The 33 Best Restaurants in Dayton, Ohio (2024) (From A Local)

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Want to know all the best restaurants in Dayton, Ohio? We’ve got you covered with these recommendations from being born and raised in the area!

No matter where your taste buds take you in Dayton, there are endless dining possibilities waiting to be explored.

This list highlights some of the best restaurants in Dayton, Ohio.

Whether you’re in the mood for fine dining or a quick bite to eat, there’s something to satisfy every palate.

Be sure to check out these amazing places on your next visit to the Gem City!

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Best Restaurants in Dayton, Ohio

When JP and I go on our yearly trips back to Dayton, a huge factor in our plans is where we’re going to eat.

I’ve taken JP back enough times that he’s tried all the staples like Skyline Chili, Donato’s Pizza, and Milano’s, and now he’s able to venture out and try even more classics that Dayton is most known for.

These are the best restaurants in Dayton, Ohio.

1. Young’s Dairy Farm

Address: 6880 Springfield-Xenia Road, Yellow Springs, Ohio 45387

Ask anyone from Dayton, Ohio about Young’s Dairy Farm and they will tell you they’ve been a million times.

Young’s Dairy Farm has been a Dayton tradition since 1869.

This family-owned spot is well known for its fresh ice cream, buckeyes, and other baked goods.

You can feed goats, see a variety of other farm animals, get some of the best ice cream in the area, play mini golf, batting cages, try the driving range, and choose from a couple different dining options.

This place also has a great kiddie area.

Fall is a great time to visit when they have extra seasonal attractions.

It’s great for couples, families, friends, by yourself, or any other group you can think of.

2. Frisch’s Big Boy

Address: dozens of locations around Dayton and it’s suburbs

Anyone from California, Frisch’s Big Boy is the same as Bob’s Big Boy.

Same company, same menu, same everything.

I LOVE that I have lived in 2 places that both have these hot fudge cakes readily available.

As much as I love the hot fudge cakes, Frisch’s is all about the breakfast buffet though!

We used to go after church A LOT and their buffet just has anything you could possibly want.

3. Carillon Brewing Co.

Address: 1000 Carillon Blvd, Dayton, Ohio 45409

Carillon Brewing Co. is an extension of Carillon Park.

It wasn’t added on until just a few years ago. You can dine here without going into Carillon park.

It follows the brewing methods from the 1850s and serves food that reflects the immigrant culture of Dayton during that time including English, German, and Irish food.

One of our favorite things to get is the German Soft Pretzel Braid with Beer Cheese and Mustard as an appetizer.

For an entree, we like to share the Wurst Platter.

You get to choose 2 wursts topped with sauerkraut and you get potato salad on the side.

If you’re looking for a unique dining experience, then Carillon Brewing Company is the place to be.

Enjoy a selection of craft beers, lagers and ales, or try one of their signature dishes.

Carillon also offers a variety of wine.

The brewery’s relaxed atmosphere makes it the perfect spot to kick back and enjoy a relaxing evening with friends or family.

4. Skyline Chili

Address: dozens of locations around Dayton and its suburbs

A trip to Ohio is not complete without a visit to Skyline. It is the best food in the world (though I’ve heard it is an acquired taste).

I try to eat this as much as possible whenever I visit, since it is quite possibly the best restaurant in Dayton.

However, many grocery stores carry some Skyline products, including Publix.

You can get frozen Skyline Chili there and canned Skyline Chili.

I can’t wait for the day that grocery stores in Orange County, California start selling Skyline.

If you ever fly through Cincinnati, Ohio, the airport sells cans of Skyline Chili.

I want to say they are about $4 or so each.

One can will serve 2-3 people depending on if you’re using it for chili spaghetti or cheese coneys.

Skyline is also super cheap.

3-Ways (Chili, Spaghetti, and Cheese) are only about $6 and are actually more filling than they look.

You can get about 3 Cheese Coneys for the same price.

So it’s cheap, delicious, and unique to the area.

I also recommend trying the Chilito.

It is just a tortilla wrapped like a burrito with just chili and cheese inside.

Sometimes they’ll ask if you want sour cream too.

As part of their secret menu, you can also get spaghetti inside your Chilito if you want!

Skyline Chili is an infamous Ohio tradition that has been popular since 1949.

The signature dish consists of a secret recipe of spices and the famous skyline chili five-way – spaghetti topped with chili, cheese, diced onions, beans, and oyster crackers.

