2012 was such a busy year for *Vegans in Dayton*! I couldn’t have anticipated the amount of good things that came to us this year. We have a lot to celebrate! We saw the opening of Fusian, the rise of Ghostlight Coffee and Thistle Confections (including the opening of the Second Street Market location), and businesses like Three Leee Cupcakery and Sweets by Ashley. Our favorite restaurants continued to excite us, such as the addition af vegan pancakes at Butter Cafe, and menu revisions from Lucky’s, Olive, an Urban Dive, and Sunrise Cafe.
In 2012, we said a sad farewell to Amici’s and their glorious pizza, and wished that Bombshell Bakeshop’s indefinite hiatus would end already! We suffered through intense sugar cravings at coffeehouses, and now have expanded options at Ghostlight Coffeehouse!(Press is slated to have Harvest Moon Creations treats sometime soon, but the date has not been set yet.)
2013 is promising to be a great year, with Linh’s Bistro (opened up Jan 1 and moved from the old location), Shish Wraps (opening sometime soon?), and Harvest Moon Creations working on opening a vegan bakery store-front in Xenia in Spring or Summer 2013! I may also get to weigh in on a new restaurant that may be opening in the Oregon District later this year!
Without any further ado, let’s review the best vegan experiences we had in Dayton in 2012!
Olive, an Urban Dive claimed the prize this year! People love their business ethics, their flair, and their dedication to delicious food. Of particular fanfare is the falafel burger, their weekend scrambled tofu brunch, and their socca-bread pizzas. They also do salads and soups quite well. They balance the art of local, fresh fare with dazzling flavors and exciting vegan protein. I give them major props for all the efforts they go through to serve the vegans in this town, especially as some of the menu items change from season to season. Our hats go off to the chefs and owners who dream up the great dishes that both vegans and non-vegans enjoy! (They also won second place in the Best Vegan Burger / Sandwich!)
BEST LOCAL VEGAN BAKERY
This was the closest battle of them all, and I must declare a tie between Thistle Confections and Harvest Moon Creations! Both have a loyal following and have worked hard to ensure excellent ingredients and fresh, lovely baked goods that we feel great eating.
BEST PLACE TO GET LOCAL VEGAN BAKED GOODS
Butter Cafe easily landed this prize, with their always-stocked cases of Harvest Moon Creations cupcakes, twinkies, and cookies. Their hours are convenient, parking is easy, the hosts are super-friendly, and the cupcakes come in the cutest pink boxes!
BEST COFFEEHOUSE FOR DRINKS
I was extremely surprised to see yet another tie! This time, between Press Coffeebar and Ghostlight Coffee. Both have excellent ambiance, fantastic drinks, and are striving to meet vegan needs in 2013. As I love both and visit both regularly, I was actually very happy about this tie. Congrats!
Butter Cafe blew everyone else away! Perhaps it’s the vegan breakfast burrito, or maybe it’s the vegan blueberry pancakes. Maybe it’s because vegan dessert (usually elusive) is just around the corner in a chilled case. I love Butter Cafe, and am very happy to see that they won!
BEST VEGAN BURGER / SANDWICH
Lucky’s landed this prize, probably for their house-made seitan sandwich. Pair that with their sweet potato or shoestring fries,made in their dedicated vegan fryer, or a house salad with vegan ranch, or any number of great sides and apps, as well as the best beer on tap selection in town (my opinion there). Congrats to Lucky’s for their continual improvement as well as being second place in the Best Overall Restaurant for Vegan Food!
BEST VEGAN FOOD IN AN ASIAN RESTAURANT
Thai 9 won this award hands down! Perhaps it’s because of all their vegan curries, or their choice of tofu, mock duck, or mock pork. Their sushi is excellent, and the decor is lovely. Service there is always charming as well. Linh’s came in second place, and I believe they hold a distinction of being the best non-Thai restaurant in town. In years past, I separated these two categories, and will do so in the future.
BEST VEGAN MEXICAN
Taqueria Mixteca won by a longshot yet again! Congrats to a great restaurant! I absolutely love their taco salad and their fajitas
(ask for no cheese or sour cream) and their guacamole.
Thanks to the hundreds of people who took the survey! I got a ton of great comments and suggestions. I’ll do my absolute best to get your comments to restaurants in the next month. Thanks for the kind words, and for making Dayton and the world a better place. You’re doing it right!
(This post originally appeared on the DaytonVegan blog run by Astrea Taylor )