Miss Maha and the City

Eat. Drink. Be Entertained.

by Maha Kashani

Photo: Shoppers peruse the 2nd Street Market; photo: Five Rivers MetroParks

And, I’m still stuffed! After hosting my first ever Thanksgiving at my new condo in the city, I can confirm that as a single 30-something … Well, let’s just say it was ambitious. All madness aside, it was a blast and I am thankful to have had the opportunity to host my friends and family.

Now that turkey day is behind us, I have a new goal at hand: ensuring everyone is prepared to make the most of entertaining this holly, jolly season. Check out these great ways to eat, drink and amuse your friends, family and loved ones throughout the holidays in Dayton.

Did you know? During the recent Downtown Dayton Partnership meeting, an exciting update was announced regarding the Greater Downtown Dayton Plan. Since 2010, the city has garnered some impressive marks. The downtown apartment occupancy rates trump the region at almost 97 percent, with 765 new residential units completed and in the pipeline. Additionally, an exciting 40,000 square feet of first floor spaces have been activated and more than $400 million in public and private investments in downtown have been made. The year 2015 will prove to amplify our excitement with the $1 million BikeShare program launching and construction of the highly anticipated RiverScape River Run Project, making downtown a regional recreation destination. If you didn’t know, now you know. Downtown Dayton is a city on the move! downtowndayton.org/plan

Miss Maha’s Best Bets to…

Eat.

If you know me, you know I love food, which is one of the reasons I love living downtown! Check out these delicious Dayton originals that will leave your taste buds dancing.

Coco’s Bistro – Comfortable. Warm. Romantic. Friendly. Just a few words that describe this delightful neighborhood eatery located in South Park. Coco’s versatile bistro fare, with a twist, shines bright with its amazing service and delicious beverages, all for a decent price! 228coco.com

Thai 9 – To this day, it still shocks me to hear how many people have never tried Thai 9. If you fall into this category, then I implore you: make the trip! Savory and authentic Thai cuisine and sushi, combined with an extensive libations menu and hip ambiance, make Thai 9 a truly unique destination sure to wow your guests this holiday season. thai9restaurant.com

Olive, an Urban Dive – How many restaurants have you visited that don’t own a can opener or microwave? Or only use local, grass fed and free-range proteins? Olive, Dayton’s locally sourced Mediterranean/American dive, takes pride in these features and more with a delightfully intriguing and tasty seasonal menu. Also featuring gluten-free, vegan, paleo and multi-allergy friendly dishes, Olive ensures there is something for everyone to enjoy. BYOB. olivedive.com

Wheat Penny Oven & Bar – Let me apologize in advance to all the other amazing restaurants downtown. I love your food, but Wheat Penny owns my heart, soul and stomach. Hands down. California-style pizzas, bright salads, amazing appetizers (Eggplant fries? Yes, please!) and phenomenal cocktails make this special little destination my number one recommendation this holiday season. Tip: Make reservations! wheatpennydayton.com

Drink.

How about some unique experiences served up with your tasty beverage?

Proto Buildbar – The world’s first “buildbar” is right here in Dayton. What is a “buildbar,” you ask? Part 3D printing lab, part electronic maker space and part bar/café, Proto is a fun, one-of-a-kind place where everyone in your crew can get creative as you click, connect and “make something great” this holiday season. protobuildbar.com

The Century Bar – In addition to being nationally recognized as one of the top bourbon bars in America, Century Bar was just named as one of the “Best Whiskey Bars in America” by Travel and Leisure magazine. Featuring a beautiful cherry and stained glass back bar built in 1862, with over 87 bourbons to choose from, this hot spot lives up to its claim of making “a bourbon drinker from even the most discriminating of palettes.” centurybourbon.com

Dublin Pub – Dayton’s authentic Irish Pub is thriving. Their new historic Sanctuary of Whiskey & Ale, built from a 108 year old church, features a cool “Pour Your Own Draft Beer” wall for guests to enjoy any of their twelve taps by the ounce. That includes Jameson on tap – the first of its kind in the State of Ohio. dubpub.com

Be entertained.

First Friday – Enjoy Downtown’s free monthly showcase of arts, culture and entertainment. Whether it’s shopping for distinct holiday gifts, grabbing a bite to eat or checking out our beautiful art galleries, this month’s holiday-themed art hop will be the perfect opportunity to eat, drink and be merry. downtowndayton.org

2nd Street Market – Quite possibly my favorite place in the city, whether it’s to grab a bite for brunch, pick up some locally made and grown goodies or see Santa (Dec. 18-20), the market is your most versatile destination this holiday season. My personal recommendations include the Thai Omelete at Bahn Thai Mai, a delicious brownie from Desserts by Ann K and a jar of Walt’s fantastic salsa to snack on later in the day. metroparks.org/Parks/SecondStreetMarket

Remember, there are many creative ways to explore Dayton’s originals. No excuses! Make sure you head to the city this holiday season and enjoy all the great things Downtown Dayton has to offer. Cheers to safe and happy holidays, my friends.

Reach DCP freelance writer Maha Kashani at MissMaha@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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