812 S Patterson Blvd.
Dayton, OH 45402
There typically isn’t a lot of reason to stop for anything in the clutch of industrial buildings immediately south of downtown Dayton, and the area has traditionally had only a few restaurants to enjoy. Old Scratch Pizza became a pleasant surprise when it recently opened its doors at a former industrial building along South Patterson Boulevard that next to no one probably noticed. But it’s become a landmark now, popular especially with the downtown crowd who like to venture to the south especially on the nice days when they can enjoy a patio. Long wooden benches give the place a communal feel, and two wood-burning ovens churn out a great kind of pizza.
The walk-up stand has about 20 different varieties of pizza, all made on those wonderful Neopolitan crunchy thin crusts. You can’t fake the crisp, soft-on-the-inside texture that is the hallmark of a wood-burning oven. Some of my favorite pies:
- Angry Beekeeper: This pie is topped with crushed tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and a spicy soppressata and a signature detail in the “hot honey,” which gives it a distinct, warm heat without being too unpleasant. Hot and sweet. An unusual modern take on a pizza.
- Scratch: Tomatoes, sausage, caramelized onions, mozzarella, basil and hot chilis top this pie, and I would call it the most versatile of the pack, probably a good first choice if you like pizza but aren’t looking for anything too complex.
- Sophie Mae: This white pizza is another salty-sweet combo, this time made with crunched up bacon, an onion jam and Romano cheese.
- Caesar salad: Heavy on the lemon and altogether a pretty handy choice if you’re partial to that nice, creamy dressing.
- Stracciatella: An appetizer special, this kind of dip is made of fresh mozzarella curds, cream and more of that great hot honey. It’s made to be served with bread, tomatoes and a few other types of things. Not easy to find this kind of dish. It’s a refreshing app.
Old Scratch is good for big groups; the open concept features long wooden tables best suited to a lot of people in volume. Oftentimes, the place will bring in a lot of traffic over time. The bar has a ton of local beers on tap, speaking to the popularity of the local beer scene in Dayton. And I would say this is the right kind of place to see a networking event, company outing or big business birthday. Everyone can get a pretty reasonable personal pizza options.
A great place to hang out an definitely worth a visit.
- There are lunchtime specials on certain pies and certain salads — $8 apiece and $3 apiece — when you order at the counter. Ask what’s up that day, you could get a good pie for cheaper than normal.
- You can customize your own pizza if you like and don’t want anything else on the menu.
- The hot honey makes for a sweet and spicy topping on any pizza.