430 E. Fifth St., Dayton
blindbobs.com or (937) 938-6405
Patio: It’s a pretty basic patio to strike a chill pose while observing passing Fifth Street street foot traffic.
Order up!: For patio eating, I love Bob’s mini sliders (four for $9) with a good draft beer or a cool, light salad like the southwest ($7.50) and a cider if it’s a scorcher.
Miami Valley residents started enjoying St. Patrick’s Day early on the patio at the Dublin Pub on March 17, 2021.
The Dublin Pub
300 Wayne Ave., Dayton
www.dubpub.com or (937) 224-7822
Patios: Dublin Pub has these wonderful vignettes throughout the indoor space that help create different energy depending on where you are sitting. It has cozy corners, open gathering spaces and bars that transport you to Ireland. The outdoor patio is spacious and lush and the upstairs patio is a sunny spot to hold court — perfect for day drinking with friends.
Order up!: No matter how hot it gets, it’s hard for me to turn down the Dublin Pub’s cheese fries smothered in a white wine cream sauce, cheddar jack cheese and bacon ($9.99). I’m also a total sucker for their fish and chips with extra slaw on the side ($14.99 and $1.99 for the coleslaw infusion).
Franco’s Ristorante & La Taverna
824 E. Fifth St., Dayton
www.francos-italiano.com or (937) 222-0204
Patio: A large, spacious open air patio at the front of the restaurant should be set up soon for outdoor dining.
Order up!: I think Franco’s patio really shines in the evening and when you are out as the sun dips and the stars come out, it doesn’t get better than Franco’s “World Famoso” Spaghetti that is a fresh roasted garlic, olive oil, cheesy, eggy masterpiece. I’ve been singing the praises of that dish for a year, so if you’ve tried that, move on to give the Avvoltini di Manzo “Braciole” a shot. This is a dish that takes thinly sliced New York strip steak that is rolled and stuffed with egg, sausage, celery and carrots and then covered with Italian sauce and served with a side of spaghetti.
329 E. Fifth St., Dayton
www.lilysdayton.com or (937) 723-7637
Patios: Lily’s has three patios to choose from, but the best by far is the back patio. It is absolutely gorgeous and is one of those spots that can transport you to somewhere else when everything is green and flowering. It’s a patio that works for brunch, lunch or dinner with equal success.
Order up!: For brunch, consider Cafe du Monde style beignets ($5.50) with strawberry jam and a braised short rib omelet ($14.50) or a veggie omelet ($11.50) made with kale, radish, cabbage, golden beets and Brussels sprouts with white cheddar cheese. For dinner I’m a sucker for the Caribbean pulled pork nachos ($13) off the appetizer menu that features wonton crisps with smoked queso, fresh jalapenos, tomatillo salsa and house vegetable slaw.
336 E. Fifth St., Dayton
www.new.oregonexpressdayton.com or (937) 223-9205
Patio: The OE’s upstairs patio has a great view of downtown. It’s casual and laid back just as you’d expect and something that is a real treat when the weather is just right.
Order up!: The Reuben Pizza at the OE ($13 small, $19 large, $23.50 jumbo) remains one of my favorite pizzas ever. All of their food hits the spot, but the Reuben pizza is exceptional.
Salar Restaurant and Lounge, 400 E. Fifth St., opened its renovated back patio space in 2019.
Credit: Salar Restaurant and Lounge
Credit: Salar Restaurant and Lounge
Salar Restaurant & Lounge
410 E. Fifth St., Dayton
salarrestaurant.com or (937) 203-3999
Patio: Salar has a classy, sophisticated patio that runs parallel to Fifth Street. It’s on the small side, but they make up for it with the back patio, which is where you should look for a seat.
Order up!: Salar has a great brunch, but I’m in it for the tapas I can order in multiple for dinner. I love the papitas ($11), a dish of whipped Peruvian potatoes served with a spicy, creamy Huancaina sauce, accompanied by seven minute eggs and kalamata olives. The salmon and shrimp ceviche ($15) with fresh lime juice, red onion and spices topped with fried calamari and the empanadas (beef, seafood and vegetarian) are a great way to nosh through the evening and soak up the ambiance.
11 Brown St., Dayton
www.thai9restaurant.com/dinner.html or (937) 222-3227
Patio: This enclosed lower patio is a great spot in the summer to sit outside and not have to stare at a parking lot, plus Thai food was made for warm weather, so it’s a dreamy combination. The upstairs seating is also great but you will have a good view of the sky and the parking lot.
Order up!: On a really warm summer day, sushi is where it’s at ... that and a curry dish or a noddle dish (my favorites are Massaman curry and Singapore noodles). The hot and the cold food provide the yin and the yang that a patio adventure needs.
216 Wayne Ave., Dayton
www.trollpub.com/dayton or (937) 723-7709
Patio: Pretty basic, but it’s there waiting for you when you are in need.
Order up!: A club sandwich ($10.99) always feels like summer to me. Their spicy black bean burger ($9.99) is also a good summer option.
530 W. Fifth St., Dayton
trolleystopdayton.com or (937) 461-1101
Patio: This, without a doubt, is one of the best patios on Fifth Street both for the food and the drink. Trolley Stop’s patio has a wonderful historic ambiance, it’s relaxing and tucked back behind the hustle and bustle of Fifth Street. Just being on this patio for 10 minutes has got to lower blood pressure. It’s relaxing and beautiful.
Order up!: A bloody Mary and the Tex-Mex Bowl ($8.50) with rice, black beans, corn salsa, ranchero creme and the option to add shrimp, chorizo or chicken (an additional $4.50), which you should definitely do.
Wheat Penny Oven & Bar
515 Wayne Ave., Dayton
www.wheatpennydayton.com or (937) 496-5268
Patio: Wheat Penny has expanded its patio footprint with the demand increasing for outdoor dining to take up several parking spaces in the front of the parking lot facing Wayne Avenue. The restaurant also features a fantastic covered patio for those who are more light sensitive but crave open air dining.
Order up!: Seared salmon with poblano-butternut cream ($26), and if it sounds good that’s because it is. I like to order it with a side of garlicky sauteed spinach, mashed cauliflower and onion rings.
The Yellow Cab Tavern’s back parking is put to use as a giant outdoor patio. TOM GILLIAM/CONTRIBUTING
Credit: Tom Gilliam
Credit: Tom Gilliam
Yellow Cab Tavern
700 E. Fourth St., Dayton
(937) 424 3870
Patio: The Yellow Cab Tavern’s back parking is put to use as a giant outdoor patio. It’s expansive and offers guests and regional food trucks the ability to socially distance.
Order up!: Something from one of the food trucks and if they’re not in, something from the Pizza Bandit, which recently launched a Kickstarter campaign that will help fund the addition of a large oven, saute station, walk-in coolers and more specialty pizzas.
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 appetite!