The Root Beer Stande, Dayton’s Essential Part of Summer

Every summer has a “must do” activity.  When it comes to food in the Dayton Area, one such tradition is The Root Beer Stande.  It has everything you could want in a Food Adventure.  There is nostalgia, fun, good eats, and great drink.  Located at 1727 Woodman Drive, this restaurant has been a Dayton summertime staple since at least the 1960’s.  Originally an A&W Root Beer Stand, it changed to The Root Beer Stande decades ago, delivering great, casual food ever since.  Gone are the rollerskating waitresses, but much has remained the same over the decades.

A Dayton Summer Tradition - The Root Beer Stande

This place is  a “Drive-in” where patrons drive up, park and are served in their vehicle by “car-hops” who work on tips, just like waitresses.  There is  car port parking where oldies tunes are heard overhead on a speaker system.   Parking is also available in various uncovered spots around the building.  It is a great dining experience, and the young staff is very friendly.  When they are busy, you may have to wait a little bit to get your food, so don’t go there if you are in a hurry.   The fun begins when you pull in, and one of the cute servers slaps a small plastic sheet on patron’s windshields with a serving number.  After your order is taken, make sure you roll your window up a third, so they can place the tray with your food on the window as an overhang.  One little known tradition is that putting your car headlights on lets the server know that you are ready to leave and need to have your tray removed.

Happiness in a Mug

Superfry and The Big Ragu have been frequenting this establishment since they were kids and have some recommendations.  First and foremost, nothing beats one of their cold root beers on a hot summer’s day.  In our opinion, this is the star of the menu and of course their namesake.  Homemade root beer with an original taste is why we love it.  Our tip here is to make sure and order the root beer in a glass mug, because it just doesn’t taste as good in paper “to go” cups.  The root beer here is so good, that your Food Adventurers have been known to order a second mug during the meal.

Superfry loves a good hot dog and The Root Beer Stande serves up some decent “short dog” and “footlong” options.  Being foodies in our forties, we usually get the footlong hot dog.  It is simple and the taste is a great memory from our childhood.   Various topping choices include mustard, relish, chili, ketchup, onions and more.  Grab one and enjoy the view.

The Big Ragu loves their hamburger options and usually grabs a “Ladyburger.”  Yes, we realize the name of this smaller hamburger may be a bit embarrassing, but The Big Ragu is in touch with his feminine side from time to time.   The Big Ragu also recommends that you try the deep fried mushrooms.  Beware, these breaded mushrooms are made to order and served hot, so do not scald yourself by biting into one of these crispy, yet juicy treats.

Nothing fancy - just an irresistible footlong topped with chili and onions

Other favorite menu items include Root Beer Floats and Onion Rings.  The two page menu can be viewed by clicking here for page 1 and here for page 2.   The Root Beer Stande is not just for summer anymore!  The owners have extended season hours, making this spot on Woodman Drive available almost year-round!

Take some time to make The Root Beer Stande your destination this summer.  Kids love this place, and the family, fun atmosphere promises to produce memories that will last a lifetime.   Summer may heat up, but you can always cool down at The Root Beer Stande with a mug of Root Beer!


Have you been to Dayton’s favorite “Drive-In” Restaurant, The Root Beer Stande?  Please share some memories below!


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avatar About Food Adventures with Big Ragu & The Crew

Together, your humble Food Adventurers will seek out locally owned restaurants, unique places off the beaten path, and even give our slant on some familiar favorites. Whenever we visit a place, we call it a “Food Adventure.” You can expect pictures of each Food Adventure we embark on. You can expect us hugging waiters, posting nostalgic blogs, and emotionally eating our way through life. We are not food critics, we just love to eat!