‘HAMILTON’ WEEK: Best places to eat and drink near Schuster Center

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

Before delighting the rest of your senses to a Broadway production, it’s important to treat the taste buds to a delicious meal beforehand.

The highly anticipated local premiere of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s groundbreaking 2015 Tony, Emmy, Grammy and Pulitzer Prize-winning blockbuster “Hamilton: An American Musical” will be presented Jan. 26-Feb 6. at the Schuster Center.

It’s a good thing there are so many great places to eat and drink near the Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center, at 1 W. Second St. in downtown Dayton.

Credit: Staff photo by Jim Noelker

Credit: Staff photo by Jim Noelker

Below are just a few of our favorites restaurants and taverns in downtown Dayton and the Oregon District within walking distance.

There are far more just a little farther, but we had to cut it off somewhere. Did we miss your favorite go-to downtown? Let this reporter know at sarah.franks@coxinc.com and we’ll add it to this guide.


🍴🍷🍺🍸1Eleven Flavor House

1Eleven officially opened in June 2021 and has not slowed on the flavor since. Just around the corner from the Schuster Center, dining at a new local foodie stop ahead of a night of Broadway is a ticket to the perfect night.

The new restaurant primarily offers “comfort and Caribbean” cuisine, “in a relaxed but sophisticated atmosphere. A full lineup of hand-crafted “Cocktails and Remedies” is also served, with drinks like the “Skin Tight — 111 Pina Colada” and the “Aint No Sunshine” featuring Uncle Nearest, Cognac, chocolate bitters and Irish cream.

Where: 111 W. First St., Dayton

Connect: Website

🍴🍷🍺🍸Table 33

A stone’s throw away from the Schuster, Table 33 is a downtown go-to for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Dinner is served from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

The upscaled menu has something for everyone, from lighter fare like the “Un-Beet-Able” veggie burger with alfalfa sprouts and vegan aioli, to more meaty options like the “Short Ribs & Frites” with smoked goat cheese and yukon pomme frites.

Where: 130 W 2nd St, Dayton

Connect: Website | Facebook


Credit: Alexis Larsen

Credit: Alexis Larsen

Jollity is quickly becoming a go-to in the downtown Dayton dining scene, and it’s less than a quarter-mile walk from the Schuster Center. The menu changes often, so a visit before heading to Hamilton will set you up for a night that’s full of surprises.

The swanky spot in the Fire Blocks District downtown that opened at the end of May 2021 has delivered the vision, flavor and food experience that co-owners Brendon Miller (executive chef), Zackary Weiner (chef) and Nathan Heil (front of house manager) promised.

The menu changes weekly with Chefs Miller and Weiner coordinating with local farmers and testing dishes one to two weeks in advance.

Where: 127 E 3rd St., Dayton

Connect: Website | Facebook


The restaurant and cocktail lounge is located on the roof level of the Crowne Plaza hotel. It offers great views of downtown Dayton and is a great spot for craft cocktails before a show.

WHERE: 33 E. Fifth St., Dayton, OH 45402

CONNECT: 937-224-0800 | Facebook


Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

Mudlick Tap House is a downtown destination for satisfying grub and local brews.

In response to the pandemic, Mudlick expanded its patio —even now, when the weather is cold — to accommodate more outdoor-loving diners. Hamilton goers can enjoy dinner in an igloo before walking over to the show. Reservations, however, are required.

The menu has several options not typically found at a gastropub, including shrimp spring rolls, Fanny’s Mussels, Cajun crab dip and more.

LOCATION: 135 E. Second St., Dayton

CONNECT: 937-895-4066 | Website| Facebook | Instagram




Check off two of Dayton’s sightseeing gems in one night — the Schuster Center and Day Air Ballpark — when grabbing a drink or meal at Lock 27 ahead of the show.

Lock 27 is known for its local craft beers, however, the brewery also has a full menu that will have something for everyone in the family. The brewery’s chicken wings have climbed the Dayton ranks the past couple of years. Try the dry rubbed, house smoked wings served up right with house-made sriracha blue cheese dip. You won’t want to share. Trust us.

