BEST OF THE BEST: Winners in the 10 most popular Best of Dayton categories

Bill’s Donut Shop in Centerville has won national recognition for its sweets and is a favorite late-night stop for many teenagers. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Dayton loves its food.

The proof is in the Best of Dayton results, with food and dining categories dominating the Top 10.

These were the most popular categories in the 2019-20 contest, based on the volume of votes. A record-setting million votes in more than 150 categories were cast by the community in this year’s contest.

>>PEOPLE’S CHOICE: The list of Best of Dayton winners

Tanks a lot! The Tankburger at Tank’s in Dayton features a half-pound beef patty that’s more than three-quarters of an inch thick. We selected Pepper Jack cheese and a kaiser roll to make ours extra good. CONNIE POST/STAFF


In the battle for Best Burger, the competition was fierce (and delicious). There’s a new winner this year. Tank’s Bar & Grill in Dayton moved up to the top spot this year from second place for its famous Tank Burger.

The half-pound, hand-pattied Tankburger is juicy, thick and grilled just right, and can be served topped with onions and mushrooms.

Slyder’s Tavern in Dayton was the first-place winner in the 2018, 2017 and 2016 and finished second in this year’s poll. The third-place winner is The Hamburger Wagon in Miamisburg.

🥇WINNER: Tank's Bar & Grill

2033 Wayne Ave., Dayton | 937-252-2249 | FacebookWebsite

Dayton Celtic Fest was held on July 27-29, 2018 in downtown Dayton. Celtic music and dance, beer and food are the stars of one of Dayton's signature festivals of summer. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam


Beer and Celtic music for the win.

The Dayton Celtic Festival — celebrating the sights, tastes and sounds of Ireland, Scotland and Wales — took top honors in this year’s Best Festival categor.

The Troy Strawberry Festival took second place, and the twice-annual Yellow Springs Street Fair took third.

Last year’s winner, Dayton Art Institute’s Oktoberfest, won first place in a new spin-off category, Best Oktoberfest Celebration. After all, there are so many festivals to love!

🥇WINNER: Dayton Celtic Festival


My Way Grilled Cheese from Tank's Bar and Grill. (Source: Tank's)


Tank’s Bar & Grill was a big winner in this year’s Best of Dayton contest, including taking the top spot in this category. Tank’s is beloved for its chill vibe and its tasty eats any time of day. It’s also beloved for its affordability. Most items on the menu are $10 or less.

The Hamburger Wagon and Taqueria Mixteca (Dayton and Trotwood) took second and third place respectively.

🥇WINNER: Tank's Bar & Grill 

2033 Wayne Ave., Dayton | 937-252-2249 | FacebookWebsite

The Pine Club, 1926 Brown St. in Dayton, has been sold to new ownership, but that ownership has requested to remain anonymous and has indicated it wants to be “completely passive with no role in operations,” former owner David Hulme says. TY GREENLEES / STAFF


When you want to transport yourself back to a different era and surround yourself in nostalgia, Dayton’s iconic The Pine Club is the destination.

The Pine Club is famous for a few things: its tender, juicy ribeye, its salad dressing, its onion rings and its stewed tomatoes, not to mention its dark and cozy atmosphere

Mel-O-Dee restaurant in New Carlisle (second place) and Hickory Bar-B-Q in Dayton (third place) are two other groovy options.

🥇WINNER: The Pine Club

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

Dan Young is the Chief Ice Cream Dipper at Young's Jersey Dairy and our Daytonian of the Week.

Credit: Dan Young

Credit: Dan Young


Young’s Jersey Dairy is a timeless Dayton-area tradition that every child and child at heart should know about. More than just a dairy shop, Young’s Jersey Dairy Farm has an entire day’s worth of activities available to do while you enjoy cone after cone of fresh ice cream.

And that fresh, creamy, homemade ice cream served in cones, sundaes, milkshakes or by the pint.

Other top placers include Graeter’s and Ritter’s Frozen Custard.

🥇WINNER: Young's Jersey Dairy 

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

DAYTON, Ohio (06/2016) -- Aerial view of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. The museum collects, researches, conserves, interprets and presents the Air Force's history, heritage and traditions, as well as today's mission to fly, fight and Air, Space and Cyberspace to a global audience through engaging exhibits, educational outreach, special programs, and the stewardship of the national historic collection. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jim Copes)


When you think of Dayton, what’s one of the first places that comes to mind?

Hint: It's one of the 10 most-visited attractions in all of Ohio. The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force is the world's largest and oldest military aviation museum housed in hangars.

The voters in Best of Dayton said the U.S. Air Force Museum is the Best Landmark.

The Deeds Carillon at Carillon Historical Park and the Dayton Art Institute round out the top 3.

🥇WINNER: National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

1100 Spaatz St., Wright-Patterson Air Force Base | WebsiteFacebook 



In a tight race with some tasty dishes, City Barbeque was declared the champion of barbecue.

This restaurant serves up some nationally-recognized barbecue from pulled pork, to beef brisket and some tasty made-from-scratch sides. The beef brisket is not to be missed.

Company 7 BBQ and Hickory River Smokehouse finished second and third.

🥇WINNER: City Barbeque 

2330 N. Fairfield Road, Beavercreek | 937-320-0000 | 


5 E. Franklin St., Centerville | 937-312-1350 | 


Roger Glass, CEO of Marion's Piazza, is the Daytonian of the Week. CONTRIBUTED


In the Best of Dayton pizza wars, a Dayton classic took top honors.

Marion’s, famous for its square-cut, thin-crust pizza, has been a Dayton pizza institution for more than half a century. The company was founded in 1965 by Marion Glass, and is run today by second-generation owner Roger Glass.

Old Scratch Pizza and Joe’s Pizzeria rounded out the top three.

🥇WINNER: Marion's Piazza

Multiple Dayton-area locations | WebsiteFacebook

We are betting you can’t finish The Gambler - two pancakes, one slab of french toast, bacon and hash brown and a ‘girle’ size omelet. Pictured with sausage gravy.


All-day breakfast seven days a week is one of the reasons customers love Tank’s Bar & Grill in Dayton and voted it No. 1. A 10-egg omelet, French toast, Belgian waffles, pancakes and eggs fill a robust menu of classics at an affordable price.

The Golden Nugget placed second and First Watch placed third.

🥇WINNER: Tank's Bar & Grill 

2033 Wayne Ave., Dayton | 937-252-2249 | FacebookWebsite

Bill's Donut Shop order ready in the box on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 in Centerville. TY GREENLEES / STAFF


If Dayton has an all-time donut champion, it’s definitely Bill’s. Many know of Bill’s Donuts as a donut and coffee shop in Centerville, but the original location was actually in downtown Dayton. Not only is Bill’s beloved in Dayton, taking top honors repeatedly in Best of Dayton, but it has earned its share of national shout-outs.

The delicious Jim’s Donuts in Vandalia placed second, and Stan the Donut Man in Dayton placed third.

🥇WINNER: Bill's Donuts 

268 N. Main St., Centerville | 937-433-0002 | WebsiteFacebook


>> Food & Dining winners

>> Bars, Beer & Nightlife winners

>> Arts, Music & Entertainment winners

>> Shopping & Services winners

>> Fitness, Outdoors & Recreation winners

>> People & Places winners

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