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.

Rate this:

Bon Vie Bistro

Bon Vie Bistro is a contemporary concept with a taste for nicer cuisine. Serving Easton Town Center in Columbus’ northeast suburbs, this concept focuses on making creative and interesting European-inspired dished a very modern American flair, whether that’s an Italian carbonera, a classy British fish and chips recipe, or the simple joy of a burger. Whatever you crave, this restaurant offers it with an eye for the upscale but a price that remains reasonable. No wonder the spot is popular.

Rate this:

Hawthorn Grill

Kettering is one of Dayton’s biggest suburbs, so it’s no surprise that the things that really thrive among its neighborhoods bring the comforts of home. Chef Candace Rinke’s Hawthorn Grill along Stroop Road is a natural fit for this part of town, with its friendly and approachable menu that focuses on the generous portions of comfort foods in an atmosphere that is friendly to families and gives star treatment to the simple delights, the meat and potatoes of American cuisine. This is a kind of place you’ll want to bring your parents to try.

Rate this:

Taste of Belgium

It’s certainly one of the hippest spots in Cincinnati, and Taste of Belgium now has three locations along with a little waffle stand in the Findlay Market. The place has a little bit of a lot of things about it; it’s a bistro concept that specializes in waffle creations, not just the breakfast-y kind, but also it’s a bar with a serious variety of beers, wines, and mixed drinks. At meal time, expect to see a massive crowd of people making its way through the doors. People like the place a lot.

Rate this:

La Chatelaine French Bakery & Bistro

A family business opened in 1991, Le Chatelaine now operates three upscale little locations in north Columbus. A bistro and a bakery, the little shop brings a variety of French soups and sandwiches to the table as well as baked goodies and plenty of pleasant atmosphere to go around. It’s well suited to sit and read a book or chat with a friend over a quiet meal for a long time, and that atmosphere by itself makes the place so magnetic it’s hard to resist going back.

Rate this:

Dorothy Lane Market

In theory, I only review restaurants and avoid grocers and other non-direct service food providers. However, Dorothy Lane Market has an in-house bakery and dessert shop complete with upstairs patio seating at each of its three Dayton locations. The self-billed “gourmet grocer” has a variety of upscale and unusual grocery items attracting people, but its bakery is just as much a restaurant as the places down the street. The market’s in-house assets have proven just as attractive as any other bakery in town. In fact, some of them are better. That said, I think most will count “DLM” as local food, and everyone else can consider it an exception to my rules.

Rate this: