It has the stuff of those places that become timeless – tastefully dressed up with antique couches, dim lighting from lamps and chandeliers that just make you want to read a book or put on one of the records scattered around the place, and those old Wiener Kaffeehaus chairs out back that creak and squawk when you shift your bum on them. Characters hang out here, as the place has character. Same goes for its owner and creator.
Marcus is the man behind many a’ Balkan Gypsy Swing party and he played a main role in the beloved old Ostklub before nagging neighbours shut its doors. Since then, Harvest is the haven he’s created for those looking for a Berlin-esque bar, or a cosy café during the day.
While being the optimal café for rainy days, or winter nights, in recent years it’s spread out to the pleasant platz of Karmerliterplatz in the form of a Schanigarten. Keep this in mind for those nights when stuck thinking of a place to meet friends for a drink that has a garden worthy of your butt.
Each day sees a new midday ‘Vegetarian and Vegan soul food’ menu served up – always staying true to the vegan and vegetarian creed… meaning… umm, no meat or animal products – and their chef is known to get creative. The vegan goulash we feasted on proved that the dish that’s main ingredient is meat, doesn’t need animal in it to be flavoursome. Also, the meat-free, self-service buffet at lunch is an extremely well-priced and tasty lunch option if you’re in the neighbourhood.
But while Harvest’s menu is almost fully veganised, this is not what defines the place, yet rather only one of its many defining and attractive characteristics, like the grandma’s table cloths and tea cups, for example.
Also, the drinks – a shortlist of interesting Austrian craft beers make the beer menu, like the Kaiser Doppelmalz out of Wieselburg in Lower Austria and a brilliant Pale Ale produced in the Salzburg region. Meanwhile, new-comers are regularly featured. The wine list also keeps itself regional, with many of the wines served up created by winemakers that Marcus is mates with.
And while you were thinking a good vegan dessert is harder to come by in this city than a surf board, Harvest’s range of cakes comes to the rescue – delicious, especially the carrot cake.
This place with soul will come to mind again and again after you’ve been here once.
You can read about our review of Harvest’s famed weekend Vegan brunch, here.