From burgers and ice cream to museums and parks, the best businesses in Dayton showcased their goods at Dayton Magazine’s inaugural Best of Dayton Party. More than 600 people voted for the people and places in and around the Gem City that they thought were the best. We at Dayton Magazine are excited to bring you the winners you voted for.

We partnered with the Miami Valley Restaurant Association for the party, which was sponsored by Kettering Health Network, The Bradley Financial Group UBS Financial Service, Inc., MillerCoors and LightShine Academy, the preschool of Dayton Christian Schools. Our media sponsors were WDTN 2 News and WYSO 91.3FM. Proceeds benefited Culture Works, a nonprofit regional arts agency providing a voice for all cultural organizations and activities in the Dayton region.

FOOD

Best Bagel
Panera Bread
Whether you are looking for one bagel or a baker’s dozen, Panera Bread can help you find the best bagel for the job. Bagels, like the Cinnamon Crunch Bagel and the Asiago Cheese Bagel, are staple menu items at the restaurant that can be toasted and spread with cream cheese or butter, or even eaten as is. 1203 Brown St., Dayton. 937-223-6700, panerabread.com.

Best Bakery
The Cakery

Satisfy your sweet tooth with the goodies lining the counters of The Cakery. “The Cakery does not make your average ‘grocery store’-style cake,” says Jamie Burchfield, office manager of The Cakery. “We try and go above and beyond to make every cake special and unique.”

For those looking for that show-stopping centerpiece for any kind of occasion, look no further. The bakery can decorate and design a cake that fits its clients. One such unique cake is the mini rainbow cake. “Multiple flavors of cake are layered with strawberry preserves and buttercream icing,” says Burchfield. “It is a little different, but people love it!”

Customers travel from Cincinnati and Columbus just to get a treat from The Cakery, and with a selection of cupcakes, cake bombs, cream horns, cheesecake bars and more, there is a treat for everyone. “The fact that people come from all over is a great testimony to our service and the look and taste of our product,” she says.

Another standout product is the bakery’s lemon cheesecake triangle with layers of cheesecake and lemon filling, a shortbread crust and a dusting of powdered sugar. It is The Cakery’s belief that, “when you focus on one product, you can work on making it great.”

“I believe we won this category because we produce a superior, quality product,” says Burchfield. 140 Woodman Drive, Dayton, 937-258-2320, cakeryofdayton.com.

 

Best Barbecue
City Barbeque

Follow your nose as you walk into City Barbeque where customers can expect real, wholesome food that is prepared fresh daily.

“We do things the right way. We smoke all our meats on-site and our sides are hand-prepared throughout the day. It’s barbeque in its truest form, created by folks who believe in doing things right,” says Samantha Shaffer, marketing manager at City Barbeque.

For a tasty meal, try City Barbeque’s Pit Master’s Pick or its ribs and fresh-cut French fries. City Barbeque stands by its promises of competition-quality food and backyard hospitality.

“We treat our guest like good friends who’ve come over on a summer day for barbecue and good times. This is truly a place where you can come to relax and forget your worries,” says Shaffer. 2330 N. Fairfield Road, Beavercreek. 937-320-0000, citybbq.com.

Best Breakfast
Butter Café
You might get hooked on Butter Café’s delicious breakfast items, such as the waffle covered in strawberries, bananas and blueberries or its French toast kabobs. The café serves well-known breakfast foods, but with its own spin on it. Customers with food restrictions will find breakfast foods that are gluten-free and vegan. Plus, where else serves Ruben omelets and paleo brownies? 1106 Brown St., Dayton. 937-985-9917, buttercafedayton.com.


Best Burger
Tank’s Bar & Grill
Established in 1987, this hometown hangout is the place to get a tasty burger, Tank’s “Road Kill” chili and even omelets. Located just minutes from downtown and the University of Dayton, it’s a food destination when it comes to a hearty meal. 2033 Wayne Ave., Dayton. 937-252-2249, tanksbarandgrill.com.

Best Catering
Kohler Catering

Exceptional tasting food and a friendly staff, Kohler Catering is Dayton’s premier caterer. Native Daytonian Erwin Kohler opened Kohler Catering in 1968, and his family-owned and -operated company is defined as “full-service catering.”

“We consistently provide high quality, great tasting culinary art and our loyal customers love every bite,” says Kellie Daab, catering sales at Kohler Catering.

Kohler Catering provides off premise corporate, social and milestone catering as well as on-site events in its Presidential Banquet Center. 4572 Presidential Way, Dayton. 937-291-3600, kohlercatering.net.


Best Chef
Elizabeth Wiley
The Meadowlark Restaurant

Chef-owned and -operated The Meadowlark Restaurant is geared toward the American palate.

“Meadowlark is a neighborhood-style restaurant without pretension. No bells and whistles. We aren’t reinventing cuisine or getting too chefy with the food,” says Elizabeth Wiley, chef and owner of The Meadowlark Restaurant and Wheat Penny Oven & Bar.