If you’re looking for a true taste of Dayton, then don’t miss out on this classic dish!

5. Milano’s

Addresses: University of Dayton, 1834 Brown Street, Dayton, OH 45409

Beavercreek, 2260 N. Fairfield Rd, Beavercreek, Ohio 45431

Miami Township, 9572 Springboro Pike, Miami Township, Ohio 45342

Milano’s has been a staple of the Dayton dining scene since 1969.

It has been one of my favorite restaurants in Dayton since they opened their Beavercreek location.

Generous portions and flavorful ingredients make this restaurant popular among locals and visitors alike.

Milano’s is regularly voted as one of the best pizzas in all of Dayton.

My personal favorite is the Chicken Cheesesteak.

I’ve been getting it every visit, since they called it the Chicken & Provolone Sub.

6. Marion’s Piazza

Addresses: there are 9 locations throughout Dayton and its suburbs

Marion’s is one of the most popular pizza chains in Ohio and it has been serving up delicious pies since 1965.

Marion’s Greek-style thin crust pizza is made with fresh, quality ingredients and cooked to perfection.

Marion’s never fails to satisfy!

If you’re from here, you probably came here with every sports team you’ve ever played on to celebrate the end of your season.

When I was in high school, our school would bring us here for free pizza lunches after fundraisers.

7. Donato’s Pizza

Addresses: dozens of locations around Dayton and its suburbs

Donato’s is a family-owned pizza restaurant that has been serving up delicious pies since 1963.

Best known for its light and crispy crust, Donato’s Pizza offers an array of classic topping combinations as well as unique specialty pies.

Donato’s always has been and always will be the absolute best pizza.

As far as pizza goes, it’s definitely my favorite restaurant in Dayton.

It’s so good, they just recently made a nationwide deal with Red Robin, so now you can get Donato’s Pizza at any Red Robin!

We tested it out in California and it is still definitely the same pizza.

Donato's Pizza - Dayton, Ohio - Half Pepperoni and Half Meat Lovers

8. Bill’s Donut Shop

Address: 268 N. Main St., Centerville, OH 45459

Bill’s Donut Shop is a Dayton staple that has been serving up delicious donuts and other baked goods since 1960.

Bill’s is popular for its variety of classic glazed donuts.

I personally enjoy the Glazed Twist Donuts and the Sugared Jelly Donuts.

9. City BBQ

Addresses: there are 24 locations throughout Ohio

City BBQ is a local favorite and a classic barbecue joint.

The restaurant has been part of the city’s dining scene since 1999, and its generous portions, flavorful ingredients, and home-style cooking make it popular among locals and visitors alike.

Whether you’re looking for lunch or dinner, City BBQ is sure to please your appetite with dishes like pulled pork sandwiches and homemade macaroni and cheese.

Don’t forget to try their award-winning sides like corn pudding, baked beans, and green beans.

10. Graeter’s Ice Cream

Addresses: 2 N. Main Street, Centerville, Ohio 45459

2330-A N. Fairfield Road, Beavercreek, Ohio 45431

2412 Far Hills Avenue, Oakwood, Ohio 45419

Graeter’s is a family-owned ice cream shop that has been serving up delicious desserts since 1870.

Graeter’s is committed to using only the freshest ingredients for their handcrafted, small-batch ice creams and other treats.

They offers a wide selection of flavors, from classic offerings like French Vanilla to unique flavors like Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip.

Graeter’s also offers milkshakes, sundaes, and even seasonal creations.

Graeter’s has become so popular that some flavors are even available in grocery stores nationwide.

At home in California I can get 3 flavors of Graeter’s Ice Cream from any Ralph’s Grocery Store!

Graeter’s is a must-try for any ice cream lover!

11. Amber Rose

Address: 1400 Valley Street, Dayton, Ohio 45404

Amber Rose is a cozy restaurant located in the heart of Old North Dayton.

This restaurant specializes in classic Eastern European dishes from countries like Germany, Lithuania, Poland, Hungary, Russia, and even Italy.

The restaurant’s laid-back atmosphere makes it the perfect spot for a casual lunch or dinner.

I personally enjoy their pierogi & onions, sauerkraut balls, and German bier cheese appetizers.

For entrees, I recommend trying the 3 sausage sampler, homestyle pot roast, hunter schnitzel, grilled sauerbraten, or jagerschnitzel.

12. Spaghetti Warehouse

Address: 36 West 5th St, Dayton, Ohio 45402

Spaghetti Warehouse is a Dayton tradition that has been serving up delicious spaghetti dishes since 1972.

