How to eat your way around the world at World A’Fair this weekend

It’s the most multicultural time of the year in Dayton. The 46th annual World A’Fair is coming to the Dayton Convention Center (and our mouths) this weekend.

While the indoor festival prides itself on celebrating the common human thread that runs through all of the world’s countries and cultures, we all know the best way to explore new-to-us cultures is through our stomachs.

>> 10 reasons to check out this year’s World A’Fair

With 26 of 34 different countries bringing their best edibles to the table, here are our picks of the things you will want to save room for all weekend long.  Now, eat your way around the world.

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>> An evening of Dayton's best food and drink will benefit Hospice of Dayton

1.) BEER

There is no better place to school yourself on international brewings than at World A’Fair. Nearly every single booth offers the best alcohol their home country has to offer. Plus, the event offers quite the deal to help you try them all out.

The Beer Passport is Friday night only and is limited to 750 participants. For $10, you get a passport that entitles you to a 2-ounce sample at 13 different booths: Czechoslovakia (who won the best beer prize in 2016), Scotland (who has won it every other year), Netherlands, Ireland, South Slavs, Lebanon, Mexico, Germany, India, Japan, Philippines, Greece and new for 2019 – Italy!

At the end of the evening there’s a drawing for a prize basket, so be sure to vote for your favorite beer!

Passports and voting cards can be purchased at the wristband booths – cash only.

>>One of Dayton's best restaurant patios open for the season


Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

The great thing about this event is you can munch your way around the world in one room. Here are some of the things you can try and where:


Appetizers: Egg Roll. Cheese Wonton, Veggie Puff, Sweet Sesame Balls, Curry Dumpling

Entrees: Sweet & Sour Chicken, Vegetable Salad, Fried Rice


Czech and Slovak pastries including Kolache and Nut Roll


Bratwurst, Metwurst, Hot German Potato Salad, Sauerkraut with Pork, Desserts and Soft Pretzels.


Gyro sandwich, Spinach pies, Greek salad, Cheese pies, Baklava, Koulouria, Kourabiethes


Samosa, Naan (Indian flat bread), Chicken curry, Channa masala


Wash that Irish beer down with Irish Pub Fries


Sandwich – Italian Sausage with onions & green peppers

Pastries – the Italian favorites cannoli, tiramisu, Italian wedding cake and many more delicious pastries




Bulgogi, Kimchi, Mandu (no meat), Bokgumbap

Combination (Bulgogi+Kimchi+Bokgumbap)


Kafta w/ Tabouli wrapped in Pita Bread

Kibbee wrapped in Pita Bread

Falafel Sandwich (Vegetable Patty)

Tabouli Salad (small bowl)

Hummous b’Tahini w/ 1/2 Pita Bread

Pita Bread


The Netherlands serves the Original Appelflappen. Read more on this hugely popular dessert below.

Puerto Rico

Virgin and real Pina Colada


Meat pies, Bridies, Shortbread

South Slavik

Cevapcici Sausage with or without Sauerkraut; a variety of pastries from Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Slovenia including festival favorites of Apple Strudel, Cream Puffs, Baklava, cakes and cookies.

There are SO MANY different kinds of food to try. With it all under one roof, this is the perfect opportunity to try some new flavors you've been curious about without having to commit to a full meal that may not quite tickle your fancy.

Our out-of-your-comfort-zone picks? Korea's Bokgumbap Combination (Bulgogi+Kimchi+Bokgumbap), Lebanon's Falafel Sandwich, and Greece's Spinach Pies.

>>Grab-and-go broaster chicken, pizza coming to downtown Dayton next week thanks in part to the Arcade


The most popular dessert of World A'Fair year after year — appleflappen — is prepared in the Netherlands booth. Note it is being done by hand, with fresh apples, freshly cooked, freshly sugared. Almost needless to say, the line is rather long at times.

If apples aren't your thing, there is no shortage of pastries (we hear the best ones are at the South Slavs booth) and baked goods — from homemade tiramisu in Italy to shortbread in Scotland, there's something to satisfy every sweet tooth.

PRO TIP: If you want to catch all of the amazing entertainment, Saturday is the day to wear your stretchy pants so you can sample a bit of everything while feasting your eyes and ears on stellar performances.

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Want to go?

WHEN: May 17-19. Friday 5 p.m.-11 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

WHERE: Dayton Convention Center, 22 E. Fifth St., Dayton

COST: Advance sale: $5 adults, $5 seniors, $3 youth (age 5 and under). Door sale: $8 adults, $5 seniors, $4 youth. Active-duty military members even get in for free, and on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., those with handicaps and their aides also get in for free. Advance tickets are available at all area Kroger stores, Miami Valley AAA offices, Siebenthaler's Garden Center locations and La Llama Place locations. Purchase tickets online here. Multi-day passes available this year, which must be purchased in advance through a DIFI Delegate, at La Llama Place or via President Wayne Gulden ( or 937-767-1910).

INFO: WebsiteFacebook 

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