Ghostlight Coffee

1201 Wayne Ave
Dayton, OH 45410
website5 stars

The South Park neighborhood near downtown Dayton is rapidly taking shape as one of the hippest neighborhoods in town. While many of the major chain restaurants haven’t established a foothold along the Wayne Ave. stretch, its community bars and food spots make for a unique atmosphere. The neighborhood’s popular groundswell rallies around Ghostlight Coffee, a place where you can get a lot of creative brews and spend some time. Ghostlight’s popularity is well known among downtown dwellers, but even as far out as the suburbs, it’ll be hard to find a coffee spot more Dayton-proud than this one.

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While the coffee shop has a lot of the regular drinks you might expect on its menu, it also takes an interesting twist on many of these items. Among them:

  • Macchiato: A classic macchiato, this drink is served with seltzer water to cut it a little bit, but it’s still a strong take.
  • Chai latte: This take on the latte, featuring Chai, is heavier on the spice than you might normally taste. In fact, it has a little bit of a forward kick to it. Interesting indeed.
  • Matcha Latte: That wonderful, bright green-tea flavor is pronounced here. Good on a cool day.
  • Mocha: A ton–a ton!–of chocolate in this drink. It isn’t overwhelmingly sweet, but it is great to sip over a long time. Perfect with a book or maybe a nice chat with a friend while hanging out at Ghostlight.
  • Hot Chocolate: Good for cold months, with a delicious sweet-on-sweet cocoa and a full froth on top. It comes with whipped cream if you like, but it’s easy to like this sweet drink!
  • Bagels: One of the few food items you can find at Ghostlight, the bagels are locally produced and come with a few choices for cream cheese. Good for a long afternoon of peaceful reading.
  • Cappuccino: So these are normally very sweet, right? The cappuccino here is more balanced, perky sweetness but still not overwhelming the senses and allowing for a nice java aroma.
  • Baked goodies: Ghostlight doesn’t make many, if any, baked goods on its own, but it sources very locally. Harvest Moon Bakery makes Vegan muffins and baked sweets, while Ashley’s Pastry Shop, Buttercream Lane Bakery and Gem City Sweets provide plenty of other things worth a try. Many of these come and go depending on what those bakeries offer, but I can tell you they’re great and complement the Ghostlight coffee menu well.

This is one of the few local coffee shops in Dayton proper, and as such it’s very much a community focal point; a place where people like to pop in for meetings and to find a convenient nook to work or chat. It’s also a place where you will find a lot of local acts performing. Local art is showcased, as are Dayton-focused events.

One of the nice things about  Dayton is how humble its people are. Gem City has a lively community, most of which flies pretty below the radar as far as they go, without the hype. A lot of people who don’t spend time in the city don’t realize that. Ghostlight is perhaps one of a few restaurants at the heart of the city’s cultural core, not just a place where the South Park neighborhood congregates but a place where many Dayton apologists have grown to love. Ghostlight is a must to really experiencing all that is great about Dayton.


  • The spot has a very simple coffee menu, which is best found on its menu in the shop. Baked goods provided by other companies bring an extra charm.
  • The shop is a centerpiece of Dayton’s arts scene, a lot of small acts and local artists are found here.
  • Parking is behind the shop, but can be limited. The streets around South Park are the alternative.

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