As the weather turns colder, nothing warms the soul like a good bowl of soup. Our DaytonMostMetro Food Adventures crew, Chef House, The King, Hungry Jax and The Big Ragu, have compiled our list of Dayton’s Best Soups. From the first steaming spoonful, to that little bit of liquid left in the bottom, these are the best bowls of chow that the Miami Valley has to offer. So, all you serious foodies sit back, get some crackers if need be, and check out our list of MUST EAT soups.
In no particular order, here they are…
DAYTON’S TOP 25 SOUPS
1) THE JUMBALAYA at BUCKIN’ DONKEY GRILLE: For 15 years, owner Sean McKown has perfected his Jumbalaya recipe. He tested it on friends and family, and the end product is a culmination of those efforts. The result is a masterpiece in a cup. Filled with sausage and seafood, it has just the right amount of tangy flavor and heat. We squirt some hot sauce on this bad boy and go to town..
2) CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP from FRESCO: Homemade chicken broth from scratch. Fall off the bone chicken pieces, vegetables tortilla strips and a dollop of sour cream on top. This is one of those moments where you lose yourself in a heavenly bliss. This is the best chicken tortilla soup we have ever eaten, made by the best chef in Dayton, Jenn DiSanto. This soup is Chef House’s favorite !
3) SALMON BISQUE at SWEENEY’S SEAFOOD: Creamy, with fresh salmon chunks, this rich soup is a crowd pleaser. We can’t think of a better soup on a crisp cold day. The fresh thyme, dill and other spices, finish the flavor, making this soup one of our favorites. We already are in love with many of Sweeney’s appetizers, now we have another gem added to the list.
4) THE LOBSTER BISQUE from DELI at WEBSTER ST. & TOP OF THE MARKET: Served piping hot in a generous bowl, we were blown away by the lobster flavor balance with the creaminess of the bisque. The soup is absolutely delicious, and very filling. Congrats to the Deli on Webster & Top of the Market for staying true to the elegance of this soup,yet putting a hearty, delicious spin on it. This is one of The Big Ragu’s favorites !
5) THE SHRIMP and PORK SOUP at LINH’s BISTRO: Welcome to the enormous bowl world of the “Pho Soups” offered at Linh’s Bistro. This meal sized soup contains broth, shaved pork and pieces of shrimp. Sure you can get it with clear rice noodles, but we prefer this Vietnamese soup with the egg noodle option (#34 on the menu). Vegetables and scallions also line the bowl, but that’s not all. The soup is served with a side plate of jalapenos, bean sprouts cilantro and lime. Hand pull some cilantro and dump the rest of the side items into the bowl. This soup defines the words Food Adventure.
6) THE CABBAGE ROLL SOUP from VOLTZY’s ROOT BEER STAND: The best soup in a root beer stand in the United States. Voltzy homemakes this stuff with cabbage, tomatoes, rice and his signature burger meat. In his words, it is so delicious, it will make you sing “Touch me in the Morning.” Cabbage rolls not your style? Then try his almost equally delicious “Cream of Vandalia Onion Soup.” Yes, Vandalia like the city.. Voltzy is nuts.
7) THE POTATO SOUP at DOUBLEDAY’S GRILL & TAVERN: In a restaurant known for their homemade soups, this one shines. This soup has wowed Dayton crowds for decades, and has somewhat of a cult following. Doubleday’s large menu makes this a perfect starter to a great meal. The rich, creamy flavor is a great warm up, for a snowy day.
8) THE NEW ORLEANS STYLE GUMBO at JIMMIES LADDER 11: Hearty, rich and just the right spiciness, this soup is one of those “OMG” moments when you take a bite. Owner Jimmie Brandell is no stranger to soups, having cooked at one of the iconic “Upper Krust” locations for years. He hones his craft, and has hit the mark on this one. Order a bowl and wake up your taste buds. Goes perfect with their craft beer selections !
9) THE CHILI AT ARCHER’S TAVERN: Now here is a good story. Every year, Archer’s holds a chili cookoff, and the winning chili goes on the menu for a year. All proceeds from the contest go to the Centerville High School’s Culinary Arts Program! The result is an amazing chili and a charitable donation! The current “Woodhouse Chili” is made with fire roasted tomatoes and jalapenos. It is topped with cheese and Fritos. Probably the spiciest of the delicious soups on our list. That’s why it is “The King’s” favorite on the list.
10) THE CLAM CHOWDER AT BULLWINKLE’S: Clam Chowder at a rib place? The answer is yes, young Jedi. This soup is homemade and downright addicting. Chunks of clams in a mix of potatoes and cream sauce make this one of our “Must Eats.” Not many people know about this soup, but now you do. We are not responsible for any addictions. Make sure you start your meal here with this savory favorite.
11) THE SIZZLING RICE SOUP at NORTH CHINA: This masterpiece is actually a meal sized bowl for 2 as listed on the menu. But sometimes, we get a wild hair, and order this as a meal. Sure you can get this soup as an appetizer, but who wants to share something this good? The flavor is a perfect balance of vegetables and rice in a broth flavored with a hint of salt. In a restaurant known for their homemade soups, this one can’t be ignored. They have another mega soup that almost made our list, the “House Noodle Soup” is a must eat too!
