Downtown Dayton is served mostly by little local coffee shops, and Phebe’s Cafe (formerly The Ohio Coffee Company) is one of the well-known ones. It’s the bistro at the base of the Fifth Third Center and it’s a pretty common destination for downtown Dayton’s business folks looking for a nice place to meet, for couples to have a meal or for small groups of friends to catch up. Many folks grab their food and go, but many more will visit at the tables that spill out into the tower’s lobby.
The restaurant has a very heavy focus on some good bistro foods, primarily in the sandwich and wrap menu. The foods here are the kinds of things that you see in a lot of coffee shops, turkey wraps, and other favorites. The difference is that the food here is built from higher quality ingredients. So it’s good.
- Chipotle wrap: Topped with just a bit of sauce and turkey, ham, some veggies, and a thick ranch sauce. It’s got chips too, those are good. I spotted a lot of people getting the salads here, I didn’t try them but I hear they’re pretty popular.
- Gyro: The gyro is served with a bleu cheese crumble and tomato. The right thing about it is gyros often are a bit greasier or fried. This one is nice and light.
- Thai tofu wrap: A great lighter wrap. Served with a grilled chicken and veggies and a thai peanut sauce. It’s got a nice flavor profile.
- Turkey Reuben: Also a dish that it less filling as far as sandwiches like it go. That thousand island dressing is especially great on the sandwich.
- BLT Sandwich: Extra crunchy bacon strips with mayo and lettuce grilled. This sandwich has serious crunch!
I will say though, that the price point on the food is a little high. We’re talking about sandwiches and wraps with chips that come from a bag, which are being sold for $8 or $9 each. It’s one thing to say that the food has quality ingredients, but it’s another when many of the competing lunch spots in the area offer more food — or at least more food made in-house — for that price.
The atmosphere of the place is really nice though. Fifth Third Center is one of the really nice destinations of downtown Dayton, and it’s got a quiet tranquility that many of the other downtown places may not enjoy. This is the kind of place to take one or two other people though, there isn’t very much seating. Also, the food is generally made to go so it’s easy to go back to work with that.
In all, downtown Dayton seems to love Phebe’s, and the coffee shop is designed as the kind of place that makes lunch quick and easy. If you don’t mind a higher price, it might be the kind of place you would consider.
- Of course the coffee here is good, and it’s the main draw.
- If you’re thinking food, people like the salads, though there is a large menu of sandwiches and wraps.
- I recommend getting food to go, but there’s a little seating for couples or small groups.