This Dayton-famous hoagie is a classic -- have you tried it?

Published: Friday, December 22, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

The Famous Hoagie at Hoagie's Pizza House.
Photo: Amelia Robinson
The Famous Hoagie at Hoagie's Pizza House.(Photo: Amelia Robinson)

Sometimes you pass a Dayton gem all the time and never recognize its shine. 

For me, that was the case with Hoagie’s Pizza House, a family-owned business in the mostly green-and-yellow building located at 6128 N. Dixie Drive in Harrison Twp., Montgomery County. 

>> Best pizza places in Dayton 

To say I’ve been meaning to stop into the independent eatery is an understatement. I’ve heard of the place for years, which is no wonder. 

Ralph Hoagland opened Hoagie’s in 1969.

It sticks out on the corner of Gipsy Avenue and N. Dixie Drive near Dixie Twin Drive-In and the delicious Olive Mediterranean Grill. 

>> This AMAZING lunch platter is just one reason to try Olive Mediterranean Grill

Hoagland’s daughter, Theresa “Micki” Collins, now owns the store. She closed the Troy location about two years ago. 

Hoagie's Pizza House in Harrison Twp.(Photo: Amelia Robinson)

I’ve seen the restaurant’s iconic sign featuring a moustached chef in tails carrying a pizza and reading “How About A Pizza?” more times than I can count. 

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The Leadbelly Boys, Dayton Daily News’ former food crew, tried to take down an 18-inch Hoagie’s square-cut pizza back in 2004 and nearly didn’t live to tell about it. 

Alas, even we mighty and steel-gutted Leadbelly Boys sometimes meet our match. Not often, mind you, but sometimes. In this case, we strode haughtily into the unassuming-looking Hoagie’s, thinking there was no pizza in town that could get the best of us. But we will admit when we’re beaten. And so we admit that the 18-inch whopper that the chuckling waitress brought to our table was more than we could handle. Thin crust but still a thick pizza, with a killer dose of cheese and a humdingin’ sauce. Carrying our leftovers with us, we left with our tails between our Leadbelly legs.

I walked into the restaurant not knowing what to expect, and was greeted by a friendly cashier who answered all my questions with ease. 

The beer and candy selections are displayed on the wall behind the counter. 

After placing my order -- the Famous Hoagie recommended by a friend -- I headed to the dining room and found two rooms of booths and tables. 

>> 9 must-eat sandwiches in Dayton

Christmas decorations filled shelves below the main room’s TV. A Mickey and Minnie Mouse cutout was propped up against an old-school CD jukebox in the second dining room. 

Besides pizza and hoagies, the restaurant offers a variety of Italian-inspired sandwiches and pasta dishes. On its menu, Hoagie’s brags about its homemade dough.

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The freshness was apparent when my fully loaded hoagie came out. 

The toasted white sub-style bun held an ample amount of ham, salami, pepperoni, provolone and mayo and a mess of veggies: shredded lettuce, tomato, sliced onion,  chopped bell pepper, sliced banana peppers and surprising green onions. 

The Famous Hoagie at Hoagie's Pizza House.(Photo: Amelia Robinson)

I ordered a large sub, about 12 inches, for $10.35. Cut in four, the delicious sandwich came out in a metal basket and could have fed two people easily. I took home leftovers.   

You can get a half-sized Famous Hoagie for $5.20. 

>> VOTE for your Dayton favorites in our Best of 2017 poll

Hoagie’s fans rave about its pizza and the Spider “Pizza Sandwich,” which has ham, salami, provolone, pizza sauce, banana peppers, pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms and green peppers on a submarine bun. 

I’m looking forward to trying it, and Hoagie’s take on Dayton-style square-cut pizza, on my next visit. 

Let’s see if those Leadbelly Boys had it right. 

>> Top 10 picks for amazing steak in the Dayton area

The Famous Hoagie at Hoagie's Pizza House.(Photo: Amelia Robinson)

The interior of Hoagie's Pizza House in Harrison Twp. The restaurant was decorated for Christmas 2017.(Photo: Amelia Robinson)

The interior of Hoagie's Pizza House in Harrison Twp.(Photo: Amelia Robinson)

The front counter at Hoagie's Pizza House.(Photo: Amelia Robinson)

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Where to get a free pretzel on National Pretzel Day

Published: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 10:55 AM
Updated: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 3:34 PM

People lined up at Smales pretzels for National Pretzel Day

What better way to celebrate National Pretzel Day than with a free soft pretzel? 