Wiley has nearly 35 years of kitchen experience and says that she and her staff, “are genuinely happy to see folks when they come through the door.” 5531 Far Hills Ave., Dayton. 937-434-4750, meadowlarkrestaurant.com.

Best Chinese Cuisine
China Cottage
Known for its Cottage Chicken, Rock Salt Prawn and Sizzling Steak, China Cottage offers a variety of items on its menu. China Cottage has been committed to its guests since 1987 and continues to provide an outstanding dining experience every time. 3718 Wilmington Pike, Kettering. 937-294-4724, chinacottagerestaurant.com.

Best Dessert
The Wright Cheesecake
Providing 60 delicious flavors, Dayton native Kauhnya Wright had the right idea when she opened The Wright Cheesecake. Customers can get flavors like caramel apple, classic cherry, mint chocolate chip and many more. There are also sandwiches and salads, making it easy to pick up some lunch and dessert to share. 120 W. Second St., Suite 100, Dayton. 937-344-7000.

Best Family Dining
Doubleday’s Grill and Tavern
Get a hearty meal at Doubleday’s Grill and Tavern, where customers can sit down with their families and enjoy homemade soups, salads and pizza. Take a bite out of the Monster Pizza or order a Chicken Tender salad. The diverse menu makes it easy for anyone in the family to find something to enjoy! 199 E. Alex Bell Road, Dayton. 937-436-4666, doubledaysgrillandtavern.com.

Best Farmers Market
2nd Street Market

Grab a cup of coffee and wander around this farmers market where there are many goodies to be found.

More than 370,000 people visit the 2nd Street Market, located in a 1911 historical freight house, to buy goods from growers, bakers, culinary specialists and artisans.

“The 2nd Street Market offers year-round access to fresh and locally sourced, quality food items, as well as other handmade products, in a convenient downtown location,” says Kristen Wicker, marketing manager of Five River Metroparks, which operates the farmers market. 600 E. 2nd St., Dayton. 937-228-2088, metroparks.org.

Best Fresh Catch (Seafood)
Sweeney’s Seafood

Established in 1994, going to Sweeney’s Seafood is like a short visit to Key West, with its multiple fish tanks and seasonal outdoor patio seating. Pairing that with the food, the atmosphere can be rather relaxing.

“Our specials use only fresh, sustainable seafood, thus they change multiple times and are seasonal in nature,” says Michael Kruse, Sweeney’s Seafood executive chef. “This is a business based on offering as much fresh, sustainable and delicious seafood as possible.”

Sweeney’s Seafood also has rotating microbrews. 28 W. Franklin St., Centerville. 937-291-3474, sweeneysseafood.com.

Best Frozen Yogurt
Bad Frog Frozen Yogurt

With 14 flavors and over 45 toppings, Bad Frog is an experience.

“The staff at Bad Frog wants every customer to have a wonderful, new and exciting experience every time they visit,” says Emily Armstrong, general manager of Bad Frog Frozen Yogurt. “We’re constantly changing our flavors, and we have flavor blends that are interesting and exciting.” 1200 Brown St., Suite 115, Dayton. 937-610-5999, badfrogfrozenyogurt.com.

Best Ice Cream
Graeter’s
Louis Graeter began selling ice cream at a street market in 1868 and, to this day, it’s a well-known ice cream brand. Using a traditional French Pot process, Graeter’s ice cream is irresistibly good with flavors like Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip and Buckeye Blitz. Graeter’s also sells gelatos, bakery items and chocolates. 2412 Far Hills Ave., Oakwood. 937-534-0602, graeters.com/dayton.

Best Independent Coffeehouse
Winan’s Fine Chocolates 
& Coffees
Serving handmade chocolates and coffee, Winan’s is a fourth-generation production that has grown to multiple locations in the Greater Dayton area. Be tempted with barks, brittles, buckeyes and mints and leave with some to share. Also, try some of its specialty drinks, like the Milky Way, a sweet blend of caramel and chocolate. 2806 Miamisburg Centerville Road, Dayton. 937-610-4555, winansdayton.net.

Best Italian Cuisine
Mamma DiSalvo’s Ristorante
A family affair, Rinaldo and Elena DiSalvo opened Mamma DiSalvo’s restaurant in 1979 with the help their three sons and Elena’s father. The restaurant strives to serve the best authentic Italian food with traditions passed down through the family. Everything is still made from scratch, including the sauces and lasagna. 1375 E. Stroop Road, Kettering. 937-299-5831, mammadisalvo.com.

Best Mexican Cuisine
Elsa’s Mexican Restaurant & Sports Bar
What started as one little restaurant has turned into five locations, with four of those being in the Dayton area. Elsa’s is known for its Super Burrito and the Bad Juan Margaritas. The Bad Jan Margarita is so popular that it’s now sold in local grocery and liquor stores. 3618 Linden Ave., Dayton. 937-252-9635, elsas.net.

