As the weather turns cold in 2018, turn to the broths of Dayton to warm you up. Many restaurants have worthy soups across the area to do the trick. The Food Adventures crew, of Jackie, Jessie and the Big Ragu have compiled our list of Dayton’s Best Soups of 2018. These are the ones that have an unforgettable taste, from the first steaming spoonful, to that little bit of liquid left in the bottom.
We present to you, the best bowls of chow that the Miami Valley has to offer. So, all of you serious foodies, get a spoon, get some crackers if need be, and check out our list of MUST EAT Dayton soups.
IN ORDER from the best (because no one else does that) are Dayton’s best Food Adventures in a bowl… , here they are…
** DAYTON’S TOP 30 SOUPS for 2018 **
1) THE CLAM CHOWDER at JAY’S SEAFOOD:
When a soup is a Dayton icon and a Dayton staple for decades, it has to make the list. People of all ages not only love this soup, but have fond memories associated with it. The creamy broth, the chunks of fresh clams, and the perfect dash of pepper make this soup. Crackers or not, you are in for a treat when you sit down for a cup or bowl of this deliciousness… so go for the bowl. As you take a spoonful, the nostalgic atmosphere of Jay’s restaurant helps make it that moment in time where the world is in perfect balance. This is an example of food transcending the plate, and leaving a mark on your soul.
2) THE SIZZLING RICE SOUP FROM CHINA COTTAGE:
The secret is the tender slices of white meat chicken, and the perfect broth. The fresh vegetables and steaming rice kernels finish the deal. This is on the appetizer menu as a soup for two, but why share? Get the soup for your meal, like we do ! The flavor is a perfect balance of mushrooms, carrots, other vegetables with rice in a white meat chicken and broth mixture. The result is a healthy option and another great creation from Chef/Owner Tiger Wang. This soup is simply amazing.
3) SATE SHRIMP AND PORK SOUP with RICE NOODLES from LITTLE SAIGON:
This Vietnamese style “Pho” soup is a huge, spicy bowl of broth, thick, clear rice noodles, shrimp, pork and vegetables. It packs some heat. Do you tend to like more of a spaghetti noodle ? Choose the egg noodle option of this soup. The bowl is served with a side plate of cilantro, lime and bean sprouts. Not hot enough? Doctor it up with the table side chili paste or a homemade in-house sriracha sauce. This is a meal sized soup, with an appetizer price tag. Great deal, great taste, and guaranteed to make any cold or stuffy nose feel better.
4) DUBLIN PUB’S “WORLD FAMOUS POTATO SOUP”:
It must be world-famous, because it is downright incredible. It is rich, filling and sinful. We suggest getting it in the Sourdough bowl and add cheese and bacon on it. We also recommend taking a nap after you eat it. This soup has a cult following in Dayton, and is Hungry Jax’s top pick!
5) THE CABBAGE ROLL SOUP from VOLTZY’s ROOT BEER STAND:
He sold 900 gallons of this stuff last year. We think that makes it the best soup in a root beer stand in the United States. Rick Voltzy make s the soup on site. He first steams cabbage all day. He puts it in a huge crockpot chopped and adds tomatoes, rice and his signature burger meat.It simmers all day, on purpose so he can scald his customers mouths when he serves it in a styrofoam cup, like coffee. In Voltzy’s words, it is so delicious, you will sing “Touch me in the Morning.” Cabbage rolls not your style? Then try his almost equally delicious “Cheeseburger Soup” or “Cream of Vandalia Onion Soup.” Yes, Vandalia like the city… Voltzy is nuts, it is undeniable.
6) THE HOUSE NOODLE SOUP at NORTH CHINA:
Ready to light up your life with a meal sized bowl that will knock your Aunt Connie’s socks off? This incredible creation is so heaping, the ingredients protrude like a mountain sticking out of the ocean. We always get the spicy version to get our nose running, but you can order it “not spicy.” The homemade noodles are mixed with pork, scallops, shrimp and chicken, in a wonderful broth mushrooms, onions and Chinese veggies. Served in a giant bowl, most people can’t finish half of the serving.
7) MEADOWLARK’S TOMATO SOUP:
With Meadowlark being so popular for quality menu items. they were bound to hit the top 30. This is a simple entry. It is a tomato soup, served with corn bead and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese on top. We found ourselves lapping the soup up like a dog who just ran a 5 k. Ever want to drink a soup? Yeah it is that good. Amazing flavor that is fresh and bursting, it is an obvious homemade option with fresh, local veggies. The consistency is amazing and adds to the texture and taste. Our rule here , always get the bowl, the cup of soup is never enough.
