By Kevin Williams
The problem with the "Only In Your State" list of Amish attractions in Ohio is that very few of them were actually Amish-connected, the list tilted towards the very touristy. Nothing wrong with very touristy places, but to have a whole list devoted to those types of places does "Amish Country" a disservice (in my opinion), also the list seemed to define Amish Country as solely Holmes County. There is a lot more to Ohio's Amish Country than there. So here is my list:
1. Mrs. Yoder's Kitchen: This is in Mount Hope, Ohio and it's the one area of agreement I had with the Only In Your State list. This restaurant truly is the "gold standard" of Amish restaurants with hard-to-find items on the menu like rivvel soup and poor man's steak. Amish classics, many of them served on a buffet.
2. Lehman's Hardware: Okay, I'll agree with Only In Your State on this one too, but, barely. I love Lehman's. It's a sprawling "hardware" store that has grown from its humble roots into an all-day shopping experience. But there's not a lot Amish about it anymore and that's fine, it's still an awesome place and the reason I include it is that it is in Ohio's Amish country and
3. ADAMS COUNTY, OHIO: About 30 miles east of Cincinnati is one of my favorite Amish communities. You can easily spend a day visiting the Wheat Ridge community and its collection of Amish-run shops and bakeries.
4. MURPHIN RIDGE INN: While the Inn is not Amish-run, it is snug in the middle of the Wheat Ridge community and is one of the most charming bed and breakfasts I've stayed.
5. HARDIN COUNTY, OHIO: Explore the back roads near Kenton and Mt. Victory, Ohio for one of the most authentic Amish experiences in the state. Little Amish-run home-based businesses dot the countryside just awaiting discover.
6. HIGHLAND COUNTY, OHIO: Highland County, Ohio is rapidly becoming "Holmes County South", plenty of Amish experiences to be had here.
7. SHARP RUN MARKET: An Amish-run farm market just west of Berlin, Ohio They have fresh seasonal produce, a corn maze in the fall, animals and more all under the aegis of Lloyd Miller. It’s not the flashiest business around and it doesn’t advertise its Amish-owned status, but it is a fun place to visit.
8. BERLIN BULK FOODS: This is an Amish-owned bulk food store in Berlin, a great place for the kids to pick up candy by the scoop! They are located at 2 N Market St, Berlin, OH 44610.
10. THE FARMSTEAD RESTAURANT: Located in Berlin, this doesn't have the ambiance of some Amish-themed restaurants, but, heck, I ran into Wanda Brunstetter at the buffet once. We both rubbed elbows over mashed potatoes. How cool is that.
11. GEAGUA COUNTY, OHIO: It's the fourth largest Amish community in the USA! How could Only In Our State overlook that!?