The restaurant offers an extensive menu of spaghetti dishes including chicken parmesan and spaghetti with meatballs.

The restaurant also offers other classic Italian favorites like ravioli, lasagna, and eggplant parmesan.

Spaghetti Warehouse also offers a selection of wines, draft beers, and cocktails to accompany your meal.

Don’t forget to check out their dessert menu with treats like Godiva Double Chocolate Cake and seasonal rotating desserts.

13. Roost Modern Italian

Address: 524 East 5th Street, Dayton, Ohio 45402

With its range of classic Italian dishes and local specialties, Roost Modern Italian is a favorite for many locals.

Its intimate atmosphere makes it a perfect spot for romantic dinners or family gatherings.

Best known for its handmade pasta, the menu also features delicious salads, and decadent desserts.

14. Basil’s On Market

Address: 18 N Market Street, Troy, Ohio 45373

Generous portions and flavorful ingredients make this restaurant popular among locals and visitors alike.

Their deviled eggs are a great appetizer to start with.

There are also a lot of great pasta dishes like lobster mac n cheese, penne alla vodka, creamy cajun linguini, and more.

15. Jay’s Seafood Restaurant

Address: 225 E. 6th Street, Dayton, Ohio 45402

This iconic seafood eatery offers some of the best seafood dishes in town that are made with the freshest ingredients.

Whether you’re in the mood for a plate of swordfish or an array of shellfish, Jay’s has something to satisfy your taste buds.

16. Lucky’s Taproom & Eatery

Address: 520 E. 5th Street, Dayton, Ohio

Located in the heart of the Oregon District, Lucky’s is a great spot for lunch, dinner and drinks.

Its delicious menu features American pub fare and classic cocktails that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.

Lucky’s features 20 revolving beer taps, along with vegan and vegetarian dining options.

17. The Pine Club

Address: 1926 Brown Street, Dayton, Ohio 45409

Consistently named one of Ohio’s Best Restaurants, The Pine Club offers an upscale dining experience made with only quality ingredients since 1947.

From its variety of steaks to its selection of fresh seafood, you won’t be disappointed.

18. Wheat Penny Oven & Bar

Address: 515 Wayne Avenue, Dayton, Ohio 45410

With its oven baked pizzas, handcrafted cocktails and variety of shareables, Wheat Penny is a must-visit spot in Dayton.

Best known for their delicious pizzas, this restaurant also features inventive small plates and entrees that highlight local ingredients.

19. Coco’s Bistro

Address: 250 Warren Street, Dayton, OH 45402

Located in the heart of South Park Dayton, Coco’s Bistro offers fresh takes on classic dishes made with locally-sourced ingredients.

Seasonal menus feature dishes like squash bolognese, grilled cheese with tomato bisque, wild mushroom risotto, and more.

20. Warped Wing Brewery

Address: 26 Wyandot Street, Dayton, Ohio 45402

If you’re looking for some delicious pub fare and craft beer, then Warped Wing is the place to be.

Best known for its award-winning Lagers and Ales, this brewery also offers innovative menu items like their smoked wings and stuffed tater tots.

21. Thai 9

Address: 11 Brown Street, Dayton, Ohio

For a taste of Thailand in Dayton, look no further than Thai 9!

This popular eatery serves up classic curries, stir fry dishes and noodle soups that feature fresh ingredients and flavorful spices.

Be sure to try the Pad Thai with shrimp for an unforgettable experience.

22. The Century Bar

Address: 18 South Jefferson Street, Dayton, OH 45402

The Century Bar has been a staple of downtown Dayton since 1942, making it one of the oldest bars in town.

Best known for its craft cocktails and nationally recognized extensive bourbon selection, you won’t want to miss out on this classic establishment.

23. Tank’s Bar & Grill

Address: 2033 Wayne Ave, Dayton, Ohio 45410

If you’re looking for an old-fashioned burger joint with a modern twist, then Tank’s Bar & Grill is the place to be.

Best known for their juicy burgers, wings, Irish nachos, and cheese curds, you won’t leave hungry!

24. The Trolley Stop

Addresses: 530 E 5th St, Dayton, Ohio 45402

This building is from 1839 and is the oldest continuously operating tavern in Dayton.

It has been The Trolley Stop since the 1970s.

Best known for their made from scratch food from local farms and fine dining cooking techniques with affordable prices.

