DAYTON EATS: Big dining ideas worthy of the big game

The Super Bowl is a serious, serious business.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics’ 2023 Super Bowl survey found that 192.9 million U.S. adults plan to tune in to the big game. There are 103.5 million planning to throw or attend a party and another 17.8 million plan to watch the game at a bar or restaurant.

Those millions of people mean billions of dollars of purchasing power. The total amount expected to be spent on food, drinks, apparel, decorations and other purchases for the day is expected to reach $16.5 billion or $85.36 per person. The majority of that is 79 percent on food or a little more than $13 billion.

It’s big business for the snack industry with tables overflowing with subs, sliders, nachos, potato skins, guacamole, dips, pizza, chicken wings, chili, meatballs, quesadillas, more dips and chips, desserts and anything else that is likely going to result in heartburn and possibly regret.

It’s such a big day for food that 2022 clocked in almost 1.25 billion chicken wings eaten — 7 percent of all the wings enjoyed last year, which is equivalent to 162.5 million pounds of chicken. And although the number of grills fired up for burgers, dogs and chicken on Super Bowl Sunday is only second to the Fourth of July with 10 percent of all Americans grilling, it’s actually takeout that scores the touch down with one in seven Americans ordering food to go.

Credit: Lisa Powell

Credit: Lisa Powell

That is very good news for pizza parlors around the country with 60 percent of all carry-out orders being pizza. But there are so many additional carry-out options worthy of considering.

The 2022 Best of Dayton winners are terrific inspiration for getting creative with carry-out whether you are hosting a party or just looking to feed yourself.

Here is a look at the winners of the categories that are ripe for Super Bowl dining inspiration. Not all of these will be open for carry-out for the big game, but many of them will. Take my advice: call ahead and plan ahead. Many are also terrific spots to dine and watch the game.

Best Appetizer

El Meson

903 E. Dixie Dr., West Carrollton

First place Best of Dayton winner for Best Appetizer is El Meson, the perfect destination to lend some flavor to the more mundane sharables you may be considering. Go with the mini empanadas (10 for $14) made with beef or salmon or do a battle of surf and turf and get both to see what triumphs with guests. Some queso fundido ($14) made with chicken, chorizo, mushroom or shrimp is sure to be a hit. Flatbreads (half for $12 and full for $19) are also sure to please with options ranging from birria taco flatbread to cilantro-lime chicken to a Cuban, and for the vegetarians in your life, a buffalo cauliflower.

Credit: Submitted Photo

Credit: Submitted Photo

Both of the runners up in this category also have you covered for all of your Super Bowl snacking needs.

Nick’s Restaurant (1443 N. Detroit St., Xenia; wings are beloved and come in quantities for five all the way to 30. They have a wide range of sauces and rubs for just about any palate and can be ordered breaded or naked (5 for $8.99, 10 for $15.99, 20 for $29.99 and 30 for $39.99).

Loose Ends Brewing (890 S. Main St., Centerville;, which took home third place, has Korean-style twice fried chicken wings (six for $13) served with Thai spicy chili, buffalo or gochujang sauces or hatch chili, mango habanero, dill pickle or garlic Parmesan dry rubs. The Reuben dip ($10) is another winning option with house pastrami and beer-braised sauerkraut combined with a rich blend of cream cheese, in-house Thousand Island dressing, and shredded Swiss cheese served with rye pretzel bun pieces. The signature flash fried crab Rangoon ($8), made in house daily, will probably not taste nearly as good taking it home, so get it at the bar with a beer while you wait.

Best Wings


Multiple area locations

Besides chips and dip at 40 percent, this is the second most popular food Americans plan to eat during the Super Bowl. Roosters is known for its wings and the dozen hot sauces ranging from a toned down friendly teriyaki with sesame seeds to the mouth on fire “Nu-Killer.” You can order traditional or boneless for the same price — $7.99 for 5, $14.99 for 10, $28.99 for 20 or $69.99 for 50.

