Address: 521 Wayne Ave, Dayton, OH 45410 Phone: (937) 815-1610
It’s rare to find a cafe where all the stars align and all the boxes are ticked. In the case of Dayton’s only entirely Vegan Cafe, Cafe 1610, their opening weekend more than met our expectations. Where do we start?
Lets get through the formalities first:
–Handicap accessible? YES; the place is spacious and huge although some assistance is needed in the bathrooms which are a little tiny to fit a wheelchair in. I’d argue you can fit a wheelchair in there.
–Parking? Small parking lot parallel to the building with street parking in the back and all FREE.
–Allergy Friendly? Soy is in many of their dishes so be advised.
Sis and I traveled from Northern Kentucky to Dayton for opening weekend. I worked with the chef and part owner of Cafe 1610, Xtine, back in the day when she was cooking her delicious meals for a major chain grocery store and serving up sass in between bullshit that takes place at corporate cesspools. I’m so happy that her talents, skills and cooking are finally on display: her way. Molly and her mom, Cathy, are co-owners as well. Cathy was the first to greet us as we walked up to the cafe, feeling a bit lost and wondering “are we in the right place?”
When we walked in, we were mesmerized by the mercantile feel and old-timey decor. The kitchen, the various rooms and hollow spaces are filled with relics of a time when “Vegan” wasn’t a term and our grandparents probably weren’t embryos yet. What might seem like a work in progress is anything but. The decor will entertain you for hours (really, HOURS) if you choose to explore but don’t touch the stuff. It’s not yours and I have no idea what they plan on doing with it. I hope they keep it in the piles of pure “Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass” magic that it is! We wanted to stay longer and explore; like children who had a great play-date and wanted to satisfy their curiosity until told to leave but it was time.
Now to the menu. Their brunch menu isn’t huge but damn is it good! Brett got the breakfast tacos (3) and I ordered what is kind of the vegan version of “shrimp and grits.” Brett HATES tofu and has never hidden that but when she said “these breakfast tacos are perfect” I had to know why?
These tacos would be the first thing I serve to someone who runs away when they hear the word vegan. I wouldn’t tell them what’s in it so they could see it tastes just as good (if not better) than a regular breakfast taco. The sauce is fucking bomb!” -Brett Godshall (former tofu hater)
And there you have it.
Cafe 1610 actually turned my sister into a consumer of tofu! I loved those tacos so much too, I ordered a portion for me:) The vegan “shrimp and grits” as I call them was served hot, smooth like vegan butter and gave me all the flavor things: sweet and savory BBQ sauce, hearty, buttery grits and the dark, yet mild, kale to compliment the dish. It’s served with dried sweet potato that looks like bacon. I didn’t know what to make of it other than it’s good. And the colors are pretty too!
Coffee Talk. Small Business supporting Small Business. Cafe 1610 teamed up with the local Dayton Roasters, Hawthorne Hill Coffee Company to serve the good stuff. If every local place made their lattes like Hawthorne, no one would go back to Corporate Sta…I can’t say it. Rhymes with “Bar Cucks.” You get your choice of an 8 or 12 oz with almond or oat milk. I had their pumpkin spice drip coffee and if that were the only coffee I could drink, I would. It doesn’t have that acidic aftertaste that accompanies most cheap, poorly made, over-roasted-within-an-inch-of-it’s-life hot bean waters. We paired our caffeinated beverages with a chocolate donut (Brett got another one) and a strawberry donut. Both made in house and the softest, mose delicate morsels that flour and sugar are capable of propagating. Neither is too sweet so don’t expect a Krispy Kreme donut. They aren’t fried either. The ingredients are so good, they don’t need to be oil-boiled and covered in sugar.
I could go on and on about this place but I hope Brett and I have given you enough to pique your curiosity and try it for yourself. Truly, this place gives you moment of delightful peace within our chaotic world. People cooking, guests chatting and sipping coffee…this is what we want isn’t it? A world where we can be ourselves and the troubles melt away when we enter someone else’s domain.
Gluttonous Girls gives Cafe 1610 5/5 Plates
Gluttonous Girls gives Hawthorne Hill Coffee Company 5/5 Plates