I don't know who the Governor of the great Australian state of Victoria is, but every Melburnian knows his or her coffee royalty. In a city ruled by the roast, café menus read like their restaurant brethren—every bean is accounted for by country and producer, and it's likely you'll down your espresso before you finish reading about the origin of its species.
Dukes has its own signature blends in addition to a delicious menu of trendy Melbourne dishes (shashuka, avocado mashes, corn fritters, Bircher muesli, anything with hummus or quinoa) and a procession of treats and sandwiches that deserves its own coat of arms. On the Windsor end of Chapel Street, that trendy amble of scenester and retrograde shopping, and more than ample great chow, you'll have to return to Dukes several times to check things off the menu. And, as with all Melbourne cafés, latte art is crucial. Timber outfitting, exposed brick, and rustic details are insignia of the city's most popular coffee shops, and whether you're there to work, to sip a pick-me-up, to catch up with a friend, or to grab lunch or just read the paper, everyone fits in seamlessly.
And even though Duke's is one of Melbourne's top coffee purveyors, the staff treats you like royalty. Naomi introduces herself to patrons she's never seen before, asking where they're from, and making swift recommendations by quickly picking up on your preferences. Café society, indeed.