Santa Clara – Dayton, OH

Nestled between Dayton’s Five Oaks and Hillcrest neighborhoods, less than 5 miles northwest of Downtown Dayton, Santa Clara features an array of shotgun-style houses with large front porches -- some divided into multi-family homes. A mixture of working-class families, single parents and couples call the area home, but the neighborhood’s convenient location and nearby highway access make it a good option for young professionals looking for affordable housing options.

Restaurants & Nightlife

As a purely residential neighborhood, Santa Clara doesn't house any restaurants or bars. Fortunately, several options sit in nearby communities, so you don't have to venture far to enjoy a meal or drinks with your friends. Grandma's II Restaurant, an old-fashioned diner located on North Main Street in Five Oaks, opens daily from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. to serve breakfast and lunch to hungry patrons. The restaurant serves a variety of made-from-scratch soups, chili, chicken burgers and turkey cheesesteaks, and it offers breakfast all day. Regulars recommend the western omelette with a side of home fries, and they insist that Grandma's serves the best oatmeal in town. Just south of Grandma's II Restaurant, Benjamin's the Burger Master serves a mixture of Southern comfort food and burgers. The restaurant features a different special each day and serves food cafeteria-style. Whether you order the special of the day or a big, juicy bacon cheeseburger, order a side of fried okra. It comes cooked-to-order so that it stays piping hot and slightly firm. Make sure you have cash before you arrive, because Benjamin's doesn't accept credit cards. Located north of Santa Clara on North Main Street in Hillcrest, Red House Chinese Restaurant serves large portions of standard, take-out quality Chinese food for an affordable price. You can opt to eat at the restaurant or have your meal delivered to your home. Avoid having your food delivered around the restaurant's dinner rush, though; during that time, delivery takes about an hour. Regular customers recommend the restaurant's General Tso's chicken, and the restaurant gives customers a complimentary egg roll with every meal. Santa Clara has a nonexistent nightlife scene, but you don't have to look far to find a local watering hole. The Oregon District east of Downtown Dayton remains the place to be for those seeking a number of nightlife options. The cobblestone streets feature a variety of popular bars that offer live music and dance clubs with DJs on Friday and Saturday nights. For a fun night of dancing, be sure to check out Ned Peppers Bar. Located in the center of the Oregon District, this place boasts great drink specials and a famously friendly staff.

History & Culture

Development in the Santa Clara area began in the late 1800s. During this time, people grew tired of inner city living and began to move into Dayton’s surrounding area. As the population grew, developed expanded to the north, which created the working class Santa Clara neighborhood. To experience the city’s arts and culture scene, peruse local museums and attend annual events, Santa Clara residents have to make the short drive into the downtown area. Downtown Dayton houses the Victoria Theater and the Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center, both of which feature live theater productions. The downtown area also hosts several annual events, including the Hispanic Heritage Festival and the Dayton Celtic Festival. The Dayton Art Institute sits just north of downtown in Grafton Hill.


Most Santa Clara residents rely on their own vehicles or public buses for transportation since the neighborhood sits on a hill and doesn’t have bike lanes, making it difficult to walk or ride a bike. Fortunately, low gas prices, free parking and nearby access to Interstate 75 make driving a cost-effective and convenient form of transportation. You can’t hail a cab in Santa Clara, and Uber doesn't serve the area, so those who don’t drive mainly ride the bus. Several cab companies schedule rides throughout the Dayton area by phone, but with several bus routes running through the neighborhood, hopping on a bus often proves the easier option.


Santa Clara’s average cost of living rests about 2 percent lower than the typical cost of living in Dayton thanks to the neighborhood’s low housing costs. Expect to pay around $430 per month to rent a one-bedroom apartment in Santa Clara. A beer at a local bar will set you back about $3, and a one-way bus ticket costs $1.75. Typical gas prices average approximately 9 percent less than the national average.


You won't find a main shopping area or any upscale stores in Santa Clara, but Main Street houses a few small specialty shops. Purchase men's clothing at T & B Fashions on North Main Street, and find deals on used furniture at D J's Furniture Inc. Sadie's House specializes in small gifts and collectibles, featuring items such as coffee mugs with funny sayings, collectible salt and pepper shakers, candles and candle holders. The store also has a line of gifts designed for animal lovers, jewelry and some household items. Visit the Oregon District to browse through a wider selection of shops, including Feathers Vintage Clothing, a small boutique that sells fun clothing, and Recreate, a store that specializes in musical instruments. Visit Brim to find the perfect accessories for your favorite outfit or a hat for a special occasion. This shop sells hats made by major brands as well as hats crafted by artisan makers in small batches. Santa Clara residents purchase their groceries from People's Market or United Foods, both of which sit on North Main Street. For fresh produce and bread, visit the 2nd Street Market – a year-round farmers market located in Downtown Dayton. Reminiscent of a European market, 2nd Street Market comes alive with vendors selling fresh produce, baked goods and handmade items every Thursday, Friday and Saturday.


Santa Clara residents don’t have to travel far to find a park that fits their needs. Five Oaks Parks sits south of Santa Clara at the corner of 5 Oaks Avenue and Squirrel Road. The kid-friendly park features a playground and water splash play area. Mary Avenue Park on Ridge Avenue in Riverdale also has a playground to occupy the little ones. Farther down Ridge Avenue, Triangle Park features a playground, soccer field, baseball diamond and picnic shelters, making it a great choice for family outings. You can even take your dog with you, as long as he remains on a leash. Island MetroPark is also a good option for families, featuring several playgrounds, a water play area and over 2 miles of paved trails, where people enjoy roller skating, walking, jogging and bike riding. In the summer, the park hosts live music events and gives you a great view of the city’s Memorial Day and Fourth of July fireworks displays.
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