Best Outdoor Dining
Lily’s Bistro

Independently owned Lily’s Bistro, nestled in Dayton’s historic Oregon District, focuses on seasonal, eclectic American food.

“[The Mendenhall family] worked to create a fun, people-watching space on their side patio located on Fifth Street, and a bar patio perfect for enjoying drinks outside,” says Emily Mendenhall. “It’s perfect for a date night or for a group of friends catching up.” 329 E. Fifth St., Dayton. 937-723-7637, lilysbistro.com.

Best Pizza
Marion’s Piazza
With a thin crust and crumbled sausage, Marion’s Piazza is as unique as it is tasty. It’s even been voted “Dayton’s Best Pizza” in more than 32 newspapers and magazines. They have nine locations, giving the Greater Dayton area even more access to pizzas like the Sausage pizza and Marion’s Super Cheese pizza. 241 N. Main St., Centerville, 937-433-3993, marionspiazza.com.

Best Sandwich Shop
Milano’s Atlantic City Subs
Sink your teeth into a delicious cheesesteak, submarine or specialty sandwich offered at Milano’s. Milano’s bakes bread from scratch in the early hours of the morning to pair with its sandwiches. The restaurant has been serving since 1969. It’s a great place to grab a bite and hang out no matter your age. 1820 Brown St., Dayton. 937-222-7072, milanossubs.com.

Best Sports Bar
Wings Sports Bar & Grille

There are not many bars that have an actual airplane, but Wings Sports Bar & Grille has one on its “Hangar,” or outdoor bar. Enjoy some great food and a beer while watching a game with a crowd or listen to a live band.

“Our success could never be possible without having the best staff in the area, where they know your name and favorite drink, before you know it,” says Chad Macek, owner of Wings.

Wings also boasts Dayton’s longest happy hour, from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. every day. 7209 N. Dixie Drive, Dayton. 937-898-0280, wingssportsbar.com.

Best Steak
The Pine Club
The Pine Club knows quality steak and has a national reputation as one of the great steak houses in the country. In fact, The Pine Club looks the same as it did in 1957, adding a unique ambiance to the dining experience. Whether you prefer a strip steak or a rib eye, the Pine Club has the perfect cut for you. 1926 Brown St., Dayton. 937-228-7463, thepineclub.com.


Best Sushi
Kabuki Restaurant

At family-owned Kabuki Restaurant, its sushi, like the Playboy Roll, is “a show stopper.”

It has spicy tuna, shrimp tempura and asparagus that is topped with shrimp, and fuikake with sweet glaze sauce before being lit on fire to give it a smoky flavor. It’s a best -seller on Kabuki’s menu.

“I think we won Best Sushi because making sushi is our passion. We only use the best ingredients and it shows,” says Hannah Brown, owner of Kabuki Restaurant. “This coupled with our excellent service to our customers makes us a stand out.”

Kabuki is known for its fusion rolls and authentic Korean cuisines, like the traditional Korean dish called Dol Sot Bibimbob—mixed vegetables, fried egg and beef served over steamed rice in a hot stone bowl and served with a side of hot and spice sauce.

Kabuki makes all of its sauces from scratch, like spicy mayo, sushi vinegar, soy sauce and marinades.

“Our close attention to detail and flavor separates us from the competition,” says Brown. “We know our customers can taste the difference.”

If sushi isn’t your cup of tea, Kabuki has many other menu items like spicy pork, orange chicken and tempura.

“We are a local business and love the support we receive from the community,” she says. 848 S. Main St., Centerville, 937-435-9500, eatatkabuki.com.


Best Vegetarian
The Green Nature Café

Local, independent and a Dayton original, The Green Nature Café brings a fresh taste to cuisine in a relaxed environment.

“We think our customers appreciate the need for a place like ours in the community,” says Sooyun New, head chef of The Green Nature Café.

Customers can still order pizza, burgers, nachos, desserts, and smoothies, but made with the freshest ingredients possible. Try their Banana Spilt Whips! 8941 Anneliese Way, Clayton. 937-771-1523, thegreennaturecafe.com.


SHOPPING

Best Consignment Shop
Home 2 Home

For over 10 years, Home2Home has been a place to shop for home décor, furniture, fashion and more. It just depends on what you are looking for in this 22,000-square-foot consignment shop.

“No matter how much we convey how much stuff we have, first-time shoppers always say, ‘Wow, we didn’t know you were this big,’” says Kim Passineau, founder and owner of Home2Home. 251 E. Alex-Bell Road, Centerville. 937-439-6688, home2homedayton.com.

Best Gift Shop
American Pi Dayton

American Pi Dayton, a “funky, urban chic gift shop with a focus on American manufactured products,” is a great place to look for a gift for a friend or a gift for yourself.

