CAPTION: Amish-owned Countryside Bakery outside of Berne, Indiana, one of the many discoveries you can make by just getting in your car and exploring.
By Kevin Williams
Okay, this is one of these “Only In Your State” posts, this one having to do with Indiana’s Amish Country. The article is entitled “14 Places in Indiana Amish Country are Unique and Worth Visiting.” I don’t like being critical but, holy cow, I came away scratching my head after reading that. Yes, I could defend the writer, I guess, by pointing out that she is saying “places in Amish Country” not necessarily places to experience Amish culture, but I think 99 percent of people reading the article come away with that impression. Old Bag Factory?? Seriously? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I am sure it is a fascinating place but not what people go to “Amish Country” for, here is MY list of 14 Indiana Amish Country places worth visiting. Now, in my defense, I sort of threw this list together quickly, I may have missed some places, but this is a far more accurate list, I think. Also, you know, this is tough because I could put specific places, like a business, on the list or more broad categorizations like “Parke County.” For me personally I think just getting in the car and exploring is the single best Amish Country experience and you can do that in many places in Indiana. Watch for small signs advertising a home-based business. By some fresh eggs or baked goods. THOSE are my favorite Amish experiences. Okay, with all that aside, here is my list!
E&S – An amazing Amish bulk food shopping experience. What I love so much about E &S is you get a truly authentic Amish cultural immersion. On a busy day this sprawling Amish bulk food emporium in Shipshewana attracts so many Amish shoppers that buggies occasionally outnumber cars in the parking lot. If the Amish are shopping there, that’s a pretty good bet the store is carrying some interesting stuff! So next time you are in Shipshewana, you have to put E & S on your list!
FOUNTAIN ACRE FOODS: This is an Amish bulk food store that I have written about a ton. It does not have the full-throttle Amish Country ambiance that E & S has (and that’s only because the Wayne County, Amish community is a fraction of the size of Shipshewana’s) but what it lacks there it has in accessibility. Just a few miles off busy I-70, take exit 151 north and in 7 minutes you are there! Check out their huge spring cheese sale on May 4, 5, and 6th!
WAYNE COUNTY PRODUCE AUCTION: 8025 Carlos Rd, Williamsburg, in the heart of the Wayne County Amish area, this place is absolutely worth visiting to watch items being bidded and bartered upon.
TROYER’S COUNTRY STORE: This gem is in Milroy, Indiana (see, my list actually includes the whole state), a truly authentic Amish country store experience 10599 S State Road 3, Milroy, IN 46156
RENTOWN COUNTRY STORE: Another awesome, amazing Amish country store experience 1530 3rd Rd, Bremen, IN 46506
GRABILL, INDIANA – One of the most enjoyable Amish experiences I’ve ever had was just exploring Grabill’s very compact, but very large, Amish community. Amazing experience and the town is really just a stone’s throw northeast of sprawling Fort Wayne.
BERNE, INDIANA – Get a unique Swiss Amish experience here. I recommend just picking one of the numerous country roads that sprawl out in all directions from Berne and exploring You’ll find some treasures!
PARKE COUNTY, INDIANA – I confess, I’ve not been here really much, but it’s a unique Lancaster County, Pennsylvania settlement plopped into Indiana. Amish from Lancaster moved here in the 1990s for the cheaper land and the beautiful covered bridges add old time ambiance.
Sheesh, I have to come up with 6 more places to equal that article’s 14 point barrage, okay, quickly (and even though this is quick my list is still a better guide):
SHIPSHEWANA – Enjoy the ambiance of this small town before exploring E & S. You’ll find a mix of small shops and the sprawling Blue Gate Restaurant.
NAPPANEE: Another small town in northern Indiana’s Amish country worth exploring!
GASTOF AMISH VILLAGE: 6747 E Gasthof Village Rd, Montgomery, IN 47558. This is in the southwest part of Indiana, Daviess County to be precise. I love the buffet and bakery there. But, geez, just explore the whole area, it is a amazing!
STOLL’S LAKEVIEW RESTAURANT: Some of the best Amish style food in Indiana. 15519 US Hwy 231 N in Loogootee. Love this place!
RISE N ROLL BAKERY: Okay, I’ll do it. This place isn’t Amish-owned any more, but it used to be. And their doughnuts are still amazing. There are now several Rise N Roll locations, but go to the original (well, the rebuilt original) at 1065 N 1150 W in Middlebury, Indiana,