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Two local bakeries are dishing out the sweet and salty treats for no cost today only.

Emma Smales of Smales Pretzel Bakery is investing $35,000 in to a new pretzel rolling machine. Photo by Amelia Robinson(Amelia Robinson)

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Smales Pretzel Bakery, at 210 Xenia Ave. in Dayton, is giving away a free soft pretzel to every person that comes today. No purchase necessary. 

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Smales Pretzels Bakery is a fifth-generation family owned bakery. The business was founded by owner Emma Smales’ German-born great-great grandfather Rudie Schaaf in 1895, and was later refined by his daughter (for whom she is named).

>> Your guide to the best original bakeries in Dayton

Larry Smales loads his hand-rolled "Pennsylvania Dutch" pretzels into a 50-year-old oven with a revolving stone floor that's never allowed to cool. Jim Noelker/Dayton Daily News (JIM NOELKER)

>> Check out the Beavercreek pizza joint that’s rolling up delicious dessert pretzels 

Great-grandmother Emma was about 28 when she took over the business from her dad -- no small thing for a woman of the time.

“That was kind of a big feat for a woman in the 1920s,” Emma Smales said of her forbearer. “She changed the name and made it what it was.”

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Ed and Julie Horan have opened Philly Preztel Factory, the first location in Ohio. KARA DRISCOLL/STAFF

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Philly Pretzels, located at 1063 S. Main St. in Centerville, is also giving out piping hot pretzels at no cost in Centerville today.

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Auntie Anne's is donating 100% of its sales to Dayton Children's Hospital on April 26, 2018 for National Pretzel Day. CONTRIBUTED

While their pretzels are not free, Auntie Anne’s pretzel shop at the Dayton Mall is offering a special deal for National Pretzel Day today.

>>COMING SOON: Auntie Anne’s to open another location at The Greene

They’ll be donating 100% of their proceeds to Dayton Children’s Hospital. So even though you still have to pay for your pretzel, you can rest assured it’s going to a good cause!

Auntie Anne's is donating 100% of its sales to Dayton Children's Hospital on April 26, 2018 for National Pretzel Day. CONTRIBUTED


Do you know of another National Pretzel Day deal? Let me know at

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The best Mother’s Day brunches in Dayton

Published: Thursday, May 04, 2017 @ 6:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 8:00 PM

Best of Dayton 2017 Best Brunch

When I was a kid, Mother’s Day meant getting my mom whatever over-the-top tacky gift my father picked out and saying I “helped.” 

Since there are roughly 1,300 miles between me and my parents these days -- and sometimes that’s a good thing -- I don’t get to take her out to brunch for Mother’s Day. That doesn’t mean I don’t know of a few great places to take Mom should she drop in unexpectedly.

If you’re fortunate enough to have your mom still in your life and near you, here are some great restaurants that are sure to be a hit. 

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The Olympic omelette at The White House Restaurant on Peachtree Rd in Buckhead has been offering homemade Greek and American food since 1948. The omelette includes spinach, tomatoes, peppers, onions, mushrooms, feta and is served with a size of tzaziki sauce. Grits, fresh fruit, orange juice and toasted croissantes are also available. (Jenni Girtman / Atlanta Event Photography)

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Brunch at the Dayton Racquet Club

40 N Main St N Main Street, Dayton

This Mother’s Day event is not only a brunch, but a stylish fashion show celebrating all the latest trends, as well as a raffle with a chance to win a trip to Snowshoe, West Virginia or Cancun, Mexico. Only 400 raffle tickets will be sold. Presented by the Life Essentials organization, at the Mother’s Day Brunch and Style Show, you’ll enjoy “a complimentary mimosa, yogurt parfait bar, waffle and pancake bar, and a seated breakfast.” Visit to purchase tickets.

