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.
Working within a lofty stone structure, Geisha Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar’s chefs sear Asian entrees on hibachi grills and tuck French-inspired tidbits into specialty sushi. Across the chic, plum-hued dining room, they’ll sizzle succulent hibachi meats, fresh vegetables, and incriminating tax documents atop slick grill tables. Otherwise, they can pull from a dinner menu filled with fusion entrees such as shrimp and lobster risotto, and Jekyll-and-Hyde pad thai.
Melodie's Coffee Café sates grumbling tummies with a menu brimming with traditional and specialty beverages, baked pastry treats, and daily lunch specials. Caffeinate sleepy souls with the italian cappuccino ($2.30 for a 6 oz.), coat throats with an iced chai tea ($3.30 for 12 oz.), or indulge in the sweet stylings of a Milky Way constructed from espresso, steamed milk, and a caramel galaxy swimming with 400 billion chocolate stars ($3.80 for 12 oz.). Inner food processors howling for heavier dishes can fuel up with one of Melodie's specialty dishes including hot paninis, soups, salads, and belgian waffles (only on Saturday and Sundays). For a sweeter treat, bite into a cinnamon roll ($2.75) or lick away a cake-cone-swaddling soft-serve ice cream ($1.60–$1.90).
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.
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.
Committed to fresh café creations, Jumpstart Java's baristas lovingly craft coffee ($1.50+) espresso ($2.05+), and pastries ($1.25+) for fast-breaking patrons, with espresso artwork gracing the foam surface of select cups. In addition to the bean-brewed beverages, JumpStart also quenches liquid hunger with specialty drinks such as smoothies ($3.50+), tea ($1.50+), and hot-chocolate concoctions ($2.45+) made to order.
This locally owned, Hollywood-themed eatery boasts an all-star cast of belly fillers named after classic films such as The Godfather, Rocky, and Steven Spielberg's early all-kitten rendition of Un Chien Andalou. Star City is known for its steamed hoagies, ranging from the Little Miss Sunshine's heartwarming pairing of ham and swiss ($5.50 for a whole) to the deluxe Top Gun's action-packed layers of ham, turkey, bacon, provolone, and power balladry ($6.50 for a whole). If your stomach grumbles with Fellini-esque machismo, play the director and hand-pick the bread, meat, cheese, and veggie players in your epicurean ensemble ($5.50–$6.50 for a whole customized hoagie). Round out your repast by adding a homemade side of potato salad, coleslaw, or soup ($1.95 each) to your personal craft-services platter.