A local watering hole in Xenia, near Dayton, Nick’s Restaurant is a colorful little bar with a low-lit interior, a massive patio and equally massive food portions to match. While the stage brings music to the spot and drinks bring the locals out at all hours, its the food that really drives people in from out of town. Crowd-pleasing pub grub has been the staple here for years, and the restaurant’s wings have won award after award at local contests and wing festivals. Odds are, that’s one of the first things that will bring the place to your attention, and I will say that these wings are worth a try.
The food is the standard pub grub fare; giant burgers, big fried helpings and enormous sandwiches. Some of the good ones:
- The Big Nick: Nick’s signature burger is an enormous half-pound patty atop a mountain on veggies on a grilled bun that is then topped with mayo and sauces and cooked however you like. The grill isn’t exactly on target but hey, the burger is a greasy delight.
- Wings: The wings are easily the best thing on the menu. They’re dunked in sort of a sweet chili sauce that is sweet and very spicy. Get them hot and to share, these are going to be a favorite especially for lovers of good spicy food. No wonder these keep taking the “People’s Choice” award at the Wingfest.
- Spinach and artichoke dip: An app as good as they come, the dip comes with a side of soft pita and has a very cheesy, a little salty flavor to it. Great for a group of hungry people to scarf down to start off a meal.
The restaurant itself is pretty small, with a bar and a row of booths, but it’s plastered with bits of wisdom collected from who-knows-where, giving it a lot of character. The staff share that character, a friendly group who are nonetheless quick to refill a drink and friendly to newcomers. The patio effectively doubles the size of the place, and in summer months has a stage for performances, too. For a place that has been open since 1949, this spot has really kept its feel comfortable over the years as a cozy spot for the Xenia community.
Nick’s Restaurant doesn’t make a lot of noise about itself, but there’s a good reason this spot has a following in Xenia and the larger Dayton community: Because the food it makes is just so delicious, and the atmosphere of the little dive comes in equally big helpings. Nick’s shouldn’t be forgotten next time you’re headed through town.
- The meal portions are huge! Come hungry.
- That huge patio is very inviting in the winter months, and it’s definitely worth a try.
- Also give a try to the wings; they’re some of the best in the area.