In the past, my wife and I were always stumped when out of town friends asked us where they should eat in Dayton. No longer! This list of unique and rather incredible restaurants in the Dayton area should serve as your guide. We’re adding to it all the time. If we left any of your favorites out, please suggest them in the comments section!
Why it’s included: Incredible mix of Polish, German and Eastern European foods. I’d go for the potato dishes alone.
Location: 1400 Valley Street, Dayton, OH
Info: (937) 228-2511. Theamberrose.com
Why it’s included: Bavarian delights in the Oregon District.
Location: 329 East 5th Street, Dayton, OH
Info: (937) 824-2722. Boulevardhaus.com
Christopher’s Restaurant & Catering
Why it’s included: Feels like an old-fashioned diner with new age (vegetarian) offerings alongside traditional, meat-based goodies.
Location: 2318 East Dorothy Lane, Kettering, OH
Info: (937) 299-0089. Christophers.biz
Why it’s included: It feels like this place was imported from New York. It’s chic, trendy and has a great selection of Euro food.
Location: 515 Wayne Avenue, Dayton, OH
Info: (937) 228-2626. 228coco.com
Why it’s included: On the scenic grounds of Carillon Historical Park where Dayton has preserved numerous historic buildings. Nice patio for breakfast on a weekend morning.
Location: 1000 Carillon Boulevard, Dayton, OH
Info: Limited hours. (937) 299-2277. Daytonhistory.org.
Why it’s included: Authentic Irish food located across the street from Dayton’s historic Oregon District (where you can drink to 2:30 a.m. like a true Irish lad).
Location: 300 Wayne Avenue, Dayton, OH
Info: (937) 224-7822, dubpub.com
Why it’s included: They have an awesome blue party bus, insane South American dishes (i.e. fish with their heads attached, ceviche and more), and – according to rumors – they have salsa dancing late on the weekends.
Location: 903 East Dixie Drive, Dayton, OH
Info: (937) 859-8229. Elmeson.net
Why it’s included: The strongest, baddest margaritas north of the border. They’ll only let you order two or three (I can’t remember). Decent fish tacos, too.
Location: Numerous throughout Dayton.
Figlio Wood Fired Pizza
Why it’s included: Pricy pizza that’s worth the wait thanks to their wood-fired pizza oven.
Location: Town and Country of Kettering Shopping Center, 424 East Stroop Road, Dayton, OH
Info: (937) 534-0494. Figliopizza.com
Franco’s Ristorante Italian
Why it’s included: Excellent Italian food a block from Dayton’s historic Oregon District. I love their fish sandwiches, and they have the best tomato soup I’ve ever had.
Location: 824 East 5th Street, Dayton, OH
Info: (937) 222-0204. Francos-italiano.com
Why it’s included: I love this business idea. They meld Chipotle with sushi bars and let you design your own sushi rolls. Also located in UD’s college district.
Location: 1200 Brown Street #125, Dayton, OH
Info: (937) 223-5173. Fusian.com.
Golden Nugget Pancake House
Why it’s included: This place has a cult following. Every Saturday and Sunday morning, there’s a line out front for breakfast.
Location: 2932 South Dixie Drive, Dayton, OH
Info: (937) 298-0138. Facebook page.
Why it’s included: My favorite pizza in Dayton. Their cheese is the stuff that every other pizza place in Dayton tries to imitate. It’s so string you have to pull it a foot away from your mouth to get a bite.
Location: 291 East Alex Bell Road, Dayton, OH
Information: (877) 347-1111. Larosas.com
Why it’s included: An opportunity to get out your pearls and sports coats and spend too much on a French dinner.
Location: 4120 Far Hills Avenue, Dayton, OH
Info: (937) 299-5536. Laubergedayton.com
Mamma DiSalvo’s Italian Ristorante
Why it’s included: Hands-down best Italian food in the Dayton area. Nice wine list, dark wood bar and a genuine Italian to greet you at the door.
Location: 1375 East Stroop Road, Dayton, OH
Info: (937) 299-5831. Mammadisalvo.com
Why it’s included: My vote for the second-best pizza in Dayton (behind only La Rosa’s). I love their sausage so much that I order it even though it sometimes hurts my stomach because I eat too much.
Location: Numerous throughout Dayton.
Why it’s included: Unique offerings for vegetarians and meat eaters. Fresh foods you can’t find outside of Yellow Springs.
Location: Lamplighter Square Shopping Center, 5531 Far Hills Avenue, Dayton, OH
Info: (937) 434-4750. Meadowlarkrestaurant.com
The Oakwood Club
Why it’s included: Incredible steaks.
Location: 2414 Far Hills Ave Dayton, OH 45419
Info: (937) 293-6973. TheOakwoodClub.com
Rue Dumaine Restaurant
Why it’s included: We know a French girl who swears this is the closest you can get to authentic French food in Dayton.
Location: 1061 Miamisburg Centerville Road, Dayton, OH
Info: (937) 610-1061. Ruedumainerestaurant.com
Siam Pad Thai
Why it’s included: Incredible Thai and sushi in a restaurant that’s “intimately” sized. It’s my favorite Thai joint in Dayton (beating out Thai 9).
Location: 3027 Wilmington Pike, Kettering, OH
Info: (937) 293-9606.
Why it’s included: A unique experience on the ground’s of a massive local retirement community. Has a patio and bar.
Location: St Leonard Senior Living, 8100 Clyo Road, Dayton, OH
Info: (937) 439-7154, Stleonard.net
Why it’s included: Enormous portions of greasy, yummy bar food. Huge, area-renowned breakfasts, too (which I never seem to wake up in time for).
Location: 2033 Wayne Avenue, Dayton, OH
Info: (937) 252-2249. Tanksbarandgrill.com
Why it’s included: Generally regarded as the best Thai food in Dayton (although I’d have to say I like the Siam Pad Thai a bit better). They also have great sushi. Located in Dayton’s historic Oregon District where you can stroll about after dinner and listen to live music.
Location: 11 Brown Street, Dayton, OH
Info: (937) 222-3227. Thai9restaurant.com
Why it’s included: Don’t let the name fool you. Huge portions of yummy bar food. You can eat it while sitting on their outdoor patio, watching sports on one of dozens of their TVs or carry your food out and sit at the Wine Bar’s patio across the street.
Location: 12 East Linden Avenue, Miamisburg, OH
Info: (937) 859-4000. Tjchumps.com