“We are a family business. We are committed to the downtown core and revitalizing Dayton,” says Danielle Fritz, CEO of American Pi Dayton. “We believe in creating American jobs. Passion for our community and country is a huge part of our mission and our clients are the core of supporting our goals.”

American Pi Dayton’s shelves and clothing racks have a variety of dresses, jeans, Spartina 449 scarves, lip balms, jewelry and more. For gift ideas, check out mugs and dishes that are American-made. American Pi Dayton keeps stocking items that its customers want.

“In 2015, we will be refocusing,” says Fritz. “We will evolve to satisfy the needs of our urban clients.”

Fritz has seen that there is a demand for more apparel like denim, handbags and Brighton jewelry.

“By expanding these categories, we hope to not only satisfy those urban dwellers but bring significant traffic to downtown Dayton from the suburban shopper,” says Fritz.

“Many of our clients like the option to pick up products they enjoy at the Centerville location or vise versa,” she says. “A week doesn’t go by without us transporting something between the stores.” 41 S. Saint Clair St., Dayton, 937-938-7890, americanpidayton.com.


Best Jeweler
James Free Jewelers
With its nearly endless supply of rings, earrings, necklaces and watches, James Free Jewelers has been serving the Miami Valley since 1940. It was built upon the promises of exceptional quality and personal attention, making its customers feel like they have a personal jeweler for all their needs. Whether you’re looking for a Henri Daussi Diamond Halo engagement ring or a Breitling watch, James Free has it all.3100 Far Hills Ave., Dayton. 937-298-0171, jamesfree.com.

Best Place for Antiques
Antiques Village

Check out over 300 shops—such as Main Street, Market Street and Fifth Avenue—at Antiques Village. It has some of the very best antique shopping in the Dayton region.

“Customers will find unique and beautiful items that can be purchased as gifts or for personal use to meet their own design and decorating needs,” says Dan Maguire, operating partner at Antiques Village. There are millions of items to choose from in this store, allowing even the antique novice to discover a great find. 651 Lyons Road, Dayton. 937-291-5060, antiquesvillage.net.

Best Place for Home Accessories
This Old Couch
Your home might be missing something if you haven’t stopped into This Old Couch, a resale furniture and home furnishings store. Some of its items have been repurposed and/or handmade by local artisans. With both vintage and modern items in stock, This Old Couch might just have that home accessory treasure you’ve been looking for. 3301 Dayton Xenia Road, Dayton. 937-426-6005, thisoldcouch.net.

Best Shopping Mall/Center
The Greene Town Center
In this shopping paradise, visitors will find everything from food to books to clothes. It opened in 2006 and has been growing ever since, with stores like Nordstrom Rack, Charming Charlie, and Pasha Grill. Plus, the Greene comes alive with special events that include stand-up comedians, movie nights and music. 4428 Glengarry Drive, Beavercreek. 937-490-4990, thegreene.com.


SERVICES

Best AC/Heating Company
The Furnace Man Heating & Cooling
Finding a service company for your home or business can be difficult, but The Furnace Man makes it super easy. Its services include water heaters, ductwork, heating, cooling, indoor air quality and more.3866 Indian Ripple Road, Dayton. 937-203-2022, thefurnacemanohio.com.

Best Car Wash
Yankee Car Wash & Detailing

Wash the dirt off your car by driving to Yankee Car Wash and getting an Ultimate Wash or Express Wash. The car wash also offers specials that help you get that clean car you want.

If you are looking for a little extra love for your car, get a detail package and be amazed at the difference! 8150 Yankee St., Centerville. 937-435-0035, yankeecarwash.com.

Best Dry Cleaner
Capitol Cleaners
Since 1924, Capitol Cleaners has been serving the Miami Valley area. When you need your clothes laundered, alterations made and more, Capitol Cleaners offers a locally owned and operated solution for your laundry needs at a great value. Also, Capitol Cleaners has introduced some “green” solvents at their facilities to be environmentally friendly. 3798 Dayton Xenia Road, Beavercreek. 937-426-7111, capitolcleaners.com.

Best Florist
Oberer's Flowers

When it comes to beautiful plants and flowers, Oberer’s Flowers designs and delivers. You can even create your own bouquet!

“We are a customer-centric company. We love what we do and we do it for our customers. It shows in every product we sell and every customer interaction,” says Henry Stone, floral designer at Oberer’s Flowers. 1448 Troy St., Dayton. 937-223-1253, oberers.com.

Best Garden Center
Grandma’s Gardens
Not many places can be described as “the Disney World of garden centers,” but Grandma’s Gardens has it all, including 14 wooded acres of trees and plants. It has been in the area since 1979 and is still family-owned and operated. Marybeth Taggart, marketing manager of Grandma’s Gardens says “There’s no place like Grandma’s!”8107 State Route 48, Waynesville. 937-885-2740, grandmasgardens.net.

