You know this place is gonna look good on the Gram as soon as you walk in. The giveaway? A giant vertical garden on one wall, with a neon sign in the middle that says ‘I licked it, so it’s mine’. Expect to see this thing all over your feed in the next few weeks (especially with the minimal-mod fit-out, courtesy of Kern Studio).
Code 21 is a new cafe and brunch bar in Brunswick, and it’s rocking a great neighbourhood feel. You can’t really fake this stuff—a vibe that the staff actually enjoy working there, that they care about your experience, that they know most of the locals by name. Code 21 isn’t just a pretty face, it’s got heart too.
Running the pass is Head Chef Lorena, who spent the last 8 years working in London, pumping out cutting-edge cuisine for Blixen brasserie and the famous SoHo house. Now she’s turned her skills to the Melbourne brunch scene, and the results are Insta-porn as f*ck.
Think Nutella waffle sandwiches, topped with mango sorbet and coconut caramel sauce. Spiced orange hotcakes with blackberry curd and chocolate parfait. Chickpea fritters, fried to a crisp, served on a slick of beetroot relish and topped with smoked yogurt. It’s all technicolour genius stuff, made for your camera as much as your mouth.
As you’d expect these days, there are a bunch of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options (the green chilli chakchouka with black eyed beans is particularly good).
For drinks? Take your pick. Local wines and craft beers for later in the day, or maybe a milkshake to kickstart your weekend. Code 21 is serving a house blend from Veneziano Coffee Roasters, but there’s also a rotating selection of single origin and filters (just check the board for the latest specials). The loose leaf tea comes from Elevation, and they’re even serving a Prana wet chai (nice touch, that).
Brunswick locals, grab your iPhones. You’re gonna want to snap this place.
Image credit: Mark Khoder