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BEST OF DAYTON 2018: How to have the BEST Dayton Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Chocolates? Flowers? Gifts? Dinner and date plans?

If you need a last-minute plan for tonight or this weekend, let the Best of Dayton 2018 winners, voted in this community poll, to inspire your perfect  Dayton Valentine’s Day.

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>> The best events to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Dayton

SWEETS AND TREATS FOR YOUR SWEETIE

Rockin' Red Velvet Cupcakes from Ele Cake Company.
Photo: Ele Cake Company Facebook

There’s no better way to win over your valentine than with sweet treats, from cupcakes, to chocolates, to donuts, to ice cream to gourmet coffees. 

Best Bakery 

WINNER: ele Cake Co.

  • 810 East Dixie Drive, West Carrollton
  • 1279 North Fairfield Road, Beavercreek 
  • 3680 Rigby Road at Austin Landing, Miamisburg 
  • 937-384-2253 | WebsiteFacebook

SECOND PLACE: Dorothy Lane Market

  • 2710 Far Hills Ave., Oakwood | 937-299-3561
  • 6177 Far Hills Ave., Washington Twp. | 937-434-1294
  • 740 N. Main St., Springboro | 937-748-6800

WebsiteFacebook

THIRD PLACE: Ashley's Pastry Shop 

Ghostlight Coffee in Dayton has some sweet special brews and treats on the menu on Valentine's Day, Feb. 14, 2019. Source: Facebook

Best Coffeehouse

WINNER: Ghostlight Coffee 

SECOND PLACE: Boston Stoker 

  • 34 W. Second St., Dayton | 937-223-1224
  • 8321 N. Main St., Clayton | 937-890-2345
  • 1293 S. Dorset Road, Troy | 937-552-7965
  • 215 N. Main St., Centerville | 937-439-2400
  • WebsiteFacebook

THIRD PLACE: Winans Chocolates + Coffees 

  • 3510 Pentagon Blvd., Beavercreek | 937-320-9090 
  • 2806 Miamisburg Centerville Road, Miami Twp. | 937-610-4555
  • 45 Plum St., The Greene, Beavercreek | 937-912-5446
  • 4425 Feedwire Road, Centerville | 937-310-1687
  • 6735 Miller Lane, Vandalia | 937-890-0705
  • 5839 Far Hills Ave., Washington Twp. | 937-259-8299 
  • 310 Spring St., Piqua | 937-381-0247
  • 8090D Looney Road, Piqua | 937-606-2817
  • 10 W. Main St., Troy | 937-335-9119
  • 1201A Experiment Farm Road, Troy | 937-703-9071
  • WebsiteFacebook
Bill's Donut Shop sprinkled doughnuts ready for customers on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 in Centerville. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Photo: Ty Greenlees/Ty Greenlees

Best Donuts

WINNER: Bill's Donuts 

SECOND PLACE: Jim's Donuts 

  • 122 E. National Rd., Vandalia | 937-898-4222 | Facebook

THIRD PLACE: Stan the Donut Man 

  • 1441 Wilmington Ave., Dayton | 937-293-1080 | Facebook
Young’s Jersey Dairy offers more than 50 flavors of creamy, delicious homemade ice cream. CONTRIBUTED
Photo: Contributing Writer

Best Ice Cream

WINNER: Young's Jersey Dairy 

  • 6880 Springfield Xenia Road, Yellow Springs | 937-325-0629 | WebsiteFacebook

SECOND PLACE: Graeter's 

  • 2412 Far Hills Ave., Oakwood
  • 2330 N. Fairfield Road, Beavercreek
  • 2 N. Main St., Centerville
  • FacebookWebsite

THIRD PLACE: Ritter's Frozen Custard 

  • 2531 Dayton-Xenia Road, Beavercreek | 937-320-0772
  • 2226 Wilmington Pike, Kettering | 937-252-3355

WebsiteFacebook

The famous Killer Brownie from Dorothy Lane Market. CONTRIBUTED

Best Place for Dessert

WINNER: Dorothy Lane Market

  • 2710 Far Hills Ave., Oakwood | 937-299-3561
  • 6177 Far Hills Ave., Washington Twp. | 937-434-1294
  • 740 N. Main St., Springboro | 937-748-6800

WebsiteFacebook

SECOND PLACE: Cheesecake Factory 

  • 56 Greene Blvd., The Greene, Beavercreek | 937-320-9901 | Website | Facebook

THIRD PLACE: Partial to Pie 

CELEBRATE YOUR LOVE OVER DINNER OR WEEKEND BRUNCH

Traditional: One of First Watch's signature meals.
Photo: Photo courtesy of First Watch/For the AJC

A true sign of love is to eat together. And we mean EAT! Whether you are looking for somewhere to go tonight or over the weekend, here are some of the BEST eats in town.

