The best new restaurants that opened in Dayton over the summer

As the weather gets colder, it’s easy to want to settle into our old habits and creature comforts in preparation for the coming winter.

But there are only a few months of 2018 left and now is not the time to give up on having new experiences, especially in the realm of dining.

>>SIGN UP: New weekly food newsletter from

The Dayton restaurant scene has been as busy as ever and there are tons of new restaurants to try.

Make the most of this fall and winter by venturing out of your comfort zone.

🍴Hunger Paynes Beer and Wine Garden

Credit: hunger Paynes

Credit: hunger Paynes

Do wine slushies and croquettes sound like an amazing way to take a break from shopping? The Dayton Mall's newest restaurant is serving up all that and more with a menu featuring Dayton beerapple cranberry chicken wraps and a killer meat and cheese board with truffle goat cheese.

Andrew Payne, the owner of Hunger Paynes food truck, launched the Hunger Paynes Beer and Wine Garden in the lower level of the mall near Macy’s.

It will serve about two or three varieties of Hunger Paynes’ signature croquettes daily and have a dozen Dayton area beers on tap daily as a tribute to local breweries.

>>MORE: Hunger Paynes Beer and Wine Garden now open at the Dayton Mall


2700 Miamisburg Centerville Rd Suite 650, Dayton  | (937) 388-4878 | WebsiteFacebook

Hours: 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays

🍴 Olive Mediterranean Grill 

Credit: Amelia Robinson

Credit: Amelia Robinson

Best of Dayton 2017 winner Olive Mediterranean Grill opened its doors at its new location, 44 W. Third St.

>>WHAT TO TRY: This AMAZING lunch platter is just one reason to try Olive Mediterranean Grill

Although the restaurant originally opened about three years ago at 6129 N. Dixie Drive in Harrison Twp., it’s downtown location offers a new experience for downtown l unches or dinners or to place an order for carry-out.

>>BEST OF DAYTON: Food & Dining Winners 2017

Its menu is full of dishes that will be familiar to American fans of Greek, Turkish and Lebanese food — a lamb shank, various kabobs, falafel, stuffed grape leaves, fava bean dip, Turkish coffee and more.

>>MORE: Dayton's best Mediterranean restaurant open in its new home downtown


44 W Third St, Dayton | (937) 221-8399 | WebsiteFacebook

Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, closed on Sundays

🍴 The Vistro Modern Vietnamese

An Asian-themed food truck became one of the latest Dayton-based mobile eateries to make the jump to bricks-and-mortar restaurant — and like its predecessors, it has every intention to keep its food truck operating.

The Vistro food truck launched The Vistro Modern Vietnamese restaurant at 3937 Linden Ave. across from the Eastown Shopping Center in Riverside.

>>ON THE MENU: You need to try the Vietnamese Bánh mì sandwich from a local hole-in-the-wall restaurant

Myger said he will take 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.

>>NOW OPEN: Local Asian food truck opens its first restaurant


3937 Linden Ave., Dayton |  (937) 221-8121 | Facebook

Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, closed on Sundays

🍴 Elsa's Corner Cantina

Credit: Mark Fisher

Credit: Mark Fisher

The co-owner of Elsa’s Mexican Restaurant has a message for prospective customers of his new cantina-style restaurant in the Sugarcreek Plaza off Wilmington Pike that opened July 5.

"This doesn't look like your parents' Elsa's," Jason Hemmert said. "And we didn't want it to be your parents' Elsa's."


The new restaurant seats 135 inside and another 50 or so on a breezy patio. There are 30 large-screen televisions inside, and another five on the patio, Hemmert said. And perhaps most important: The original Elsa's "Bad Juan" margarita will be available on tap.

The kitchen will start off with a fairly straightforward Elsa’s menu, but down the road, will produce specials that, if they prove successful, will find their way onto Elsa’s menus elsewhere, Hemmert said.

>>NOW OPEN: Elsa’s new cantina-style Mexican restaurant “not your mother’s”


6204 Wilmington Pike, Sugarcreek Township | (937) 310-1373 Website

Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sundays

🍴 Rancheros Cocina Mexicana

A new Mexican restaurant, Rancheros Cocina Mexicana, opened at Cross Pointe Centre.


The Rancheros Cocina Mexicana menu includes fajitas, chimichangas, enchiladas, burritos and other Mexican specialties, including the Jalisco Special: Sauteed shrimp, chicken or steak in red sauce served with zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions and rice, topped with cheese.

The new restaurant has an extensive tequila selection, has nine beer taps and also serves wine.

>>MORE: New restaurant at Cross Pointe Centre comes with a twist


134 E Alex Bell Rd., Centerville | (937) 262-7505 | FacebookWebsite

Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays; 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturdays

🍴 Mila’s Suburban Café 

Credit: Mark Fisher

Credit: Mark Fisher

Michael and LaTasha Perry both Dayton natives who now live in Englewood, have opened a small restaurant and live-music venue called Mila’s Suburban Cafe at 606 Taywood Road in the Northmont Plaza.

Mila’s — a mashup of the couple’s first names — operates as a lunch spot Wednesday and Thursday, and as a lunch and dinner destination Friday through Sunday, and also hosts live music on the weekends.


The cafe’s motto is, “Eat, drink and be social.” The cafe serves four craft beers on tap (currently featuring Jackie O’s, MadTree and Brewdog) as well as canned and bottled beers, and offers wines by the glass or bottle.

The food menu includes items such as a Suburban Burger topped with Avocado Mayo, Bacon and Red Onion, and a Chipotle Wrap that has bacon, turkey, tomatoes, romaine lettuce and a chipotle pepper/cream cheese blend, Michael Perry said. Vegan options include Spinach Pita Pocket and Zucchini Fritter with Lime Aioli.

>>MORE: Finally, a cool new place opens up north — and it’s not a chain


606 Taywood Road, Englewood | (937) 832-2200 | FacebookWebsite

Hours: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Fridays, Saturday and Sunday; Closed on Monday and Tuesday

🍴 Sporty's Taphouse & Grill

It's been several months of hard work for managing member Howard Mason and others involved in the founding and development of Sporty's Taphouse & Grill, but the region's newest sports-themed restaurant and its 60 beer taps and 18 televisions are happily serving sports fans.

The restaurant opened on Sept. 6. The sports pub is located at 5202 N. Main St. in Harrison Twp., in space that formerly housed iconic restaurant The Barnsider, and later, Liquid Sports Club.

The Sporty's menu will initially offer a classic sports-bar menu items such as pizza, burgers and wings. Plans call for expanding the menu over the coming weeks to include grilled chicken and fish options and other dishes that aren't found on most other sports-bar menus, including jambalaya, pasta dishes, and grilled salmon. 

>>MORE: Sporty’s Taphouse & Grill has 60 taps and ‘food that goes with beer’


5202 N. Main Street, Dayton | (937) 242-7553 | FacebookWebsite

Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Sunday

About the Author