Athens has a ton of options for Chinese food, but other cuisines from Asia are actually pretty hard to come by in the College town. Sure, a few places to sushi, and a few others have pad Thai but that’s about it. Thai Paradise has brought the change; opened in 2008 in Pickerington, east of Columbus, this destination staked out a spot in Athens in 2014 and since then has been the go-to place for Thai food in town. With a great selection of dishes to try, and a feel that is just a bit on the nicer side, this is one you will want to try.
It’s pretty hard to find a place in the midwestern United States that does Korean barbecue — the distinctive style of cooking raw meats on a hot element is something that is easy to embrace…once you’re already familiar with the process. So around here, it doesn’t have much of a following. But if you want an introduction on the idea, a good place to go would be Kaya Grill & Sushi, a Columbus spot that specializes in Korean and Japanese cooking. But the best thing to try in the restaurant has to be this unique way of eating, both for its rarity in this area and for the potential to really walk away satisfied you’ve had a great meal.
A newer Asian Fusion restaurant opened off Wilmington Pike in the Dayton suburb of Kettering, Sky Asian Cuisine focuses heavily on two things — sushi and noodles, both primarily Japanese specialties. But the restaurant’s menu spans a number of other East Asian cuisines from Chinese meat dishes to pad Thai. It’s designed to be a more formal sit-down kind of restaurant with its low-lit interior giving wide view to the sushi bar and good collection of drinks and cocktails bringing people out into the night. I like this place for its refined feel as a romantic go-to.
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.
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.
As one of the many refined dining destinations at The Greene in east Dayton, Choe’s Asian Gourmet is an upscale purveyor of both Chinese and Thai dishes as well as sushi and vegetarian dishes. It’s a classy little joint, the kind with a very sleek contemporary feel and where you might want to dress up a little. The people here seem to pride themselves on creating an excellent dining experience, and you certainly will find that there is plenty to appreciate here.
Most of Argo Tea’s 23 locations are packed in downtown Chicago, and wandering through this city, it almost feels like there’s one on every corner. The chain, based in this city, tailors its fancy coffee and tree products to the person on the go, and it’s spotted pretty exclusively in major cities. Argo’s business is based on six tenants (CommuniTea, DiversiTea, ChariTea, QualiTea, SustainabiliTea, and CreativiTea, as they are called) and its mission is to bring a drink which is not only tasty, but holistic as well. I like the idea.
You might not be able to tell from its plain-looking building, but Thai 9 Thai and Sushi Restaurant is often mentioned as one of the best Asian cuisine places in Dayton. The Thai food place is situated on the edge of downtown and the Oregon District — where many of the city’s more cultured establishments are situated. Spend any decent amount of time around this city, and you’re certain to run into one local or another who swears Thai 9 has the best food they’ve ever eaten.
Ritzy, fancy and very upscale, La Comedia Dinner Theatre has been one of Dayton’s prime restaurant businesses since 1975, offering a fine dinner packaged with off-Broadway shows for very special occasions. From “Titanic” to “A Christmas Carol,” the playbill includes about six plays a year and offers a truly unique experience for Dayton residents. It’s well-known in the area and frequented by couples for their anniversaries as well as birthdays and holidays. Sport coat and tie optional, but definitely plan to dress up. Tickets start at $53, so you’ll want to make reservations in advance as much as possible.