Must Reads 2016

Must Reads 2016: Restaurant opening highlights throughout the Miami Valley in 2016

The Dayton Daily News is highlighting the best work of 2016 with the year-ending Must Reads campaign. Here, the best in restaurant openings this year.

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Archer’s Tavern

Archer’s Tavern opened the second of its locations on Oct. 10 at what once was Tumbleweed Southwest Grill in Kettering. Its flagship tavern opened six years ago in Centerville and is known for serving a variety of burgers, pizzas, sandwiches, and salads.

Basil’s on Market

Basil’s is located on the ground floor of a building that holds a PNC Bank regional headquarters in downtown Dayton. This bistro-style restaurant overlooks the river and has 20 taps devoted to craft beers, many from Dayton-area breweries.

Blue Note Bistro & Lounge

After opening on Aug. 12, the equal parts jazz & blues club, fine-dining restaurant and speakeasy-style bar in Miamisburg has already had to expand its offerings. Now the restaurant and live music venue offers live music every day of the week and Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen

Cheddar’s opened its first Dayton-area restaurant, which seats 356, on June 20. Located in Centerville, the restaurant’s menu offers smoked BBQ ribs, grilled salmon, chicken tenders, country-fried chicken, salads and sandwiches.

Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers

Freddy’s opened the doors to the chain’s first Dayton-area restaurant, located at Wilmington Pike and Whipp Road, on Aug. 30.  The 3,200-square-foot restaurant seats about 100 and employ around 85.

Gyro Delight

Gyro Delight opened its 3,000-square-foot restaurant mid-October in the Sugarcreek Plaza. Their menu consists of course gyros, along with beef and chicken shish kebabs, chicken shawarma, falafel, moussaka and Angus burgers and hot dogs served Greek-style.

Old Scratch Pizza

Old Scratch Pizza opened its 125-seat pizzeria on Oct. 18 just south of downtown Dayton. The pizzeria specializes in Neapolitan-style pizza cooked in wood-fired ovens that reach temperatures of 1,000 degrees.

Panda Express

Panda Express opened its first Dayton-area location in the Cornerstone of Centerville development on Sept. 1. The restaurant seats 56 inside with more seating available on the patio.


Cleveland-based pizza chain PizzaFire opened its first Dayton-area restaurant on Aug. 30. With its fast-serve, built-to-order service line similar to Chipotle, PizzaFire is similar in concept to Kettering-based Rapid Fired Pizza.

Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers

Louisiana-based Raising Cane’s opened their second location in Butler County on Oct. 19. The restaurant serves “always fresh, never-ever frozen” chicken fingers, which are marinated for 24 hours, then hand battered and cooked to order.

Ranch One

Ranch One hosted its Grand Opening on Nov. 19 at The Greene in Beavercreek. For the celebration the first 50 people in line received a card valid for one free sandwich per month for a year.

Table 33

Table 33 opened its doors to the public on Nov. 17. This restaurant is located across the street from the Schuster Center and is primarily a breakfast-and-lunch eatery.

Wayback Burgers

Wayback Burgers opened up shop in the food court at The Mall at Fairfield Commons on May 12. In addition to burgers and shakes, Wayback’s menu also includes house-made potato chips, beef hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, turkey burgers and salads.

Zombie Dogz

The popular Zombie Dogz food truck has found a permanent home on Brown Street near the University of Dayton. The restaurant opened its doors on Nov. 13 to a large crowd that couldn’t wait to try the bricks-and-mortar version of its hot dogs.

Map of new restaurants of 2016