10 Dayton go-to comfort dishes

By: Vivienne Machi, Staff Writer

There are certain foods that just go so well with bad Ohio weather, whether it's frigid snow or dreary rain. Hearty soups, mac n’ cheese, sandwiches that heat up your belly. There’s a reason we call them comfort foods.

And when it’s gross outside and it’s time to decide what to eat, it might be hard to motivate you to get out and about; maybe you’ll opt for the old packet of ramen just so you don’t have to make a grocery run. But if you do brave the weather, these delicious meals will be waiting for you as a reward.

  • Coco’s Bistro’s Italian Grilled Cheese and Tomato Bisque

    10 Dayton go-to comfort dishes for cold weather, item 1
    Coco's Bistro's Italian Grilled Cheese and Tomato Bisque. Photo Source: Coco's Bistro

    250 Warren St., (937) 228-2626. 228coco.com

    Grilled cheese and tomato soup. Really, is there any better food pairing than the gooey, heavenly cheese squeezing out between slices of crunchy and buttery toast, basically designed for dipping into creamy tomato soup? Cocos’ Italian Grilled Cheese sandwich ($12) kicks it up a notch on panko-breaded sourdough for extra crunchiness and a four-cheese blend that pairs oh-so-well with their creamy tomato bisque ($4 by itself).

  • The Dublin Pub’s Cheese Fries

    10 Dayton go-to comfort dishes for cold weather, item 2
    The Dub Pub's Cheese Fries. LISA POWELL / STAFF

    300 Wayne Ave., (937) 224-7822. dubpub.com

    Our former iteration Active Dayton named these the No. 1 fries in Dayton, and for good reason: The white wine sauce really amps up the melted cheese and bacon-covered potato fries, and just a few bites in, you already know you’re headed for a heavenly food coma. The cheese fries ($8.99) are on the Dub Pub’s starter menu, but if you don’t share (and trust us, you won’t want to), they can be a meal unto itself.

  • The Trolley Stop’s Pulled Pork Sandwich

    10 Dayton go-to comfort dishes for cold weather, item 3
    The Trolley Stop's pulled pork sandwich. KATIE GAST / CONTRIBUTED

    530 E. Fifth St., (937) 401-1101. trolleystopdayton.com

    You can always tell when pulled pork is freshly made, and oh boy, is the Trolley Stop’s pulled pork sandwich ($9) melt-in-your-mouth fresh, never frozen. Pair it with house-made apple slaw, chipotle mayo, and pickles on a pretzel bun, and that, friends, is a sandwich that will treat you right through the darkest winter days.

  • The Green Olive’s Chicken Noodle Soup

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    Homemade chicken noodle soup at the Green Olive. Photo source: The Green Olive

    3630 N. Dixie Drive, (937) 221-8939. Facebook

    Since the former Golden Eagle got a name change and a makeover this past summer, longtime customers and new patrons have loved the Green Olive Restaurant and Pizzeria's new additions along with the old staples. The soup rotations, made fresh daily, are always a hit, especially the chicken noodle soup. One spoonful heats you up in a flash, and maybe it’s just a placebo effect, but even if we’re not feeling sick, we feel like we got a 1-up Mushroom after a bowl of this soup.

  • Voltzy’s Root Beer Stand’s Voltzy Burger

    10 Dayton go-to comfort dishes for cold weather, item 5
    The double Voltzy burger from Voltzy's Root Beer Stand. VIVIENNE MACHI / STAFF

    4668 Springboro Pike., (937) 299-1440. Facebook

    Voltzy’s may not serve his burgers out of a trailer anymore, and his menu may have grown this past year, but whether you’ve been a customer for 20 years or you just discovered the tiny house on Springboro Pike, you know the Voltzy burger’s ($3, $4 for a double) rich combo of burger, ham, raw onions, and cheese is king. Bonus points in the winter for the special sauce, which includes enough horseradish to ward off any imminent cold.

  • Hickory Bar-B-Q’s Hungarian Cabbage Rolls

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    Hickory Bar-B-Q's Hungarian Cabbage Rolls. Photo source: Hickory Bar B Q

    1082 Brown St., (937) 228-5252. hickorybarbq.com

    As far as warm, hearty, winter meals go, cabbage rolls and other Eastern European fare do an excellent job of heating you up from the inside, filling your belly with delish meat and veggies rolled up in silky cabbage leaves. Hickory Bar-B-Q has been serving up some of the best around town for years for only $12.25.

  • Lily’s Bistro’s Bone-In Pork Chop

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    Lily's bone-in pok chop. Photo source: Lily's Bistro

    Bone-in smoked pork chop: check. House-made apple “mostarda”: check. Red cabbage and creamy mashed potatoes: check. Between this dish ($23) and their Sunday night family-style fried chicken dinners, Lily’s has the comfort food checklist on lock.

  • The Oakwood Club’s French Onion Soup

    10 Dayton go-to comfort dishes for cold weather, item 8
    The Oakwood Club's Baked French Onion Soup Au Gratin. Photo source: The Oakwood Club

    2414 Far Hills Ave., Oakwood, (937) 293-6973. theoakwoodclub.com

    Where to even start with the divine nature of French Onion Soup, and its necessity in the cold months? Only the Gauls could envision something as simple as dropping a load of tear-inducing onions into beef broth, crumbling some stale bread on top and loading the whole thing up with cheese, having such a perfectly savory end result. The Oakwood Club has been serving their Baked French Onion Soup Au Gratin ($4.95/cup; $5.95/bowl) for over 50 years, and will have you sipping and slurping your way to happiness, decorum be damned.

  • Jimmy’s Italian Kitchen’s Baked Ziti

    10 Dayton go-to comfort dishes for cold weather, item 9
    Many delicious plates at Jimmy's Italian Kitchen. Photo source: Jimmy's Italian Kitchen

    3002 Woodman Drive, (937) 293-9133. jikitchen.com

    Meat. Cheese. Noodles. Baked together. What could be more comforting? Not only is the dinner-size baked ziti portion a steal for $8.99, but your lunch for the rest of the season should be set for $6.99 (plus fresh baked garlic rolls!).

  • Blind Bob’s Bar’s Pickle Soup

    10 Dayton go-to comfort dishes for cold weather, item 10
    Blind Bob's Bar's famous pickle soup. VIVIENNE MACHI / STAFF

    430 E. Fifth St., (937) 938-6405. blindbobs.com

    If you’ve had Bob’s pickle soup before, you already know. If you haven’t, let us just say as former pickle haters, this soup will convert you. You will order a cup ($2.50) and then wish you got a bowl ($4). Without the tang of the pickles, this would still be a hearty and delicious potato soup. But let’s not be boring here. You can still add a little pizzazz to your winter meals.

    Need more? Comfort yourself with: