The Amber Rose Restaurant and Catering is a Dayton institution specializing in homemade Eastern European cuisine. On the menu is Hunter Schnitzel, a pretzel crusted pork loin sauteed in butter and topped with Dijon cream sauce. It is served with a potato pancake and house saurkraut. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Mouthwatering, go-to comfort food dishes in Dayton to get you through the winter

There are certain foods that just go so well with stress and cold weather.

Hearty soups, mac n’ cheese and home-cooked meals that remind you of childhood can warm your bellies and your hearts. There’s a reason we call them comfort foods.  

These delicious Dayton meals are your reward.

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

Lunchtime comfort is yours with this sinfully delicious Italian Grilled Cheese served with creamy tomato bisque at Coco's Bistro in Dayton. MICHELLE FONG/STAFF

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).

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

🍴The Dublin Pub’s Cheese Fries

Photo: Lisa Powell

These have been voted the best 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.

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

🍴The Trolley Stop’s Pulled Pork Sandwich

Photo: Picasa

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.

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

🍴Voltzy’s Root Beer Stand’s Voltzy Burger

Photo: VIVIENNE MACHI / STAFF

Voltzy’s may not serve his burgers out of a trailer anymore, and his menu may have grown, 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 ($2.45 for a double cheeseburger) 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.

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

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

Photo: Hickory Bar B Q

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 $13.25.

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

🍴The Oakwood Club’s French Onion Soup

Photo: The Oakwood Club

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 ($5.25/cup; $6.50/bowl) for over 50 years, and will have you sipping and slurping your way to happiness.

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

🍴Jimmy’s Italian Kitchen’s Baked Ziti

Many delicious plates at Jimmy's Italian Kitchen. Photo source: Jimmy's Italian Kitchen
Photo: HANDOUT

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).

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

🍴Blind Bob’s Bar’s Pickle Soup

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.

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

🍴Amber Rose’s Hunter Schnitzel

The Amber Rose Restaurant and Catering is a Dayton institution specializing in homemade Eastern European cuisine. On the menu is Hunter Schnitzel, a pretzel crusted pork loin sauteed in butter and topped with Dijon cream sauce. It is served with a potato pancake and house saurkraut. LISA POWELL / STAFF

If you’re not familiar with Amber Rose’s Hunter Schnitzel dish, buckle up and prepare yourself. Just like many other European dishes the restaurant serves up on the regular, this one is unique and loaded with comfort (though it will set you back $18). The Hunter Schnitzel consists of a pretzel-crusted pork loin sauteed in butter and topped with Dijon cream sauce. Yum. 

1400 Valley St., Dayton, (937) 228-2511 | theamberrose.com

🍴Angie’s Firehouse Tavern’s Cabbage Rolls

No matter your comfort food preferences, Angie’s Firehouse Tavern has it all, from homemade chili to cabbage rolls. For many, it’s these cabbage rolls that make the trip to the tavern totally worth it. As an added bonus, they’re served with a side of mashed potatoes for extra comfort. 

703 Watervliet Ave., Dayton, (937) 252-5125 | Facebook

🍴Hamburger Wagon’s Hamburger

For decades, the Hamburger Wagon in Miamisburg has been serving up seriously iconic burgers. Unlike other restaurants dedicated to hamburgers, the Hamburger Wagon keeps things relatively simple. Their famous patties, fried in a cast iron skillet, are only topped with a slice of onion and dill pickle. But, according to numerous Dayton locals, this simplicity is what makes this burger one of the most delicious varieties in the city, and, of course, some of the best comfort food.

Located at Market Square and Main St., Miamisburg, (937) 847-2442 | hamburgerwagon.com

🍴Hoshi Ramen’s Miso Ramen

Hoshi Ramen at 2820 Colonel Glenn Highway across from Wright State University in Fairborn is scheduled to host its grand opening on Wednesdsay, July 17.
Photo: Contributed

Looking for some instant warmth? Try the Miso Ramen at Hoshi Ramen, chock-full of warming pork broth infused with miso tare chashu, scallions, menma and tamago. If it isn’t the flavorful broth that keeps you cozy, then perhaps it is the warm environment that exists at Hoshi Ramen in Fairborn. Either way, you should add this local ramen staple to the top of your bucket list.

2820 Colonel Glenn Highway, Fairborn, (937) 318-8006 | Facebook

🍴Nanyea Cafe’s Meat Lovers Combo

Nanya Café is Dayton's first Ethiopian restaurant in a number of years. Photo by Amelia Robinson
Photo: Amelia Robinson

Dayton’s only Ethiopian restaurant, Nanyea Cafe, doesn’t disappoint in the comfort food territory. Visitors to cozy Nanyea Cafe in Dayton can enjoy filling meals like the Meat Lovers Combo, which combines Kitfo, Nanyea Tibs, Chicken Tibs, and Bozena Shiro together in a flavorful and colorful dish that is eaten with your hands. The standard cup of coffee at the end of the meal will make your experience even sweeter. If you haven’t ventured to Nanyea’s Cafe yet, you’re truly missing out.

6129 N Dixie Dr, Dayton, (937) 396-4013 

🍴Carillon Brewing Co.’s Bier Cheese Fries

Carillon Brewing Co. Bier Cheese Fries, one of the restaurant's new menu items.
Photo: Lisa Powell

Is it really that wrong to have so many varieties of gourmet cheese fries to try? The Bier Cheese Fries are a fairly new menu item at Carillon Brewing Co., and have already proven to be a crowd favorite. There are few things more comforting than potato wedges topped with their house bier cheese, bacon crumbles and chives. (Pro tip: Order this appetizer as a meal and refuse to share it with anyone else). 

1000 Carillon Blvd, Dayton, (937) 910-0722 | carillonbrewingco.org

🍴Eudora Brewing Company’s Pretzels and Beer Cheese

Eudora Brewing Company opened the doors to its new Kettering brewery at 3022 Wilmington Pike on Friday, Jan. 11. Eudora’s brand new 20,000-square-foot taproom, restaurant and brewery will offer 18 taps that will be pouring a variety of new and classic Eudora beers, craft root beer, and nitro cold-brew coffee, Eudora owner Neil Chabut said. Eudora closed its taproom, that had originally opened in 2013, up the street at 4716 Wilmington Pike in October while finishing work on the new facility. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Photo: Tom Gilliam

Need more? Comfort yourself with:

-Couch Potatoes from Tank’s Bar and Grill 

-15-layer lasagna from Spaghetti Warehouse 

-Herb Roasted Half Chicken from Carillon Brewing Co. 

-Turtle Soup from Amber Rose 

-Country Fried Steak from Corner Kitchen 

-Mac n’ cheese from Peach’s Grill or Crossroads BBQ 

-Cheeseburger from Benjamin’s the Burger Master 

-Pho from Linh’s Bistro 

-Meatball grinder sandwich with homemade meatballs from DiSalvo’s Deli

What’s your favorite comfort dish? Drop us a line at contact@dayton.com or message us on Facebook.

X