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.
The famous Golden Lamb Inn of Lebanon, Ohio has been in business for over 200 years, and counts among its thousands of satisfied customers a dozen United States presidents. Once a stagecoach stop on the road to Cincinnati, this spot still operates as a hotel, restaurant and bar stop with some very classic and long-loved dishes. Step into the country kitchen and you’ll find an experience that is something like a museum, something like an old tavern lost in time, but still serving great food. Golden Lamb is a landmark well worth a stop in Lebanon, and the food delivers.
The newest addition to the Oregon District, and the creation of husband and wife team Natalie and Jack Skilliter, Corner Kitchen opened in a long-vacant space at the corner of one of Dayton’s most loved nightlife spots as a place where people can go to get something upscale but down-to-earth. The deliberate craft of its owners is apparent in the restaurant; each dish looks pretty simple from the outside but gets more complex as you dive in; and in the end the food here really delivers something that downtown Dayton has been craving.
Amber Rose is a bit of an under-appreciated restaurant just northeast of downtown Dayton that caters to a number of European cuisines, ranging from German and Polish food to Hungarian, Italian and even Russian. The spot doesn’t advertise a ton so it’s not very well known out in the suburbs, but the food you find here is a great ethnic change-up from some of the other things you’ll find in town. Amber Rose offers a lot of dishes that are unique to Dayton, and it’s worth a try.
Piqua may be one of countless small towns along the Interstate 75 corridor in western Ohio, but this town has an unmistakably different appeal. Its far-flung bike trails Bring people up from as far as Cincinnati, while its access to the Great Miami River often brings them back down again. Whatever the reason that people end up in Piqua, it’s pretty difficult for them to miss the 311 Taphouse along the city’s main stretch. This spot offers several dozen beers on tap at a time, and a lot of simple bar food that evokes the small-town feel of western Ohio. It’s a spot that’s well worth a visit if you happen to find yourself in this outdoor city.
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.
This small chain of diners based in Champaign, Illinois has something of an old-fashioned feel to it. Four locations around central Illinois, many featuring such things as an old-fashioned diner bar and lunch counter. An enormous Rosie the Riveter poster (holding a hamburger no less) looks on as you get seated to try the spot. Its menu an a la carte collection of different breakfast items and of course quarter-pound diner burgers with ketchup and cheese, sort of a mainstay of diners past. It’s a small business like this one that often forms the beating heart of a large town like Champaign.