The Dayton food world had comers and goers in the year 2016. Lots of eateries opened and some closed. We said goodbye to some old favorites and said hello to some new and exciting cuisine.
Today, Food Adventures looks back on the year in review. If you are a foodie, check out our list below. You will see a lot of new places in the Miami Valley that will spark your interest!
Get a fork, spoon and your nostalgia caps on as we explore the “The Year in Food.”
*****RESTAURANTS THAT OPENED in 2016*****
ARCHERS TAVERN, KETTERING: Taking a successful restaurant philosophy and expanding it to Kettering has seemed to work out well
for the owners of Archer’s. If the first couple of months are any indication, look for continued success at this location on Dorothy Lane in the old Tumbleweed location.
AREPAS and CO. – DOWNTOWN: This Columbian restaurant opened it’s 3rd location in old Olive Dive spot. Besides a strong cultural menu, they offer catering to parties big and small. Delicious, fresh and food choices you won’t find anywhere else.
BAR 145: This restaurant chain is open at Austin Landing. It is known for burgers, lots of beers on tap and a section of the restaurant that holds vintage 80’s arcade games and live music on the weekends. Definitely a fun place to check out.
BAR LOUIE: Austin Landing landed this chain in 2016. A slightly more casual version of the one at the Greene, you can expect the same happy hour and burger specials. And try the totchos – yes, tater tots in your nachos…
BASIL’S ON MARKET: North Patterson Blvd is the expansion location for this 2nd restaurant opening (the original one is still in business in Troy). Incredible food photos on their Facebook page scream “You gotta come eat here.” They have some amazing looking food and a huge patio overlooking the water.
BEAR CREEK DONUTS: Inventive, locally owned donut shop in Miamisburg that raises the bar on toppings. One trip to this place, and you will be hooked. Golden Grahams on Donuts? Yeah , they got that.
BIBIBOP ASIAN GRILL: This Columbus chain finally lands in Dayton near U.D. and has plans for a couple more to come. The Korean inspired meals start with steamed rice, topped with your choice of grilled meats or tofu and a mix of fresh vegetables and Asian sauces.
BJ’S RESTAURANT & BREWHOUSE, FAIRFIELD COMMONS: That craft beer brewing chain with the great appetizers, opens up another mammoth eatery near Fairfield Commons mall. The menu is solid from top to bottom.
BLUE NOTE BISTRO and LOUNGE: New jazz hall and restaurant on 23 E. Central Ave in Miamisburg, which offers Sunday brunch. Over the summer, they expanded dining and music hours. Their Facebook page usually details the happenings.
BRAVO, FAIRFIELD COMMONS: The familiar Italian chain, expands in the Beavercreek/Fairborn area. Must eats are the ravioli, and of course we love to dip the bread in that olive oil mixture, all night long.
CARMELLA’S ITALIAN KITCHEN: Just opened in the old Murphy’s Pub location on Wilmington Pike. Their menu features Italian foods and sandwiches.
CHEDDAR’S SCRATCH KITCHEN: Chain out of Irving, Texas, with dozens of locations reaching up into New York. Big portions and a huge menu with semi-reasonable prices. Think TGI Fridays on steroids or a casual version of Cheesecake Factory (with no cheesecakes.) The new popular place at The Cornerstone development on Feedwire Rd. Warning: Long waiting list during peak times.
CHUY’S, FAIRFIELD COMMONS: This Mexican chain is popping up stores quickly and the newest one is a location near the Fairfield Commons Mall. Great guacamole dip starts out each meal right. Try the margaritas and the Elvis Presley Memorial Combo of Enchiladas.
CRAFTED and CURED: Two local men started this in Spring, 2016. The concept is a cured meat shop, with over 60 craft beers on tap, featuring ales, stouts, ciders, sours and meads. Of course the menu will feature rare meats and cheeses. Read Chef House’s scoop HERE on her MostMetro article. And they’ve just announced that 3 more food businesses will be joining them in 2017- a deli- Local Hero Butchery & Fare, a seafood option- Jack Lukey’s Oyster Saloon & Caviar Bar and Mediterranean goodies from Glasz Bleu Oven.
