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Dayton Area-Chinese food and groceries

I am in the process of moving to the Dayton area, actually, my job is in the Tipp City area and I haven't figured out where to live yet. But first thing's first. Where da food at?

I need good Chinese food and good Chinese groceries. Food wise I need dimsum places, if it is available or noodle places, home made places versus banquet-y or buffet places.

I am also looking for good Indian places, Central American places, Mexican, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese, Thai, Brasilian, etc. And if it is going to take me to Cincinnati, so be it.

Thanks in advance.

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  1. At the Glendale/Milford rd exit off of I-75 in the Evendale suburb of Cincinnati is CAM asian supermarket. Around the corner and heading north on Reading Rd is Uncle Yips. You can order dim sum off the menu and everything I have had there is superb. The largest international market around is Jungle Jim's in Fairfield where you can find pretty much anything.

    1. Well, actually there's a good pan-Asian place in Tipp City, Chin's Ginger Grill. They used to have a place in downtown Dayton but now are only in Tipp. Tipp also has the Coldwater Cafe, which is good. There are several decent Korean places in Fairborn OH (not too far from Tipp City)., There are NO dimsum places in Dayton, and only two that I'm aware of in Cinci (Uncle Yips which focuses on seafood, and Grand Oriental which has more traditional dimsum; they're both good).

      In East Dayton, on Airway Road between Woodman and Smithville is the International Market, a small but packed Oriental and Hispanic grocery, that shares the building with Linn's Vietnamese restaurant. We go there often. There's also a good Vietnamese place called Little Saigon on Woodman Dr further south. There's another Oriental grocery in the shopping center at Woodman and Airway, but we end up going to International Market more often.

      I like Jeet best of the Indian places; it's in Fairborn across from Wright State University. There are several Thai places but I'm not crazy about any of them; I've preferred Bahn Mai Thai in the past (down by the Dayton Mall) but our last visit was less than stellar (the laab was mostly red onion, which totally overpowered it),

      Down by the Dayton Mall (near I-675 and 75), I understand there is a new Brazilian place, one of those patterned on Fogo de Chao, but an independent. I'm not a huge carnivore, so we haven't been yet.

      There are a few decent tacquerias; one on Burkhardt Road east of Woodman and one on East Third street closer to downtown. There's also a good place by the Dayton Mall.

      Overall, Dayton has some good ethnic eats, but they aren't really centrally located, I live in Beavercreek and am fairly close to most of the stuff I listed above, but the Dayton Mall area is about a half hour drive for us. There are no decent noodle houses in my opinion; the only place that even bills itself as such (Lotsa Noodles by UD) was a disappointment. Based on what you've listed as your primary interests (Chinese food and groceries) you may want to look at living in either Fairborn, Beavercreek, or Mad River Township, which are all close together and close to most of the best ethnic eats.

      Good luck, and welcome to the area!

      3 Replies
      1. re: Niki in Dayton

        Niki in Dayton wrote:
        There are several decent Korean places in Fairborn OH (not too far from Tipp City).

        I get to the Dayton/Yellow Springs frequently and would love to know your Korean recs and any other non-chain food in the Beavercreek/Fairborn area that might have decent vegetarian fare. (I've tried all the Indian places mentioned in this thread and love Little Saigon along with all the YS places.)

        1. re: veghead

          There are at least three that I'm aware of in Fairborn, along with a couple of Korean markets in Fairborn, and they're all close together. The restaurants are Yijo Garden at 1030 Kauffman Ave (serves both Korean and Japanese), Myong's Cafe at 1328 Kauffman Ave, and Seoul House at 1864 Col Glenn Hwy (located at the end of Col Glenn, right before it runs into Kauffman).

          Evidently there's a new Indian place (small, mostly carry out) by the Dayton Mall called the Curry Out and it comes highly recommended by both Mark Fisher, who writes the food and wine stuff for the Dayton Daily News, and Chris Cavendar, the chef who co-owns Cuvee. I haven't made it yet, but look forward to trying it.

          Also, there's a place on Woodman and Dorothy called Christophers that's kind of a mom-and-pop place (assuming mom and pop are somewhat New Age) and they serve quite a few vegetarian entrees. We go there for breakfast occasionally, but my husband is a dedicated carnivore, so he's usually not interested in dinner or lunch there.

        2. re: Niki in Dayton

          The noodle place on Brown Street by UD is gone, and in it's place is some little burger joint.