Best Home Remodeler
Ram Restoration
Ram Restoration has served the Dayton area since 2002. Get the home of your dreams by remodeling and putting in additions and upgrades for your home. The remodeler offers free and detailed estimates. Other services offered by Ram Restoration include roofing, restoration, professional mold removal and more. 11125 Yankee St., Centerville. 937-885-0088, ramrestorationusa.com.

Best Landscaper
Siebenthaler’s

For six generations, this family-owned and -operated business has been beautifying Dayton. In fact, Siebenthaler’s grows most of its plants, including the Moraine Locust, which was the first tree patented in the United States.

Vice President Robert Siebenthaler says that Siebenthaler stands out because of the business’ tradition, dependability and unparalleled customer service.

“We won Best of Dayton, because our customers are wonderful,” he says. “We do our best to serve them every day and in turn have phenomenal loyalty.” 3001 Catalpa Drive, Dayton. 937-274-1154, siebenthaler.com.

Best Manicure/Pedicure
Michael's Salon and Spa

When it comes to taking time for yourself, Debbie Sandstrom, floor manager at Michael’s Salon and Spa, says that it’s OK to get away from the world in this luxurious salon and spa.

“It’s great for a girls’ day or for that special someone,” says Sandstorm. “It’s all about what you want.”

Clients can take some time to indulge in manicures, pedicures, makeovers, massages and more. 241 E. Alex Bell Road, Centerville. 937-435-4701, michaelssalon.com.

Best Master Stylist
Mary Nagle
Eden Salon and Spa

For more than 25 years, Mary Nagle has been a stylist, traveling the world from London to California to attain a world-class education in the industry.

“My true passion is being a stylist and there’s nothing I love more than making people beautiful,” says Nagle, co-owner of Eden Salon & Spa. “My clients perceive this and that’s why many of them have been with me since the beginning.”

Eden guests are invited to unwind while the staff caters to their guests’ beauty needs in the two-story building.

“At Eden Salon & Spa we believe in offering our guests the most versatile and creative experience possible,” she says.

Eden Salon & Spa is the only Aveda salon in Dayton that offers a spa membership program. Guests can truly feel pampered with all the services offered, including spa parties, spray tanning, hair extensions, nail art, hair retexturing and event styling.

“I truly believe I won this category simply because of the fantastic clients I have,” says Nagle. “I not only love what I do, but I also get to work with the most incredible people every day.”

Eden Salon & Spa is committed to its clients, to “constant and continuous employee training” and charities in the community.

Nagle says, “I felt extremely honored to have been nominated, and that my friends and clients showed such support, I have to give all the credit to them!” 2400 Far Hills Ave., Oakwood, 937-294-5187, edenoakwood.com.

Best Place to Have a Wedding
Polen Farm
This historic 19th century farmhouse and barn is a great place to hold a beautiful wedding. There is also a formal garden patio and gazebo on the grounds for couples wanting an outdoor wedding. Whether your desired wedding background is a blue sky or a rustic wooden feel, Polen Farm might just be the place you say, “I do.” 5099 Bigger Road, Kettering. 937-435-5787, ketteringoh.org/play/polen-farm.

Best Place to Pamper Your Pet
Poochie Bath & Boutique

Catering to the needs of pet owners and their furry four-legged friends is what the staff of Poochie Bath & Boutique is all about.

“I think the simplest way to describe us is we’re a dog-lover’s paradise,” says Deborah Monahan, owner and manager of Poochie Bath & Boutique LLC.

Both cats and dogs can get professional grooming services, bathing, teeth brushing and more. Also, Monahan says that she and her staff love to give back to the community by supporting pet friends at local shelters. 2308 E. Dorothy Lane, Kettering. 937-297-1500, poochiebath.com.

Best Place for a Spa Day
The Skin Suite with Stephanie

Sometimes it’s good to just get away for a spa day, but Daytonians don’t have to travel too far for pampering and relaxation. Owner and spa proprietor Stephanie Emrick describes the Skin Suite as “a sanctuary for healing, wellness and beauty.”

“I believe my place stands out because I truly care about each client,” she says. Stop in for Stephanie’s “Signature Facial” or get your eyebrows re-shaped, which is something Stephanie is known for, and leave feeling amazing. 1100 Brown St., Dayton. 937-760-5108, theskinsuitewithstephanie.com.

Best Plumber
Korrect Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning

Providing professional, quality plumbing, heating and air conditioning services is what Korrect Plumbing knows best.

“The way the management and employees work together to serve our customers,” says Martha Logan, president and owner of Korrect Plumbing, “it’s going beyond the call of duty.”

Korrect Plumbing has over 30 employees in the Miami Valley area and some have been with the company for up to 42 years. 7970 W. Third St., Dayton. 937-837-2333, korrectplumbing.com.