>> The most romantic restaurants in Dayton

Best Brunch

WINNER: First Watch 

  • 4105 W. Town & Country Road, Kettering | 937-643-4077
  • 5245 Cornerstone North Blvd., Centerville | 937-732-9013
  • 2614-A Colonel Glen Highway, Fairborn | 937-431-9150
  • 2824 Miamisburg-Centerville Road, Miami Twp. | 937-435-3127
  • WebsiteFacebook

SECOND PLACE: Dublin Pub

THIRD PLACE: Another Broken Egg Cafe 

  • 3450 Rigby Road, Austin Landing, Miamisburg | 937-866-4510 | WebsiteFacebook
  • 2453 Esquire Dr, Beavercreek | (937) 912-5074 | WebsiteFacebook
The Pine Club meal, including its signature onion rings. 2008 staff file photo by Lisa Powell
Photo: Lisa Powell

Best Classic Restaurant 

WINNER: The Pine Club 

1926 Brown St., Dayton | 937-228-7463 | FacebookWebsite

SECOND PLACE: The Oakwood Club

2414 Far Hills Ave., Oakwood | 937-293-6973 | WebsiteFacebook 

THIRD PLACE: Buckhorn Tavern 

8800 Meeker Road, Dayton | 937-890-3261 | WebsiteFacebook

Best Fine Dining 

WINNER: The Pine Club 

1926 Brown St., Dayton | 937-228-7463 | FacebookWebsite

SECOND PLACE: The Oakwood Club 

2414 Far Hills Ave., Oakwood | 937-293-6973 | WebsiteFacebook 

THIRD PLACE: Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar 

4432 Walnut St., The Greene, Beavercreek | 937-320-9548 | WebsiteFacebook

The Florentine Restaurant serves steaks, fish and chops. Pictured: Dry aged New York Strip.
Photo: Amelia Robinson

Best Hidden Gem Restaurant

WINNER: The Florentine

21 W. Market St., Germantown | 937-855-7759 | WebsiteFacebook

SECOND PLACE: Bennett's Publical Family Sports Grill 

67 S. Main St., Miamisburg | 937-866-4200 | WebsiteFacebook

THIRD PLACE: Watermark Restaurant 

20 S. 1st St., Miamisburg | 937-802-0891 | FacebookWebsite

Mamma DiSalvo's famous lasagna. Source: Facebook

Best Italian Restaurant

WINNER: Mamma DiSalvo's Risturante 

1375 E. Stroop Rd., Dayton | 937-299-5831 | FacebookWebsite

SECOND PLACE: The Spaghetti Warehouse 

36 W. Fifth St., Dayton | 937-461-3913 | WebsiteFacebook

THIRD PLACE: Franco's Ristorante 

824 E. Fifth St., Dayton | 937-222-0204 | WebsiteFacebook

Seared Tuna appetizer, with white wine at jay's Seafood, 225 E. Sixth St. Photo by Jim Witmer
Photo: Jim Witmer/Dayton Daily News

Best Seafood

WINNER: Jay's Seafood 

225 E. Sixth St., Dayton | 937-222-2892 | FacebookWebsite

SECOND PLACE: Sweeney's Seafood 

 28 W. Franklin St., Centerville | 937-291-3474 | WebsiteFacebook

THIRD PLACE: Greenfire Bistro 

965 W. Main St., Tipp City | 937-667-6664 | WebsiteFacebook

Best Sushi 

WINNER: Ozu852

852 Union Blvd., Clayton | 937-832-3000 | Website | Facebook

SECOND PLACE: Thai 9

11 Brown St., Dayton | 937-222-3227 | WebsiteFacebook

THIRD PLACE: Shen's Szechuan & Sushi 

7580 Poe Ave., Butler Twp. | 937-898-3860 | WebsiteFacebook

RAISE YOUR GLASS TO LOVE

Toast your love with a delicious crafty cocktail, a Dayton-made beer, a refreshing margarita or locally made wine.

