DAYTON EATS: Ethnosh Dayton returns in October after long hiatus

Credit: Bobby Tewksbury/Ethnosh Dayton

Credit: Bobby Tewksbury/Ethnosh Dayton

At the beginning of 2020 I wrote the following:

Ethnosh Dayton is on a roll and it’s showing no signs of stopping. It’s not even a year-old yet since it launched locally and it’s already selling out seatings for its dining events — including the most recent a few weeks ago at Prem’s Chennai Delight in Washington Township.

Little did I or anyone else know at that time that pretty much everything would stop in early 2020.

Ethnosh held six events between October 2019 and March 2020 before everything came to a screeching halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ohio became the first state on March 15, 2020 to order bars and restaurants closed with the exception of takeout or delivery. With that Ethnosh and so many other wonderful things we all loved and enjoyed came to an end.

So when I heard that Ethnosh — one of my favorite food events before the pandemic — was returning after a three-and-a-half year hiatus I was absolutely thrilled.

Hearing the news that Ethnosh events, called “NoshUps,” at immigrant-owned restaurants in Dayton, will be back to put the spotlight on both the food and the stories of local immigrant-owned international restaurants and food businesses in our wonderfully diverse city had me overcome with joy.



Peter Benkendorf, Founder of The Collaboratory, which describes itself as “part community research and development lab, part social enterprise incubator-accelerator, part community convener,” brought Ethnosh to Dayton after he heard about it being done by Donovan McKnight in Greensboro, North Carolina. Immediately he thought of Welcome Dayton, the region’s immigrant-friendly initiative, and the gears started turning.

“What I like about Ethnosh is its emphasis on cuisine, culture and community, as well as supporting local immigrant-owned businesses,” said Benkendorf. “The NoshUps are about new culinary experiences, but they are also focused on sharing the personal stories and journeys of the restaurant owners and their families. NoshUps are set up with large tables, so we are also building community, which is a core value of The Collaboratory.”

Reserving a seat at the Ethnosh table means being a part of a moveable feast that visits excellent immigrant-owned restaurants once a month. There will be new flavors and textures to be enjoyed along with different styles of dining and a sense of discovery in our wonderful community.

According to the release that The Collaboratory sent out announcing the return of Noshups, “people who were involved in the first wave will still rave about some of the foods they discovered and how it even led to a broader understanding of the world around them. But just as often the recollections are about the people who own the restaurants and their stories. The back story is a key part of the Ethnosh experience. There are tales of heartbreak and triumph in the histories of some of the restaurants we drive past every day. The owners speak to the group about their history as they introduce the specially prepared cuisine. Dining is family style, so it’s easy to meet others from Dayton who share an interest in food and people. It’s a monthly event, so new acquaintances can become friends on a shared adventure. It’s affordable, so people from all walks of life are in the community that is forming.”

If it sounds authentic and cool and exciting that’s because it is. Nearly 100 local restaurants are owned by immigrants , so there is plenty of adventure to be had. It’s a win-win for customers, restaurants and the fabric of our city’s diversity.



For the first three NoshUps, Ethnosh is revisiting three of its past favorites:

• Oct. 8: Nanyea Restaurant and Coffee Bar, Ethiopian, 6129 N Dixie Dr., Dayton

• Nov. 5: La Costenita, Mexican, 2701 E 3rd St, Dayton

• Dec. 5: Prems Chennai Delight, South Indian, 725 Lyons Rd, Washington Township


Tickets are on sale now for the event at Nanyea and will likely sell out fast.

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

And if you haven’t been to Nanyea, get ready for a wonderful treat. Nanya is Dayton’s only Ethiopian eatery and when you visit, you’re guaranteed to have an authentic experience. From the minute you step into the restaurant, the smell of spicy berbere, fresh Ethiopian coffee, and looming incense in the air will carry you off to another land on a full sensory adventure.

To reserve your spot visit and get in the know and out to eat at these wonderful cross-cultural events that will not only open up the world of food to you, but the world itself.

DAYTON EATS runs Sundays in the Life & Arts section of the Dayton Daily News and features the latest on menu updates, special dinners and events, new chefs, interesting new dishes, and food adventures. Contact Contributing Writer Alexis Larsen at


What: Ethnosh NoshUp at Nanyea Restaurant and Coffee House

When: Sunday, Oct. 8 with three seatings starting at 2 p.m.

Where: 6129 N Dixie Dr., Dayton

Cost: $25 per person plus a small processing fee

More information:

About The Collaboratory: Part civic innovation lab, part social enterprise incubator-accelerator, part community convener, The Collaboratory is where Dayton’s dreamers and doers gather to move innovative ideas to transformational action. They are committed to “Unleashing Dayton’s Potential.”

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