbon Street flavors. Real Cajun: Rustic Home Cooking from Donald Link’s Louisiana