Designer Dogs

As the product of a lawyer-turned restaurateur, Designer Dogs offers gourmet hot dog options for the diners of the Mall at Fairfield Commons. A food court is a simple place to start something great, and this little stand definitely delivers something really fun on the front end. Gourmet hot dogs are a tricky thing to pull of and be worth the money, but this place does them in a very memorable way, I have to say I am impressed by what I have tried.

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Mz. Pickles Sandwich Shop

This funny little sandwich shop concept has popped up in downtown Miamisburg, kind of a little storefront run by a nice little old lady, who make you a nice soup or sandwich to order. It’s funny how many nice restaurants are popped up in Miamisburg, and I can almost be easy to overlook this one. But little stores like this actually, are the kind of places that are going to remind you of what it’s like to be in a small town. The friendliness and charm, they just can’t be replaced in a place like this is going to remind you why small-town America is so nice.

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Chicago Gyros & Dogs

There’s a sizeable and devoted population in Southwest Ohio who are expatriates from Chicago. And whether you’re from the South Side or Arlington Heights, or you just paid a visit to the loop, one thing is clear: People who leave Windy City miss the place. Fortunately, Ohio is peppered with little spots like this one, where Vienna Sausage is a gold standard, and where photos of John Hancock Tower are required. Chicago Gyros and Dogs does Chicago street food in a way that few other places can emulate.

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Hearts Hot Dogs

When you think of mobile food vendors these days, the flashpan of food trucks immediately comes to mind, but in bigger cities, of course, it’s nothing new. As flashy food trucks have found their way on onto the Dayton food scene, you see a lot of aggressive marketing and colorful vehicles. Mobile businesses thrive on the hype. Then you have places like Hearts Hot Dogs. It’s practically invisible online, and you won’t find it on Facebook. But this old-style hot dog and burger cart offers a menu of classic Midwestern favorites as simply as possible. It’s a little old fashioned, but it’s also well-liked, and damn reliable.

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Scruffy’s Hot Dogs

The product of a Chicago native and 2010 graduate of the “Hot Dog University” in Chicago, Scruffy’s Hot Dogs opened in 2011 with a tasty and much needed idea: bring the Windy City’s best dishes to Dayton. The restaurant’s interior is filled with all things Chicago, from the namesake band to the typical posters espousing the use of Ketchup on a hot dog, which is tantamount to a desecration of the famous dish.

For all of the great places I’ve visited, this one is a little bit different. It’s not the food that makes this place truly outstanding. It’s the genuinely superb service that makes me want to come back.

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Max’s Take Out

Chicago: the capitol of the Midwest. With almost 10 million residents, the Windy City thrives on countless dives like Max’s Take Out to feed its working men downtown. The little shop looks barely enough to contain a dozen people, but nonetheless pumps out burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches and gyros like nobody’s business in a fast-paced grab-and-go concept true to the rush and frenzy of the city. The Loop in downtown has plenty of flashier and larger places to grab lunch, but once you get a bite of what they’re serving here, it will be hard to forget.

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America’s Dog

With five locations in downtown Chicago, America’s Dog proudly publicizes a pretty audacious claim: number one hot dog in Chicago. The restaurant takes the claim from a 2009 pick in Food Industry News’ Restaurant Tours Pick. One way or another, the dog store is packed with hungry Chicagoans every day and the walls are lined with many photos of the chain’s most famous fans. With a different dog representing different cities around the country, America’s Dog seeks to bring the famous wieners of America to Chicago.

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