D20: A Bar With Characters- Board games and brews on draft are the hallmark for this new place in the shopping center adjacent to the Whipp Rd Kroger. Local owners Andrew Sparks and Christine Cooper have come up with the concept, and the drinking and dining area look inviting. The D20 reference is a slang name for a Dungeon’s and Dragon’s 20 sided dice.
DARK HORSE TAVERN (closed in July -reopened in Nov.): They abruptly closed in July 2016, but the love of this place caused a deal to transfer the ownership and keep the menu and music alive. Known for bands and BBQ, it is a great watering hole, with a huge bar. Opened back up in November, Manager Nikky Vontz is getting this place running right!
DON PATRON MEXICAN GRILL of FAIRBORN: They have 2 Ohio locations, the latest being on 2632 Colonel Glenn Highway. Specialties include Carnitas, Burritos, Fajitas and of course, Tacos. They even have wings.
DOUBLE D’S FIT-Q MEAL PREP: Waynesville’s BBQ boys have opened a brick and mortar place in downtown Lebanon.
Owners Dan Velemirov and Dustin Seyersdahl are known for some great traditional BBQ. They also have a signature sweet cornbread waffle and BBQ hot shot.
DOUBLEDAYS, SPRINGBORO: One of Dayton’s most popular locally owned restaurants, expanded to another location in front of the Dorothy Lane Market Springboro in the old Sammy’s El Pueblo building. New location, but the same old favorites remain. If you have not tried their homemade soups, you are in for a treat. They also showcase an extensive sandwich, burger and dinner platter menu.
FREDDY’S FROZEN CUSTARD & STEAKBURGERS: A new fast food chain hits Dayton. It is a cross between Steak and Shake and Culver’s. Quick smashed burgers on the grill, hot dogs and custard sundaes are the signature of this quick bite. Drive thru or dine in, and you will enjoy this throwback meal.
GYRO DELIGHT: Some good buzz is going about this new gyro shop on Wilmington Pike. They have familiar treats like Shish kabobs, Greek fries, chicken gyros and traditional gyros. They also carry exotic Mediterranean food like baklava, shawarma, moussaka and dolmades.
JOHN ANTHONY’S SOUTHERN CUISINE: This spot opened
in summer 2016 on Salem Ave. They feature salads, fried catfish, collard greens, fried chicken & waffles. Soul food at it’s finest, even down to the fried okra.
KUPBOP: The latest quick eatery on Woodman Dr. highlights the lighter, healthier side of Korean cuisine. The “Create Your Own” seems to be the way to go. This is the Korean version of Chipotle.
MARILYN’S GRILL: This restaurant has been serving Soul food on North Main since January. Daily specials like Pork Chops, and Lemon Pepper Wings are crowd pleasers. Other items like chicken and dumplings, or Philly Chicken subs look unreal.
MIKE’S NASHVILLE HOT: The new “go to ” place for Southern fried chicken at Austin Landing. Hand breaded chicken in strips, or whole pieces, spicy or not. They also have a slew of sides and a perch option, with a 2nd location coming to Centerville on 48.
MURRAY’S PUB: Opened in January, 2016, then in December, 2016 announced it would be transitioning into the 937 Grill and Taproom. Two new owners are taking over. Look for an expanding bar menu and continued drink specials.
OINK-A-DOODLE-MOO: Miamisburg is the new location for this place, formerly in Kettering. Great BBQ, sauces and sides are the tradition here. Located at 40 N Main St in Miamisburg, they have a full catering menu too.
OLD BAG OF NAILS PUB: Cross Pointe’s latest restaurant is one of a group of Columbus owned eateries. They have an extensive menu of burgers and sandwiches, and many seafood entrees like Scallops, Blackened Tuna Steak and Fried Clams. A nice soup and dessert offering round out a large menu of options.
