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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Table 33

A new restaurant which has set itself up in downtown Dayton, Table 33 is an interesting concept; focusing on locally-produced ingredients which are constructed into more creative recipes for lighter cuisine, while a friendly bar in the center of the establishment offers an inviting place to grab a drink in the evening. While the concept remains new and its ideas refined, Table 33 has begun to differentiate itself in a way its predecessors did not, as a place for greater experimentation and a push to grow, make, and eat local.

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Rodizio Grill

Envisioned as a way to bring a Brazilian style of eating to the United States in a form where it hasn’t been, the Rodizio Grill chain finds its way into upscale shopping center and mixed use developments with a lot of cool ideas. The over 20 locations promise a meat-lover’s paradise; the full Rodizio experience offers different kinds of steaks and meats roasted over a spit, then served to you at your table by “gauchos,” or Brazilian cowboys. Then you can also enjoy the buffet with a full list of hot foods, veggies, and other kinds of things. It’s a pricier experience, and one where you’ll walk away very full, but Rodizio still has a lot to offer.

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Culp’s Cafe

While this unassuming hut in Dayton’s Carillon Park looks like a basic concession stand, it’s actually one of the most interesting recollections of Dayton’s history. Culp’s Cafe assumes the heritage and name of a lunch counter opened downtown in 1902, and which later became a tenant in one of downtown’s most vibrant one-time centerpieces: the Dayton Arcade. As the reincarnation of that much-loved Dayton eatery, which closed in 1960, Culp’s Cafe at Carillon Park offers the kind of food you would get at a 40s-era lunch counter: Sandwiches, soups and ice creams among them. This quiet spot is a perfect lunch destination.

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Yesterday’s Cafe & Tea Room

Tea houses are an increasingly rare site, even in a place like Florence, Kentucky. But those that do well, seem to do really well, carving out a niche among the avid tea-drinking population. While it sort of looks off the beaten bath, the converted home that is Yesterday’s Cafe & Tea Room has a lot of little things to draw you in, from homemade sandwiches, soups and salads to a variety of teas and several different styles. You won’t go thirsty with Yesterday’s extensive collection of hot drinks. The menu here might impress you, too.

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Lucky’s Taproom & Eatery

Oregon District has a lot of bars with a lot of good bar food, and when you first walk through downtown Dayton’s main nightlife spot, you might not at first set your sights on the small operation that is Lucky’s. But make no mistake, this spot is much beloved by Dayton city-dwellers. Whether they’re making use of the spot’s extensive tap list or just looking to sample one of the burgers or sandwiches that fill its menu, people come to this spot in droves. The hype leaves you wondering, is it worth a try? The answer is yes.

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Troll Pub Under the Bridge

If you were walking around downtown Louisville, you would easily miss the bar hiding under the Clark Memorial Bridge that leads to the north. Except for the trolls. Literally, peeking out from the underground bar, the goofy little mascots are a funny way to introduce you to the Troll Pub Under the Bridge. A dank little watering hole where locals love to go for pub food and a drink. The food here is good, and the atmosphere is perfect for the theme. It’s a funny place to see, and in fact, I think it’s overall a good experience.

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Boston Stoker

Large chain restaurants dominate too many of Dayton’s neighborhoods, with the likes of Zagat and other national critiques overlooking too many of Gem City’s home-grown innovations for regional or national brands. One of them is Boston Stoker, a small coffee chain with locations in all of the largest spots in Dayton, representing the major coffee destination in downtown, the Centerville area, and in each of the three Dorothy Lane Markets in town. It’s in this chain of locally-produced coffee spots with a great variety and a great atmosphere, that you find out what Zagat has been missing about this city.

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The Deli on Webster

Webster Street isn’t far from downtown Dayton proper, but you don’t spot a lot of other things in that part of town that bring people out during the week. In fact, though, with the Second Street Market, the Dayton Dragons, and a few other things that bring downtown folks to play. But I consider The Deli to be a very under-appreciated gem of downtown dining. Too many folks missing out on the opportunity to try some great food.

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The Over Hang

For a very long time, the storefront at 63 North Court Street stood vacant. The spot, formerly known as the Blue Gator, closed in 2007 and didn’t come back to life until recently. Now re-imagined as “The Over Hang,” this new Athens bar sports a spacious interior for dancing and a large bar where people come and enjoy both food and drinks and some company. It’s a dark and spacious interior and another spot along Court Street where the college crowd gathers to enjoy a few drinks and some lively company.

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