Culturally unique just like the diverse shops, historic architecture, and people inhabiting this central hub in downtown Dayton, the historic Oregon District spanning Fifth Street boasts similarly diverse cuisine.
Once home to artisans and craftsmen, the district continues to attract creative businesses, restaurants, and entrepreneurs with its focus on handcrafted goods and quality local foods.
“The Oregon District experience can be summed up in one word: diversity,” says Tom Tornatore, owner of several Oregon District business properties.
Tornatore’s historic building houses one of the finest coffee shops Dayton has ever known: Press Coffee Bar, home of the locally roasted Wood Burl coffee. Press Coffee Bar presents a simple coffee and tea menu with an emphasis on quality roasts (like its popular Costa Rica La Bandera White Honey) and high-quality, manual brewing methods. Your favorite latte, cappuccino, or cortado is prepared with care, brewed with only the finest Espresso Aguacate beans, and topped with a milky art flourish.
From Press Coffee, you won’t travel the half mile to and down Fifth Street without encountering some of Dayton’s most beloved eateries and taverns that make fresh, quality, local ingredients their top priority.
Lily’s Bistro, an eclectic farm-to-table restaurant, sources most of its ingredients regionally, offering menus and cocktails that change with the seasons. From the red wine braised short rib osso buco to butternut squash lasagna—and the popular free-range fried chicken dinner complete with purple sweet potato casserole—Lily’s cuisine reflects upscale twists on traditional Midwestern favorites.
“Whether it means sourcing all of our eggs, Bibb lettuce, and chicken locally, or using a local baker, we celebrate local in a bunch of different ways,” says Emily Mendenhall, owner of Lily’s Bistro.
Lily’s sister (or rather, brother) establishment, Blind Bob’s restaurant and bar, is located right across the street and known for its gourmet burgers. While you’re checking out the latest band playing on the bar’s stage, you can also enjoy its renowned pickle soup.
Feeling hungry for casual comfort food? Don’t miss Lucky’s Taproom & Eatery’s fried avocado with Sriracha cream cheese spread, or a signature burger prepared with fresh, local fixings.
Or if it’s fine, intimate dining you’re looking for in the Oregon, Salar boasts world-fusion cuisine with strong French, Peruvian, and Mediterranean influences. Start your meal with a plate of spicy empanadas, then move on to an artisanal pizza featuring fresh asparagus, shallots, and goat cheese.
“The Oregon District food and drink experience is really defined by diversity,” Mendenhall says. “No two restaurants or bars are the same, and we all offer our own unique perspective.”
— Tara Pettit
Oregon Historic District
East Fifth Street between Patterson Blvd. and Wayne Ave. Dayton, OH
Tara is a journalist based in Dayton, OH. She contributes to many regional publications, writing about alternative health, Zen living, and environmental issues. When she’s not writing, Tara immerses herself in good literature, cooking, creating homemade natural beauty products, and perfecting the art of making great co ee and tea.