OLD SCRATCH PIZZA and BEER: The word is out about this new pizza place, and the feedback has been great. They have red sauce options, white sauce options,salads, sandwiches and a full craft beer list. Create your own pizza, or choose from the dozen options they have. Located at 812 South Patterson Blvd. there’s even a great private room for parties or meetings.
PANDA EXPRESS: Dayton’s only “drive thru Chinese restaurant” is here. This eatery is owned out of California with sites all over the USA including mall courts. Menu choices are simple and traditional. Choose from chicken or shrimp in sweet sauces or fried.
PANERA BREAD, HUBER HEIGHTS: The familiar chain with the bread bowl soups, pastries and more. Huber Heights, you too now, can enjoy the fun.
PHILLY PRETZEL FACTORY: Centerville just held a ribbon cutting at this location on S. Main Street near Lock 27. Big, Soft Pretzels are the love here, with various toppings and dips. Get ready to make and bring back some memories with your first bites.
PIZZA FIRE: The fresh toppings pizza place where you run down the line and top it yourself. The new location is on 4325 Far Hills Ave in Kettering.
PRIMANTI BROTHERS: The famous Pittsburgh chain is now in Dayton too, near the Fairfield Commons mall. Overstuffed pastrami sandwiches, reubens, and are all the rage here. Are they as good as the original? You be the judge.
RAPID FIRED PIZZA (4 new locations): Fairborn, Centerville, Bellbrook and Huber Heights, locations are all news and have all been thriving and Kettering opensthis Friday with FREE pizza. Quick Pizzas and Quick huge salads for about $7.95. With topping choices like ricotta cheese and sun dried tomatoes, what’s not to like?
SKY ASIAN CUISINE: The upscale Sushi restaurant that took over the struggling location at the corner of Wilmington Pike and Woodman’s fork in the road. All the discussions we have heard about this place have been very positive.
SMITH’S BOATHOUSE RESTAURANT: On the Great Miami River, in Troy, Ohio, this upscale dinner place specializes in Seafood and Steak. A fun, elegant setting, and the owners are lifelong locals who seem to really care about the food quality.
SPENT GRAIN GRILL: Inside Warped Wing Brewery, this literal hole in the wall place serves tremendous amounts of food to a busy, thirsty brew crowd. From loose meat sandwiches to the tater tots, we are fans of this new place. Spent Grain literally uses the waste from the brewing process to make pizza dough and bread for their burger and sandwich buns. Good idea, and it fills a need for tasty food while drinking locally brewed beer.
STAGECOACH CAFE: New Carlisle has a quaint new eatery that is turning heads. With 35 facebook reviews and all of them 5 stars, it is time to give credit where due. Specials like Lasagna and Chicken and Noodles, point to a place with comfort food. There saying is “Stop in and try the homemade difference.” It looks like it is time for a a Food Adventure.
TABLE 33: With the saying “grow, share, eat,” they are blazing a unique trail in the breakfast food jungle. They use locally sourced products and have faith based philosophy of turning no hungry person away. Located at 130 West 2nd Street, they offer weekend brunches as well.
TABLE of CONTENTS CAFE: Xenia area cafe owned by Cassaundra Lee. It is actually inside the Blue Jacket Bookstore. They have a daily menu with coups made from scratch. Hand baked items are available for dine-in or takeout.
TEXAS BEEF and CATTLE CO.: Originally know for festivals, these caterers now have a restaurant where patrons can own a share of the establishment. Being an owner has its privileges such as price breaks and more. Owner James Nunez and his family make some of the most succulent beef brisket we have ever tried. Their BBQ sauces and rubs are amazing. Get to 1105 W 3rd St, these people know what they are doing.
TOKYO JAPANESE GRILL & SUSHI: New full service sushi restaurant with hibachi and Japanese soup choices as well. Located across the street from the Cornerstone development on Feedwire Rd, it has been open since April, 2016. Menu offers deals on larger pieces of sushi orders.
VICTOR’S TACO SHOP: Recently opened at 1438 Keowee Street, there is also a location at 1002 N. Broad St. in Fairborn. This colorful drive thru specializes in Tacos, Rolled Tacos, Quesadillas and Todstadas.
