I’ve been campaigning on the West side of Dayton a lot lately, and the concept of food desert has been setting in. I’ve tried to eat at locally owned places- Marilyn’s Grill on Gettysburg, Moe’s Fish and Chicken, the new Cheesesteak guy on W. Third by the old Home Avenue plant, Dragon China, Napoleon’s, Diamond D’s Diner, Huffies BBQ. But for every one of these, there are probably an equal number of closed places. Even among the national chains, the pickings are slim. And although I understand the need for security, the thick plate glass and revolving food door, remind me I’m not in my ‘hood. That bothers me.
That businesses have to invest in roll-down door covers, security cameras and those plexi-glass walls, tells me that things aren’t the way they should be. Also note, for every place that has the carousel, there is one that doesn’t- and they can be blocks away from each other.
Compared to South Park, where my dining choices go from sushi to spaghetti and breakfasts to burgers, I have a smorgasbord all within a half mile of my house. Just for example, I’m going to list all the options for pizza.
- Pizza Factory, 1101 Wayne Ave.- 224-4477 a client and one of my all-time faves. Try the Buffalo Bacon Ranch or the Reuben.
- South Park Tavern– 1301 Wayne Ave., 586-9526- technically- same pizza as Pizza Factory- only you can sit and drink a beer.
- Jimmie’s Ladder 11, 936 Brown St., (937) 424-1784 – pizza is just a part of their extensive menu, but some people swear by theirs.
- Coco’s Bistro– 250 Warren St., 228-2626 – another client. artisan thin crust pizza. Not their main thing- but, an option.
- Wheat Penny – 515 Wayne Ave., 496-5268 The “new place” – fancy pizza in a finer dining setting.
- Oregon Express– 336 E. 5th St., (937) 223-9205- A bar- with good pizza
- Salar; 410 E. 5th St. 203.3999, a fine dining place that has a few nice pizzas on the menu.
Serendipity Bistro- 25 S. St. Clair St., (937) 760-5380 – a bistro- wine bar- that also makes some artisan pizza.Closed Oct of 2014
- Olive, an urban dive 416 E. Third St.,222.3483 – they are too cool to call it pizza- but, it’s gluten free, made with chickpeas- they call it Socca- tres good!
- The Flying Pizza– 223 N. Main St., 222-8031 – they still sell by the slice. I used to be in love with their thick Sicilian Slices. They close early.
- Uno’s Chicago Grill– 126 N. Main St., 910-8000 – a chain, with lots of kitsch on the walls.
- Cousin Vinny’s 2032 Wayne Ave., 262-7757 – the king of late-night cheap pizza for UD students.
- Submarine House 1137 Brown St., 222-7939 – another local institution- either you love it or hate it.
- Dewey’s 131 Jasper St., 223-0000 Gourmet pizza- with amazing service.
- Milano’s Atlantic City Subs 1834 Brown St., 222-7072 my favorite is their calzones. In fact, I had a pepperoni and mushroom one tonight.
NY Pizzeria Restaurant 1430 E. 5th St., 222-0321 – Old school diner feel. Huge calzones.Closed July 2015
- Cassano’s Pizza King– 1200 Brown St #110, 294-5464
about to move up the street into new building.New location since Jan 2015 Dayton’s original pizza chain.
Of course- we also have delivery from Donato’s, Papa John’s and Domino’s, which are all just up the Wayne Avenue hill.
I don’t think I’ve missed any- but, by my count- that’s 19 choices for fresh pizza, we may be in the center of the pizza universe in the county. If I’ve missed any- please add in comments. If you have opinions on which makes the best pizza- you can add that too.
To me, pizza diversity is the most important economic indicator of a healthy community. Sure, Oakwood might have Dorothy Lane Market- but, when it comes to pizza- I’m sorry- we’ve got you beat.
To me, success as a city commissioner would be seeing a resurgence of locally owned independent food places across the city. Neighborhood bars, pizza, restaurants- gathering places for our community. I’ve actually got a pretty good idea on how to make it happen, without spending too much in the way of tax dollars.
In the meantime, keep looking at this list- and thinking, I want to live in his neighborhood.