March Madness is in full swing and Dayton is right at the center of it this week as a host of first-round games in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
For those visiting Dayton this week, here are some recommendations on some of the first places you should try.
Here are the First Four places you should visit to grab a bite to eat, to grab a drink before or after the game, to watch the games if you don’t have tickets or to shop or explore for fun.
🍽️FIRST FOUR PLACES TO EAT
These destinations are all conveniently located close to the University of Dayton campus and arena and offer something unique.
1. Dewey’s Pizza
Dewey's menu features loads of creative specialty pies, seasonal salads and some of the finest craft beers from all over Ohio. Try Socrates Revenge or the Edgar Allen Poe.
2. Jimmie’s Ladder 11
Stop by this renovated 1892 firehouse for some of the best sandwiches, appetizers and beer lists in town. Jimmie’s is famous for its laid-back vibe and its creative appetizers, including its Blind Dates and Paisano Chips.
3. Zombie Dogz
This Dayton gem started out as a food truck with a cult-like following and now also operates a restaurant near UD. Best known for its gourmet hot dogs, Zombie Dogz also features fresh, handcrafted side dishes made with many locally-sourced ingredients. Try the Calling in Dead hot dog topped with housemade truffle mac and cheese, voted best food truck dish in Dayton in 2018. You won’t be sorry.
4. Rusty Taco
If you’re looking for a quick bite, Rusty Taco offers freshly made street-style tacos from the traditional to the unexpected. If you have a few minutes to sit and relax, enjoy those tacos with a beer or margarita.
🍺🍹FIRST FOUR PLACES TO GRAB A DRINK
1. Century Bar
A short drive from the UD campus to downtown, this historic bar features over 200 common and rare bottles of bourbon and whiskey. Its reputation as a go-to bourbon bar extends far beyond Dayton. The Century has been named one of America’s 100 Best Bourbon Bars by The Bourbon Review’s website.
2. Warped Wing
Dayton has tons of amazing options when it comes to local beer. But if you can only choose one, go with the people’s choice, and that’s Warped Wing. Just a short drive from the UD campus, the downtown Dayton brewery place first in the 2018 Best of Dayton contest for “Best Local Brewery” and “Best Locally Made Beer” categories, Warped Wing piled on by capturing the most online votes for “Best Craft Beer Selection.” The brewery that’s been around for five years now offers only its own beers at its tap room.
Elsa’s is known for its classic margarita, The Bad Juan. The potent drink has been served here since 1979 and packs a punch. The drink is so tasty it often ranks high in Best of Dayton contests including taking top prize this year.
The Bad Juan is also sold in supermarkets, local retailers and bars or restaurants in Dayton, Cincinnati, Columbus and Toledo.
4. Carillon Brewing Company
Just across the river from UD Arena is Carillon Brewing Company, which celebrates Dayton’s brewing history. Try an Ale popular in the 1850s or a Sour Porter from 1862 that mixes light and dark malts. Visitors can watch the historic brewing process on site. The brewery also has a two vintage wines made with historical wine grape varieties. The outdoor beer garden is now open.
🏀FIRST FOUR PLACES TO WATCH THE GAMES
If you don’t have tickets ...
1. Milano's Pizza, Subs & Taps
Rooted deep in Flyer Country, and surrounded with TVs on every nook and cranny, Milano's on Brown Street is a basketball fan's paradise. Their cheesesteak on house-baked bread and their pizzas are a must-try.
2. Flanagan's Pub
101 E. Stewart St, Dayton | Facebook | Call 937-228-5776
This family-owned bar near UD offers classic pub fare and various brew options. The Irish theme will keep you in the St. Patrick’s Day mood long past the holiday.
3. Buffalo Wild Wings
1900 Brown St, Dayton | Website | Call 937-222-9464
Located mere minutes from UD Arena, B-Dubs is a prime location for fans looking to enjoy a quintessential sports bar atmosphere.
4. Bunkers Bar and Grill
893 E. National Rd, Vandalia | Website | Call 937-890-8899
With 42 beers on tap, daily happy hour specials and chef-inspired dishes make this beloved eatery a Dayton-favorite for brews, wings, breakfast and more.
🎮FIRST FOUR PLACES TO GO FOR FUN
Dayton is rich in culture — and these places prove it. If you have some time to take in some tourist attractions, here are four destinations
1. Dayton Art Institute
A gem of the Gem City for 100 years, the Dayton Art Institute will entertain all levels of art enthusiasts with its permanent collection, Experiencenter for kids and its current exhibition on American art. Tickets are quite affordable: $8/adult, $5/military, group or seniors and free for college students with valid ID.
🏆Best of Dayton 2018 winner: Best Art Gallery | Best of Dayton 2018 finalist Best Museum and Best Landmark (second place)
2. Carillon Historical Park
Carillon has it all. It is a museum, park, brewery and more, all in one. This landmark is the home of a Wright Brothers Flyer, the Deeds Carillon — the beautiful Dayton bell tower, a carousel and its newest attraction, the Brethren Tower, which offers a breathtaking view.
🏆Best of Dayton 2018 winner: Best Park
3. Scene 75
With wall-to-wall video games, go-karts, laser tag, food, drinks and classic arcade games all under one roof, this spot has everything you need for a good time.
🏆Best of Dayton 2018 winner: Best Arcade/Gaming
4. National Museum of the U.S. Air Force
1100 Spaatz St, Wright Patterson Air Force Base | Website | Facebook | Call 937-255-3286
Daytonians take great pride in their city's history, especially when it comes to the history of flight. At the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, the oldest and largest military aviation museum in the world, you'll see first-hand why Dayton is known as the "Birthplace of Aviation."
🏆Best of Dayton 2018 winner: Best Museum and Best Dayton Landmark
🛍️FIRST FOUR PLACES TO GO SHOPPING
1. 2nd Street Market
This hub of local produce, artisan breads, meats, jams, skincare, desserts and more is a must-visit for anyone looking to indulge in the wonders of Dayton-owned and operated businesses.
🏆Best of Dayton 2018 winner: Best Place for Unique Gifts
2. Heart Mercantile
438 E. Fifth St., Dayton | Website | (937) 250-6020 | Hours: M-Sat 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Sun 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
If you’re looking for the perfect Dayton souvenir (with a little sass), Heart Mercantile is a must-visit.
Heart has a little bit of everything: mugs, shirts, candles, soap, cards, etc. — all with delightfully snarky sayings, hilarious puns, or just bursting with Dayton pride.
🏆Best of Dayton 2018 finalist: Best Dayton-centric gift, third place
3. Flyer Spirit
1200 Brown St #145, Dayton | shop.udayton.edu/flyer-spirit | (937) 229-3454 | Hours: Sun-W 11 a.m. - 6 p.m., R-Sat 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
In Flyer country, this has to be on your list of places to shop. This place is stocked with apparel, accessories, gifts, and more — all emblazoned with the UD logo and perfect for boasting your UD pride to the world.
4. The Greene
Looking for a bigger shopping experience? Hop on Route 35 to 675 South and one exit south you will find The Greene, a shopping, dining and entertainment complex. You will find a little something for everyone here. The Cheesecake Factory, The Pub, Bar Louie, a movie theater, Von Maur department store, Ulta, Nordstrom Rack, Books & Co. and more.