Bar Dumaine

As Dayton’s restaurant world goes, Chef Anne Kearney is the cream of the crop. Cutting her teeth on the business alongside Chef Emeril Lagasse in New Orleans, she settled down in the south suburbs with a French-inspired concept, Rue Dumaine, with a nice upscale feel that has become a favorite in Dayton for years. After some scaling back, she’s re-launched Bar Dumaine, a re-brand of the concept with a bit of a scaled-down feel. The interior of the classic bar feels freshened up a bit and the menu has some very approachable features, setting a James Beard award-nominated chef up to carry her concept to the future.

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India Chaat Cafe

South Dayton has a lot of different kinds of ethnic food, if you know where to look. While it doesn’t make a big footprint, India Chaat Cafe has plenty of options for good Indian food. Set up in 2006 primarily as a carry-out spot, it has attained a significant following, both with the Indian-American community in southwest Ohio, and with those many people curious about a new style of food. This spot makes food fast and does a pretty decent job of it.

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The Wild Cow

It’s amazing to watch the revival of East Nashville; this neighborhood has paved the way for a lot of young people and energy to build a once depressed area of the fast-changing city. In that world, The Wild Cow is one of the hot progressive concepts that has thrived in the city. This vegetarian-focused restaurant makes use of the most creative ingredients and non-meat options to produce great cuisine. It’s a difficult prospect to make such a restaurant thrive in the suburbs, but Nashville supports concepts like this one well.

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Carmen’s Deli

Carmen’s Deli serves a very specific niche in downtown Dayton; it’s a bistro based on the ground floor of Kettering Tower, the city’s tallest skyscraper, and easily its most visible tenant. Carmen’s offers sandwiches, wraps, and other goods for breakfast and lunch most weekdays, and it’s a popular destination for downtown dwellers and workers during those times. But whether it’s a sandwich or wrap, or even a simple cup of coffee you’re looking for from Carmen’s, this is a place where I’ve consistently had good experiences. Time and again.

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