What to do in Dayton if you are here for the NCAA tournament.

My advice- my opinions. Mostly Downtown.

Eat at some of the great amazing independent restaurants. Skip the chains- you can eat there when you are at home. Friday’s is Friday’s anywhere in the country.

Personal favorites: The Blue Moon– great steaks, a $15 hamburger, nice place to take a date- amazing sea food- you don’t have to dress to match the decor- has parking- but you have to know how to get to it.

Pine Club– great steaks. BRING CASH or CHECK- no credit cards. Easy parking. Garlic dressing on salad rocks. The best $7 burger you will ever eat. Lines can be long- they won’t seat a party till everyone is there.

Dublin Pub– St. Paddy’s day madness- great sandwiches, Irish food. Used to be a Shell station- but you’d never know it. Easy parking.

Pizza- I have 2 favorites- Flying Pizza has great thick, Sicilian slices- with garlic. The downtown location is only open till 7pm- but worth it. Parking is a pain- unless you can walk 150 feet from a meter.

Pizza Factory– they will deliver to the Marriott, Crowne Plaza and the Doubletree downtown- amazing funky pizzas for the bold- personal favorites- the Reuben, the Pesto Pizzaz, Chicken Cordon Bleu- and then they have the tamer- Classic Italian- a white pizza that rocks (get it without the Italian Sausage for a great veggie option). They have a dine in- with beer- that is open till 11 on Fri and Sat- easy parking at 1301 Wayne- watch out- the carry out is 2 blocks from the dine in. Easy to get confused.

Thai 9 in the Oregon District is the coolest place for Sushi and Thai. Parking is easy- if you find the lot off E. 5th street.

Drinking- I like the 3 downtown non-smoking places- Gillys, Pacchia Jazz Room and the Therapy Cafe. (everyplace is now non-smoking)

Dancing: Either Pearl or the Foundry. I’ve heard good things about Masque but haven’t been there. The smoke takes the fun out of them for me. Dayton is still backwards- and can’t pass a smoke free ordinance.

Museums: The Dayton Art Institute is one of my favorite museums- anywhere in the world. I’ve been to some of the best- and other than the Guggenheim in NYC- I don’t think I’ve ever felt more connected with art than at the DAI. The museum is free- but the Princess Dianna exhibit that is there now costs extra.
There is also the Air Force Museum. You’ll never make it through in a day- but it’s super cool- and free! They have an iMax there- and it’s only like $5 a seat- mostly aviation films.

Want to go somewhere quiet? Go to Woodland Cemetery– see the Wright Brothers plot (boring) or marvel at some of the most pretentious tombstones you’ll ever see- some rich people from Dayton thought they were REALLY important.
Carillon Park is also a nice place to unwind- and you can see a full size version of the Wright B flyer. It’s close to UD Arena.

Saturday night- and no ticket- go see the Dayton Bombers play at the Nutter Center. They’ll get their butts kicked- but you might see some good fights. Tickets are cheap- and the hockey action is the fast thanks to the new rules.

This isn’t a comprehensive list- but if you are here watching Basketball- you still gotta eat. Enjoy! Welcome to Dayton, Basketball fans.

UPDATE

20 Nov 2013 someone told me about a dead link in this post- so I came to update it. Ohio is now smoke free. Some of the places have closed. I’d add Olive, an Urban Dive Serendipity Bistro, Fusian, Blind Bobs, to the list of where to eat. The Dayton Bombers are history- the Dayton Demonz play a Hara Arena.

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