THE WANDERING GRIFFIN: The newest Brewery and watering hole has a unique design. They have a couple bars and a coffee bar called Wanderlust. The menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner is getting great reviews. You may recall this place used to house Quaker Steak and Lube near Wright State’s Campus, just off Colonel Glenn Highway.
THE WRIGHT PLACE: Completely remodeled restaurant inside the Holiday Inn, across from Wright State. This eatery looks to pull guests in with historic decor and great food. Using local foods and a “chef’s garden,” Chef Justin White looks to kick things up a notch on his menu.
ZOMBIE DOGZ: Dayton’s most popular food truck has a brick and mortar location on Brown St. in the old Shish Wraps storefront. David and Lee VanArtsdalen have really pushed the envelope over the years, and now you can have all of your favorite dogz – check out their menu here. How can anybody not love this fun place?
*****NEW FOOD TRUCKS IN 2016*****
GREEK STREET FOOD TRUCK: Owner Chris Spirtos has taken his street Gyro recipes to the Dayton streets with great success. They have one of the more grueling schedule of appearances, and it has led to many being exposed to their great foods. Our faves are the baklava, spanakopita and “Chicken Gyros, Street Style”
LATIN AREPAS FOOD TRUCK: A family operated food truck, that also offers catering. The menu includes classic Venezuelan,Colombian, Latin American, and Tropical cuisine. Menu items include Arepas, Tacos, & Empanadas. They are Vegan & Vegetarian Friendly, with Gluten free choices.
MENEHUNE TIKI BUS: This is the only double decker food truck in Dayton, and it is a stunning sight. Although dogged by a couple of unfortunate mechanical issues and a wreck, they are back and bringing their Hawaiian and South Pacific food to the Miami Valley masses. The Kalua Pork Grilled Cheese sandwich is a “must eat.”
SON OF A BISCUIT: Dayton’s Breakfast Food Truck featuring Biscuit and English Muffin Sandwiches. Brad Manning, the owner prides himself on quality ingredients so he only serves Landes Fresh Meats from an old fashioned farm market in Clayton that specializes in Farm-Harvested Beef & Pork. This Food Truck makes it easy to want to “rise and shine.”
And now … sadly, some of our favorite Food Adventure spots closed this year as well…
*****RESTAURANTS THAT CLOSED in 2016*****
BAD DOG, NICE TACO: Our own Chef LeeAnne House and Brian Johnson teamed to bring you a hot dog and nacho cart that spoiled us with toppings from feta to freshly made housemade sauces. Currently Chef House is in Chicago, and when we asked about a re-opening possibility for Bad Dog, she said “never say never.” Stay Tuned.
THE BARNSIDER: After more than 41 years, the Barnsider restaurant served its last meal in May 2016. Known for prime rib and shrimp dinners, you can still buy their cocktail sauce at local grocers and Foremost Seafood.
BOB EVAN’S: The location on Harshman Road, near Stebbins High School closed in 2016. We hope the students of Stebbins are still able to get biscuits, gravy and pancakes at acceptable intervals.
BOSTON’S BISTRO: July 2016 marked a historic closing. After 35 years of business, owner Dave Boston closed his establishment on N. Main Street. Much of his business has been at the old Sports Page location. It was a building his father built. Boston’s was known for being the first place to sell multiple craft beers in the Dayton area. He started selling craft beers in the 1970’s. Dave said he would reopen at another site if the deal was right.
CORLEONE’S CENTERVILLE: This spinoff pizza joint was the 2nd location for Corleone’s, tucked into a shopping center on 725 behind Fricker’s. It never quite took off, even though they had some tremendous pizza and pasta options. Thankfully the Patterson Rd. location is still open.
DESIGNER DOGS: It opened in January, 2016 inside the Fairfield Commons mall, and closed in September. Inventive toppings on the hot dogs included shout outs to various cities and states. The owners promise a return in some fashion, noting a deal in the works to mass produce their dogs. Hopefully we see them again real soon.