Best Retirement Community
St. Leonard Franciscan Living Community
Comfort and convenience meet at St. Leonard, a continuing care retirement community. “Our special combination of housing choices, personalized support services, vital active programs and quality health care goes beyond the traditional—it’s a new way of thinking that places your needs first,” says Casey Howard, director of marketing at St. Leonard Franciscan Living Community. The retirement community rests on 240 acres of beautiful countryside, has a state-of-the-art wellness center, the Station House restaurant and Day Spa & Salon. “You can join our community at any stage, while completely independent or when aging requires special care and assistance,” says Howard. “Move in, settle down and enjoy life!” 8100 Clyo Road, Centerville. 937-433-0480, stleonard.net.


HEALTH

Best Bike Shop
Kettering Bike Shop

Being family-owned and operated is very important to Kettering Bike Shop, which sells the largest selection of Trek, Jamis and Electra bike brands in Dayton. These brands are family-owned companies just like Kettering Bike Shop, which opened in 1960.

“We believe we won this category because of our outstanding customer service and experience in the cycling business,” says Chris Tegtmeyer, general manager of Kettering Bike Shop. “We have many loyal customers from the Dayton area, including many third generation customers that support us.”

Kettering Bike Shop also offers a full-service center with mechanics who have more than 40 years of experience. 3120 Wilmington Pike, Dayton. 937-293-3293, ketteringbikeshop.com.

Best Charitable Race
No Buts About It 5K

Join more than 1,000 participants, family and friends for a race that raises money for colon cancer awareness and prevention.

“Our supporters believe this is a cancer we can prevent, treat and beat with early screenings. Awareness plays a vital role in saving lives,” says Heather McFadgen, marketing manager and race coordinator at Dayton Gastroenterology Inc. and No Buts About It 5K.

It’s a fun, family-friendly 5K with all proceeds benefitting local residents “who are uninsured and meet the economic hardship criteria to receive a free screening colonoscopy.”

Prior to race day, check out the Wellness Fair where vendors offer health tips and information. 75 Sylvania Drive, Beavercreek. 937-320-5050, daytongastro.com.

Best Fitness Center
Kettering Recreation Complex
Need to get your sweat on? Check out the Kettering Recreation Complex, which offers a walk/run track, multipurpose gymnasium, fitness rooms, a water park and lap pool. If you prefer working out with a buddy, the Kettering Recreation Complex offers group classes like boot camp, zumba and indoor cycling. Find out what gets you moving! 2900 Glengarry Drive, Kettering. 937-296-2587, ketteringoh.org/play/krc.

Best Fitness Class
Pure Barre Dayton

Put on your best pair of socks and work out with the instructors at Pure Barre.

“It’s an intense low-impact workout that uses isometric movements to lift, tone and burn your body from head to toe,” says Megan Hallaren, manager of Pure Barre Dayton.

While the workout never gets easier, your body adapts though balance and resistance. Pure Barre “strives to make that one hour workout the most meaningful it can be.” 62 W. Franklin St., Dayton. 937-535-2876, purebarre.com.

Best Fitness Trail
Sugarcreek MetroPark

Sugarcreek MetroPark has 5 miles of scenic trails to choose from whether you’re running for fun or training for a race.

“With the green trail loop being a perfect 5K, Sugarcreek MetroPark is the perfect place to train for a 5K and complete a consistent run in a beautiful natural setting,” says Kristen Wicker, marketing manager of Five River MetroParks.

Wicker also says, when running around the park, to check out the Osage Orange Tunnel and the Three Sisters, which are a collection of 550-year-old oak trees. 4178 Conference Road, Bellbrook. 937-275-7275, metroparks.org.

Best Health Food Store
Health Foods Unlimited

Shop for supplements, health and beauty, pets, food, and more at Health Foods Unlimited. With more than 23,000 square feet, this family-owned and -operated business has been serving the Dayton community since the Miller family opened the store in the 1970s.

“We are not the typical health food store; we pride ourselves on being the most complete store for all of your health needs,” says Thom McDonald, project manager at Health Foods Unlimited. 2250 Miamisburg Centerville Road, Dayton. 937-433-5100, healthfoodsunlimited.com.


Best Personal Trainer
Mike Moorman
Absolute Fitness Personal Training, Inc.

Absolute Fitness is a personal training facility that focuses on its clients rather than membership fees.

“Our trainers custom design and oversee all our clients fitness programs,” says Mike Moorman, founder of Absolute Fitness Personal Training, Inc.

Moorman is also a personal trainer who has worked with more than 700 clients and has 18 years of personal training experience. He says that Absolute Fitness stands out because it doesn’t require clients to purchase large packages of training sessions. Clients can pay per session and there are no contracts.

One of the reasons Moorman believes he won the category of Best Personal Trainer is his clients’ success. Absolute Fitness’ 6,300-square-foot facility is also key code accessed so clients can come to the gym even when not meeting with their trainer.

Moorman says that most people could use a few sessions with a personal trainer to make sure that they have proper form while they exercise.

“To help someone find the motivation to achieve a better version of themselves and giving people the knowledge and information that they need to correctly exercise, which in this society with all the infomercials and bad information on the Internet, can be tough,” says Moorman. 2537 Wilmington Pike, Dayton, 937-302-9054, absolutefitnessohio.com.

