Best of Dayton: Looking back at this year’s winners in more than 150 categories

The Best of Dayton contest in 2023 once again helped area voters choose their favorites in more than 150 categories.

The contest, which ran from June to August, chose winners in 153 matchups.

We’re spending this month celebrating the best or most important work done by the Dayton Daily News and this year. The Best of Dayton contest is an annual highlight, and as you’re preparing holiday gift ideas and new ideas for visitors, please consider supporting these people and businesses who won our categories this year.

The Best of Dayton winners in:

Here are some highlights of this year’s winners:

1. Archer’s Tavern

Credit: Alexis Larsen

Credit: Alexis Larsen

For the first time, Archer’s Tavern is taking home first place in Best Wings. In the last three contests, Roosters has dominated the competition.

This win comes after Archer’s Tavern won the People’s Choice Award for “Best Damn Wing” at the Kickin’ Chicken Wing Fest in Kettering. Last year, the restaurant placed in three categories at the National Buffalo Wing Festival in New York.

Archer’s Tavern is located at 9496 Dayton-Lebanon Pike in Centerville and 2030 E. Dorothy Lane in Kettering.

2. Bill’s Donut Shop

Bill’s Donut Shop, located at 268 N. Main St. in Centerville, has won Best Donut Shop all eight years of this contest.

The donut shop has been a tradition since 1960. It was originally located in downtown Dayton and has been in its current location since 1979.

3. China Cottage

Credit: Chris Stewart

Credit: Chris Stewart

China Cottage, established in 1987, has won Best Chinese Food since the category was added in 2019.

The restaurant has locations at 6290 Far Hills Ave. in Centerville, 3718 Wilmington Pike in Kettering, 1983 Shiloh Springs Road in Trotwood and 784 N. Main St. in Springboro.

4. Dorothy Lane Market

Credit: FILE

Credit: FILE

Dorothy Lane Market has placed in seven matchups this year with first place wins in Best Bakery, Best Desserts, Best Grocery Store and Best Nature Food Store.

The market received second place in Best Place to Buy Meats and Best Health Food Store, in addition to fourth place in Best Chocolates.

Dorothy Lane Market has three locations throughout the Dayton region including Oakwood, Washington Twp. and Springboro. The market has plans to open a fourth store in Mason.

5. El Meson



As El Meson is celebrating 45 years of being part of the West Carrollton community, the restaurant has once again received first place in Best Appetizer. This is the second year in a row El Meson has received this honor.

El Meson started as a three table, one employee restaurant and has since grown into five dining rooms, 450 seats, a fleet of food trucks, culinary excursions, catering operations and more.

The restaurant, located at 903 E. Dixie Drive, also won second place for Best Mexican Food.

6. Marion’s Piazza

Credit: Lisa Powell

Credit: Lisa Powell

Marion’s Piazza was recognized as the restaurant that has the Best Square-Cut Pizza in this year’s contest. The Dayton favorite has taken home first place every year since the category was added in 2018.

Just like last year, Marion’s also won first place in Best Pizza Restaurant and Best Restaurant to Take an Out-of-Towner.

Today the business has restaurants in north and south Dayton, the Dayton Mall area, Centerville, Beavercreek, Kettering, Englewood, Troy and Mason.

7. The Pine Club

Credit: Mark Fisher

Credit: Mark Fisher

The Pine Club, located at 1926 Brown St. in Dayton, has won Best Fine Dining in this year’s contest. This is the fifth contest in a row that the iconic steakhouse has won this category.

Since 1947, The Pine Club has been serving mouth-watering filets garnished with onion rings and a classic side of stewed tomatoes.

8. Slyder’s Tavern



Slyder’s Tavern, a Belmont tradition since 1948, has won Best Hamburger in this year’s contest. The neighborhood restaurant has received this distinction in six out of eight of our contests.

The restaurant is located at 836 Watervliet Ave. in Dayton. Slyder’s Tavern also received second place for Best Neighborhood Bar.

9. The Blue Berry Cafe

The Blue Berry Cafe has received first place in Best Breakfast and Best Brunch for the third consecutive year.

The popular breakfast destination in Bellbrook is known for its massive pancakes, homemade omelets and Tony Darden a.k.a. the “Muffin Man.”

The Blue Berry Cafe is located at 72 Bellbrook Plaza and has plans to relocate in early fall to 129 W. Franklin St.

10. Warped Wing Brewing Company

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Warped Wing Brewing Company with four locations across the Miami Valley including Dayton, Springboro, Mason and Huber Heights has won Best Brewery in this year’s contest.

The brewery’s Springboro location won second place in Best Pet Friendly Restaurant.

Warped Wing Brewing Company will be celebrating 10 years in the craft brewing industry in January 2024.

View all the winners:

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