Big Sky Bread Co.

Practically hidden along Far Hills Avenue in south Dayton near where Kettering meets Oakwood, Big Sky Bread Co. is an old-school bread bakery that is so easy to under-appreciate these days. The bakery is a classic small-town lunch spot; pleasant aromas waft to the front of the restaurant as french bread, challahs, pretzels and garlic loaves are baked alongside cookies, cakes, and other kinds of goodies. It’s all to easy to ignore the simple pleasures of an old-fashioned bakery like this one. But to enjoy such a bakery is to delight in the simple pleasure of a home-grown original experience.

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Boosalis Baking

Popular with residents in the south suburbs of Dayton, Boosalis Bakery started up a few years ago and quickly gained a following for its baked goods, gentle atmosphere and very kind staff. The “from scratch daily” mantra adopted by owner Matt Boosalis in practice brings a lot of freshness everyday. When the shop moved from the Miami Township area to Centerville, its fans followed. On any given weekend you can find a lot of people streaming in for a lunch or for something sweet to take home.

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Jim’s Donut Shop

122 E. National Rd. Vandalia, OH 45377 937.898.4222 Facebook page An immensely simple operation set up along East National Road in Vandalia, Jim’s Donut Shop epitomizes the small American donut shop. Folks come in starting early in the morning and try a variety of donuts and coffee, so I’m sitting around an oversized counter, others taking … Continue reading

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Belle’s Bread Japanese Bakery & Café

Focused specifically on providing baked goods and desserts specifically for an east Asian audience, Belle’s Bread sits among a number of Asian businesses but remains approachable. This Columbus bakery has many kinds of goodies that can’t be found in your average Midwestern shop. Roll cakes, green tea frozen yogurt, Rice cake based dishes. That in addition to the traditional cakes, pies, and bread are available here. What are you aiming to dine in, or you’re taking some food to go, you’ll this is a pretty nice place to try a few new goodies.

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ele Cake Co.

While the name may suggest that Ele Cake Co. is a simple bakery operation, the several Dayton-area locations of this restaurant feel much more like a bistro. With a menu of sandwiches, small plates and other kinds of cuisine with specialties around the world, there’s definitely more to the place than its name. Come hungry and be ready to be filled, but don’t think about skipping dessert; that would be a mistake. About as bad a mistake as missing out on this spot.

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The Coffee Pot

Greenville, Ohio is about as small-town-America as they come, and this border town between Dayton and Indianapolis is home to a lot of wonderful experiences you would only find in a place like that. Its homely charm extends to the local restaurant scene, where charming unique concepts abound. One of the main coffee shops in town, The Coffee Pot has it all—good coffee, nice drinks, baked goodies and soups and sandwiches that will keep you coming back for lunch, as well. This is the right kind of coffee shop to spend the afternoon relaxing with a good book or conversation.

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Magees of Lexington

A Kentucky focused bakery with classic goodies of all kinds, Magees of Lexington exists for one reason: to satisfy your sweet tooth. This bakery offers the classic favorite cakes, cookies, desserts and more in a very peaceful seating. Boasting its family ownership that has keeps the bakery running for over 50 years, this spot off East Main Street doesn’t make a lot of noise outside of the city. But the goodies to be tried here are worth a sampling. Altogether, a pleasant experience.

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Stan the Donut Man

It’s easy to feel like local donut shops are a dying breed in America. With big chains claiming a monopoly on breakfast, and ever more common corner shops with the convenience of drive-through expanding through the suburbs and tackling market share, the taste of the homemade donut is getting forgotten. But Stan the Donut Man has stayed above that. This bastion of local, on the cusp of Kettering and Dayton, makes local pastries and other baked goodies. You may not know what they do to keep things local and small, but I can tell you you’ll taste the difference.

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Miller’s Bakery

Amish Country, the remote regions of northwest Ohio, are an exercise in simplicity. The restaurants that locate this far out of the beaten path tend to be very, very locally focused. Far from the tourist traps and the overhyped things that bring people in droves, Miller’s Bakery is instead a very humble, quiet little bakery frequented by the locals as a place that makes great baked goodies, pies, bread and sells local canned goods. The driveway is gravel, the spot is far out of the way and it’s not too elaborate an operation … but it is a local treat.

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Kahn’s Desserts

Capitalizing on the meteoric resurgence of the East Nashville neighborhood, Kahn’s Desserts opened its doors in 2011 as a vegan bakery with inspiration that came from the nearby Wild Cow Vegetarian Restaurant. And Kahn’s has the concept covered; selling products with no dairy, eggs, refined sugar, bleached flour, or animal products. It’s a very difficult thing to make — baking with an entirely different set of staples, and yet still coming up with something sweet and delicious. But this spot shows just how advanced, and how delicious, vegan baking has become. This spot is fantastic.

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