Code Black Coffee

With freshly roasted coffee beans you can’t go wrong, but it's the food menu is where this Brunswick roasting house goes oh-so-right.
Lauren Vadnjal and Andrew Zuccala
Published on April 24, 2023
Updated on October 13, 2023


Coffee savants may be able to smell the roasting of beans from Sydney Road, but the Code Black warehouse front doesn't give as much away. The industrial-sized frosted sliding door may only be open a crack and, if there's no one sipping a latte out front, passers-by may be forgiven for thinking it's closed. But, inside, the place is big and bustling — like Wonka's chocolate factory for the caffeine addicted.

Code Black doesn't just make your coffee, but they personally sources the beans and roasts them in-house. Opening back in 2013, it has constantly stayed towards the front of Melbourne's roasting community pack. The guys see the process right through from beginning to end — from farm to cup — which is something rather nice to consider as that last bit of espresso lingers on your lips.

The warehouse space is much longer than first anticipated, and surprisingly light considering the sleek black fit out, concrete floor and black exposed brick walls. With communal seating and tables for two, locals stop by for a quick fix or extended stay any day of the week.

Coffee is, of course, the main game here. Their seasonal blend ($5) is always sharp and — if you choose a cup of single origin — expect freshly roasted beans from anywhere from Guatemala to Brazil, Rwanda or Costa Rica.

But, in a suburb where single origin cup isn't too hard to find, Code Black Coffee sets itself apart with a brunch menu just as incredible as the coffee it roasts. Both sweet and savoury are covered, as well as some notable vegetarian and gluten-free options.

Sweet-toothed patrons will be more than satisfied by the ricotta hotcakes ($25) served with seasonal berries, a rich peanut butter mousse, a fluffy white chocolate cremeaux, a peanut butter crumble and some maple syrup for good measure. The sugar rush will keep you going for a little while, but you will need to prepare for the inevitable crash.

Chilli scrambled green harissa eggs are another win, consisting of roasted chilli harissa, labneh and Turkish bread. And we are equally impressed with the lemongrass pork roll, with Vietnamese saté and chicken liver pâté shredded herbs and pickled carrots. Nowadays, you can also stop by for a boozy brunch, pairing your meal with cocktails and a truly impressive wine and beers list.

At Code Black coffee is most certainly the name of the game, but this roasting house matches its brew with a brunch menu like no other. Who says you can't have it all?


Appears in:
The Best Cafes in Melbourne
Where to Find the Best Breakfast in Melbourne
Where to Find the Best Coffee in Melbourne


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