8) THE JAMBALAYA at THE BUCKIN DONKEY:
When an ingenious bachelor spends decades honing a jambalaya recipe to impress his friends, we take notice. Owner Sean McKown’s years of experience at various restaurants have paid off. This “soup”is filled with chicken, shrimp, sausage and rice. With just a squirt of hot sauce, you have an absolutely delicious simmered concoction, and cajun favorite. The Buckin Donkey is a little known dark horse in the Dayton scene. His gumbo almost made the list as well. If you have not tried this unique menu go get some jambalaya, beef on weck and a homemade slice of pie … discover a new favorite place you’ve never been. Pittsburgh and polish inspired menu with a Steelers bar feel. But even Browns and Bengals fans hang here for the food.
9) THE TURTLE SOUP at THE AMBER ROSE:
This soup is exotic, thick and hearty. It is an old recipe, passed down by Elinore, the previous owner of the restaurant. We absolutely love Amber Rose’s take on this old school favorite. It is beyond good. This is one of those things that you eat and immediately want more. Visit Joe Castellano and his chefs and try it for yourself as an appetizer to one of their Eastern European meals. Extra points for uniqueness on this one. A perfect consistency makes it seem like a thick tomato soup puree. We could eat 3 bowls of this stuff. Great restaurant, great food.
10) LOBSTER BISQUE at SWEENEY’S SEAFOOD:
Creamy and smooth with small chunks of lobster throughout. A tomato based soup, the flavor of the ocean is caught perfectly in balance. A nice bowl of this on a cold day and you picture yourself inside a New England boathouse watching the crashing waves. It is crazy when a bite of a food item can bring you to a place in time. We already are in love with many of Sweeney’s appetizers that owner Lisa Long and her chefs knock out of the park, like the calamari and raw oysters, both of which are the best in town. Add this soup as another star on the menu. We need to eat here more.
11) CHICKEN GUMBO from DISALVO’S DELI:
Another homemade soup from scratch. Chef Ronnie DiSalvo himself makes the soup with perfectly carved, generous chicken pieces, in a delicately light broth. The bowl is filled with a treasure trove of vegetables and tremendous flavor. This deli takes pride in its food, and this is another example of their incredible creations. The truth is, each and every one of their soups is from scratch and are terrific enough to make this list on any given day. Whether an Italian inspired soup, or an old American favorite, warn up your winter with hot soups at the deli, and pair it with a half sub. Their motto is “made with love from the heart.” And we like to add, and straight to your mouth! If you have not been to Disalvo’s Deli and Italian Store, you are missing one of Dayton’s best eateries.
12) THE SHRIMP and PORK SOUP at LINH’s BISTRO:
A popular restaurant near Wright Patterson Air Force Base, this soup has a big fan following you cannot ignore. It is an enormous bowl with filled one of the classic Vietnamese “Phos” (soups)offered atLinh’s Bistro. This meal sized, magical creation contains broth, shaved pork and pieces of shrimp. Sure you can get it with clear rice noodles, but we prefer the egg noodle option (#34 on the menu). Vegetables and scallions also line the bowl, but that’s not all. The soup is served with a side plate of jalapenos, bean sprouts cilantro and lime. Separate some cilantro leaves from the stems and drop them into the bowl. This soup defines the words Food Adventure, and will help you sharpen your spoon and chopstick skills like a jedi knight.
13) THE FRENCH ONION SOUP at DOUBLEDAY’S GRILL & TAVERN:
Lets be honest. Any one of Doubleday’s soups could make this list. In a restaurant known for their homemade soups, this one is a favorite. Dayton regulars have stuffed the Doubleday’s restaurants for decades, and many have felt the hot, gooey dripping flavor of the french onion soup. It is easy to get lost in their large menu, but don’t overlook this “must eat.” The steaming pot of soup is perfect for a snowy day. Hunks of drunken toast and mounds of that crispy cheese. This is heaven. Try their Chicken Pot Pie Soup and Potato Soup as well.
14) THE NEW ORLEANS STYLE GUMBO at JIMMIES LADDER 11:
Hearty, rich and just the right spiciness, this soup is one of those “OMG” moments when you take a bite. Owner Jimmie Brandell is no stranger to soups, having managed one of the iconic “Upper Krust” locations for years. The soup is perfect. They really hit the mark on this one. Order a bowl and wake up your taste buds. Goes perfect with their craft beer selections and sandwiches! It has a bit of a kick, but can be jazzed up a bit with some tabasco sauce. Everyday is Mardi Gras at Ladder 11. Their extensive menu is terrific from signature sandwiches and salads, to pizzas and a few upstate New York favorites.
15) THE CLAM CHOWDER AT BULLWINKLE’S:
Clam Chowder at a rib place? The answer is yes. This soup is homemade and downright hearty. Generous chunks of clams in a mix of potatoes and cream sauce make this one of our “Must Eats.” Not many people know about this soup, but now you do. We are not responsible for any addictions. Make sure you start your meal here with this savory favorite. Their menu is filled with amazing items like this one. Owner and manager John has been producing quality foods here since the 1980’s. The result is a cult following, and BBQ expert.
