Cafe Zaiya

You see more and more hybrid food shops in New York City where there are unusual matchups of food. Not a gastropub in the real sense of the term, but more so a place where different kinds of food you might not expect can be found. And so, this Asian-themed bakery serves pastries, ice cream, sushi, sandwiches and other things all under one roof. So which thing really is the best reason to stop in to this low-key storefront near the Midtown area? Well that would be the baked goods, definitely hearkening to flavors and tastes in Asia. This is the place to go for something sweet if you don’t like things that are sweet.

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Belle’s Bread Japanese Bakery & Café

Focused specifically on providing baked goods and desserts specifically for an east Asian audience, Belle’s Bread sits among a number of Asian businesses but remains approachable. This Columbus bakery has many kinds of goodies that can’t be found in your average Midwestern shop. Roll cakes, green tea frozen yogurt, Rice cake based dishes. That in addition to the traditional cakes, pies, and bread are available here. What are you aiming to dine in, or you’re taking some food to go, you’ll this is a pretty nice place to try a few new goodies.

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Carl’s Townhouse

A community gathering spot that has survived decades in Chillicothe in some creative ways, Carl’s Townhouse has been a sandwich shop and diner that brings people of all kinds for lunch. Family friendly and serving up comfort foods like burgers, soups and breakfast foods, Carl’s revels in a simpler kind of restaurant concept; one that thrives in small towns as a familiar place where everyone has made happy memories and the food has that charm that transcends the ages. When this place almost closed, they literally moved the building to a new site to save it. There’s a reason it’s got a place like that in the community.

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Jeet India

A prominent Indian food buffet in the Beavercreek neighborhood of Dayton, Jeet India, and its companion restaurant in the south market Amar India, offer a ton of options for Indian food for an audience that is not otherwise familiar with it. The cuisine isn’t what I would consider authentic; the food is more tailored to a western palette but those favorite dishes of Indian cuisine shine through. The restaurant is clean and nice inside, and the food isn’t bad, so this restaurant is a good first step to trying a new kind of cuisine.

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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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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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Aglamesis Bros.

As a little old-fashioned ice cream shop serving the Oakley neighborhood in eastern Cincinnati, it’s hard to miss the bright pink, colorful facade that hosts Algamesis Bros. This little shop offers a selection of delicious, refreshing ice cream flavors, as well as an extensive menu of chocolates that make the mouth water. Nowadays, larger commercial ice cream operations abound in Cincinnati, and it’s nice the city has always hosted a dedicated group of local creameries. When you set foot into this shop, you’ll find an experience that is becoming rarer in America every year: a pleasant walk-up shop with top-notch ice cream flavors.

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Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams has long been one of the most proud homegrown delicacies of Columbus, Ohio. Thirteen years on, Jeni Britton Bauer has taken her special brand of ice cream out of its founding spot in Cbus in all directions, now with creameries open in Cleveland, Nashville, and Chicago. Columbus natives always point to this place as one of the first you need to visit to really understand the culture of the city, and it’s fitting that kind of accolade has come to an Ohio State University grad. One taste of the ice creams here and you’ll get the hype.

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Young’s Jersey Dairy

Ask anyone in Dayton what they think of Young’s Jersey Dairy, and you’ll probably hear a lot of good things. Though it’s out on the edge of the area, outside Yellow Springs, this spot is far more than a simple restaurant. The multi-acre farm offers a variety of family attractions in addition to its much-beloved ice cream, fast food and homemade goodies, all while you can mini-golf in the spring, pick pumpkins and take hayrides in the fall, pet the animals and more. The crowds speak for themselves. Yes, Young’s Jersey Dairy is an experience.

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De’lish Cafe

A fantastic dining option in downtown Dayton, De’lish Cafe and Bar is a lot more than the simple facade you see outside. Its interior is a bar concept that looks like it might be fit for a nightclub, except it’s much more a business lunch destination. De’lish serves up a number of different light dining options covering a wide variety of cuisines. I like some of them more than others, but ultimately I would say there are a lot of great reasons to come out and give this Main Street spot a try.

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