For a lot of people, one of the most exciting parts of traveling to a new city is discovering it's local cuisine. I'd like to use this thread as a hub for eateries unique to the Dayton area (read: not national chains) so any visitors or passerbys can find the best places to eat while they're in town.
I'd like to mention any of the Marion's Pizza locations around town. Their delicious pizza is cut into tiny bite-sized squares and focuses more on toppings than an absurd amount of sauce. You'll be cheating yourself if you neglect to order their sausage on your pie.
I am not a fan of Spinoza's at all. Yeah, the beer selection is good...but the couple of times I have been there has been highlighted by bad service and sparsely-topped pizzas. I also haven't been impressed for a decade by Old Hickory.
Places I like? For burgers I like Tanks. BBQ? Hickory River in Tipp City (not sure if it's independent or not). Artisan's Cafe in Englewood is rather awesome, especially for healthy fare. Steaks at the Pine Club and Oakwood Club are still top-notch.
Dayton isn't the best place for awesome, independent cuisine...but there are some diamonds in the rough.
OH! I totally forgot to mention The Dublin Pub (much nom to love there) and Taco Loco on Burkhardt in Riverside (little dumpy joint with awesome tacos...not part of the western chain)! Taco Loco has everything available "al pastor"...come on now...awesome!
I can't believe I haven't heard Coco's yet, anyone been there? Great food, maybe the best in town hands down. I've been there many times in anything from a suit to flip-flips/t-shirt and been treated the same.
C'est tout; superb with the right menu and kitchen staff. I've not had a bad experience, but some have.
Pine Club is the only place to get a steak in D-town.
Madison Bistro and Meadowlark are pretty good.
Giovani's in Fairborn has fantastic pizza as does Troni's in Kettering.
Dewey's (chain, but Ohio chain) is great for pizza and a decent beer.
I know I'm missing something, but this will add (maybe controversy).