As a foodie, when I travel, I often look for ways to recreate dishes at home that I found on the road. This article explores Shipshewana’s restaurant scene, rooted in the traditions of the Amish community, and markets where you can purchase authentic ingredients.
Thank you to Visit Shipshewana for hosting my stay.
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Best Restaurants in Shipshewana
Visitors to Shipshewana can enjoy delicious restaurant meals that mirror a simpler, more connected way of living. Whether a chicken pot pie or a slice of homemade fruit pie, each dish starts on an Amish farm, narrating a story of resilience, resourcefulness, and reverence for the land. Here are six of my favorite Shipshewana restaurants.
The Blue Gate Restaurant & Bakery
Blue Gate Restaurant & Bakery offers delicious home-style cooking for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can choose plated meals served at your table or buffet-style meals. We opted for table service for our dinner, where we ordered the meatloaf. Other local favorites on the menu include fried chicken, roast beef, and chicken and noodles.
The atmosphere is upscale in a sit-down setting yet homey with blue-and-white checkered tablecloths. Local farmers grow most of their produce, from salad fixings to fruits for pies. Their meats are also raised locally in antibiotic and hormone-free environments.
I love to bring home my favorite restaurant dishes after a trip. Sometimes, finding the recipe to duplicate the flavors I enjoyed while traveling is challenging. But Blue Gate Restaurant & Bakery makes it easy by posting recipes online. They even mention product brand names to help ensure the recipe is consistent with the restaurant’s dish.
After dinner, take a few minutes to browse their gift shop.
Stop by the bakery offering made-from-scratch Amish baked goods if you want snacks for the road trip home. They bake six days a week, so everything is always fresh. Once you’re home, if you don’t want to use their online recipes, you can order the real thing and have it shipped to your door.
Piper’s Pro Planning: You’ll find Blue Gate Music Hall onsite, which makes for a nice date night with dinner and a show. The Performing Arts Center is next to the Blue Gate Garden Inn. Note which venue your tickets are for to avoid a late arrival.
Country Corral serves breakfast and lunch. For breakfast, cinnamon rolls are the must-try item on the menu. At $2.59 on the day I visited, they’re entirely covered in a tasty caramel glaze and big enough to share. But trust me, you’ll want the whole thing for yourself. Take a to-go box if you can’t eat it all in one sitting. You’ll be glad you did.
Since I was here for breakfast, I resisted the urge to try their pie, but it will be outstanding if their cinnamon rolls are any indication. In addition to the cinnamon roll, I had a blueberry pancake with warm maple syrup and bacon. Mr. Follow the Piper enjoyed the Country Scramble. The hearty platter included scrambled eggs, ham, hash browns, and toast.
For lunch, the menu offers burgers, sandwiches, and salads. And, of course, pie! Did I mention the pie?
Millie’s Market Café
Situated on the third floor of the Davis Mercantile, Millie’s Market Café is a great place to take a break from the shopping and have lunch. Open 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. I suggest you start on the third floor, do some initial shopping on that floor, and then have lunch around 12:30 p.m. at Millie’s.
They make their burgers from locally sourced, hormone-free beef, so that was my pick. I went for the classic burger, which they serve with cheese on toasted wheat bread. I would describe it more as a patty melt, but it’s delicious no matter what you call it. Pair it with some cheese curds sourced from the local creamery, and you can’t go wrong.
For dessert, I had the house-made peach pie topped with a sprinkling of sugar. The café may not have peach pie on the day you visit, but I am willing to bet that it will be equally delicious no matter which one they have.
Shawna Rae’s Bakery & Café
The great-tasting food at Shawna Rae’s Bakery & Café starts on her almost 300-acre farm, where she raises livestock that she uses at her restaurant. The attention she pays to detail on the farm—in growing the hay and processing it, the grass-fed pigs, as opposed to grain-fed, all show up in improved taste in the food when it hits the plate.
One of my favorite dishes at Shawna Rae’s was the barbeque pork macaroni and cheese. The creamy pasta oozed with a beautiful cheese sauce, and she topped it all with her farm-raised pork in barbeque sauce.
Since Shawna Rae was in the process of expanding the bakery and café, she held a private seating for our group. She served the meal home-style, and I went back for seconds on the macaroni and cheese. It was just that good! She served what was arguably the best cornbread I’ve ever had, moist and flavorful.
On any given day, the bakery offers six rotating cupcake flavors from its portfolio of 72 types. They also provide daily six flavors of cheesecakes from 35 varieties.
She also offers fresh salads, wraps, and soups. They provide a grab-and-go option if you don’t have time to sit down.
Shipshewana Auction Restaurant
When you visit the largest flea market in the Midwest, you’ll most likely need a break from all the action. While you’ll find a variety of flea-market foodcourt favorites amongst all the activities, I enjoyed taking a break at the sit-down Shipshewana Auction Restaurant. They serve home-style Amish and Mennonite cooking, including some of the best pies in town.
Local favorites include homemade chicken and noodles, all-you-can-eat fish and chips, and the famous Hoosier tenderloin sandwiches.
You must try the mashed potatoes and gravy at the Shipshewana Auction Restaurant. I’m not a mashed potato lover at all. I typically ask them to be switched to another side if they come with a dish I order. My dining partner said I had to try the mashed potatoes so as not to disappoint, I did. And I was so happy I did! They were possibly the best mashed potatoes and gravy I’ve ever had. When you go, be sure to order them, you won’t be sorry.
