Dayton, Ohio has a vibrant food scene with a wide range of offerings from casual bites to fine dining. With over 300 full-serve eateries to choose from according to City-Data.com, it’s going to take a while before you can sample them all. Whether you’re moving here after just purchasing a slice of Dayton real estate or planning a visit, these are six you’ll definitely want to try.
Enjoy a relaxed atmosphere for dining at what’s often been called Dayton’s best-kept secret. Coldwater Cafe offers unique indoor dining that’s incorporated the old bank building’s vault and board room along with outdoor seating for taking advantage of a beautiful day. Look forward to signature dishes like gourmet grilled cheese, Chilean sea bass and ostrich filet followed by homemade desserts or an after-dinner cocktail.
Open for dinner only, Jay’s is the premier seafood spot in the state, serving the daily fresh catch along with lobster and crab feasts on Thursday nights. Other offerings include grilled rare tuna, bourbon salmon and calamari. In addition to being a fine dining restaurant, there’s a wine shop, seafood market and a “kitchen door” where you can pick up exceptionally prepared foods and then finish them at home.
Roost Modern Italian
This Intimate, upscale restaurant offers a magical ambiance for a romantic dinner, serving a small menu of steak, seafood and fresh pasta alongside an extensive wine and cocktail list. Some of the favorites include appetizers like mussels in a white wine sauce followed by grilled lamb chops and a decadent dessert like the “trilogy.” You’ll want to save room, it features a two-ounce glass of Chianti, a chocolate morso del giorno and an espresso.
Specializing in old-fashioned home-style cooking focused around American fare like cornbread and buttermilk potatoes paired with fish, meat and vegetarian dishes, Meadowlark is a locals’ favorite. Expect high-quality ingredients cooked simply, with generous portions and fabulous flavors. Everything is made from scratch with ingredients sourced locally. Popular dishes include pork tenderloin with jezebel sauce and chicken sausage cavatappi.
If you’re craving Asian, Ozu852 is consistently rated the No. 1 place to go by area locals for its high-quality dishes, a modern interpretation of the classics, along with outstanding service and a friendly staff. The menu includes both Chinese and Japanese favorites like Egg Foo Young along with a wide variety of sushi offerings, from classic sushi rolls to sashimi.
There’s always a line at First Watch, especially on the weekend. It’s famous for breakfast, lunch and brunch, with an extensive menu, generous portions and deliciously fresh ingredients. The staff is happy to customize any order from traditional breakfast favorites like omelets and pancakes to a long list of creative dishes. Try the Market Hash featuring two eggs tossed on a hash made up of seasoned potatoes with red peppers, onions, zucchini, house-roasted mushrooms, spinach, herbed goat cheese and melted mozzarella. There are fresh fruit crepes, pumpkin pancakes and plenty of healthy offerings as well.
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