Turn to us every Sunday in Life & Arts for the latest menu updates, special dinners and events, new chefs, interesting new dishes, and culinary adventures brought to you by contributing writer Alexis Larsen. Bon appetit!
The subject of best burger in town can turn into a debate as heated as the patties being discussed.
Oakwood Club vs. Pine Club? Prepare for a dispute that’s too close to call.
Coco’s vs. Meadowlark? It just depends on who you talk to.
It’s a subject that could be discussed for hours on end, but there’s one thing that we can probably all agree on: Customers are intensely loyal to their favorite burgers and there are very few restaurants in town that don’t offer their version of this popular American staple.
A non-scientific Facebook survey inquiring about best burger in town on my personal page yielded 51 passionate responses within just a few hours.
The majority of the nominations friends offered up I have had in the past and have enjoyed very much — Tanks Bar & Grill (2033 Wayne Ave., Dayton), Voltzy’s Root Beer Stand (4668 N. Springboro Pike, Moraine), Smokin’ BBQ (200 E. Fifth St., Dayton), Pine Club (1926 Brown St, Dayton), Yummy Burger (327 E. Third St., Dayton), Olive, an urban dive (416 E. Third St., Dayton), Treasure Island Supper Club (4250 Chief Woods Lane, Moraine), Trolley Stop (530 E. Fifth St., Dayton), Lucky’s Taproom & Eatery (520 E. Fifth St., Dayton), Coco’s Bistro (250 Warren St., Dayton), Chappy’s (2733 W. Alex Bell Rd., Moraine with a second location set to open at 7880 Washington Village Drive in Washington Twp.) and Five Guys (locations in Centerville, Beavercreek, Dayton — visit www.fiveguys.com for details). All very delicious and worthy of seeking out at some point should you have the opportunity.
A few of the restaurants I have been to, but haven’t yet tried their burgers. I’m adding them to my list of spots to visit this summer: Christopher’s Restaurant (2318 E. Dorothy Lane, Kettering), Sunrise Café (259 Xenia Ave, Yellow Springs) and Geez Grill & Pub (Swiss Village Shopping Center, 5841 Far Hills Ave., Centerville).
There were also a few spots I have yet to visit and will be venturing out to in the next few months: K’s Hamburger Shop (117 E Main St, Troy), Clancy’s Tavern (5514 Burkhardt Rd., Dayton) and the fairly new Kettering Grill and Cafe (3800 Wilmington Pike, Kettering).
Regardless of what I encounter on my summertime burger excursions, it will be hard to top my favorite spot in town to grab a tasty patty. Blind Bob’s in the Oregon District (430 E. Fifth St., Dayton) stole my heart long ago with their robust stuffed burgers, entertaining wait staff, stiff pours, outstanding pickle soup and laid back vibe. My go-to favorites are the Island Delight burger ($10) — a half-pound patty, stuffed with sweet pineapple and zippy pepper-jack cheese, covered in a teriyaki glaze with a tangy wasabi-mayonnaise — and the Italian Burger ($10) — a half-pound patty, stuffed with provolone cheese and cooked basil and green peppers, topped with marinara and a mound of caramelized onions.
Other burgers include a vegetarian friendly Garden Burger ($8), a quarter pound “Little Lisa’s Burger” ($8) for those looking for something a little more petite, a Cajun burger ($11.50) made with blue cheese, bacon and a healthy dose of Cajun seasoning, a Frisco burger ($10) stuffed with sautéed onions, swiss cheese served on grilled sourdough with thousand-island dressing, a BBQ burger ($11.50) stuffed with caramelized onions, bacon and cheddar, topped with BBQ sauce and a fiesta burger ($10) stuffed with cheddar-jack cheese, corn and jalapeños that’s topped with salsa and sour cream.
Upgrade your chips to potato salad or waffle fries for $1 or to a cup of their famous pickle soup for $1.50 and you’re ready to roll. The veggies that come to dress up the sandwiches are generous, crisp and fresh.
My other favorite spots to grab a burger in town currently (in no particular order) are Slyder’s Tavern (836 Watervliet Ave., Belmont), Meadowlark Restaurant (Lamplighter Square Shopping Center at 5531 Far Hills Ave., Kettering), The Oakwood Club (2414 Far Hills Ave., Oakwood), and Jay’s Seafood (225 E. Sixth St., Dayton), which has been running an awesome happy hour on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 5-6:30 p.m. featuring $4 craft drafts, $3 domestics, $4 house wines, $4 well drinks, 25 percent off appetizers and $5 Parmesan truffle fries, Maytag blue cheese chips or sliders with white cheddar. For the cost, quality and the setting you’d be hard pressed to find a better deal in town right now on burgers.
For those heading north or south this summer the burgers at The Thurman Cafe in Columbus (183 Thurman Ave.) or at Terry’s Turf Club in Cincinnati (4618 Eastern Ave.) don’t get much better.
With May being National Hamburger Month and National Hamburger Day set to take place on May 28, there’s something out there for everyone and it’s hard to go wrong when you go with a burger — there’s a reason they are on the majority of restaurant menus you encounter, after all.
Dayton Eats looks at the regional food stories and restaurant news that make mouths water. Share your menu updates, special dinners and events, new chefs, interesting new dishes and culinary adventures. Do you know of new exciting format changes, specials, happy hours, restaurant updates, great burgers or any other tasty news you think is worth a closer look at? E-mail Alexis Larsen at firstname.lastname@example.org with the information and we will work to include it in future coverage.