        3. Chinese: China Cottage - There are a few of these in Dayton. The one in Kettering (3718 Wilmington Pike) is really good. Haven't been to the others. FYI, many Chinese restaurants in Dayton are owned by Vietnamese.

          Vietnamese: Little Saigon 1718 Woodman Dr

          Korean: As said before, there is good Korean near the Air Force base.

          Pizza: Palermo's 2667 S. Dixie

          4 Replies
          1. re: kura kura

            Well, I tried to hit some of the spots listed.

            I had to go to the Air Force Museum, my dawgs are still hurting and I wasn't even half through with it. I took advantage and looked in on the International Market. Nice compact places, lots of selection but not concentrated in any one ethnic material.

            Went to the Dayton Mall and happened onto Cena, the Churrascaria. I AM a lots of meat kind of guy and the best thing about churrascaria is the picanha cut of beef, it was scrumptuous. The top sirloin was great, the lamb chops were excellent, but the best to me was the leg of lamb, it was covered in agarlic based sauce. They had chmichurri sauce on the side but it was very weak, not enough parley and not enough garlic. The rest of the meat was just so-so. The salad bar was very good, lots of extras like cold rare tuna and thai beef salads. They also had feijoada, the traditional stew, but they didn't have the collard greens nor did they have the farofa. Its the kind of omission that points to the fact that they are either gringo owned or are catering to gringos. Price was reasonable at around $30 for all that meat.

            I went to the Fairfield Mall Sunday, just looking for the sunday NYT and found Maharaja's for brunch. It was supposed to be south Indian but no dhosas nor vadas on the buffet table, they said those were to be ordered off the menu. the buffet was good, the ubiquitous tandoori chicken, tikka masala, egg plant dishes, sambir and naan breads. The cabbage dish stood out because it is so rare that this is served on buffet's. Over all it was so-so, I will return and order off the menu and see. The price was right, $10. Weird thing though, I was there for an hour and I was the only guest. Not a good sign.

            In a couple of weeks, Chinese in Cincy and see if I can find something different. How is the Oregon district?

            I did eat at the Ginger Grill for lunch. Its OK, nothing to write home about, maybe they do better at dinner. Nice respite from the fast food invasion in Tipp City. I am dying to try Coldwater Cafe, now that I know what it is. I was leery of going in there since all I saw were older ladies, I though it was a tea room. I have kind of taken a liking to Harrisons in Tipp City catty corner from Coldwater. Its standard sanwich and pub fare, but they do it with an honesty and consistency that is nice and reassuring.

            So far my two Troy favorites are Sakai and LaPiazza.

            1. re: Phaedrus

              Lots of folks like Thai 9 in the Oregon district, which interestingly enough also does sushi; I haven't found either their Thai or their sushi to be good enough to go back. I do like Jay's for seafood; they've been around for 30+ years and have gone from excellent to mediocre back to decent, and they have a good wine list, but they're not open for lunch except during Dec.

              Just southeast of the Oregon district on Wayne Ave is Coco's; we've been a couple of times and liked most of the food; we have friends who lunch there weekly and adore their grilled cheese, hamburgers, and tomato soup.

              There's an interesting little diner-type place on the corner of Patterson and 5th at the beginning of the Oregon district (across from the Neon Movies) called Smokey Joes or something like that. They have a good smoked hamburger and had good smoked fish during Lent. Sides were unremarkable.

              I wrote a somewhat lengthy review of John Henry's in Dec. Again, it was OK but not great, and was mostly meat. It's the newest place in the Oregon district. Boulevard Cafe is very uneven; we've had a few good dishes there but never an entire meal that hit the mark in every course. Dublin Pub is OK; they have Irish pub type food and now that there's a smoking ban it's probably time to revisit (the cigar smoke was a bit off-putting in the past).

              We've been to Maharaja several times and the dosas were the best part of the meal; never been to their buffet though. Just around the corner from there is Jeet (on Colonel Glenn, near Fairfield), which is more standard Indian, but consistently good.

              I forgot to address Japanese in my first reply to you; Akashi on Woodman/Harshman Drive near Valley Street is probably the best for sushi right now, although Troy has a lot more Japanese folks and there's probably better sushi there.

              Keep us posted on your food adventures here, and again, good luck!

              1. re: Niki in Dayton

                You rock Niki!!

                Thanks for all the tips, that will keep me busy for a while.