WHEN: 11 a.m. Saturday, May 12

COST: $45 for adults, $25 for children 10 and under

RAFFLE: $25 per ticket, $50 for 3 tickets, $100 for 7 tickets

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2800 Presidential Dr, Fairborn


Chef White’s culinary staff will roll out a lavish brunch featuring a wide-array of the hotel’s seasonal showcase of locally-sourced, farm fresh cuisine. Brunch highlights include (but not limited to): Shrimp and Grits with Basil and Bacon, Prime Rib, Omelet Station, Herb Roasted Pork Loin, Savory Chicken Crepe, Orange Marmalade Stuffed French Toast with Berry Compote, Assorted Mini Quiches, Potatoes Obrien, Mini Chicken Salad Sandwiches, Seasonal Salads and much more. Reservations recommended. 

WHEN: Sunday, May 13 at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.

COST: $30 per adult, $21 senior/military, $13 children and free for children 5 and under

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580 Lincoln Park Blvd., Kettering


The brunch buffet menu for Roost Event’s Mother’s Day brunch is plentiful and classic. With Belgian waffles, eggs benedict bruschetta, shrimp cocktail, honey glazed ham and more, there’s something for everyone. 

WHEN: Sunday, May 13 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

COST: $36 (plus tax and gratuity) per adult, $15 for children ages 5-10 and free for ages 5 and under. Call for reservations.

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(Allen Eyestone)

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453 Belmonte Park N., Dayton


Enjoy a scrumptious brunch buffet provided by Bernstein's Fine Catering, featuring fresh fruits, spring salads, flavorful meat and seafood choices, and mouth-watering desserts. Ice tea, orange juice and coffee are included, plus a cash bar for soft drinks, wine, beer and specialty drinks will also be available. Make your reservation online.

WHEN: Sunday, May 13 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

COST: Advance Reservations: $31 per person members; $36 per person non-members; $20 children ages 10 and under  Day of Brunch (as available): $40 per person adults; $25 children ages 10 & under. All prices tax and gratuity included. Children 2 and under free.

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(The Hall on Franklin)

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The Caroline is pulling out all the stops for their Mother’s Day brunch buffet. The menu will include items such as french toast, waffles, grilled salmon, a carving station and house-made pies. 

WHEN: Sunday, May 13 from 9:45 a.m. to 2 p.m.

COST: $27 per adult, $14 children 5-12 years old and children under 5 free

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(South City Kitchen)

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A special Mother’s Day brunch menu will be served 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., followed by a special dinner menu from 3 to 8 p.m. Their regular dinner menu will also be available all day. There will be three featured mimosas including the restaurant’s signature OJ and pineapple juice blend, as well as strawberry- and mango-infused flavors. Choose from a three-course menu including items such as lobster bisque, prime rib eggs benedict, honey bbq salmon and more. Reservations highly recommended. 

WHEN: Sunday, May 13 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

COST: $35 per person

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NEW RESTAURANT: ‘I can’t wait to start giving back to this town that my family and I have grown to love’

Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 10:56 AM

Former Red Wagon Cafe food truck owner to open Canal House Eatery

A chef and former owner of a Miamisburg-based food truck is gearing up to open her own restaurant in the same city. 

Tanya Straight, who operated The Red Wagon Cafe food truck with her family, will open The Canal House Eatery on May 11 at 103 S. Second St. in Miamisburg.

>> The best Mother’s Day brunches in Dayton

“I chose to open at this location because of my love for this town, its residents and business owners,” Straight told this news outlet. “It is truly a wonderful community to live in, and I have been looking for a location here for quite some time.

“We are very excited to become part of the wonderful downtown businesses here in Miamisburg, and I can’t wait to start giving back to this town that my family and I have grown to love.”

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A ribbon-cutting and grand opening are scheduled for 10 a.m. May 11, Straight said. She will operate the restaurant with the help of her family and between two and five employees, the restaurant owner said. 

Canal House Eatery’s menu will include Specialty Wraps, Paninis, Sandwiches, Soups, Salads, Side Dishes, Desserts and fresh bakery items, Straight said. 

>> LaRosa’s to close Butler County location — before new restaurant opens nearby

The leased space previously housed Palmitas Taco Shop, which shut its doors in December 2017 and is working on transitioning to a food truck, according to its Facebook page.

The new Canal House Eatery at 103 S. Second St. in Miamisburg. SUBMITTED


Straight, who has lived in Miamisburg for 12 years and has three children in the Miamisburg school district, operated The Red Wagon Cafe for six years before selling it last year to pursue other interests.

>> Local food truck’s beer and wine garden gears up to open inside the Dayton Mall

“The opportunity to open The Canal House unexpectedly presented itself” via family members who told her about the former Palmitas space, Straight said. “ The option seemed to good to pass up, so my family and I decided to give it a shot.” 