I highly recommend topping off your lunch with a piece of house-made pie. I had the coconut cream, and it tasted just like my Mom used to make.
Part coffee shop, part café, Wana-Cup offers counter-style ordering, but the servers bring the food to your table and follow up to be sure you still have everything you need. They have daily specials. When we were there, they offered Taco Tuesday specials. Every day has a new special.
The burgers were particularly delicious—the smashed burger-type sandwiches with wonderfully gooey cheese dripping over the burger’s edge.
Markets for Foodies in Shipshewana, Indiana
Here are five of my favorite local stores where you can buy ingredients to replicate your dishes from the best restaurants in Shipshewana. I recommend using some of these high-quality local ingredients to make your favorite dishes in your home meal rotation.
Dutch Country Market
Dutch Country Market has a lot going on, from hand-making noodles to buzzing busy bees. They make Katie’s Homemade Noodles onsite. We watched the whole process here, from mixing the dough to passing it through the sheeter, cutting, and drying the finished product. They make four different widths and two thicknesses using fresh egg yolks. If you prefer whole wheat noodles, you’ll find that, too.
Take some time to watch the honeybees hard at work in the observation hive. As a family of beekeepers, they sell unpasteurized honey. They also have various other honey products—including whipped honey, honey in the comb, and local bee pollen. If you’re in the market for some honey-based beauty products, you’ll find soap, lip balm, and hand cream.
They also make seven types of fresh peanut butter onsite, so if you want an exceptional sandwich, make a fresh peanut butter and honey sandwich for lunch on your road trip home.
Piper’s Pro Planning: Arrive early to watch the noodle making. While they typically work weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., they may finish earlier. Call ahead if you want to be sure they’re making noodles when you arrive.
E&S Sales Bulk Foods
Stop by E&S Sales Bulk Foods for an exciting trip to the grocery store. While this is a bulk food store, you won’t find open barrels to scoop out yourself. Everything is packaged in clear, pre-weighed packages.
The variety here is impressive. You’ll find things you won’t at other grocery stores, so plan on spending some time browsing. For example, you’ll find many flours and spices not readily available at a national chain grocery store.
You’ll also find things that are components of packaged products. So, if you love the colorful freeze-dried marshmallows in Lucky Charms breakfast cereal and wish you could get just the marshmallows without the cereal, you can here. Remember the tiny white marshmallows in instant hot cocoa mixes? You can get those by themselves here, too.
Above the grocery shelves, you’ll find a shelf of kid-sized foot-powered vehicles. While these aren’t for sale, they’ll take you down memory lane if you’re a child of the ‘60s.
Heritage Ridge Creamery
Heritage Ridge Creamery started in 1979 when a local Amish man wanted to provide a market for Amish dairy farms still using milk cans. On the first day, one can milk truck arrived with about 15,000 pounds of milk. In the beginning, they made longhorn-style and barreled cheese. They changed their focus to exclusively longhorn and stirred curd cheeses as time progressed. The creamery has evolved through the backing of a farmer’s cooperative that’s more than 100 years old.
They start the process with fresh, high-quality milk from local farmers. In addition to cheese, they also make butter.
Today, the creamery features an opportunity to watch cheese-making in progress. If this is your primary reason for visiting, call before you arrive to be sure they are making cheese that day. Typically, it takes place in the morning, so plan for that.
During the summer, a walk-up window offers frozen yogurt and grilled cheese sandwiches for hungry visitors.
Yoder’s Meat & Cheese
The family behind Yoder’s Meat & Cheese has four generations of experience raising cattle and in butchery. They’re known for premium quality farm-raised beef, using beef cattle from their family farm and other farms near Shipshewana.
The shop offers over 150 cuts of meat and at least 80 types of cheese. They have two types of meat, grass-fed and grain-fed, each bringing something specific to the meal. Beef, pork, buffalo, lamb, chicken, and turkey are all available. They sell all of their meat frozen, where they process and package it onsite at peak freshness.
While they are all about the meat and cheese, hence their name, they offer so much more. You’ll find various gourmet items, including jams and jellies, candy, salsas, popcorn, and canned goods.
Piper’s Pro Planning: Plan to visit local grocery stores on the last day of your visit. If you are driving to Shipshewana, plan to take a cooler, as you will want to take home some of the local meat and cheese.
You’re greeted at the door with a red-and-white bag of popcorn to enjoy while you browse. What amazed me about Yoder’s Popcorn is the wide variety found all in one place. What better way to squash your craving for popcorn? Don’t worry; if you avoid popcorn because of the hulls, purchase the hull-less variety, and problem solved! You’ll be enjoying it again soon.
If you can’t visit Shipshewana anytime soon, order some of their crunchy goodness online, and they’ll ship it to your door.
Piper’s Pro Planning: When planning your visit, remember that many restaurants and shops close on Sunday.
If you’re looking for recommendations on things to do, places to stay, and restaurants to try in other Indiana cities, check out these recommendations from Follow the Piper:
- 7 Must-Try Fort Wayne, Indiana Restaurants
- Hendricks County, Indiana: 8 Must-Try Restaurants
- One Perfect Day in Carmel, Indiana
- 15 Fun Facts about the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
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