Local hot spots dominate statewide ‘Best of Ohio’ contest

Mikesell’s, Coldwater Cafe, Rose Music Center are among those earning accolades from Ohio Magazine

Credit: Contributed photo by E.L. Hubbard

Credit: Contributed photo by E.L. Hubbard

Miami Valley attractions and destinations represented well — disproportionately well — in the list of statewide winners and shout-out profiles that Ohio Magazine and its readers chose for for the magazine's Best of Ohio Readers' Ballot Winners 2020.

Ohio Magazine asked its readers and web-site visitors to vote on their favorite destinations and attractions throughout the state, as it has done for several years running. Full results are available in the January edition of Ohio Magazine.

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Darke County attractions and activities picked up a whopping nine “Best of Ohio” wins, and Logan County and Miami County also were well-represented, with Miami County snagging “Best Fine  Dining” (Coldwater Cafe) and “Best Summer Festival” (Troy Strawberry Festival) awards.

In Dayton and Montgomery County, the 2nd Street Market and Rose Music Center were repeat winners, and Mikesell’s scored the top award for “Best Ohio-made Food.” Butler County has the best college town in the state (Oxford) and the best tourism trail (Butler  County Donut Trail), according to the informal survey.

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Ohio Magazine also profiled a select few businesses that are not on the online list of 2020 ballot winners. One of those shout-outs was reserved for St. Anne the Tart in Dayton, which was praised as top “Rustic Bakery.” Here’s a taste of what the magazine said about St. Anne the Tart, which opened in March 2019 at 1500 E. Fifth St., and its neighborhood:

“The St. Anne’s Hill neighborhood near downtown Dayton is a charming historical district full of 19th-century homes, ample shade trees and eclectic eateries. St. Anne the Tart, a bakery and coffee shop, moved into a century-old former violin shop in the neighborhood in 2019, and the rustic-chic, Instagram-worthy spot has already turned into a second living room for many Dayton residents.”

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The bakery’s founder, Megan Smith, told this news outlet, “What an honor for our little spot in our first year, and for St. Anne’s Hill, to get much-deserved limelight!”

In the magazine’s “Food and Drink” categories, Miami Valley destinations snagged more than half of the “Best of Ohio” awards, including:

Farmers Market: 2nd Street Market, 600 E. Second St., Dayton

Casual Dining: The Merchant House, 406 S. Broadway St., Greenville

Winery: The Winery at Versailles, 6572 St. Rte. 47, Versailles

Fine Dining: Coldwater Cafe, 19 E. Main St., Tipp City

Landmark Restaurant: The Maid-Rite Sandwich Shoppe, 125 N. Broadway St., Greenville

Ohio-Made Food: Mikesells' Potato Chips, Dayton

Outdoor Dining/Patio: Lincoln & Main, 624 N Main St., Urbana



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In the “Arts & Culture” and “Shopping” categories, the region brought home the gold in the following contests:

Historic Site: Bear's Mill, 6450 Arcanum-Bears Mill Road, Greenville

Historic Property: Piatt Castles, 10051 Twp. Rd. 47, West Liberty

Music Venue: Rose Music Center, Huber Heights

Independent Shop: PeachTree Boutique, 129 W. Columbus Ave., Bellefontaine

Main Street Shopping: Downtown Greenville

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The Miami Valley — and especially Darke County —also performed well in the “Recreations,” “Attractions/Lodging” and “Fairs, Festivals & Parades” categories.  Among the winners:

Bike Trail: Great Miami River Trail, Butler, Miami, Montgomery and Warren counties

Canoeing/Kayaking: Mad River Adventures, 605 Old Lower Valley Pike, Springfield

Winter Destination (Outdoors): Mad River Mountain, 1000 Snow Valley Road, Zanesfield

Golf Course: Turtle Creek Golf Course, 6545 U.S. Rt. 36 E., Greenville

College Town: Oxford (Miami University), Butler  County

Destination Spa: The Natural Path, 324 E. Third St., Greenville

Tourism Trail/Passport Program: Butler County Donut Trail, Butler County

Community Parade: Hometown Holiday Horse Parade, Downtown Greenville

County Fair: The Great Darke County Fair, Greenville

Food and Drink Festival: Minster Oktoberfest, Minster

Summer Festival: Troy Strawberry Festival, Downtown Troy

Ohio Magazine is a Cleveland-based travel and lifestyle publication that is printed monthly.

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