Plans call for Canal House Eatery to be open Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.. and for Sunday brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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The best patios in and around Dayton

Published: Thursday, April 12, 2018 @ 1:08 PM
Updated: Friday, April 13, 2018 @ 9:43 AM

Here are Dayton's top 3 patios as selected by 2017 Best of Dayton voters. Video by Amelia Robinson

Ahh, it’s that time of year again. We can’t wait to hear our hostess ask, “Would you like a seat inside or on the patio?”

>> 12 of the BEST restaurants in Dayton

If you’re like us, you’re ready to say “patio please!”  

We’ve rounded up the best patios to visit in and around Dayton. 

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Little York Tavern & Pizza

The patio at Little York Tavern in Vandalia was vote Best of Dayton 2018.(Photo: Little York Tavern)

Why? Our readers voted Little York’s patio the best in Dayton in 2017, and for good reason. The spacious outdoor area features charming archways for you to sit beneath as you scarf down pub fare and brews.

Where: 4120 Little York Rd., Dayton

Hours: Mon-Sat 11 to 2:30 a.m., Sun 12 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.

Info: WebsiteCall 937-890-6700

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Bargos Grill & Tap 

The patio at | Bargos Grill & Tap in Centerville(Bargos Grill & Tap)

Why? Another top choice from readers, Bargo’s has a wide selection of beers on tap (including local) as well as tasty kitchen offerings. The patio features an outside connection to the bar so you can stay outside in the sunshine -- oh and don’t miss their “Crazy Hour” for a great drink discount.

Where: Two locations in Centerville and Fairfield

Hours: Mon-Sat 11 a.m. to 2:30 a.m., Sun 12- to :30 a.m.

Info: Website | Call 937-999-1347 (Centerville)

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Basil’s on Market

The waterfront patio at Basil's On Market is a great place to soak up some sun and watch the people go by.(Connie Post)

Why? Few things are better than beautiful, delicious drinks and food overlooking the Great Miami River.

Where: 312 N. Patterson Blvd., Dayton 

Hours: Mon-Thurs 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Fri-Sat 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sun 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Info: Website | Call 937-818-4390

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The Dayton Beer Company


Why? A variety of games, locally-crafted brews and the buzz of the city make this spot a patio favorite. 

Where: 41 Madison St., Dayton 

Hours: Tues-Thurs 4 to 10 p.m., Fri 4 p.m. to 12 a.m., Saturday 12 p.m. to 12 a.m., Sun 12 to 6 p.m.

Info: Website | Call 937-228-2337

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Dublin Pub

The patio at Dublin Pub is a great place to kick back for a casual dinner or pint. (CONNIE POST/Staff)

Why? This is one of the chillest patios in the city. Sit under an umbrella and order a pint. 

Where: 300 Wayne Ave., Dayton

Hours: Mon-Thurs 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., Fri-Sat 11 a.m. to 2:30 a.m., Sun 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.

Info: Website | 937-224-7822

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Wheat Penny Restaurant

Wheat Penny Oven and Bar, 515 Wayne Ave., now offers a full summer patio. Photo source: Facebook

Why? Nothing goes better with vino and pizza than outdoors. Wheat Penny’s patio is great for groups, too.

Where: 515 Wayne Ave., Dayton

Hours: Mon-Sat 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Info: Website | Call 937-496-5268

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Ye Olde Trail Tavern


Why? You get a front row seat to people watch in the heart of downtown Yellow Springs, plus there’s great food and drink. Do a little shopping, then find a seat on the patio of Ohio’s second oldest restaurant.

Where: 228 Xenia Ave., Yellow Springs

Hours: Mon-Sun 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Info: Website | Call 937-767-7448

>> RELATED: 8 classic Dayton-area restaurants that we miss

The Caroline 


Why? The Caroline has great food, and you get to enjoy it with a view of Troy’s charming Public Square.

Where: 5 S. Market St., Troy

Hours: Mon-Thurs 4 to 9 p.m., Fri-Sat 4 to 9:30 p.m.

Info:Website | 937-552-7676

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Coco’s Bistro

Coco’s Bistro (CONTRIBUTED)

Why? Those in search of a little romance need not look further than Coco’s cool, inviting patio.