DON PABLO’S, FAIRFIELD COMMONS: They were one of the first restaurants to open around the Fairfield Mall. Decades later, they would close in 2016 citing lack of business. We are sad to see them go as their drinks and chips with salsa were some of the best around town.
DT’s KITCHEN CARRYOUT: They opened in March and closed in December, 2016. The menu was a broad diner menu from Quesadillas to Fried Shrimp Dinners. We hate to see locally owned restaurants close, especially when the customer reviews looked so good.
ECLIPSE COFFEE and TEA: Locally owned coffee shop located on Wilmington Pike between LaRosa’s and Frisch’s. Maybe the location was tough, because it looks like the product was superior. They carried quality coffees and teas out of Seven Hills, Ohio.
KAI SUSHI CAFE: One of Dayton’s first sushi restaurants. The crowds had dwindled over the years with increased competition. An empty parking lot seemed the norm the last few months, and after a couple of transfers of ownership and a legal dispute, the restaurant could not continue to operate. We hope this old Howard Johnson building on Byers Rd. gets a new tenant soon.
KRISPY KREME: January, 2016 was the closing date for cult favorite. The national donut franchise could not keep up with local
favorites. Although it will close, regional bakeries will still be pumping Krispy Kreme product into various gas station convenient stores around town.
LAROSA’S, HUBER HEIGHTS: Buddy LaRosa decided to pack this one in during 2016. The Cincinnati based company could not get the business they wanted to stay open. But don’t worry although the 7375 Old Troy Pike location is closed, there are others around Dayton and of course Wayne students can still get slices at King’s Island.
LOGAN’S ROADHOUSE, FAIRFIELD COMMONS MALL: A surprise to many, corporate cited high rent and low income for the closing. If you people would have just not thrown your damn peanut shells on the floor.
MAX n ERMA’S SPRINGBORO: Located at 710 Gardener Rd, off of State Route 741, this restaurant closed in January, 2016. We love Max n Erma’s. We love this regional chain and concept from the Garbage Burger to the drinks. Hopefully another one will open in town, soon.
MCKENNA’S GRILL: This restaurant on Presidential Drive in Fairborn, inside the Holiday Inn, closed to make way for “The Wright Place.”
OSAKA SUSHI and BUFFET: Dayton’s first conveyor belt sushi restaurant, was an upscale buffet that just never
caught on. There was a strong regular customers of Asian descent, but the big crowds were few, forcing them to close. The owner has promised to renegotiate the rent and reopen as a hibachi restaurant much like Sake or Benihana.
QDOBA, BROWN STREET: This eatery closed July 2016. It was located in the heart of the busy restaurant district across from University of Dayton.
SHISH WRAPS: Simon Abboud owned this health conscious restaurant that turned Mediterranean street food into some wonderful creations. We were very sad to see this place on Brown Street go. Their hummus, tabouleh and sauces were all made from scratch. Their shish wraps always left us “shish faced.”
SUSHI CLUB: February, 2016 marked the end for this “all you can eat” made to order sushi place on Alex Rd. We had hit this spot many times and always had a good meal. Maybe the food costs did them in, but they never could seem to capture the big crowds although they had a regular following. We were surprised it closed so quickly and really miss the food.
TASTY MEASURES CAFE: Although they made their own deli meats using Sous Vide style cooking methods, the business crowds were not enough to stay open. Unfortunately this locally owned cafe on Jefferson Street closed in June, 2016.
UNCLE SUNNY’S HOMESTYLE CAJUN FISH & CHICKEN: A family owned spot on 131 Cincinnati Ave in Xenia, it was all about the fried fish and chicken. The reviews were great, and although they originally were going to be a 24 hour restaurant, that never came to fruition. The owners are hinting at another project in the works, so stay tuned.
That does it for the movers and shakers of this year. Do you have a comment about any of the places that have closed or opened? Please leave your thoughts below.
Do you have any predictions for 2017 ?
HAPPY NEW YEAR to all, and to all a good bite!
Chuy’s Elvis Enchiladas – a tribute to the King