336 East Fifth Street
Dayton, OH 45402
Although Oregon District near downtown Dayton has a lot of bars with plenty of different kinds of food to offer, the Oregon Express is really the only close-by place where you can get a good pizza. And they do their pizza here local-style; with a ton of toppings, extra crispy and with a sweet sauce. If you aren’t admiring a band or grabbing a drink with company on a weekend night when the spot is popular, I would suggest coming in for lunch, where the pizzas, sandwiches, and other great grub are available for cheap.
The pizzas here are what’s called “Columbus-style,” pies that are common in Dayton: extra thin crust, sweet tomato sauce and a ton of toppings, on a pie that is square-cut instead of sliced and served on cardboard. This kind of pizza is dangerously delicious and before you know it, you’ve feasted on the whole pie. There are a few different kinds of pizza to enjoy.
- O. E. Special: Signature to this spot is the O.E. Special, the ‘everything’ pizza. The O.E. Special is a pizza with the works. It’s got pepperoni, Italian sausage, onions, peppers, mushrooms, olives and banana peppers. It’s a great mix; the olives are a little salty, the banana peppers have a little bit of a bite to them, and all told it’s a very good pizza.
- Hot Hawaiian: Ham, pineapple, banana peppers, and all of it has a slight heat to it. An interesting combo.
- Garden Special: The vegetarian option. Onions, peppers, tomato slices, mushrooms and banana peppers. A lot of crispy, a lot of crunchy, even without the meat.
- Italian Special: Pepperoni, salami, onions, fresh tomato slices, banana peppers, extra garlic, extra cheese & oregano. This pie is like eating a giant hoagie, and it’s excellent.
- BBQ Special: Spicy chicken, onion, and cheese topped with that wonderful sweet barbecue sauce. You have a bite of this one, then you just can’t help but finish the whole thing.
- Spicy Sriracha: Made with Dayton produced spicy sriracha with a sturdy heat, and topped with some bacon and chicken, and a bit of arugula on top.
- Italian sub: Crunchy sub loaded heavy with meats and a bit of marinara sauce. Served with a side of chips. Good pub grub when you’re not into pizza.
The restaurant and bar has two parts to it, one side is a larger stage/music venue and the other side is a bar. The spot is very popular both for lunch and for evening crowds, whether people like the music or the scene, one way or another it’s a spot where you should expect to find a lot of people. The service suffers nothing from this, though, and I found that the food comes pretty quickly either way. The price points are about average for your Dayton restaurant, and in fact I’d say some of the deals for the sandwiches and things are very affordable.
In all, Oregon Express is a good place to grab some food, and all-in-all I found it to be a pleasant and affordable experience.
- The pizzas are what draw people in here and in fact this is the only spot in the Oregon District that really works as a pizza shop.
- There are bar specialties, like half-price pizzas on Monday nights, trivia Tuesdays, and other things. This is a community bar which is pretty reasonably priced.
- Check the taps for craft beers and local brews on tap.