Coldwater Cafe

19 East Main Street,
Tipp City, OH 45371
websiteIMG_17773 stars

Tipp City is a highway town, and while a lot of the folks who pass it by on Interstate 75 north of Dayton never bother to stop there, if they did they would find a really wonderful experience of a little American town. Houses are well-maintained on the main stretch, American flags are everywhere, and the main street downtown is full of historic buildings and quaint little local businesses. One among these, Coldwater Cafe, is a well-known name in the small towns of western Ohio, for its funny past, built in a former bank building. You can literally eat inside an old safe. And it’s a really fun time, too.

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The food at Coldwater Cafe is pretty centrally focused on lighter, bistro cuisine, but cooked in a way that gives it some added flavor. Quiche, seafoods, pasta and some baked goods make up the bulk of the delicious menu. But for lunch at least, the sandwiches are king. I am especially a fan of the Smoked Turkey Panini; it’s a ton of white turkey meat topped with caramelized onions and Parmesan cheese, and actually topped with a spread something like artichoke dip. Sandwiched between two buttered pieces of focaccia bread, and you’ll definitely remember this sandwich when you step foot out of Tipp. But it’s not just paninis that make Coldwater Cafe special. It’s got Reubens, club sandwiches, burgers, and plenty more.

And that’s before you even look at what’s for dinner. Coldwater Cafe features some of the more unusual entrees in this part of the state. It’s the only place I’ve known around town to offer ostrich fillet, and a roasted half duck, which is certain to be unforgettable. If you’re not that bold, there are also more common dishes, like lobster cakes, Chilean sea bass, tilapia and more.

It’s a funny thing, this little restaurant. The former bank space makes for a very funny dining experience. The safe in the back is opened still and hosts plenty of guests, while what used to be the front area is a classier sort of bar that offers fancy drinks in a nice setting. In all, the mood of the place is overall definitely geared toward a lower-energy crowd, maybe a little bit older and with complicated tastes. But it’s the small town charm that makes the place inviting to just about anyone.

Tipp City is a place, I think, that too many people pass by without ever experiencing what a great place it is. Spots like Coldwater Cafe really bring that charm to life.


  • Up for something truly unique? This is one of few Dayton restaurants that serves ostrich and half duck for dinner.
  • The lunch menu is significantly tamer, primarily sandwiches, but no less delicious. Lunch seems to bring in a larger crowd.
  • The spot also does a lot of catering, which is good in this part of the state where that service is harder to find.

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