12) CHICKEN GUMBO from DISALVO’S DELI: Another homemade soup from scratch. Perfectly carved, generous chicken pieces, line a delicately light broth. The bowl is filled with a treasure trove of vegetables and tremendous flavor. Chef Ronnie DiSalvo takes pride in his food, and this is another example of his incredible creations. It is made with love from the heart, straight to your mouth!
13) THE MUSHROOM BISQUE at CHRISTOPHER’S RESTAURANT: Vegetarians rejoice! This Dayton soup is for you. A fresh, home made delicious recipe means a warm feeling in every spoonful. The taste of the fresh mushrooms is incredible. Christopher’s thrives on making quality, homemade soups, and this choice is the star. Check it out and pair it with one of their delicious sandwiches.
14) THE TURTLE SOUP at THE AMBER ROSE: This soup is exotic, thick and hearty. We absolutely love Amber Rose’s spin on this old school favorite. We aren’t sure how traditional it is, but it is beyond good. This is one of those things that you eat and immediately want more. Try it for yourself as an appetizer to an Eastern European meal.
15) THE WILD MUSHROOM SOUP FROM HAWTHORNE GRILL: It is pure comfort in a bowl. The soup is creamy, bold and flavorful. Hawthorne Grill puts out some great dishes, and this is one you need to get your hands on. This weather is the perfect time to try this unique, homemade item.
16) THE PICKLE SOUP from BLIND BOB’S: Don’t be fooled by the sound of it, this is one of the best soups in Dayton. The flavor isn’t sharp, it is surprisingly level. If you like cream of broccoli soup, this is an even better spin on it. We congratulate Blind Bob’s for not only the uniqueness, but for the amazing taste. This is a great warm up right before you try one of their burger selections!
17) DUBLIN PUB’S “WORLD FAMOUS POTATO SOUP”: It must be world famous, because it is downright incredible. It is rich, filling and sinful. We suggest getting it in the Sourdough bowl and add cheese and bacon on it. We also recommend taking a nap after you eat it. This soup is Hungry Jax’s top pick!
18) CREAMY CHICKEN SOUP at CHINA COTTAGE: This is a house specialty, and we have never seen a creamy chicken soup offered at a Chinese restaurant other than here. There is good reason. No one else’s chicken soup could compare. It is a deliciously light cream soup that cleanses the pallet and readies your taste buds for those spicy dishes made from Chef Tiger Wang. This soup is definitely a Dayton Original.
19) THE GUINNESS ONION SOUP AT NICK’S RESTAURANT: Always made from scratch buy their “soup nazi.” This soup is served in a unique bowl, with a mound of cheese and few gigantic croutons. But what hit us most is the rich flavor. Hot broth dripping down your chin, as you swallow some of the gooey cheese. Take a spoonful and you will see why this restaurant is the pride of Xenia.
20) THE HOT AND SOUR SOUP at YOUNG CHOW: Yes , it made the list because it is that good. And guess what else, the price is right. We scald ourselves every time, because we cant wait to get into this soup’s shredded goodness. A perfect balance of tofu, pepper and pork, this hot and sour soup is fantastic. We looked at your fortune cookie, it says you need to go to Young Chow.
21) HOMEMADE CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP from ALL SOUPED UP: The 2nd Street market has some tremendous food shops. In the middle of the market, “All Souped Up” is impressing the masses with creations like their Chicken Noodle Soup. Homemade noodles, pieces of delicate chicken, and a small balance of vegetables make this soup. It tastes like something your mom or grandmother would make. It is fun to take a seat at the market and enjoy this soup and get lost in the goodness.
22) THE COCONUT SOUP at SIAM PAD THAI: Another exotic choice on this list. Cherry tomatoes, lime juice and mushrooms highlight the ingredients in this soup. The tangy, light flavor make this soup the most refreshing on our list. If you have not been to Siam Pad Thai, we suggest you pair it with one of their pad thai dishes, or specialty sushi rolls. We promise you will be craving this soup in no time.
23) THE GUMBO at RUE DUMAINE: This is a no brainer. Hello, the owner/Chef Anne Kearney studied under Food Netwoork superstar, Emeril Lagasse. Needless to say, when it comes to New Orleans’ flavors, she knows what she is doing. This award winning chef has a menu unparalleled n Dayton. We have found the perfect start to a meal at Rue Dumaine.
24) THE CLAM CHOWDER at JAY’S SEAFOOD: When a soup is a Dayton icon and a Dayton staple for decades, it has to make the list. Whether you are 8 years old, or 80, people love this soup and have fond memories associated with it. The creamy broth, the chunks of fresh clams, and the perfect dash of pepper make this soup. Cracker sor not, you are in for a treat when you sit down for a cup or bowl of this deliciousness… so go for the bowl.
25) TEQUILA CHILI at LUCKY’S TAPROOM: Unique blast of flavor from the kitchen at Lucky’s. Owner Andrew Trick has developed an underground mass following of his terrific food, and this chili is a highlight on the menu. They offer a regular or vegetarian option. Recommendation: There is no better pairing on this list than the Tequila Chili and one of Lucky’s numerous craft beers. So go to Lucky’s, thumb through the beer booklet, pick one out, and thank us later.
That’s it, that’s our list ! What did we miss? Do you agree or disagree with our choices ?? Please comment below and tell us your thoughts.
Meanwhile, check out our incredible photo gallery of Dayton’s best soups, below and “like” Food Adventures on Facebook by CLICKING HERE !