Introducing: Coco Flamingo

In the same vein as its namesake, Melbourne Street in North Adelaide is intrinsically linked with specialty coffee and brunch menus. Now, the café district’s newest arrival blends its Melbournian roots with the free-spirited essence of Byron Bay.

From the office of a quiet Flight Centre now blossoms the fruits of owner Luke Parrella’s own jaunts around the globe, Coco Flamingo.

After setting his sights on Australia’s east coast earlier this year, Luke set about the trip of a lifetime. Meandering through Byron Bay, island hopping in Thailand and a month spent in the Philippines would mould a café built on the foundations of fresh organic produce, serenity and natural beauty

When Coco Flamingo arrived, it did so with a mission to bring new life to the coffee stronghold of Melbourne Street or as Luke says, “bring something that isn’t your general breakfast or your bacon and eggs, something a bit more fun”.

Consequently, Coco Flamingo grinds an organic, fair trade blend from CBD-based SOHO Coffee. Doing so was a considered choice for Luke, who “just did his homework” in realising the local roaster wasn’t supplying any other cafés in the area.

“We were always going to do a local roaster and wanted to do something different to what other venues were using around here,” he explains. “I really liked their coffee, it’s organic and fair trade, so that fit in well”.

On the plate, this penchant for organic fare continues with a succinct vegetarian and vegan menu. For Luke, the decision to include dairy-based cheese and milk options was as simple as that to provide a dietary friendly menu, ‘I just want to cater for more people’.

This ethos sees toasted sourdough stacked with pumpkin, pesto and spinach with a choice of plant-based Bio Cheese or the ooey gooey real deal. Regardless, local producers remain at the forefront throughout, with From the Wild treats in the cabinet alongside bottles of MOJO Kombucha and fresh, organic produce wherever possible.

For Luke, striking the careful balance of quality fare that looks the part is at the forefront. “Everything is fun, it looks good, it’s tasty,” he explains.

Case in point, the Waffle Bowl. The vegan and gluten free protein waffle is filled with creamy coconut yoghurt and topped with a careful arrangement of fresh, seasonal fruits. Another aesthetic effort sees iced drinks served in freshly hulled coconuts with reusable bamboo straws.

This proclivity for design naturally spills over into the fit out, with every detail carefully considered. Neutral tones and cane furniture are inspired by Luke’s initial trip to Byron Bay, as are the two hanging chairs, crafted from natural rattan, that dominate the front window.

Pinks tones feature throughout. From the custom Nicky Create mural that adorns the south-west wall to soft shade of the chair legs and behind the breeze block, all offset by earthy textures and lush greenery. With every last detail meticulously considered, down to ‘even the walls being rendered to get a different texture’, it’s the perfect space to lose track of time.

WHERE? 143 Melbourne Street, North Adelaide
WHEN? Tuesday – Sunday: 08.00 – 15.00
COME HERE FOR: A menu that caters to a range of dietary requirements, including gluten free, vegetarian, vegan and dairy free.
OF NOTE: Iced drinks served in freshly cracked coconuts with envrio-friendly reusable bamboo straws.


Photography by Ben Neale




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