Most anybody who walked down the main drag in Dayton, Kentucky, after a lifetime of being away would say “this place hasn’t changed much.” And that same anybody could walk right into Christofield’s Family Restaurant and find what they saw all those years ago: a long counter, swivel stools, a lot of stainless steel, the smell of coffee and chili, and the garble of conversation over issues of the day. The issues have changed. So has the name. It used to be Dayton Chili Parlor, but it’s still in the family and has been for over 70 years.
Christofield’s got a revamp with the name change, but the character wasn’t thrown out. What’s really nice is that this dive looks clean. It’s the kind of place you’d feel comfortable bringing your aging mom for lunch, just to revive some memories of how things used to be. Compared to many tasty little diners, the menu here is concise. It’s all proven favorites, so you’re going to get a good meal no matter what you order. The burgers flip frequently. The fries are honest-to-Gott made to order. Somebody somewhere rates this chili as the best they’ve ever tasted. (There’s always somebody.) And there’s even nuevo stuff, like Nutty Chicken Salad for those who insist on coming to a damn decent dive and ordering such things. (Sacrilege!)
The specials are all cheap and filling. But all the prices here are nostalgic. Who knows, Mom might even buy.
Christofield’s Family Restaurant
624 Sixth Ave., Dayton, Kentucky
Breakfast and lunch Tues–Sun
Originally published in the October 2010 issue.