Throughout Dayton and Montgomery County, women-owned restaurants delight hungry customers with exciting cuisine and dining options from a variety of cultural influences. Take a tour of these tasty restaurants from across the county.


Wheat Penny

Wheat Penny Oven & Bar

When you want to make sure your guests have choices that work with a variety of dietary restrictions, Wheat Penny has you covered with delicious meals for everyone. They serve great cocktails, have an excellent wine selection, and a great patio that’s open year round. Dayton is pretty proud of Wheat Penny and Meadowlark owner, Chef Elizabeth Wiley, who was selected to take part in the James Beard Foundation’s first Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership program in 2017.

De’Lish Cafe

Located inside West Social Tap & Table, De’Lish Cafe serves up cajun creole comfort food, including vegan-friendly versions of a few favorites. Owner Jasmine Brown’s De’Lish Soul Rolls are award winning and perfect to share as an appetizer or enjoy as a meal.

Roost Modern Italian

Chef Dana Downs is our local Food Network star, after appearing on SuperChef Grudge Match and Guy’s Grocery Games. Roost features Italian meals influenced by the regions of Italy today, versus the traditional Italian food we typically eat in the US.

Vegan It Iz Eats

Located in the 2nd Street Market, Vegan It Iz Eats makes fresh, healthy meals for vegans that non-vegans love, too. Chef Rhea Monee even wrote a book to help people beginning their plant-based journey.

Also check out:

Other can’t-miss local dining options include Lily’s, Salar, Trolley Stop, and D’oir’s Restaurant.

Centerville/Washington Township



With modern French and Peruvian influences, Manna is an unexpected and exciting restaurant in Centerville’s Uptown neighborhood. Chef Margot Blondet also owns Salar in the Oregon District.


Since 2004, Chef Elizabeth Wiley has crafted amazing meals from Meadowlark that accommodate everyone from gluten-free diners to vegans and more. Meadowlark’s menu is full of high-quality versions of American favorites made with techniques from around the world. Wheat Penny is Meadowlark’s sister restaurant in Dayton.

Thai Table

Featuring gorgeous versions of Thai favorites, Thai Table is a delicious place for lunch, dinner, or drinks on Far Hills Avenue. Chef Sue Whitted owns Thai Kitchen in Miamisburg as well.

Mack’s Tavern

Neighborhood bars like Mack’s are places people gather to catch the game on TV, play a round of darts, and have a drink and a bite to eat. Owner Mackenzie Manley invites you to “come in as a stranger, leave as a friend.”



Ariake Grille & Sushi Bar

Featuring sushi and homestyle cooking, Ariake offers diners a chance to enjoy Japanese cuisine in a traditional atmosphere. Owner Maria Kim also opened a location of Ariake in Bellbrook.

Fu Mon Lau

Fu Mon Lau is a local favorite for Cantonese-style Chinese cuisine. “Fu Mon Lau” translates to “House Full of Happiness” in Chinese and with owner Jin Yan Lin’s menu full of fresh, delicious meals, it’s easy to see why.

elé Cake Co Bistro & Wine Bar

Known for their exquisite cakes, elé Cake Co.’s bistro is a fun way to experience another side of the brand. Co-owners Becky Nels Lewis and Melody Richey offer a seasonally rotating menu and a great wine selection. Diners can enjoy a tasty meal knowing the dessert will take the cake!

Also check out:

Thai Kitchen



Nanyea Restaurant, Bar, and Coffeehouse

As Dayton’s only Ethiopian restaurant, Nanyea gives diners a chance to taste a cuisine unlike any other in the region. Owner Sofi Kinde is passionate about bringing the flavors of Ethiopia to Dayton.

Huber Heights

Siam Express

With some of the loveliest Thai meals you’ve ever seen, Siam Express serves up a flavorful experience in Huber Heights. Owner Morakot Chantha also co-owns Duo Bubble Tea next door to Siam Express and her family owns Nida Thai Cuisine in Centerville and Thai Street Noodles in Kettering.

Time 4 Noodle

Time 4 Noodle is a fast, friendly restaurant owned by Wendy Nawa offering Thai favorites for dine in or carryout. Locals especially love the Drunken Noodles dish.

Why celebrate women-owned restaurants?

The restaurant industry is still a mostly male-led space, with women representing only 20% of all head chefs in the US. What makes this stat most surprising is that around the world, women still cook over twice as many meals as men on average. March is Women’s History Month, and what better time than that to call out the wonderful women-owned restaurants we enjoy here in Dayton?


About the Author

For more Dayton fun, join Lauren as she finds the best restaurants, bars, shops, entertainment and more in the Gem City on her blog, Girl About Dayton.

Lauren Rinehart