Century Bar co-owner Joe Head pours his seasonal cocktail the Sleepy Holler. JIM WITMER/STAFF
Photo: JIM WITMER

Best Cocktails 

WINNER: The Century Bar

10 S. Jefferson St., Dayton | 937-223-3382 | WebsiteFacebook 

SECOND PLACE: Salar 

400 E. Fifth St., Dayton | 937-203–3999 | WebsiteFacebook

THIRD PLACE: Lily's Bistro 

329 E. Fifth St., Dayton | 937-723-7637 | WebsiteFacebook

Warped Wing and Dewberry 1850 will team up for a beer dinner on March 11, 2019. CONTRIBUTED
Photo: unknown

Best Craft Beer Selection 

WINNER: Warped Wing 

26 Wyandot St., Dayton | 937-222-7003 | WebsiteFacebook

SECOND PLACE: The Barrel House 

417 E. Third St., Dayton | 937-222-4795 | WebsiteFacebook

THIRD PLACE: Dayton Beer Company 

41 Madison St., Dayton | 937-228-2337 | WebsiteFacebook

Best Happy Hour 

WINNER: Bar Louie 

  • The Greene: 4492 Glengarry Drive, Beavercreek | 937-427-3900 | WebsiteFacebook
  • Austin Landing: 10267 Penny Lane #2034, Miamisburg | 937-914-4000 | WebsiteFacebook

SECOND PLACE: Trolley Stop 

530 E. Fifth St., Dayton | 937-461-1101 | WebsiteFacebook

THIRD PLACE: Mudlick Tap House 

135 E. Second St., Dayton | 937-895-4066 | WebsiteFacebook

Best Local Brewery 

WINNER: Warped Wing 

26 Wyandot St., Dayton | 937-222-7003 | WebsiteFacebook

SECOND PLACE: Yellow Springs Brewery 

305 N. Walnut St., Yellow Springs | 937-767-0222 | WebsiteFacebook

THIRD PLACE: Fifth Street Brewpub 

1600 E. Fifth St., Dayton | 937-443-0919 | WebsiteFacebook

Bad Juan Margaritas at Elsa's.
Photo: Ty Greenlees/Ty Greenlees

Best Margarita 

WINNER: Elsa's

  • Elsa’s On the Border, 1227 Wilmington Ave., Dayton | 937-938-7372
  • Elsa’s East Restaurant & Cantina, 3618 Linden Ave., Dayton | 937-252-9635
  • Elsa’s Kettering Sports Grill, 1216 E. Stroop Road, Kettering | 937-294-9210
  • Elsa’s South Restaurant & Cantina, 6318 Far Hills Ave., Centerville | 937-439-3897
  • Elsa’s Corner Cantina, 6204A Wilmington Pike, Sugarcreek Twp. | 937-310-1373

FacebookWebsite

SECOND PLACE: El Meson 

903 E. Dixie Drive, West Carrollton | 937-859-8229 | WebsiteFacebook

THIRD PLACE: El Toro Bar & Grill

Multiple Dayton-area locationsFacebookWebsite

Brandeberry Winery in Clark County near Yellow Springs won the “best fruit wine” category in the 2017 Ohio Wine Competition for its Blackberry wine. MARK FISHER/STAFF
Photo: Staff Writer

Best Winery 

WINNER: Brandeberry Winery 

5118 W. Jackson Road, Enon | 937-767-9103 | WebsiteFacebook

SECOND PLACE: Valley Vineyards 

2275 E. U.S. 22, Morrow | 513-899-2485 | WebsiteFacebook

THIRD PLACE: The Winery at Versailles

6572 State Route 47, Versailles | 937-526-3232 | WebsiteFacebook

 

DATE IDEAS

The historic Callahan Clock has been returned to the Dayton skyline. Carillon Historical Park has brought one of Dayton’s most famous landmarks back. The historic Callahan clock was the centerpiece of downtown Dayton for more than a century. The clock was the crown on top of the Callahan Building, sometimes referred to as Dayton’s first skyscraper. Later knows as the Gem City clock, Reynolds and Reynolds stepped up to preserve the iconic time piece, and it became a long-time fixture visible from Interstate 75 until 2006. That clock is now secured atop the 100-foot Brethen Tower at Carillon. Guests are welcome to climb the Brethren Tower's 120 steps to witness breathtaking views of Carillon Historical Park and the surrounding landscape. TOM GILLIAM/CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS
Photo: Tom Gilliam

The best gift can be the gift of time. Here are some ideas for a simple, yet meaningful way to spend some time with your sweetie today or anytime.

