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).
Duke's is a high-class brekkie experience, coupled with some of the most velvety, aromatic coffee Melbourne has to offer. What's more, all the wait-staff 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.