1 West Second St.
Dayton, OH 45402
websiteCitilites (Dayton, OH)4 stars

As the resident restaurant serving the Schuster Performing Arts Center in downtown Dayton, Citilites (pronounced ‘city lights,’ it took me a few tries to figure out) is a class establishment. For performances, it hosts both lunches and dinners, but the store is most popular during the work day, as a spot for business meetings among the downtown companies. It’s got a variety of foods for a variety of customers, and the menu seems to change regularly. Generally though, it’s upscale dining, served best with a nice glass of wine. Odds are, if you’re from the local business community, you’ve attended a few big events in this restaurant.

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  • “Banh Mi” salad – mixed greens, rice noodles, pickled vegetables, jalapeño, cucumber, radish, and cilantro, all topped with a sesame ginger vinaigrette. It’s great, but it’s deceptively spicy! I would definitely recommend it for the spicy lover.
  • “Banh Mi” with roasted pork, pickled veg, jalapeño, cucumber, radish, cilantro and a hoisin-based barbecue on a baguette. I think it’s not as spicy as the salad version, and the flavor is much more strongly an Asian sandwich.
  • The black bean burger is excellent. It’s fall-apart fresh, and made with what seems like a complicated batch of seasonings, altogether cooked well and served on veggies and a bun. A real win for vegetarian types.
  • The stuffed chicken is great, it’s served with some kind of cheese on the inside which is great. The chicken itself is moist and tender, and it’s served pretty simply. The whole thing is garnished with some grilled vegetables for good measure, which are spectacular.
  • Also, I have to mention the chocolate cake, which is absolutely fantastic. It’s served with a thick icing that has more body than the cake itself, and overall despite the relatively simple structure, the thing is about as packed with chocolate as is possible.

The atmosphere is great. During the day, much of the restaurant’s dining space is expanded out to the lobby of the music center. There’s a ton of space for one-on-one meetings and a lot of space for larger groups. There is a nice lowlit bar for a drink and there is also a sizeable dessert menu for whatever kind of sweets you’re feeling. Really, it’s a well rounded destination.

And that’s the appeal, really, it’s the reason why people seem to love this place so much. It’s good for meetings and it’s good for friends. It’s upscale cuisine but it’s at a very reasonable price. Ultimately I highly suggest Citilites.


  • Definitely come here for a business lunch, it’s an upscale dining destination with very reasonable prices.
  • There’s a ton of salads and sandwiches, which I think are the best items on the menu, and then there are more traditional complicated American dinner-type cuisine.
  • There’s a reasonable bar too.

Citilites on Urbanspoon

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