5 restaurants that are hidden gems worth making the drive to try

Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, lived for years in Lebanon and often patronized The Village Ice Cream Parlor on South Broadway Street.

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Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, lived for years in Lebanon and often patronized The Village Ice Cream Parlor on South Broadway Street.

Dayton has a lot of fantastic restaurants, and there are great finds in some of the smaller towns in the surrounding region.

Here are five hidden gems to try next time you want something away from the hustle and bustle:

1. The Merchant House, 406 S. Broadway, Greenville

Maid-Rite Sandwich Shoppe is one of the most popular spots in Greenville, with its signature loose-beef sandwiches and delicious shakes, but The Merchant House is among the best casual restaurants in Ohio.

Located right in downtown among the shops, it provides an atmosphere for a date night, family dinner or business lunch with menu items for all ages to enjoy. TripAdvisor reviewers rave about the chicken and waffles and cinnamon sugar waffles, but there is a wide selection to choose from, along with some great craft beers.

2. The Village Parlor Restaurant & Ice Cream, 22 S. Broadway Street, Lebanon

If you’re looking for a more upscale option, hit The Golden Lamb just down the street, but The Village Parlor is a great old-fashioned soda shoppe that you have to try at least once. It’s a taste of local charm among great shopping and makes for a great lunch spot with delicious sandwiches, burgers and of course ice cream in a family-like atmosphere.

3. Sam & Ethel’s Restaurant, 120 E. Main Street, Tipp City

This quaint little Mom and Pop diner tucked away in the heart of downtown is a Tipp City staple. You’ll find your typical diner and comfort foods but prepared very well, and be sure to save room for some homemade pie. It’s a cozy spot in a nice, though small, downtown.

4. Sunrise Café, 259 Xenia Avenue, Yellow Springs

An all-day hangout, they believe in “from scratch" cooking, and almost everything is made in house, including all breads, burgers, gyros, jams, dressings, soups, sauces and more. They source from 20-plus local farms that refrain from use of pesticides, GMOs, antibiotics and growth hormones for top quality ingredients.

5. Basils on Market, 18 North Market Street, Troy

Despite being more of an upscale option, this bistro still offers affordable American fare in an atmosphere casual enough to bring a family. The menu changes with the seasons, and the food is fresh. The truffle fries are considered a must-try and the daily specials won’t disappoint.

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