                Check out Sakai in Troy, west off of exit 74. They do really good traditional Japanese food as well as teppanyaki. In fact they split the restaurant into two halves, one traditional and the other all teppanyaki. The sashimi is excellent and they have some pretty intriguing dishes that aren't traditional Japanese but are good,

                1. re: Phaedrus

                  I forgot to mention Pacchia in the Oregon district. It's a jazz bar and restaurant, across from Boulevard Cafe. My favorite thing there is the portobello fries with banana catsup, but Mark Fisher (who writes the food and wine column in the Dayton Daily News) mentioned an eggplant and sweet potato napoleon that I've just gotta try!

                  Also, in the spirit of full disclosure, I should tell you that I'm a tough audience, and we generally cook at home vice going out, because we think the food's better at home :-)

          2. Jungle Jim's in Cincy is good for international groceries. There's a pretty good place in Cincy called House of Rising Sun for Chinese food. Grand Oriental is good for their dim sum.

            1. I liked White Lotus for Thai food (327 E 3rd St.) but have only been there once. Very small place with a small parking lot and counter seating. They do burgers as well, oddly enough.

              Linh's restaurant on Airway (right next door to the International Grocery) is not bad for Vietnamese. I've never tried anything from their Chinese menu.

              Taste of the Mediterranean across from the Dayton Mall has good Lebanese food with a nice weekday buffet for around $6. The Mexican place that is in the same shopping center on the opposite side is also a good bet, although they used to have more unusual dishes on the menu that I didn't see the last time I was there.

              La Michoacana Market on Troy St. has a small dining area. GREAT tortas, and some interesting things on their menu. Some things are only served on weekends, I think... probably stuff like menudo and pozole, but you have to doublecheck. I don't get there as often as I'd like.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Aria

                I don't think White Lotus is there anymore (think it's just a Yummy Burger place now). My understanding is that the ladies that cooked Thai on East Third now own/operate Bahn Thai on Fairfield and 35 in Beavercreek. We've been, and it's not bad, but I liked Bahn Mai Thai in Centerville better. I thought Bahn Thai in Beavercreek was expensive for the amount of food. I still go to Columbus to the Bangkok for my Thai fix, or eat the cooking of some Thai friends. I'll have to try La Michoacana; that one escaped my notice before now!

                1. re: Niki in Dayton

                  Ah, well. I'm rarely in the downtown area, but I liked White Lotus when we stopped by there last summer. Haven't been to Bahn Thai in Beavercreek for a few years, but I recall the food I ordered was decent.

                  Bahn Mai Thai... Is that the one near Dayton Mall off Kingsridge? I keep forgetting it's there, but yeah, it's not bad, either.

              2. There is a new Chinese place in town that is terrific. Ysao's Fine Cuisine on the corner of Colonel Glenn and Grange Hall. it is tiny, and you need to order at the counter. Most people go for the buffet, but the real amazing part is the menu. They have most things posted on the White board behind the counter. They also have a picturebook of what the dishes look like there behind the counter.

                The chef worked at the Grand Hotel in Taipei, so she is a legitimate banquet chef, and her dishes tastes like it. Its amazing stuff for such a tiny place. Closed on Sundays though.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Phaedrus

                  Thanks for the update. I pass it all the time, and read Mark's review, which was also favorable. Frankly, it's kind of a pain to get in or out of that little strip mall which has kept me from trying it; I'll have to rectify that omission soon!

                  1. re: Phaedrus

                    We just got home from a trip and didn't feel like cooking; I stopped by Tsao's Cuisine and picked up dinner (rock salt pork chops, pork fried rice, and Japanese eggplant). Wow - really good food! Thanks again for the recco; we'll be patronizing them often as they're close, and the traffic issues are minor compared to good food. Much better than the eggplant at China Cottage, and I thought I liked that before!

                    1. re: Niki in Dayton

                      Oh, the rock salt pork chop is fantastic. My mom can even eat it (she has problems with her dentures). And the Japanese egg plant is fantastic too.

                  2. Just had Christmas dinner at Mr. Lee's.

                    The decor is splendid, wish I could say the same thing for the food. I noticed that they had Peppercorn beef and Peppercorn fish, I wish I could have tried them, my dinner companion didn't want anything spicy, which I guess is against the principle of going to Mr. Lee's since its cuisine is predominantly Hunan. Saw a few other dishes that are pretty inviting, but the overall ethos was less than real Chinese. More authentic than PF Changs but not by much.