LOCATION: 329 East First St., Dayton Dragons Plaza

CONNECT: 937-433-2739 | Website | Facebook | Instagram


What better place to dine and drink before a dazzling night at Hamilton than by visiting Dayton’s reigning champ of “Best Craft Beer.”

Staples like Ermal’s Belgian Style Cream Ale, Trotwood Lager, Gamma Bomb and Flyer Red Lager keep regulars coming back for more and more. But Warped Wing is always shaking things up with new beers.

With a loaded shareables and snacks menu, the brewery is an excellent choice if needing some delicious Dayton food before heading to the show. The downtown brewery’s menu even boasts a killer bison bacon burger or veggie burger for non-meat-eaters.

LOCATION: 46 E. Fifth St., Dayton

CONNECT: 937-222-7003| Website| Facebook| Twitter| Instagram


A mainstay in downtown Dayton, Spaghetti Warehouse is a good place to take the entire family. There is an assortment of Italian food and you can’t miss the restaurant’s eat-in trolley.

The restaurant offers fast, reliable service.

LOCATION: 36 W. Fifth St., Dayton

CONNECT: 937-461-3913 Website| Facebook | Instagram



Credit: Alexis Larsen

Credit: Alexis Larsen

The eclectic eatery is one of the first restaurants you reach after entering the Oregon District from downtown.

Lily’s food is fresh, fun and inventive and the bar cranks out some of the best drinks in town.

LOCATION: 329 E. Fifth St., Dayton

CONNECT: 937-723-7637 | Website | Facebook | Instagram

🍴🍺🍷🍸 THAI 9

The Oregon District restaurant has something yummy for you whether your spice level is 1 or 9.

Thai 9 offers an array of appetizers (papaya salad, fish cakes, coco shrimp, etc.), stir fries (cashew nut, holy basil, ginger, etc.), curries, sushi, noodles (pad sea ewe, lard na, pad thai, etc.), and a list of house specials that includes seafood clay pot and duck basil and beef in oyster sauce.

The eatery also has some of best beer on tap around.

LOCATION: 11 Brown St., Dayton

CONNECT: 937-222-3227 | Website | Facebook


Credit: Jim Witmer

Credit: Jim Witmer

One of Dayton’s oldest upscale restaurants, Jay’s has fed generations of local families since opening its doors Feb. 26, 1976.

Besides an assortment of great seafood that includes grilled rare tuna, calamari and bourbon salmon, Jay’s has a great wine list and cocktails are topnotch. Ask Bob to make you a Manhattan.

Jay’s bar even has personality that dates back to 1882. James Ritty, the inventor of the first cash register, had the 32-foot-long bar constructed for the Pony House Restaurant.

Reservations are recommended.

LOCATION: 1225 E. Sixth St., Dayton

CONTACT: 937-222-2892| Website | Facebook


Credit: Staff photo by Jim Noelker

Credit: Staff photo by Jim Noelker

The owners of the OE have been serving up some of Dayton’s best square-cut pizza for more than 35 years.

Favorites include the Reuben Pizza, the O.E. Special, the Hot Hawaiian and the Sriracha Pizza. The restaurant offers a gluten-free crust option for $2 more per pizza.

Try something cool from the tap or a top-shelf Long Island ice tea if you are extra frisky.

The jumbo pretzels with Swiss cheese are a special treat.

Like many of the Oregon District’s restaurants, the OE offers carryout if you’d rather eat your grub at Levitt or take it home after the show. O.E. even has a new menu with some tasty new options.

LOCATION: 336 E. Fifth St., Dayton

CONTACT: 937-223-9205| Website | Facebook

🍴416 DINER

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

With burgers, hoagies and a variety of breakfast options, 416 Diner has you covered after the show.

There is even a walk-up window on many weekend nights.

Try one of owner Guy Fragmin’s West Virginia-style pepperoni rolls or go for a cheese steak hoagie with potato twists.

The diner does not serve alcohol, but there are plenty of bars and taverns around it that do.

LOCATION: 416 E. Fifth St., Dayton

CONTACT: 937-461-0416 | Website| Facebook

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