The Winans family has been making lives a little sweeter for more than a century. During the Great Depression, townspeople would flock to the family’s bakery in Piqua with their sugar rations. Owner Wayne Winans would take that sugar and turn it into freshly baked cookies—a small pick-me-up at a time when even small pick-me-ups were a luxury. Years later, Wayne’s sons, Max and Dick, carried the family torch into the 1960s, when the first Winans Fine Chocolates & Coffees was born.
Today, the Winans family continues to do what it does best at three Ohio locations. All of the business’s chocolates are handmade, with no preservatives or fillers, and never cryogenically frozen. The family’s emphasis on freshness carries over to their coffee, too, which has frequently been named the area's best by the readers of the Dayton Business Journal and the Dayton Daily News. The secret is in their roasting process—their small, 15-pound roaster requires them to roast the beans in small batches, which leads to a more consistent product. Once the beans are ready, coffee artisans carefully combine them with other roasts to create a vast assortment of flavors, which includes 11 house coffee blends, 12 flavored coffees, and even more seasonal selections.
Setting up shop in a formerly run-down launderette, Lavomatic Cafe provides an opportunity to dine on hearty fare without attracting uncomfortable leers from surrounding shirt-folders. Charming exposed pipes and soft tones accentuate Lavomatic’s décor, which creates a perfect setting for sampling the establishment’s well-stocked wine bar. The menu offers a modest yet satisfying selection of comforting classics with a twist, like when grandma gets tipsy and mixes acids with bases. Start with small bites such as chicken lollipops with honey mustard, bourbon barbecue sauce, and spicy garlic sauce ($8.95) or tater tots with truffle, chive, bacon, and cheddar ($7.49). Warm up with tomato bisque and grilled cheese ($7.49) or a fish sandwich with fennel apple straw on rye ($11.49). Refresh the palate with a fusion of flavors thanks to the meatloaf cupcake with country green beans and mashed potatoes ($12.95) or a pork chop with mushroom hash and red-wine caramel ($18.95). Sharable sides such as cornbread ($3.25) and mac 'n' cheese ($6.95) are also available.
Located within the Pendleton Art Center, Mockingbirds serves up classic American food and locally roasted, fair-trade, organic beans brewed into what Think Middletown called "some of the best coffee in the city." In the kitchen, cooks simmer mushroom-brie or Wisconsin-cheese soups, layer sandwiches with cranberry and grape-laced chicken salad, and roast authentic pork carnitas for Taco Tuesdays. Diners can also stop by on weekends for a buffet of comfort food, including pot roast and mashed potatoes. A spacious interior and free WiFi make Mockingbirds an inviting spot to hang out, though a bicyclist can deliver the eatery's fare on two wheels during the warmer months.
Saxbys Coffee delights taste buds with coffees brewed from small-batch roasted beans. Green coffee beans journey from their country of origin to Saxbys' roasting facility, where the master roaster employs traditional European techniques to carefully roast each small batch of beans, giving them a light, medium, or dark flavor profile.
In-store baristas spice up cups of java with more than 200 flavorings, such as coconut and toasted marshmallow, that imbue brews with an extra kick. Saxbys Coffee is just as meticulous with the environment as it is with its beverages—all of the shop's lids, java jackets, napkins, and cups are 100% recyclable and 100% welcomed by billy goats attempting to curb their tin-can addictions.
The founders of Eclipse Coffee and Tea sought to create a more personal and welcoming space than what they found in franchised coffee shops. So they invite their patrons to curl up on one of their couches with a coffee drink made with beans from Cincinnati roaster Seven Hills Coffee. The baristas craft hot and cold beverages, including signature lattes flavored with milk chocolate, caramel, almond, coconut, and even peanut butter, making for a drink that's sweeter and more convenient than stirring a cappucino with a candy bar. At lunch, patrons enjoy specialty paninis or the create-your-own sandwich option, directing staff to build custom sandwiches with Boar's Head cold cuts. Baked goods from Ashley's Pastry Shop, which has served the area for about 30 years, are made fresh daily for breakfast or dessert.
At Toot's, neon lights illuminate the sports jerseys hanging on the walls and rafters. Though it bills itself as a kid-friendly sports bar, Toot's allegiance does not lie with any one team, meaning all sports fans are welcome here, whether they support the Bulls, Tigers, or Fighting Unicorns. With flat-screen TVs scattered throughout, guests can keep their eyes on the game and their hands on the food as they nosh on wings, nachos, and fried pickles. More substantial bites can be had with half-pound burgers and baskets of fried shrimp and catfish.