Best Place to Buy Fitness Gear
Up and Running

Up and Running can help you find gear with the perfect fit for walking your dog or training for that 10K.

“Up and Running is a place for exercise enthusiasts as well as every day walkers and runners to find the gear they need to perform their workouts comfortably and without injury,” says Susie Stein, owner of Up and Running in Dayton.

Also, make some new workout friends by joining Up and Running’s running, walking, and cyclists groups. 6123 Far Hills Ave., Dayton. 937-432-9210, upandrunningindayton.com.

Best Yoga Studio
Day Yoga Studio

Whether it’s a series class or an open class where you can just drop in, Day Yoga will engage your mind, and improve your flexibility and strength.

“Our studio is a peaceful environment outside the hectic nature of everyday life where people can focus inward on personal growth, says Devon Schmidt, owner of Day Yoga Studio.

Try a ying or yang pose in the Gentle Yoga class or try HOT Power Hour and sweat out stress. 1100 Brown St., Dayton. 937-829-5947, dayyogastudio.com.


ENTERTAINMENT

Best Community Arts Center
Schuster Performing Arts Center
A focal point in downtown Dayton, the Schuster Center brings some of the best local, national and international performing artists to its stage. With past performances like Phantom of the Opera and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, the Shuster Center is making an impact on Dayton and the surrounding arts community. 1 W. Second St., Dayton. 937-228-7591, schustercenter.org.

Best Festival
Dayton Celtic Festival

The Dayton Celtic Festival is a family-friendly event that draws people from all over to its three days of Celtic music, dance, culture, food and merchandise.

“The festival is fun for all ages and the word is out,” says Liz Willis, United Irish of Dayton Celtic Festival steering committee member. “With nearly 90,000 attendees in 2014, the Dayton Celtic Festival continues to grow, due in large part to the positive word-of-mouth from attendees.”

Attendees can get up close to some of their favorite bands, participate in a 5K run/walk, take a bike ride, attend Gaelic Mass on Sunday and much more. United Irish of Dayton, 4156 Dayton-Xenia Road, Beavercreek. 937-372-9788, daytoncelticfestival.com


Best Golf Course
The Golf Club at Yankee Trace

Work on getting par at Yankee Trace’s 27-hole championship golf course.

“The City of Centerville and the staff of The Golf Club at Yankee Trace pride themselves on maintaining a quality experience for both golfers and banquet guests alike,” says Steve Marino, head golf professional at Yankee Trace.

Also, if you need a break from the green, Yankee Trace has a 32,000-square-foot clubhouse with many amenities to help golfers enjoy their day. 10000 Yankee St., Centerville. 937-438-3585, yankeetrace.org.

Best Happy Hour
Fifth Street Brewpub

One of the unique things about Fifth Street Brewpub is that it’s a co-op business. The owners/workers raised the money to purchase a building and turn it into a brewery and eatery.

“The atmosphere of community at Fifth Street Brewpub keeps people coming back,” says Maureen Barry, a Fifth Street Brewpub board member.

Try their Deluge Pale Ale or some “pub grub” like the Lurking Turkey sandwich for a well-deserved break after work. 1600 E. Fifth St., Dayton. 937-443-0919, fifthstreetbrewpub.coop.

Best Live Music
Fraze Pavilion

Kettering’s Fraze Pavilion is a 4,300-seat outdoor amphitheater with events like the Bacon Fest and the Festival of the Vine.

“We host national recording artists, local and regional musicians, and many signature themed festivals throughout the summer,” says Karen Durham, Fraze Pavilion general manager.

Durham attributes the Fraze Pavilion winning Best Live Music to the staff that is dedicated to the Fraze’s guests each night, and a loyal audience for the artists that the Fraze brings to the stage. 695 Lincoln Park Blvd., Kettering. 937-296-3300, fraze.com.

Best Movie Theater
Rave Motion Pictures, The Greene 14
Whether the sun is shining or it’s raining, Rave Motion Pictures at the Greene 14 is showing some of the newest releases. Pick up a soda and popcorn and lose yourself in the movie you’ve been waiting to see. Also, Rave Motion Pictures offers discount Wednesdays where seeing a movie is $5.50 all day long. 
4489 Glengarry Drive, Beavercreek. 937-429-4130, cinemark.com.

Best Museum/Historical Site
Carillon Historical Park
Learn about some of Dayton’s rich history in Carillon Historical Park, where visitors can discover the region’s achievements in invention, industrialism, expansion and more. See the original 1905 Wright Flyer III, the 1835 B&O (Grasshopper) steam locomotive and more. It’s a place unlike any other and it’s right here in Gem City. 1000 Carillon Blvd., Dayton. 937-293-2841, daytonhistory.org.