16) THE CHILI AT ARCHER’S TAVERN:
Every year, Archer’s holds a chili cookoff. The winning chili goes on the menu for a year. All proceeds from the contest go to the Centerville High School’s Culinary Arts Program! This year’s result was an amazing chili and a charitable donation! The current chili is the result of David Klass’ wining comb of a hearty beer chili cooked with Dayton’s sister city beer from Germany, called Reigele. A bold, tasty bowl of chili with a little bit of heat. The spiciness is subtly kept in check by the beer which mellows everything. We definitely prefer it topped with onions and cheese. with a splash of one of Uncle Jester’s Hot Sauces. This chili beat out a dozen others and went though a tie breaker before being named to the menu . How can you not love a delicious chili born of charity ?
17) THE WILD MUSHROOM BISQUE at CHRISTOPHER’S RESTAURANT:
Vegetarians rejoice! This Dayton soup is for you. A fresh, home-made delicious recipe means a warm feeling in every spoonful. The taste of the fresh mushrooms is incredible, as they are wild and organic. Christopher’s thrives on making quality, homemade soups, and this choice is the star. Check it out and pair it with one of their delicious sandwiches. The restaurant atmosphere is homey, and lends to the comfort factor of feeling at home with this warming soup for the soul. The soup is nice and a little thicker than most mushroom soups you will encounter. It is a just a feel good flavor and will be a delightful surprise to your taste buds. This restaurant takes their soups and food seriously.
18) TOM YUM GOONG SOUP from HOUSE OF THAI:
Chef Dang at House of Thai does not get much publicity here in Dayton, but comes with a national pedigree of success. A world studied chef, she has learned to cook with some of the best in the planet at her side. One of her specialties is the Tom Yum Goong Soup. Her take on this shrimp and mushroom broth in a hot and sour broth is an amazing menu item featured at this hidden gem. Please go visit this eatery in Beavercreek known for their Pad Thai. Not many people are familiar with this delicious Thai restaurant, but the soup deserves a spot on this list. It is obviously an old family recipe, and it is as fun to eat as it is to say the name. This is chin dripping, grab your napkin style good eats. If you are going to do it up, do it up right at the House of Thai. Guaranteed to help drive sinus infections away !
19) THE PICKLE SOUP from BLIND BOB’S:
Don’t be fooled by the sound of it, don’t judge a book by its cover. This is one of the best soups in Dayton. The flavor isn’t sharp, it is surprisingly mild and rich. If you like cream of broccoli soup, this is an even better spin on it. We congratulate Blind Bob’s for not only the uniqueness of this soup, but for the amazing taste. The restaurant and its menu certainly have a strong cult following in Dayton. Pair this soup up with one of their burger selections. Also, Blind Bob’s many craft beers go great with this pickle so
20) SEAFOOD CHOWDER from DOROTHY LANE MARKET: Maybe because it
simmers all day, it enhances the flavor. Whatever the reason, we are entranced with this self-serve option to go at Dorothy Lane Market for this incredible soup. Rich and creamy are two terms that simply cannot be stressed enough. Chunks of fish and more fill the soup with corn and other vegetables. This is a nice, thick soup. We can’t inhale it fast enough on hungry rainy days. If there ever was a bowl you wanted to lick clean, this would be the one…. but the bowl is made of paper so we won’t be licking anything clean. Secret tip … get some raw oysters on the half shell in your cart from the seafood department and enjoy them at home with this soup. Oh my goodness gracious.
21) TEQUILA CHILI at LUCKY’S TAPROOM:
Unique blast of flavor from the kitchen at Lucky’s using liquor. Owner Andrew Trick has developed an underground following for his terrific food. This chili is a highlight on the menu and one of the most loved items. Lucky’s offers a regular or vegetarian option. Recommendation: There is no better pairing on this list than the Tequila Chili and one of Lucky’s numerous craft beers. So go to Lucky’s, thumb through the beer booklet, pick one out, and thank us later. The atmosphere adds to the experience and somehow makes everything taste better.
22) THE GUINNESS ONION SOUP AT NICK’S RESTAURANT:
Gooey, warm, and wonderful soup that is the pride of Xenia. The soup is always made from scratch by their “soup nazi.” This soup is served in a unique bowl, with a mound of cheese and few gigantic croutons. But what hit us most is the rich flavor of the hot broth. Yes, the hot broth dripping down your chin, as you swallow some of the cheesy strings. Take a spoonful and you will immediately see why this soup made the cut. It even has a slightly smoky flavor to it. Winter days were made for this stuff. Add some Asian Persuasion wings or a Nick Burger and you have meal that could be celebrated for any occasion.
