Thai Silver Spoon

The spot at 249 W. Central Ave has been the site of a few different restaurants recently, but the new Thai Silver Spoon spot brings a different kind of cuisine to a place previously a Chinese restaurant for a long time. There’s more than one reason to consider giving this place a try, be it the simple but quality menu of Thai noodle dishes and soups, all of which can be made spicy to your liking. This spot is popular with the Springboro crowd and the locals like their food a certain way.

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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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ZenCha Tea Salon

Now with three locations across Columbus, Zen Cha Tea Salon is a modern take on the classic, quiet and lovable tea house. Tea lovers can come to a place like this for a chance to enjoy nice drinks and tea time bites to eat while in a quieter and more peaceful environment. The salon is located in places that are typically very busy and crowded, but in each, the tea house is an island of calm, its drinks and goodies a real reason to come in.

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Sunflower Chinese Restaurant

While Columbus has plenty of Chinese food of all kinds, it’s harder to find a really good experience for the less Americanized palette of dim sum in the city. But when you get a taste of the more traditional Cantonese meal, you find it quickly grows on you. Sunflower Chinese Restaurant has a following in town, particularly in the close-knit Chinese-American community, for how its food hearkens to a different kind of eating. The spot has a regular menu full of Americanized dishes, but I highly recommend coming in to try something a bit more unusual, because here you’ll find a special liking for it.

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Bob’s Shanghai 66

Washington DC is an eclectic city where a lot of kinds of cultures intermingle. It’s refreshing to see how many minds of ethnic food can be tried in an international city like this one. Bob’s Shanghai 66 is one of them. To be clear, that name is not one that makes you think of ethnic foods, but make no mistake, this spot offers something really great.

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Asian House Sushi Bar & Grill

While south Dayton has seen a few great new restaurant concepts around the Dayton Mall area, the Asian House Sushi Bar is the reinvention of a spot that has long been a hibachi grill, buffet, and a few other things. Asian House, though, is a concept that I think has staying power; offering a variety of Chinese food entrees, sushi and dim sum. Dayton has very few places with that range of food, and I found trying it here to be a worthwhile experience.

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Yesterday’s Cafe & Tea Room

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.

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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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China Dynasty

While there are a ton of good restaurant options in the Dayton area, especially with Chinese food, there are not a ton of places that focus on a quality dine-in experience. Most are priced for convenience or set up as a take-out or delivery business. This spot actually is one of the few Chef-owned Chinese spots in town, and Chef Stephen can often be found walking through the restaurant and making sure everyone’s food is perfect. This is one of the older spots in town too, having opened in 1995 and rolling along ever since, as the Centerville area has developed all around it.

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Boston Stoker

Large chain restaurants dominate too many of Dayton’s neighborhoods, with the likes of Zagat and other national critiques overlooking too many of Gem City’s home-grown innovations for regional or national brands. One of them is Boston Stoker, a small coffee chain with locations in all of the largest spots in Dayton, representing the major coffee destination in downtown, the Centerville area, and in each of the three Dorothy Lane Markets in town. It’s in this chain of locally-produced coffee spots with a great variety and a great atmosphere, that you find out what Zagat has been missing about this city.

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