ele Cake Co.

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.

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Corner Kitchen

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.

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Abigail Street

Opened in Over-The-Rhine in downtown Cincinnati as another of its much-loved experimental restaurant concepts, Abigail Street is a Tapas bar with a flair for making great small-plate Mediterranean specialties. Served up easy to divide and meant to be shared with friends, this spot has a long wait for its food on the weekends, but the quality of the food is immediately apparent, from when the first dish lands on your table to when the very friendly service sees you off at the end of the night. The concept is definitely unique on this street for the experience that it offers.

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Jay’s Seafood

Jay’s Seafood near Dayton’s Oregon District is a well-known surf and turf establishment near Dayton’s core specializing in upscale dinners. The catches of the day come in many different forms, but the spot knows how to make a variety of fish dishes, from simple clam chowder and fish tacos to lobster, top-shelf crab legs and oysters on a half-shell. A lot of potential in there. This is definitely a spot that is popular with the older folks, and the house is always packed, but Jay’s Seafood does fine dining in Dayton pretty well.

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A Panda Buffet

A Panda Buffet is a neighborhood dining spot serving east Cleveland, and sort of a discount place to get Chinese food. The buffet has a heavy emphasis on seafood and chicken dishes but you’ll find a lot of different things there, some of which are Chinese food favorites and a few others seem to be pretty unique to this buffet. All told, the place seems to be supported by the surrounding neighborhoods but I can’t find anything here that makes it worth a special visit.

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China Buffet

There are a lot of Chinese places in Dayton, and the generically named China Buffet could not be more basic. It’s got a big variety of dishes in its extensive buffet, but the place unfortunately leaves much to be desired. With bland dishes and uninspiring flavors, China Buffet is every bit as forgettable as its name. I love buffets and I’ve probably visited a few too many in my life. They have a definite charm. There are good buffets in Dayton, but this is unfortunately not one of them.

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China Garden Buffet

Right along the major Graceland Boulevard shopping district in northern Columbus, the China Garden Buffet sports a huge set of options for a lunch and dinner buffet of all kinds. The place is fairly straightforward; lunch is $6 and dinner is $9 for access to at least a hundred options of various kinds. You name it, it’s here, this place has quite a wide range of selections and I can’t imagine a more well rounded menu. For all of the options, I’m not sure anything stands out as particularly outstanding.

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McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant

With a location in most of the major cities of the United States, McCormick & Schmick’s comprises a rather complicated chain of 87 restaurants under a dozen different names; all of them are upscale grills specializing in seafood and catering to formal diners. An exact menu is impossible; each location has a new menu printed daily with the specials available there. Fine dining that is found only in the ritziest locales nationwide, McCormick & Schmick’s caters to the upscale, high-class diner who has a very special dinner in mind.

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Golden Dragon Buffet & Grill (CLOSED)

Right in the middle of the Dayton Mall and Centerville commercial district, Golden Dragon is one of nearly a hundred restaurants serving Dayton’s southern-most major business strip. This time of the year, the Dayton Mall area attracts tens of thousands of people daily. Nestled at the end of a line of chain restaurants, Golden Dragon nonetheless ensures potential customers won’t miss its giant sign.

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