food critic :: favorite {local} restaurants


shrimp scampi tortellini | coco’s bistro

// lately, i’ve been eating out a lot. not the healthiest thing to do, but it did give me an inspiration for a post i hope you’ll find interesting (if not helpful)!

I’ve lived in the Dayton area for around fifteen years, give or take. Over time, I’ve been able to make a list of some of my favorite local restaurants. These places have sprung up throughout the years and are unique to the Miami Valley. Here are some of the most delicious ones:

~Archer’s Tavern: featuring an all-American menu, Archer’s, located in Centerville, offers dishes like burgers, sandwiches, wings, ribs, etc. Their meats come from a locally owned meat market and the dessert menu includes their specialty cheesecake with flavors that vary each time you dine. Coming from historical roots, the modern day Archer’s Tavern was established by three University of Dayton alumni and is proud to support various local charities and non-profit organizations.

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~Coco’s Bistro: Jake took me to this beautiful little French bistro in downtown Dayton back when we celebrated our one-year dating anniversary. The menu presents classic French options like “Fried Brie,” “Lemon Risotto,” and “Shrimp Scampi Tortellini.” The dishes look like art and taste even better with deep, savory flavors and elegant ingredients. This restaurant definitely approaches the top of my favorites list!

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~Meadowlark Restaurant: this unique restaurant, off of Far Hills Avenue, has a laidback, artsy feel. It offers bright, (mostly) seasonal dishes made from fresh, organic ingredients. Most of the dishes are simple, yet rich in flavors. A couple of my favorite, permanent meals include the “’Lark Burger” (a mouth-watering red wine cooked all-natural beef patty with white cheddar) and “Spaghetti Carbonara” (a warm, comforting plate of pasta with peas, egg, bacon and cheese).

–Meadowlark also has a sister restaurant that serves mainly pizza in the Oregon District called “The Wheat Penny Oven and Bar.” (I haven’t tried it, but I’ve heard wonderful things about it!)

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~Pasha Grill: along with great service and a luxurious atmosphere, Pasha Grill at the Green Town Center offers a variety of traditional Turkish and Mediterranean foods. Their rice pilaf and lamb kabob, called the “Doner Kebab” is wonderful!

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~Salar Restaurant & Lounge: visit Salar, in the Oregon District, for a taste of Peru! This gorgeous, upscale restaurant serves everything from light salads to rich meat and seafood dishes to savory pizzas and vegetarian options. The waiters and waitresses are so friendly! Be sure to make a reservation before you go!

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A few other notable places include:

Corner Kitchen (American with local, natural ingredients; Oregon District)

El Meson (authentic Spanish and Latin American dishes; downtown Dayton)

Pies & Pints (not a Dayton-only restaurant, but features absolutely delicious & unique gourmet pizzas; The Greene)

Thai 9 (Thai & sushi; Oregon District)

I hope you’ll go and try out a few of these wonderful places and let me know what you think of them! This list will probably always be growing and changing; so expect an update sometime! (Maybe I’ll do an “Across America” restaurant list!) As they say, “there is no sincerer love than the love for food…” (or something to that effect).


[ au revoir, hannah ]


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