It’s the epitome of a hole in the wall; this modest-looking dive nestled into a tiny space in the Airway Shopping Center on the edge of Dayton serves a ton of people from nearby Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the surrounding neighborhoods, people who value a humble establishment like Gyro Palace for its variety of dishes, its value-minded pricing and its quick service. There are a ton of reasons you might pass by this place and never drop in; it’s hard to spot. It doesn’t advertise aggressively. People outside of the internet don’t seem to know it very well. But Gyro Palace is absolutely worth a try.
As one of the flagship businesses of The Greene shopping center in east Dayton, The Pub is an attractive take on the English pub concept. The upscale restaurant sports a massive bar stocked to the gills with a varieties of beers, malt liquors, cocktails, and an abundance of English foods and dishes cooked and meant to be eaten with a good drink. There are a lot of great businesses in this area, and to be sure there is still competition in the bar scene, but The Pub may well be my favorite. It’s the kind of place where time and again, it will never fail to impress you.
IIt’s a community bar serving the Silverton area of eastern Cincinnati, and it’s the kind of place you’re probably more familiar with as a nightspot than as a place to grab food. The Silverton Cafe is huge on the inside, with dart boards, a stage for music, and a bar that’s about a mile long. The place isn’t fancy, it’s more of a local dive. And it specializes in simple dive bar food. Whether it’s playing keno, trivia night, catching the local sports game or just enjoying some free wifi, Silverton residents frequent this place, but I’m not sure it’s worth a special trip.
The Echo Restaurant is a quaint little neighborhood diner in the area of Oakley and Hyde Park in eastern Cincinnati. It’s the kind of place where people congregate in long lines in the morning, both for families and groups of older folk who are out to get a quick start on the day, as well as much of Oakley’s younger crowd. It’s really quite the friendly place, the waitstaff is nice and talkative and the regulars seem to know one another quite well. There are a thousand nice little places like this in a city like Cincinnati, but you never really forget the ones that really do it right.
Here in West Chester seems to rest the crux of Cincinnati’s growth. With new shops, developments and homes springing up in every direction, new bars like the Dingle House Pub & Grub have an opportunity for success. This bar has a definitively Irish feel; it’s got a sleek, modern and spacious interior, the wait staff, including the men, wear kilts. Really, you’d think you can’t go wrong with that kind of fun. I’ll say I did enjoy the atmosphere. I liked the beer selection. But I was really not sold on the food.
There are plenty of bars along the Madison Road stretch of Oakley in Cincinnati’s eastern suburbs, but Habits Café is one of the more distinctive of them, characterized by its oversized front porch area and almost antique-feeling interior inlaid with heavy polished wood throughout. Habits serves heavy pub grub along with its myriad of drinks and beers on tap; definitely the kind of place you’ll want to bring a crowd for a drink. With so many places to drink in such a small area, it’s hard for the newcomer to pick out the right place to go first. You’ll quickly find this bar to be worth a sampling.
One of the many dive bars along Bowling Green’s main stretch, Reverend’s Bar and grill is a special kind of unique; its festive interior sports a great variety of microbrews and cozy tables line the walls with groups of couples and families alike. This isn’t your average dive, though, and it sports cuisine that is also anything but. While I admit it’s got a very specific tone that might at first seem off-putting, once you stick around you’ll find a place that just about anyone can agree is awesome. Reverend’s is a definite must-go if you’re in this town for a night.
A small Columbus, Ohio-based chain of taverns, Rusty Bucket is sort of a hybrid concept; it’s got the dark interior and beer selection of an old-style English pub, but at the walls are packed with televisions and jerseys evocative of a higher-functioning sports bar. The two ideas are hard to imagine combined; a pub is supposed to be sort of a small, cramped place where you’re shoulder to shoulder with strangers, while a sports bar is a mess of lights and flair. In practice though, Rusty Bucket merges the two ideas into something that’s a nice mix.
A mainstay of downtown Yellow Springs since 1847, Ye Olde Train Tavern is an old log cabin converted into a local dive bar. With a small menu of tasty food and a giant outdoor space for relaxing with friends. Now, all of Yellow Springs is pretty laid back, the whole town could be considered a dive, really. So, in that regard, this place really fits in to the rest of the town. Overall this is a nice place to pay a visit, but I’m not sure exactly about the food.
People love the old-fashioned favorites, and the Root Beer Stande on Woodman drive in central Dayton is about as old-fashioned as it gets. The humble little dive offers service directly to your car with a mess of timeless fast food faves. I have to imagine countless memories have been made here; people who grew up stopping in summer nights. People who cam here for dates. This is the kind of gem that an outsider would find mundane but that a local resident would really and truly come to love after many years of memories.