>> 15 amazing dates for $15 or less

Best Park

WINNER: Carillon Park

1000 Carillon Blvd., Dayton | WebsiteFacebook

SECOND PLACE: Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark

1301 E. Siebenthaler Ave., Dayton | WebsiteFacebook

THIRD PLACE: RiverScape MetroPark

237 E. Monument Ave., Dayton | WebsiteFacebook

Cox Arboretum MetroPark
Photo: HANDOUT

Best Place for a Picnic

WINNER: Cox Arboretum

 6733 N. Springboro Pike, Dayton | Website | Facebook 

SECOND PLACE: Carillon Park

1000 Carillon Blvd., Dayton | WebsiteFacebook

THIRD PLACE: Hills & Dales MetroPark

2655 S. Patterson Blvd., Dayton | WebsiteFacebook

courtesy DaytonWanderingdotcom.files.wordpress.com

Best Place for a Walk or Run

WINNER: John Bryan State Park

3790 State Rt. 370, Yellow Springs | WebsiteFacebook 

SECOND PLACE: Sugarcreek MetroPark

4178 Conference Road, Bellbrook | Website | Facebook 

THIRD PLACE: Charleston Falls Preserve 

2535 Ross Road, Tipp City | WebsiteFacebook 

Best Place to Take a Date

WINNER: The Oregon District

SECOND PLACE: The Greene Towne Center

4452 Buckeye Lane, Beavercreek | WebsiteFacebook 

THIRD PLACE: Carillon Historical Park

1000 Carillon Blvd., Dayton | WebsiteFacebook 

The Lookout Columbarium and Plaza at Woodland Cemetery, which overlooks the city of Dayton and the Miami Valley.
Photo: Contributed

Best View of Dayton

WINNER: Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum

118 Woodland Ave., Dayton |  WebsiteFacebook 

SECOND PLACE: Dayton Art Institute

456 Belmonte Park North, Dayton |  WebsiteFacebook 

THIRD PLACE: The Dayton Club

40 N. Main St., Dayton | WebsiteFacebook 

LAST-MINUTE GIFT IDEAS

Chocolates from Esther Price. CONTRIBUTED

Best Dayton-centric gifts 

WINNER: Esther Price chocolates

Multiple locations 

WebsiteFacebook 

SECOND PLACE: Dorothy Lane Market Killer Brownies

 2710 Far Hills Ave., Oakwood, 6177 Far Hills Ave., Washington Twp. and 740 N. Main St. Springboro

WebsiteFacebook 

THIRD PLACE: Heart Mercantile T-shirts

438 E. Fifth St., Dayton | WebsiteFacebook  

Best Florist 

WINNER: Oberer’s Flowers 

1448 Troy St., Dayton | Website | Facebook 

SECOND PLACE: The Flowerman

70A Westpark Road, Dayton | WebsiteFacebook 

THIRD PLACE: Furst The Florist & Greenhouse 

1306 Troy St., Dayton |  WebsiteFacebook 

The Best of Dayton 2018 winner for Best Jewelry is Ohio Silver Co. in Yellow Springs. Source: Facebook

Best Jewelry Store 

WINNER: Ohio Silver Co.

245 Xenia Ave., Yellow Springs |  Facebook  

SECOND PLACE: James Free Jewelers

3100 Far Hills Ave., Dayton | WebsiteFacebook  

THIRD PLACE: Elizabeth Diamond Company 

7245 Far Hills Ave., Dayton | WebsiteFacebook 

Pumpkin pecan cake from Azra’s Mediterranean Cuisine and flowers from Consider the Lilies, both vendors at the 2nd Street Market in Dayton. Photo from Azra’s Mediterranean Cuisine Facebook page

Best Place for Unique Gifts 

WINNER: 2nd Street Market 

600 E. Second St., Dayton | WebsiteFacebook 

SECOND PLACE: Heart Mercantile

438 E. Fifth St., Dayton | WebsiteFacebook  

THIRD PLACE: Yellow Springs Toy Company 

252 Xenia Ave., Yellow Springs |  Facebook 

Woodhouse Day Spa (Image provided by The Greene)

Best Spa 

WINNER: The Woodhouse Day Spa 

4412 Buckeye Lane, Beavercreek |  Website |  Facebook 

SECOND PLACE: The Salon on Rahn & Day Spa 

30 W. Rahn Rd., Dayton |  Website |  Facebook  

THIRD PLACE: 252 West Salon & Med Spa

252 W. Franklin St., Dayton |  Website |  Facebook  

>> Complete list of Best of Dayton winners

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