Where: 250 Warren St., Dayton

Hours: Mon-Thurs 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fri 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sat 5 to 11 p.m.

Info: Website | Call 937-228-2626

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Fifth Street Brewpub

Fifth Street Brewpub is celebrating five years with music, special tappings, special bottlings and more on Saturday, June 24. CONTRIBUTED(Staff Writer)

Why? It’s a beer garden with homegrown brew -- what’s not to love?

Where: 1600 E. 5th St., Dayton

Hours: Mon-Thurs 4 to 11 p.m., Fri 11 to 12 a.m., Sat 10 a.m. to 12 a.m , Sun 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Info: Website | Call 937-443-0919

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The Oregon Express

Cinco de Mayo fun in the Oregon District at Dublin Pub and Oregon Express (Teesha McClam)

Why? The patio may no the fancy, but you’ll get a bird’s eye view of the Oregon District and that can been very, very interesting indeed.

Where: 336 E. 5th St., Dayton

Hours: Mon-Fri 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m., Sat 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Info: Website | Call 937-223-9205

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TJ Chumps

A view of the Rose Music Center in Huber Heights from the recently opened TJ Chumps. Contributed photo by Alexis Larsen

Why? With spacious dining spaces, TVs at nearly every angle and a huge variety of food and drink offerings, TJ Chumps patios at its four Dayton-area locations make it easy to enjoy the covered cozy patio tables.

Where: Multiple location sin Englewood, Huber Heights, Miamisburg and Fairborn.

Hours: Mon-Thurs 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri-Sat 11 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.

Info: Website 

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Lily’s Bistro

Why? Lily’s has three patios with personality, including two that face Fifth Street. The restaurant’s beautifully landscaped back patio is a no-so-secret oasis that can accommodate up to 500 people.

Where: 329 E. 5th St., Dayton

Hours: Tues-Fri 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tues-Thurs 5 to 9 p.m., Fri-Sat 5 to 11 p.m., Sat-Sun 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sun 5 to 9 p.m.

Info: Website | Call 937-723-7637

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Brio Tuscan Grille

(Jennifer Podis)

Why? The restaurant’s sophisticated patio is the perfect place to watch entertainment happening in The Greene with munchies on your fork and wine in your glass.

Where: 4459 Cedar Park Dr., Beavercreek

Hours: Sun-Thurs 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fri-Sat 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Info: Website | Call 937-429-7792

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Peach’s Bar & Grill 

Worth the drive to Yellow Springs, Peach's Grill is a great place to catch a show and grab some grub.(Jim Ingram/Jim Ingram)

Why? Peach’s is a great spot to put back on those pounds you took off on the nearby Greene County bike path. Good food, people watching and beer help, too. While you’re in the Village, check out the patio at Yellow Springs Brewery.

Where: 104 Xenia Ave., Yellow Springs

Hours: Mon-Sun 11 to 2:30 a.m.

Info: Website | Call 937-767-4850

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Jimmie’s Ladder 11

Jimmie's Ladder 11 in Dayton, near the UD campus.(Maria Norman for

Why? Potted plants help set the mood on this beautifully decorated and relaxed patio near UD. There is plenty of room for the entire gang.

Where: 936 Brown St., Dayton

Hours: Mon-Sun 11 to 2:30 a.m.

Info: Website | Call 937-424-1784

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El Meson

The indoor patio at El Meson.(Contributed photo by Alexis Larsen)

Why? Thanks to food and cocktails that transport you to Central America, South America and the Caribbean, festive decorations, heaters and weather panels, it always feels like the tropics on El Meson’s main patio -- even in the winter. You are not in the Buckeye State when you are one of the eatery’s patios.

Where: 903 E. Dixie Dr., Dayton

Hours: Mon-Thurs 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 4:30 to 9 p.m., Fri 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 4:30 to 10 p.m., Sat 4:30 to 10 p.m.

Info: Website | Call 937-859-8229

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The Trolley Stop

Why? The Trolley Stop patio is a number of things, depending on the day and time you visit. It is a hidden garden in the middle of the city where you can read a book over lunch, a chill place to catch up with friends or a place to be seen my anyone who wants to look.


Hours: Mon-Sun 11 to 2 a.m.

Info:Website | Call 937-461-1101

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Did your favorite spot make the list? Drop me a line at

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