By: Vivienne Machi, Staff Writer
As the Dayton area’s largest employer, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base must have a lot of hungry workers come lunch time.
Though there are several quick meal options inside the fence, there just aren’t enough to serve the approximately 27,000 military members, civilian and government contractors who go in and out every day. The Burger Kings on Areas A and B can satisfy in a quick pinch, but there are plenty of local, unique, and most importantly delicious eateries spanning the periphery of the base.
If you’re looking to grab a quick and quality meal outside of the base and want to forego the Subways, Piadas and Chipotles, try out our top 10.
1. Linh’s Bistro and Restaurant
Linh's Bistro features deliciously enticing Vietnamese pho and other soups. VIVIENNE MACHI / STAFF
5532 Airway Rd., Dayton. (937) 252-1857, linhsbistro.com
Beloved by the greater Dayton community, Linh’s is the go-to spot for pho, spring rolls, and other Vietnamese specialties. Their Chinese menu options aren’t too shabby either, and with huge servings for under $10 on the lunch menu, you definitely get your money’s worth.
2. Yaffa Grill
Yaffa Grill's mix of kebabs. Photo source: Facebook.
2844 Colonel Glenn Hwy., Fairborn. (937) 429-4959, yaffamarketngrill.com
This Halal grill has your falafel, gyro, and shawarma needs covered. Order at the counter to carry out or eat in, and watch the workers pull kefta meat straight off of the stick for your kebab. Like Linh’s, Yaffa gives a great amount of food for under $10; we particularly recommend the homemade Red Lentil Soup ($3.95). If you have a few extra minutes, stop in around the corner and check out the Halal market, where you can find all of the ingredients you need to make your own meals at home.
3. Taco Loco
Taco Loco's shrimp soup, one of many delicious dishes. Photo source: Facebook
5392 Burkhardt Rd., Riverside. (937) 254-6645, Facebook
Are you Team Taqueria Mixteca or Team Taco Loco? Though many stand staunchly by their favorite, we choose to indulge in both of these delicious and authentic stops, depending on where our stories take us. Don’t be put off by the outside; though the place is small, its dishes are mighty. Get a little adventurous and order your tacos with Mollejas (gizzards), or Tripas (tripe); you won’t be sorry.
4. The Wright Wing
The Wright Wing's buffalo wings: classic, yummy. STAFF PHOTO
1864 Colonel Glenn Hwy., Fairborn. (937) 318-8525, Facebook
When you’re looking for classic, yummy Buffalo wings to eat while you watch a bit of the game on your lunch break, look no further than the Wright Wing. The longtime Fairborn staple recently set up shop in Kettering, and earned a spot on our top 10 local wings list.
5. Song’s Sushi
Sashimi box from Song's Sushi. Photo source: Cyndi G./Yelp
5515 Airway Rd. (937) 254-8989, Facebook
This relatively new spot near Area B serves up some of our favorite sushi, as well as traditional Japanese and Korean dishes. Sit at the bar to watch your sushi get rolled up and chopped by the pros— for lunch, get 50 percent off any roll over $7.25 — or order a steaming hot and droolworthy bowl of bibimbap or bulgogi.
6. W.O. Wrights Grill and Pub
W.O. Wrights Grill and Pub serves up more than great trivia and karaoke. Photo source: Facebook
3979 Colonel Glenn Hwy., Beavercreek. (937) 427-0101, wowrights.com
Though it’s certainly renowned for its late night dance parties and live music, you may not have known that W.O. Wrights served food during the day. We suggest that you rectify that immediately. When you’re craving pub food, they deliver with juicy burgers (we’re big fans of the patty melt), loaded nachos, wings, and more.
7. Crossroads BBQ
Crossroads BBQ's bbq nachos are a thing of beauty and great taste. Photo source: Facebook.
1888 Colonel Glenn Hwy., Fairborn. (937) 873-2103, Facebook
This place is tiny and fills up quickly, but if you get there early or have a bit of a longer lunch, there’s no better barbeque in the area. Try the melt-in-your-mouth ribs, the baked beans, the fried okra, and the homemade mac n’ cheese, and you can thank us after.
8. Burrito King
Not only can you get delish authentic Tex Mex at Burrito King, you can get this amazing California Burrito, with carne asada, French Fries, cilantro, onion, sour cream, guacamole, and cheese. Photo source: Jonathan N./Yelp.
2307 Valley Pike. (937) 235-9970, Facebook
Though not quite as recognized as Tacqueria Mixteca and Taco Loco, don’t underestimate Burrito King’s Tex Mex and traditional Mexican offerings, especially appreciated because you can miss the Colonel Glenn/Airway lunch traffic. Again, though it may not be much to look at from the outside, don’t judge a book by its cover. It would be a shame to choose Taco Bell over Burrito King’s al pastor burrito. Bonus for the early risers: their breakfast burritos and huevos rancheros are the perfect start to the work day. Or any day, really.
9. Tik’s Thai Express
Tik's lunch combo. Photo source: Vinh N./Yelp
2808 Colonel Glenn Hwy., Fairborn. (937) 912-5984, tiks-thai-express.com
For when you need your quick Thai fix, you can be in and out with the $6.95 lunch special — choose between Pad Thai or two daily specials, plus fried rice — in a hot second. In the warm months, enjoy their outdoor seating for a change from the cubicle or lab scenery.
10. La Colombiana
Empanadas for days at La Colombiana. Photo source: Facebook.
2495 Commons Blvd., Beavercreek. (937) 306-8096, lacolombiana.us
Delicious food and an incredibly knowledgeable staff who take the time to explain Colombian food to anyone who might be new to the experience. Grab the freshly made empanadas, the Arepa Con Todo (with everything), and of course, the fried plaintains. Another one that may be better for a longer lunch, as everything is made to order, but the fresh tastes make it all worthwhile.
Did we miss your favorite? Let us know on Facebook.