Green Symphony

While Manhattan is packed to the gills with greasy pizza, fatty junk food and sugary desserts, Green Symphony is a shrine to healthy foods. Featuring a convenience store of Protein bars, organic popcorn, teas and juices, kale chips and nutritional baked goods, this spot is visited by body builders, runners and altogether a fit clientele. You wouldn’t immediately notice it but the place has a menu of food beyond smoothies and chopped fruit.

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Song’s Sushi

While it’s only been open a little over a year, Song’s Sushi along Airway Road east of Dayton has already drawn considerable praise as an under-appreciated new gem in the city. With a captive audience in nearby Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the dive serves up Korean and Japanese food — and fast, to keep up with those tight lunch break routines. The rapid-fire service might lead you to think this is a no-frills place, but in reality, it’s great food served from a tight ship. This kind of efficiency is sure to impress by itself, but the food backs it up.

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Osaka Sushi & Hibachi Bar

While there are a few Asian-themed buffets around Dayton, what Osaka Japanese Steakhouse offers the region is a very unique experience. Opened in what has for several years been a series of family dining restaurants, this one is a higher-priced buffet of Far Eastern cuisines you won’t find in many other places around town, and certainly not all under one roof. From Peking duck to octopus, frog legs and, yes, a sushi conveyor belt, this spot is a place to go when you’re feeling like a very adventurous experience.

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China Garden Buffet

As many years as it has stood in Springboro, China Garden Buffet has been a spot for inexpensive eats, and an all-you-can-eat Chinese dive that attracts plenty for its quantity of dishes. You can get a variety of dishes here — sushi, chicken dishes and seafood as well as plenty of veggies — to try on that buffet. It brings in a decent crowd from Franklin and Springboro for cheap eats, but leaves something to be desired.

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Hiko-a-mon

With downtown Louisville changing at the hands of a ton of new buildings, more housing and new businesses, it’s a welcome site indeed that some great new restaurant concepts are populating around the city’s core, too. Hiko-A-Mon, a casual concept for Asian fusion-style foods as well as sushi, is a relatively new face in the core, with a particular brand of sushi that is easy to love and really not that expensive. The restaurant scene in this part of Kentucky is some of the state’s most adventurous, and I think the concept comes to Louisville’s core at a good time.

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Osaka Japanese Steakhouse

With an appreciation for the finer things, Osaka Japanese Steakhouse has two locations in east and north Dayton, and each of them is focused on bringing a higher-end sushi and hibachi grill experience. Naturally focused on bringing out larger groups, the spot has plenty of different Japanese dishes to try, but those two are easily the first things you should try when coming here. The experience is good; bring a friend, or better a group. The popularity of the spot seems to speak for itself, with the many photos lining the walls of fans of the place.

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Laksa Asian Fusion

Asian Fusian concepts are a funny thing. They’re made for convenience, with a variety of the common popular dishes from Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Vietnamese foods. But with them comes a charm, if the cook has mastered all of those cuisines. The Laksa Asian Fusion concept, set up east of Dayton, is an interesting example. Built in the former Linh’s Restaurant space, this spot aims to bring the most popular dishes in an approachable concept. I like the place for how easy it makes the many cuisines to understand.

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Grand Oriental

While northern Cincinnati’s suburbs have changed drastically over the past 25 years, Grand Oriental has remained a mainstay on Fields Ertel Road. Since 1988, this upscale Chinese restaurant has served not only popular traditional Americanized Chinese food, but a more traditional Cantonese tradition called “dim sum,” where small dishes of different traditional foods are served in steamer baskets, with servers bringing many different kinds of these dishes around the restaurant and diners pick out what they like. It’s not common to find this kind of dining around Ohio, and it’s definitely worth a visit.

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Shen’s Szechuan & Sushi

A sushi house with a few favorite Chinese dishes, Shen’s Szechuan & Sushi — formerly known as Mr. Lee’s Fine Dining — looks to bring an upscale dining experience to the neighborhoods north of Dayton. This spot keeps it classy with dozens of great options for sushi, including a new specialty roll that comes out weekly, from its experienced chefs. The prices here are a little higher than what is average in the market, but I found them to be worth it, experience is a good one and the staff is great.

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Asian King

Completing the triumvirate of Chinese food shops serving the Beavercreek suburb of Dayton, Asian King is a spot that caters primarily as a delivery service to the nearby neighborhoods, competing against China King which serves as a buffet and New Great Wall Chinese across the street with its carry-out business. Asian King keeps it simple with a menu of classic Chinese food favorites, as well as some other popular Asian cuisine, like pad Thai and Vietnamese Pho noodle soups. The diversity of that menu is worth noting, but the dishes I tried have not impressed me.

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