23) THE COCONUT SOUP at SIAM PAD THAI:
Another exotic choice on this list. Cherry tomatoes, lime juice and mushrooms highlight the ingredients in this soup. The tangy, light flavor make this soup the most refreshing on our list. Owner, Fon Chrisman is a culinary genius in Thai food. Her restaurant is currently on hiatus and is moving to the area near Patterson and Shroyer Rd. When Siam Pad Thai, reopens in a couple of months, we suggest you pair this soup with one of their Thai dishes, or specialty sushi rolls. We promise you will be craving this soup in no time. Fresh, healthy and light, are most o f the items on this menu. Enjoy this Asian specialty, which is not like any other soup on this list.
24) THE HOT AND SOUR SOUP at YOUNG CHOW:
Young Chow is the New York style Chinese carry out at Dorothy Lane and 48 which has quietly cranked out quick eats for over 2 decades. One of their most popular items makes our list. It is the Hot n Sour Soup. We scald ourselves every time, because we cant wait to get into this soup’s shredded goodness. A perfect balance of tofu, pepper and pork, this appetizer is fantastic. This soup made the list based on pure taste. And guess what else, the price is nice. We looked at your fortune cookie, it says you need to go to Young Chow and try the Kung Pao too !
25) CALDO DE POLLO at EL TORO:
An old school soup for the generations. It is packed with avocados, shredded chicken, vegetables and a tasty broth. Fresh flavors abide as does a punch of lime juice. How about a nice Corona Light with this choice? Even though it is listed under soups, the bowl is a mean in itself. Accompanied by pico de gallo and lime
wedges. Time to eat, El Hefe.
26) TOM YUM SOUP at TIK’s THAI GRILL: A spicy broth filed with mushrooms and green scallions. They also call this “Lemongrass Soup.” It also includes a secret combo of Thai herbs, lemongrass, tomato, and lime juice. The lime juice packs a punch right back to the lime juice that started the whole thing. One of the most complex soups on the list. Pick one up at the drive thru at the Bellbrook location, or dine in for a fun, friendly experience with Tik’s staff.
27) CURRY UDON NOODLE SOUP from ARIAKE SUSHI BAR : A thick, soup with curry flavors and a nutty aroma. Slices of pork, egg slices and wheat noodles fill the bowl. It is a challenge to eat this without getting your chin or shirt dripped on, but the noodles are fantastic. This is an authentic Japanese recipe, from the Japanese owners. It is one of the most popular dish in Japan. It is rare to find such and authentic Japanese menu in the Dayton area.
28) THE SPICY VEGETABLE SOUP from KABUKI: This soup is complimentary with big dinner orders. It is a fantastic mix of spicy pepper broth, bean sprouts and onions. This can clear your sinuses and make your cold feel better all at the same time. It is the perfect tune up for a sushi feast. Enjoy the color and aroma of the soup, it tastes as good as it looks. We have come to learn that at Kabuki, everything is great.
29) THE POZOLE from CHIAPAS MEXICAN GRILL: The owner of Chiapas tells us this is his grandmother’s recipe for a chicken and hominy soup. The broth is soothing yet spicy. The chicken is tender and shreds of it soak between hominy corn. Radishes float on top of this beautiful looking soup. One of the most unique soups on this list, it is authentic Mexican fare.
30) PULPO CAMARONES COCKTAIL en SALSA (Seafood Gespacho) from TAQUERIA MIXTECA
Served cold, this tomato based soup is stocked full of seafood. From huge shrimp, to baby octopus and calamari, it is not for the squeamish. Hardcore seafood lovers, however, will eat it up. It is served in a gigantic goblet and is easily enough for two or –more. The vegetables and slices of avocado make the soup.
We have two honorable mentions:
a) SHRIMP and PORK SATE from PHO MI – so close to making the list
b) ROADKILL CHILI from TANKS – Great flavor and Best name for a chili .. ever
That’s it for the locally owned and mom and pop places…
And now, one final thing..
10 BEST CHAIN RESTAURANT SOUPS
–Chicken Gnocchi from Olive Garden
–Chicken Noodle Soup at Bob Evans
–Broccoli Cheddar from Panera
–Clam Chowder at Red Lobster
–CoreLife’s Bone Broth Soups
–PF Changs Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup
–Tomato Basil at AppleBees
–Chicken Pot Pie from Zoup
–Frisch’s Vegetable Soup
–Mongolian Grill’s Tomato Basil
That is it, that’s our list ! What did we miss? Do you agree or disagree with our choices ?? Please comment below and tell us your thoughts.
Meanwhile, check out our incredible photo gallery of Dayton’s best soups, below and “like” Food Adventures on Facebook by CLICKING HERE !