You know a café's packing something good when you show up at 10.30am on a Tuesday morning and there's a queue outside. Once you make it past the exquisitely dressed clientele waiting for their flat whites, crafted from beans roasted on premises, the space opens up into a bright, airy room with a large communal table and smaller nooks and crannies for a bit more privacy. The refurbished warehouse has been given a warm, rustic makeover with exposed brick and timber touches and a polished terrazzo floor. There's plenty of natural light streaming in through the front windows, but also a few hefty columns to hide behind if you're visiting mid-hangover.
The menu is as sophisticated as the décor. Try the corn and zucchini fritters with spicy tomato relish, Manchego cheese, spinach, avocado and fried egg ($17) and the truffle poached eggs with pan-roasted and raw asparagus, salmon roe, brown butter emulsion and ciabatta croutons ($18).
Dukes is a high-class brekkie experience, coupled with some of the most velvety, aromatic coffee Melbourne has to offer. What's more, all the waitstaff seem to double as paid models so at least you know there's always something good to look at while sipping on your morning brew.