Two Great Cafes: Avenue Road and Dukes Coffee Roasters.

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it allows your body to harness the energy provided to function throughout the morning until your next major meal at lunch. I’ve frequented two great cafes in the last month for breakfast and I’m smitten with both, Avenue Road in Mosman Sydney and Dukes Coffee Roasters on Chapel Street in Melbourne. At both establishments breakfast is not only the most important meal, it is the best meal.

I’ve always felt the lower north side of Sydney has lacked a real standout cafe that delivers the whole package, service, price, food, coffee and seat availability until now. Avenue Road on Avenue Rd in Mosman is a supremely well rounded breakfast spot producing great coffee, quality food and good value. In addition to these positive qualities I’ve never waited for a seat which I love because the cafe has a great vibe without being too busy. The Croque Monsieur and the Sautéed Field Mushrooms are both excellent but my pick of the menu is the Avocado and Fetta Mash. Since returning a number of times I’ve added a poached egg and side of bacon to give it a little more volume – it’s a delightful combination. I’d also like to note the use of vintage souvenir tea spoons delivered with your coffee. Many cafe’s try to implement quirky new things and this one is a win – lovely touch.

Avocado and fetta mash with poached egg and side of bacon.

I’ve been fortunate enough to visit Melbourne on a few occasions in the last couple of months and I like it a lot. It’s got a great food culture and with that an abundance of excellent places to eat. On recommendation from a friend of TVG we ventured down Chapel St to No.169 to Dukes Coffee Roasters ‘a supreme breakfast spot’ I was told. The cafe and roasting house is perfectly appointed, every aspect has been considered, from the exposed brick and contrast render wall to the Tolix chairs the patrons are sitting on. The coffee machine is a beauty and takes pride of place on a large wooden bench as you enter. You can tell instantly that these guys are serious about coffee and they should be, they roast it all out the back.

After sampling a delicious cappuccino we moved to an organic orange juice, which we both agreed was the nicest OJ we’d ever consumed. We placed our order with the waitress after much deliberation – a very tough choice on a menu that offers at least 5 items you desperately want. Even though I hadn’t been impressed with the last breakfast fritters I’d eaten at overrated cafe on a corner in Darlinghurst I opted for Dukes fritters, not just because they were garnished with my favourite cheese (Manchego) but because I really wanted to compare them to the aforementioned Sydney cafe. Thankfully I was completely blown away, the spicy tomato relish paired with the grated Manchego was the perfect accompaniment to the flawlessly cooked corn and zucchini fritters. If I was to head back, and I’m sure I will next time I’m there, I’d probably share the fritters, it’s a huge meal and I think it’s better to leave breakfast satisfied but not stuffed. Dukes as an entire package really hits the nail on the head. I can imagine it gets fairly busy so perhaps visit on a weekday to avoid the weekend rush, but do be certain to visit because it is excellent.

The phenomenal corn & zucchini fritters. Source: One Fat Cow

Source: Fresh Ground (Emily Oak)

Duke Image Credits (Sorry my phone was out of battery!)

Eat & Be Merry for Tomorrow We Die(T)
Fresh Ground (Emily Oak)
One Fat Cow


James is the Founder and Editor of The Versatile Gent.

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