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: Phaedrus

                      I would like to suggest a couple of places in the Airway Shopping Center. The Airway Shopping Center is located at the very SW corner of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, where Airway Rd. & Woodman Dr. intersect.

                      In this shopping center, you will find China Garden Buffet, and Far East Foods next to each other. The former is a nice buffet that, if memory serves, has a bit more than the typical selection of seafood for supper. Far East Foods is a very large Asian grocery, with fresh, frozen and dried fare. It also has a nice selection of Mexican grocery items.

                      Both of these places are located in the Northern end of the strip. I enjoy going to the Airway shopping center to eat at the buffet, then I'll browse the market for things to take home and fix later. Plus, there is also a Goodwill "last chance" store nearby, where you never know what you'll find. I've gotten shoes for my kids for a buck, a decent stereo system for $8, and plenty of other finds over the years.

                      Dayton, Ohio Metro area restaurant reviews

                      1. re: Dayton Dining

                        I haven't been impressed with the lunch(es) I've had at China Garden Buffet (work-related); maybe dinner is better, but my general rule is to stay far away from buffets. Far East Foods is fine; I end up shopping at International Market around the corner (on Col Glenn, a bit west of Woodman) more often because I like Linh's Vietnamese Restaurant which shares the same building.

                        1. re: Niki in Dayton

                          Asian Buffet on Miller Lane has fresher food but China Garden is OK. We were looking for something beyond the buffet places, something that is authentic Chinese. Mr. Lee's wasn't it.

                          1. re: Phaedrus

                            Have you tried the "special" menu at China Cottage. From my understanding, it is authentic.

                            1. re: Fibber McGee

                              I asked about it at the China Cottage on Wilmington in Kettering and was told it only pertained to the China Cottage on Far Hills in Washington township. I think there are three locations of CC (Kettering, Wash Twnshp, and Springboro, near the DLM on 741).

                              1. re: Niki in Dayton

                                There's also one just East of where Salem Mall used to be.

                                1. re: Fibber McGee

                                  Yep. the only China Cottage that has the Chinese menu is the one on Far Hills, and they do a very good job. We had a large party there last year and it was very good. But you have to make arrangements the week before.

                    2. We moved to Beavercreek in June. We have not found a really good Chinese restaurant in this area. Jeet's is excellent Indian. Ajanta is supposed to be good too. Siam Pad Thai, on Wilmington Pike is good home-style Thai. Thai 9, in the Oregon District is very good upscale Thai (disregard those reverse snobs who say it is not good, it is very good). Sima, on Woodman, is an excellent Japanese-Korean restaurant.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: oppyeats

                        What are your tastes, Chinese-wise, and where have you tried, thus far, oppyeats?

                        1. re: oppyeats

                          I'll reiterate what I had said before. We go to China Cottage on Far Hills, and you kind of have to demand to see the Chinese menu. They do a pretty good job, some stuff aren't available if you just walk in, but they can do advanced orders. We did a nice banquet for my mom's birthday there. they are willing to work with you.

                          Tsao's Cuisine has been discussed ad nauseum, but you have to order off the white board. Forget the buffet.

                          We also like to go to Cincinnati to Uncle Yip's for dimsum. That is about it.

                          I like Sima a lot. Maharaja of Dayton next to the Fairfield Mall is terrific for Indian, as is Kohinoor Palace next to the Dayton Mall.

                          1. re: Phaedrus

                            How exactly does the Chinese menu work, Phaedrus? I have only heard a little about it. Is it really only in Chinese?

                            1. re: Fibber McGee

                              I think it is only in Chinese. I don't remember, but these are dishes that are more to the Chinese palate, which is why they don't usually show it to the regular clientel. One thing is that the dish names are more prosaic than descriptive, so you really need to have the staff explain what each dish is or be adventurous. They don't have anything really outrageous. They also have some specials that are not on the menu. But you really have to ask.

                              1. re: Phaedrus

                                So they'll work with you? That's good. Is it dinner only? I work between that location and the Springboro one, and wouldn't mind having an adventure lunch every now and then.

                                1. re: Fibber McGee

                                  They do have lunch, but I would imagine that the main problem is the amount of time you have. They usually have the lunch stuff up and ready to cook so that they can get people out faster. So if you have some time, ask them about their menu for Chinese customers.

                                  1. re: Phaedrus

                                    Thanks for the info, Phaedrus. Next time we have plans to go to the Springboro one for llunch, I'll suggest the Far Hills location. We do have a little flexibility so it shouldn't be too much of a problem.