We visit Zombie Dogz on Brown Street. Video by Amelia Robinson

6 beloved Dayton food trucks that have opened (or will soon open) restaurants

The food truck phenomenon continues to roll across the region, enticing diners with a variety of cuisine.

Some owners of the mobile kitchens are dreaming bigger and have opened or plan to open brick-and-mortar stores to complement or take the place of their trucks.

The latest food truck turned restaurant made its debut this week at the Mall at Fairfield Commons: Flyby BBQ.

Here’s a look at five area food trucks that have added permanent restaurant locations and one more in the works:

Flyby BBQ

Oakwood city officials are considering allowing food trucks, like The Flyby BBQ food truck, to operate on public streets. FILE
Photo: Staff Writer

A new and independently owned restaurant that got its start on the local food-truck circuit opened Feb. 19, 2019, at the Mall at Fairfield Commons. 

Flyby BBQ now occupies space between the existing Fusian and BRAVO Cucina Italiana restaurants, according to the founder, David Butcher.

>> PHOTOS: A look inside newest food truck turned restaurant Flyby BBQ

The independent and locally owned Flyby BBQ restaurant will open to the public on Tuesday, Feb. 19, at the Mall at Fairfield Commons, according to its founder, David Butcher. The new restaurant, which got its start as a food truck, is located between Fusian and Bravo Cucina Italiana near the mall’s front entrance. MARK FISHER / STAFF PHOTO

Flyby is a fast-casual barbecue restaurant with an ordering system similar to Chipotle. It serves signature barbeque sandwiches, bowls and platters featuring hickory-smoked meats. A vegan option of pulled barbecue jackfruit will be available. The restaurant also will feature homemade comfort-food-style side dishes, banana pudding, craft beer and sodas. 

>> RELATED: New BBQ restaurant now open at the Mall at Fairfield Commons

Shantz Express

Bill Shancey, the owner of the Shantz Express food truck, hopes to open a brick and mortar story by Oct. 1
Photo: Shantz Express

Shantz Express has opened for business at 5993 Bigger Road adjacent to Bee-Gee’s Market in south Kettering. The Shantz Express menu features pizza, wings, calzones, gyros, burgers, sandwiches, subs, salads and specials, including pierogies and chicken nachos.

The carryout restaurant is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. Diners can place an order by calling (937) 949-7672. 

A cook for 30 years, Bill Shancey launched his Shantz Express four years ago. The food truck became beloved for its wings, pierogies and Big O pizzas (pepperoni, sausage, bacon, green peppers, and onions).

>> Shantz Express goes from food truck to restaurant

Shantz Express, which operates a Dayton-area food truck, has opened a carryout restaurant in south Kettering.

The Vistro 

The Vistro, an Asian-themed food truck, opened in July 2018 The Vistro Modern Vietnamese restaurant at 3937 Linden Ave. across from the Eastown Shopping Center in Riverside. 

“Bricks and mortar has always been the end-game goal,” The Vistro founder and owner Myger Nguyen told us. 

Myger said he’s taking his parents’ recipes for Vietnamese dishes such as Pho, the classic soup of Vietnam, and update them and give them an occasional twist with ingredients and presentation. He also plans to serve noodle salads with grilled meats and fresh vegetables. 

»» RELATED: Local Asian food truck makes the jump to bricks and mortar

Zombie Dogz 

More than 50 trucks participated in this year's Miami County Gourmet Food Truck Rally, including Zombie Dogz. One of their specialties is a pizza-inspired dog called the Blood Graffiti. PHOTO / TOM GILLIAM PHOTOGRAPHY
Photo: Tom Gilliam

Zombie Dogz was the first local food truck to add a restaurant in November 2016, when it opened at 1200 Brown St. near the campus of the University of Dayton. 

A sampling of the gourmet hot dog combinations include Calling in Dead, made with white truffle mac and cheese, The Dead Dixie with diced green apples, blue cheese crumbles, bacon and BBQ sauce, and The Waking Dead which tops a hotdog with sausage gravy, a fried egg, bacon and maple syrup. 

The food truck still makes occasional appearances at select events and festivals, but now the primary focus is on the UD location.

Zombie Dogz recently launched an expanded menu that includes

»»RELATED: Zombie Dogz expands menu to include cheese curds, dessert and more!

Hunger Paynes 

Hunger Paynes was one of more than 50 trucks that participated in this year's Miami County Gourmet Food Truck Rally. PHOTO / TOM GILLIAM PHOTOGRAPHY
Photo: Tom Gilliam

The popular Hunger Paynes food truck has offered up a “modern form” of croquettes, pretzel bites and hand-cut potato chips in the Miami Valley region since 2013. 

In June, Hunger Paynes Beer and Wine Garden opened in the Dayton Mall serving several varieties of Hunger Paynes’ signature croquettes daily and a dozen Dayton area beers on tap daily as a tribute to local breweries.

Hunger Paynes Beer & Wine Garden is shooting for an April opening. Photo from Hunger Paynes Food Truck Facebook page
Photo: Staff Writer

There is also a selection of domestic beers and about a dozen wines available, half produced locally. 

The menu also includes an assortment of gourmet pretzels bites, wraps and salads and other health food options. 

>> Hunger Paynes Beer and Wine Garden open inside Dayton Mall

Bourbon Bayou Bistro 

The Bourbon Bayou Bistro is gearing up to open in north Xenia. Photo from The Bourbon Bayou Bistro Facebook page
Photo: Staff Writer

The Bourbon Bayou Bistro is in the works for the space previously occupied by Stan The Donut Man at 607 N. Detroit St. in Xenia. 

Until the doors open, Xenia residents can enjoy the Bourbon Bayou Bistro food truck that sets up shop at North Detroit Street. 

The truck offers chicken — bourbon, blackened and seasoned grilled — to pair with rice and beans or have on a sandwich or in a wrap and has expanded the menu to include blackened fish, subs, gyro’s and salads. 

»»RELATED: Local Cajun food truck to launch a bricks & mortar spot

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