Best Wine Store/Tasting
The Wine Gallery

Whether you are a novice wine drinker or “the more serious experienced aficionado,” owner Brian Linnean says, “We think and drink wine. Our focus will always be wine.”

Offering more than 3,000 wines for purchase, from $5 per bottle to $750, The Wine Gallery is both a wine bar and casual restaurant.

Guests can sip their favorite wine at The Wine Gallery’s patio seating, order flights of wine and participate in Wine Dinners. 5 W. Monument Ave., Dayton. 937-224-9463, thewinegalleryandcafe.com.


CHILDREN

Best Birthday Party Location
Boonshoft Museum of Discovery

Boonshoft Museum is a mash-up of learning and fun. It’s a constant discovery of the world and what’s in it.

“The Boonshoft Museum offers all the learning and fun of children’s museums, science centers, zoos and planetariums—all for one price, under one roof,” says Kristy Creel, director of marketing and public relations at Boonshoft Museum of Discovery.

Explore one of Boonshoft’s permanent exhibits like Splash!, and catch a future exhibit like Design Zone, opening Feb.7.

“In addition to offering daily programs that range form explosive science demonstrations to hands-on labs, the Boonshoft Museum is home to a planetarium that offers both full-color planetarium shows and full-dome 3-D films,” she says.

Families also can host birthday parties at Boonshoft with themes like Dinosaur Discovery, Mad Scientist and Garden Tea Party.

“The museum’s birthday parties are a one-of-a-kind experience for families,” says Creel. “In addition to all the trimmings of a traditional party, families can select a customized program that showcases the best of the museum, from hands-on science to live animals.” 2600 DeWeese Parkway, Dayton, 937-275-7431, boonshoftmuseum.org.


Best Dance/Theatre Instruction
Celtic Academy of Irish Dance


Both competitively and non-competitively, the Celtic Academy works hard to help their dancers achieve his or her goals.

“In teaching children and adults the beautiful and unique art form of Irish Dance, we keep the tradition of Irish culture alive,” says Mary Laffey, co-director of the Celtic Academy of Irish Dance.

They perform around the area at events like the Dayton Celtic Festival. 85 Woodman Drive, Dayton. 937-256-6086, celticacademy.com.

Best Gymnastics Center
Kids are Tops Sports Center
For more than 30 years, Kids are Tops has been serving the community in cheerleading, swimming, dance, karate and more. It’s known for its gymnastics programs, where the staff is trained on proper technique, drills and progressions, giving students the best possible gymnastic training. 7644 Paragon Road, Centerville. 937-435-7626, kidsaretops.com.

Best Music Instruction
McCutcheon Music

With a professional teaching staff of more than 45 instructors that work as university professors, symphony players and musicians, McCutcheon Music is the place for private and class music lessons. McCutcheon Music also has a certified music therapist for students with special needs.

“McCutcheon Music is a family-friendly music store with a focus on music education,” says Deb McCutcheon, co-owner of McCutcheon Music. “We offer hometown friendliness along with an outstanding teaching staff, quality band instruments and accessories for band and orchestra.”

Deb and her husband, Jim, opened McCutcheon Music in 1988 as a music education facility.

Stepping onto McCutcheon Music’s floor, customers will see a wide range of quality instruments including brands Conn-Selmer, Buffet and Gemeinhardt. The business specializes in classical and acoustic guitars, too.

“One item that is unusual is our selection of quality fractional-sized guitars for children,” says Deb. “We take time to measure each child to provide the correct size.”

She says that every guitar is inspected before it goes on the sales floor and adjustments can be made to ensure comfortable playability.

Broken instruments can be given a second life with McCutcheon’s full-service on-site repair shop with technicians who have taught at National Association of Band Instrument Repair Technicians conferences. “I think our customers appreciate the value of a locally owned music store that focuses on music education, offers personalized service and quality merchandise,” says Deb. 38 Marco Lane, Centerville, 937-435-2900, mccutcheonmusic.com.

Best Park
Cox Arboretum MetroPark

When it comes to nature and learning, Cox Arboretum MetroPark is the place to go. This park has loads to offer visitors, including 189 acres with walking trails, an edible garden, the Ohio Butterfly House and the Tree Tower.

“The arboretum hosts year-round education programs that teach children and adults about sustainable horticulture, plant science and conservation,” says Kristen Wicker, marketing manager of Five River MetroParks. 6733 Springboro Pike, Dayton. 937-434-9005, metroparks.org.

Best Preschool
Overfield School
Overfield School has offered an early childhood program for over 50 years, teaching children from preschool through kindergarten. Inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy, the curriculum is child-centered with a focus on nourishing lifelong learning. 172 S. Ridge Ave, Troy. 937-339-5111, overfield.org.

Best Summer Camp
Camp Kern
Spend the summer outdoors at Camp Kern and learn something new, make discoveries and have fun. Located on 485 acres, Camp Kern is also the place to be while making new friends. 5291 Ohio 350, Oregonia. 513-932-3756, campkern.org.