Communitea Cafe in Belmont offers a variety of sandwiches, including the deluxe chicken. Jim Ingram/Staff
Photo: Jim Ingram
Photo: Jim Ingram

Belmont's best-kept lunch secret

One of Belmont’s best kept lunch secrets may very well be Communitea Cafe at 100 Watervliet Ave. Though it’s been open for nearly five years, the quaint business is tucked away within a mostly residential area.

“I had to have it rezoned,” owner Dawn Thomas explained. “That took 90 days, because (the city) wanted to protect the integrity of the neighborhood.”

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Thomas, a lifelong Dayton resident and Belmont High School graduate, grew up in the neighborhood. When she saw the building, which has been everything from a neighborhood grocery to an antiques store from 1930 on, she jumped at the chance to start Communitea there.

“I was always in love with this little building,” she said.

Communitea cafe and tea house at 100 Watervliet Ave. offers a place to sit and enjoy a pot of tea and sandwiches in the Belmont Business District. Photo by: Vivienne Machi

The cafe offers a variety of sandwiches, with soups and salads. There are also up to 13 brews available at any given time, including their specialty, lavender lemonade. But you have to save room for the scones, which are topped with a generous dollop of imported clotted cream.

The décor is lined with various knick-knacks and relics from Dayton’s younger days.

Don't forget to save room for dessert! Communitea offers homemade desserts like this delicious traditional English scone.
Photo: Lauren Rinehart for

“I love anything to do with Dayton. I have had people bring in hat boxes. People donate teapots, hats and linens,” Thomas said.

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Communitea Cafe also takes a no-hassle approach to service. A bell is placed at each table so guests can get their server’s attention without being hovered over or interrupted every few minutes.

And the neighborhood is glad to see the cafe there. Thomas says people from the area periodically stop by to see the restaurant.

Photo: Communitea Facebook page

“One of the best things about being in this building is everybody coming back to see it and being happy. ‘Oh, something really good is happening in Belmont!’” she said.

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The cafe is open for lunch Thursday through Saturday, while catering special events seven days a week.

Want to go?

WHAT: Communitea Cafe

WHERE: 100 Watervliet Ave., Dayton

WHEN: 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday

INFO: 937-554-5626 |