Restaurant options near the University of Dayton have come a long way since a 2000 boom introduced Chipotle and Panera Bread near one corner of Brown and Jasper street and Penn Station and Jimmy John’s to the other.
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Long-closed businesses like the Westward Ho cafeteria, National Lanes bowling alley and the Magic Hat magic store have been replaced by a list of restaurants that cater to University of Dayton students, Miami Valley Hospital staffers and others looking for good grub.
Mainstays like the original Submarine House, Hickory Bar-B-Q and the 70-year-old Pine Club are feeding the masses alongside restaurants with newer concepts like Zombie Dogz, Bibibop and Fusian.
A steady stream of new restaurants have come in recent years, with more on the horizon.
With so many options, it’s hard to pick -- but here are six places you have to try.
1926 Brown St., Dayton | Phone: 937-228-7463
Why go: The Pine Club not only makes some of the best steaks in Dayton, it makes some of the best steaks in the nation.
The 70-year-old restaurant’s 20-ounce bone-in ribeye with the restaurant’s signature onion rings are to die for and has made several “best steak” lists.
1200 Brown St., Dayton | Phone: 937-951-2942
Why go: Zombie Dogz is relatively new to Brown Street, but the business owned by husband and wife team Dave and Lee VanArtsdalen has been a Dayton favorite since the moment it made its first gourmet dog.
Founded in 2012 as a food truck, Zombie Dogz is known for sandwiches like Calling in Dead (housemade white truffle mac and cheese topped with Parmesan garlic cracker crumbs) and the Germinator (shredded garlic-crusted beef topped with local beer cheese and fried onions).
Zombie Dogz’s tater tots are also unstoppable.
1137 Brown St., Dayton | Phone: 937-222-7939
Why go: The Submarine House is a Dayton original, and the original Submarine House is on Brown Street.
The low-frills location that opened in 1973 specializes in East coast-style cheesesteak subs. There are also pizzas and an impressive list of appetizers that include wings, nachos, pretzel sticks, Cheese Stix, onion rings, fries, chicken tenders and the must-try Teezer Basket — a basket of fried baked potato buds stuffed with cheddar cheese and jalapeno bits.
GINGER AND SPICE
1105 Brown St., Dayton | 937-716-1298
Why go: Fresh and flavorful food from China and other Asian nations is served at Ginger and Spice.
The casual eatery is founded by Grace Peng, the former operator of Tsao’s Cuisine near Wright State University in Fairborn, and serves dishes created by Anne Tsao, the founder of Tsao Cuisine.
Try the pan-seared, hand wrapped pot stickers or wontons stuffed with ground pork in a delicious sweet and spicy sauce. The pork belly with king oyster mushroom and the mala beef are also great options.
JOE KISS HICKORY BAR-B-Q
1082 Brown St., Dayton | Phone: (937) 228-5252
The Dayton classic founded in 1962 is best known for its cabbage rolls and barbecue chicken and ribs. You can catch those ribs roasting in the front window.
Try the shrimp cocktail and fried oysters before diving into one of the steaks.
JIMMIE’S LADDER 11
936 Brown St., Dayton | Phone: (937) 424-1784
Why go: The tavern founded by Jimmie and Sue Brandell and housed in a historic firehouse building has come along way since 2011.
The Brandells moved their business from 1001 Brown Street into the new location, and rebranded it from Jimmie’s Cornerstone Bar and Grille in 2011.
The eatery quickly became a go-to-spot lunch spot for Miami Valley Hospital employees and other nearby workers.
It is also a great space to listen to local music, grab a pint and eat dinner.
Jimmie’s has a fun menu of salads, appetizer, pizza, calzones, pasta, steaks and burgers and other sandwiches.
The Shrimp Po’ Boy, the Gyro and the Ladder 11 (Romanian-style pastrami, corned beef cole slaw and Russian dressing on a toasted hoagie roll or rye) are among the standouts.
Blind Dates are a treat on the appetizer menu.
Looking for other options? Here are a few other good places to check out:
Flanagan’s Pub, 101 E Stewart St.
Irish pub with good booze and grub. A UD fan favorite.
Milano Pizza and Subs, 1834 Brown St.
Good place to catch the game and grab a pint.
BIBIBOP Asian Grill, 1200 Brown St.
Korean-inspired bowls with fresh ingredients.
Ben & Jerry's Dayton Ice Cream Shop, 1934 Brown St.
Cherry Garcia, anyone?
Buffalo Wild Wings, 1900 Brown St.
Wings, screens and brew.
Americanized sushi made on an assembly line.
Bourbon Street Grill and Cafe, 1043 Brown St.
Get the bourbon chicken.
North Village Chinese Restaurant, 137 Jasper St.
The rock salt pork is the bomb.
Smashburger, 1200 Brown St.
Unique burgers and shakes (and vegetarians, they make a MEAN black bean burger, too).
Five Guys, 1143 Brown St.
Grab some peanuts while they make your burgers and fries.
El Rancho Grande Mexican Restaurant, 1200 Brown St.
Fast Mexican food and margaritas.
Dewey’s Pizza, 131 Jasper St.
Good beer and gourmet pizza.