Subdued lighting and the click of rolling pool balls set a classic pub scene inside Dog's Breath Tavern, a neighborhood spot with cold drinks and satisfying eats. Patrons sip beer or cocktails as they nosh on burgers, sandwiches, and pizzas from nearby Cousin Vinny's Pizza. If they're not playing pool or listening to live bands play, guests can also watch sports games on seven 42-inch flat-screen televisions and three flat-screen televisions that broadcast at a whopping 120 inches.
Boston's Bistro and Pub takes beer seriously—17 taps pour a rotating selection of global craft brews, and the beer list teems with more than 100 bottles. A beer garden gives its brews a place to roam outdoors, and an onsite brew school teaches beer enthusiasts the finer points of brewing while instilling etiquette and charm into rowdy porters and stouts. Owner David Boston balances this passion for beer with his family's Hungarian heritage, serving a bistro menu of traditional magyar kolbasz sausage, pork kraut, kosher soft pretzels from Rinaldo's Italian bakery, and Zwack slaw and incorporating European meats and cheeses into paninis, pizzas, and spinach salads.
David Boston and his pub trace their history back through the coal mines of West Virginia and the factories of Ohio, en route to West Dayton, where in 1927 David's ancestors set up their own business, the Ole Time Bar, on Fifth Street. Boston's Bistro and Pub is the family's latest culinary enterprise, now carrying the torch for fine, frothy brews and Magyar delicacies for more than 30 years.
Angie's Firehouse Tavern is owned by a former Dayton flame-fighter and his family, who serve up a menu loaded with comfort fare made from scratch daily for lunch and dinner. Savory sandwiches ($5.25+), soups ($2.49+), and signature fare, such as the comforting cabbage rolls served with mashed potatoes ($8.99), frolic across dining-room tables as guests ogle the eatery's massive 73-inch television, which stands taller than most adult men and sasquatches with poor posture. Customize a hand-shaped third-pound burger with your choice of toppings ($5.99+), or conquer the spiciness of the five-alarm burger, topped with buffalo sauce, jalapeños, pepper-jack cheese, and crispy onion straws ($6.99), while cooling down on the patio or diligently cataloguing the dining room's firehouse-themed décor in hopes of finding a functioning hose.
The first Funny Bone was born more than three decades ago after a comedy show left cofounder Gerald Kubach's sides aching so bad that he knew he had to get into the standup business. Now in more than 25 cities, the clubs have played host to such luminaries as Jerry Seinfeld, Dave Chappelle, and Roseanne Barr. In Dayton, while patrons practice projecting their laughter toward the stage they can quash hunger by digging into a menu of pub fare.
In the true spirit of a saloon, there's always something happening inside Whiskey Barrel Bar, whether it's test-your-knowledge trivia or a pool tournament. Order bar-friendly hot dogs and fries from the kitchen to pair with mixed drinks or draft or bottled beers from the bar.
Though mac 'n' cheese egg rolls, ranch-fried green beans, and fried-to-order cinnamon donuts might not sound like typical menu items at a sports bar, at Ole Friends Tavern, the chefs take an interesting spin on standard fare. The family-friendly pub also features outdoor seating, happy-hour specials, and Saturday-night DJs.