Add on some additional appetizers like potato skins ($6.99) and mac-n-cheese bites ($6.79) and you officially have yourself a Super Bowl spread to go. They also have pizzas starting at $8.98 making it a one stop shop.

Just like best appetizer, Nick’s Restaurant in Xenia takes home second place in this category and the wings are the reason. They are delicious and worth seeking out in this instance or when you get a chance.

Lock 27 Brewing (329 E. First St., Dayton; 1035 E. Main St., Centerville; came in third for Best of Dayton with their dry-rubbed house-smoked chicken wings ($16), which are another very worthy option to enjoy while watching the big game.

Best Pizza

Marion’s Piazza

Multiple area locations

Second only to wings for favorite Super Bowl dining options is pizza and the number one pizza is the square cut classic Marion’s pizza that has been winning customers over for more than 50 years. With nine locations there is likely to be a Marion’s near you. Add some deli sandwiches or, even better, add one or two or more of their submarine sandwiches ($4.25 for a half or $8.50 for a whole). Marion’s is made for larger parties and your guests will be thrilled to cheer on Super Bowl LVII with a quintessential Dayton original.

If you prefer something more European and highbrow, second place Old Scratch Pizza (812 S. Patterson Blvd., Dayton; 440 Miamisburg Centerville Rd., Centerville; 2450 Dayton Xenia Rd., Beavercreek; has what you need. Go with a Dayton topped with pepperoni or something more heart healthy like the shroom made with mushrooms, fresh mozzarella, dry aged mozzarella, roasted garlic, thyme and white truffle oil. Get hummus ($9.50), meatballs ($11.25), a nice salad and whole roasted cauliflower ($10.95), some oven roasted olives ($5.50) and give this sports spectacle a Mediterranean twist.

A deluxe pizza from Joe’s Pizzeria (4313 Airway Rd., Dayton;, which came in third place, is another great option. Add some subs, boneless wings and spaghetti and you’ll be in business.

Best Hamburger

Slyder’s Tavern

836 Watervliet Ave., Dayton

Sometimes you just need a good meaty burger to bite into. The tension between the bun, the patty and the toppings are as complicated, interesting and addictive as a good football game. Belmont’s Slyder’s Tavern has been slinging burgers since 1948 and with that kind of time you get to the point that you clearly know what you’re doing. And this is a destination that screams Super Bowl takeout. Great wings, loaded potato skins, jalapeno poppers, onion rings, chili, and then, there are those burgers — Belmont’s best. Go for the gold with a bacon cheeseburger (7 oz. $9.50, 10 oz. $10.25) or a patty melt with Swiss cheese and grilled onions (7 oz. $9.75, 10 oz. $10.50). There’s a reason this burger won first place in the Best of Dayton contest, and it will come in clutch for one of the biggest games of the year.

Following on Slyder’s heels is Hamburger Wagon in Miamisburg (12 E. Central Ave., Miamisburg; It’s old school and olde fashioned with a simple recipe: crispy burger patty topped with pickle, onion salt and pepper — no cheese, no sauce, no frills. A single is $1.50 and a double is $3.00. This is sure to be a big hit as part of your Super Bowl spread. Be sure to swing by an ATM as they accept cash only.

Third place is a drive for most but worthy of consideration for a road trip at some point. Wengers Bar & Grill (6842 OH-503, Lewisburg) has the Wenger Burger with double patties, cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo ($8.75). Or you can upgrade to the “Bypass” ($13.50) with double patties, bacon, cheese, onion ring, fried pickles, lettuce, tomato and housemade Thousand Island dressing.

Regardless of how you choose to celebrate the game, these restaurants are ready for any game day matches you are looking to celebrate, now and into the future. With their unique brand of bar-friendly tasty dishes and finger foods, you can’t go wrong.

Dayton Eats looks at the regional food stories and restaurant news that make mouths water. Menu updates, special dinners and events, new chefs, interesting new dishes and culinary adventures. Do you know of new exciting format changes, specials, happy hours, restaurant updates or any other tasty news you think is worth a closer look at? E-mail Alexis Larsen at with the information and we will work to include it in future coverage.

About the Author