93-year-old food event returns in-person in November

Credit: Dayton Daily News archive

Credit: Dayton Daily News archive

Waffle Shop at Christ Episcopal Church in downtown Dayton will return as an in-person event Nov. 14-17.

The beloved 93-year-old event paused during the coronavirus pandemic and returned last year as a carry-out endeavor.

“What makes Waffle Shop special is community,” said Maggie Barlow, publicity chair of the event. “We come together for a pre-holiday lunch and help support local nonprofits that serve our brothers and sisters in the community. This is the 93rd annual event, and we are so excited to see the return.”

Little did the women of the Parochial Society know what they were starting in 1929.

“Their legacy of social responsibility and service continues today,” said Emily Joyce, parish administrator of Christ Episcopal Church. “Aspects of Waffle Shop have evolved over time, but what has always remained is the warm welcome and hospitality that you’ll find here at Christ Church. Today 100 percent of Waffle Shop profit is given through grants to small, local nonprofits that serve the poor and marginalized in our community.”



Delicious homemade waffles, sausage, soups, sandwiches, salads, desserts and drinks can be found at this popular once-a-year holiday tradition offering a wonderfully filling lunch that benefits good causes.

“Waffle Shop is Christ Episcopal Church Dayton’s signature fundraiser,” Joyce said. “This four-day event is an expression of our faith: welcoming the stranger, loving our neighbors, caring for our community. One hundred percent of Waffle Shop profit is given through grants to small, local nonprofits that benefit people living on the margins in Dayton. Waffle Shop is a labor of love, serving delicious meals and raising funds to invest in our community. Because the money raised is given through grants to support the Dayton community, Waffle Shop is more than a delicious lunch. It’s a way to enjoy the holiday season with a good meal and know you’re caring for your community by doing so. It’s a way to be part of a longstanding legacy of generosity and hospitality in the heart of downtown Dayton.”

My favorite reason to mark my calendar for Waffle Shop has always been the sausage. I love the sausage at this event so much I order extra and take them home to freeze for the next several months — they are truly delicious.

The sausage is butchered and blended at Landes Fine Meats on Haber Road in Clayton. When you get to the Landes meat counter, ask for the breakfast sausage. In the counter it will be in bulk, not in links. It’s worthy of seeking out.

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

Here are 10 things to know about and love when it comes to one of Dayton’s favorite holiday dining experiences.

1. It’s popular. Between 1,600 and 2,000 people attended this event every November prior to the pandemic.

2. It’s affordable. Waffles, sausage, soups, sandwiches, salads, baked goods, crafts, and a white elephant sale are all on the menu. You can eat well for under $10.

3. You are eating for a good cause. Waffle Shop profits are given back to the community through a number of grants that are awarded every spring. In 2021 they awarded a total of $16,000 in grants to 14 local organizations making a difference in our community.

4. It’s a tradition. Waffle Shop began in November 1929.

Credit: Christ Episcopal Church

Credit: Christ Episcopal Church

5. You can search for treasure. In addition to the lunch there is also a rummage sale called Elsie’s Attic. Elsie was a former church parishioner who coordinated the rummage sale for many years. After her death it was named in her memory. There are also fantastic homemade baked goods and poinsettias for sale.

6. There’s entertainment. Each day features a celebrity waffle maker and local musicians, so there’s always something to look at.

Credit: Christ Episcopal Church "The History of Waffle Shop."

Credit: Christ Episcopal Church "The History of Waffle Shop."

7. There is carry-out dining. Head to http://daytonchristepiscopal.com/waffle-shop and download the fax sheet and get your order to go.

8. There’s something new every day. A different special, a different treasure, a different familiar face — every day at Waffle Shop is a reminder of how special our community is.

Credit: Christ Episcopal Church "The History of Waffle Shop."

Credit: Christ Episcopal Church "The History of Waffle Shop."

9. It’s filling and flavorful. As if the meal isn’t filling enough, there’s dessert. In addition, the sausage is a special mix you can only find at Waffle Shop. Order extra and take them home to freeze for an upcoming breakfast or, if you are like me, breakfasts.

10. Call ahead. Larger groups can call to “reserve” a table for their group to come have lunch together. When the menu is waffles, sausages, soups, sandwiches and pies you know you can’t go wrong.

Head to Waffle Shop early in the week and don’t be surprised to find yourself back there a few days later. It’s a great lunch that helps serve many great causes.

Contact this writer at alexis.e.larsen@hotmail.com.


What: Waffle Shop at Christ Episcopal Church

Where: 20 West First Street, Dayton

When: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Nov. 14-17

More info: 937-223-2239 or http://daytonchristepiscopal.com/waffle-shop

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