Quiche at the Coldwater Cafe in Tipp City, which has been named the "Best in Ohio" for fine dining in the Ohio Magazine 2020 Best in Ohio awards.
Photo: Contributed photo by E.L. Hubbard
Photo: Contributed photo by E.L. Hubbard

Local hot spots dominate statewide ‘Best of Ohio’ contest

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

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.

Mikesell’s Potato Chips was named “Best in Ohio”  for Ohio-made food in Ohio Magazine’s Best in Ohio 2020 online survey.
Photo: Ty Greenlees

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 

The wine-cask sign in front of the Winery at Versailles. Staff photo by Mark Fisher
Photo: Staff photo by Mark Fisher

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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.

The 2019 Troy Strawberry Festival took place June 1-2, 2019, in downtown Troy around the Public Square and along the Great Miami River levee. Festival-goers enjoyed strawberry treats, festival eats and shopped and hundreds of booths. Did we spot you there? DAVID MOODIE/CONTRIBUTED