25. El Toro

Addresses: there are 14 locations throughout Dayton

El Toro is a popular local restaurant chain.

Their best dish is their Pollo Loco.

It comes topped with chorizo and a cheese sauce, so you can use your sides of tortillas and rice to build little chorizo tacos on the side.

26. Black Rock Bar & Grill

Address: 2745 Fairfield Commons Blvd, Beavercreek, Ohio 45431

At Black Rock, steaks are served on a 755-degree volcanic rock.

This way you can cook it just the way you like it and it stays warm while you’re eating.

Some other cool menu items are a cocktail that changes colors and a burger with a bun made out of fried mozzarella.

27. MacKenzie River

Address: 2739 Fairfield Commons Blvd, Beavercreek, Ohio 45431

MacKenzie River is a growing chain with a location just outside the Fairfield Commons Mall.

The MacKenzie Meatloaf is our favorite dish.

For dessert, their most popular dish is the Mack Lovin’, gooey chocolate chip cookies served in a skillet with vanilla ice cream.

The Kentucky Toast is also popular – a deep fried Southern butter pound cake with a Kentucky bourbon caramel sauce.

28. Table 33

Address: 130 W Second Street, Dayton, Ohio

This restaurant features a small menu of some favorite dishes like gourmet grilled cheese, grass fed burgers, chicken and waffles, and more.

Whether you’re looking for a weekend brunch or lunch, you won’t be disappointed with the creative dishes served at Table 33.

29. Blind Bob’s Bar & Grill

Address: 430 E 5th St, Dayton, Ohio 45402

If you’re looking for some traditional pub fare served up with a twist, then Blind Bob’s is the place for you.

Enjoy their signature wings or try something new like their fried pickles or fried mac n cheese.

30. The Dock

Address: 250 W Main St, Enon, Ohio 45323

The Dock has a tropical theme with live entertainment on weekends.

They offer some coastal favorites like shrimp tacos, lobster bisque, oysters, hush puppies, and a variety of fish plates.

31. Donut Palace

Addresses: 5264 Salem Avenue, Dayton, Ohio 45426

5115 Old Troy Pike, Huber Heights, Ohio 45424

This small donut shop has been serving up delicious treats for years.

Donut Palace is best known for its donuts that are made by hand each morning with only the freshest, organic ingredients.

32. Oakwood Club

Address: 2414 Far Hills Avenue, Dayton, Ohio 45419

Oakwood Club is a Dayton favorite that has been serving up delicious eats since 1962.

The menu features classic American dishes like hand-cut steaks, seafood dishes, and pasta.

The restaurant’s cozy atmosphere makes it the perfect spot to enjoy a romantic dinner or an evening out with friends.

33. Brixx Ice Company

Address: 500 East First Street, Dayton, Ohio

Brixx Ice Company is a popular sports bar just across from Fifth Third Field where the Dayton Dragons Play.

Fun fact – wayyyy back in the day, my family owned this building.

Like early 1900s or late 1800s.

I think it was a corner grocery store or something back then.

It has since been revived into the popular restaurant it is today.

Things To Do In Dayton

No matter what time of year you’re here, there are so many festivals, special events, and tourist attractions that are open year round.

We’ve got you covered all year!

Check out our Dayton travel guides for Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring.

If you’re interested in venturing outside of town, check out our guide on the Best Day Trips From Dayton, Ohio or take a day trip out to Cincinnati or Columbus.

But if you’re wanting to explore the whole state, read up on The Ultimate Ohio Bucket List: Top 5 Things To Do In Ohio.

William Howard Taft National Historical Site
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What is Dayton Known For?

Dayton is known for its rich history, welcoming locals, and vibrant culture.

The city has been home to many great inventions such as the Wright Brothers’ first successful flight, the cash register, and the pop top can.

Dayton is also well-known for its cultural attractions like Carillon Historical Park, Dayton Art Institute, and Victoria Theatre.

There are also an array of outdoor activities in Dayton including biking trails, kayaking on the Great Miami River, and hiking at John Bryan State Park.

Additionally, Dayton’s food scene offers a variety of cuisines from classic American diner food to upscale Italian cuisine with craft beer breweries sprinkled throughout the city.

Conclusion: Best Restaurants in Dayton

There you have it.

Dayton is home to some amazing restaurants that offer something for everyone!

Whether you’re in the mood for Italian, French, pub foods, Thai cuisine, or more traditional American dishes, you won’t be disappointed with these best restaurants in Dayton, Ohio.