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Dining in an Amish home has been on my bucket list for a long time. When I had the opportunity to go to one, I jumped at the chance. The thought of homemade food made my mouth water just thinking about it. Having a meal in an Amish home is a privilege, and being invited in, whether as a paid guest or as a bus tour, is something you should try to do if given the chance. Here are some things you should know about eating in an Amish home in Shipshewana, Indiana.

Importance of family meals in Amish culture

The Amish community in Shipshewana, Indiana, is composed of numerous districts, each overseen by its own bishop. The Amish place a strong emphasis on family meals, using this time around the table for fellowship and enjoying delicious food. I had the opportunity to visit Yoder’s Homestyle Cooking as part of a small bus tour.

Shipshe pro tip: You must make a reservation to dine in an Amish home. A recommendation is to call before you arrive, give the Amish homeowner a date range of your visit!

Anticipation builds as Dinner Time Approaches

Upon arriving and stepping through the door, I was captivated by everything around me. The elegant yet simple decor, the delightful aromas wafting from the kitchen, and the warm welcome from Carolyn Yoder, the owner, all enchanted me. As I wandered through the room, I marveled at the beauty and admired the view through the windows. Although I longed to step out onto the porch, the Christmas weather didn’t allow it. Trust me, it gives me a reason to come back. Carolyn called for everyone to get seated, and I quickly began anticipating the meal.

Shipshe pro tip: You will notice the home’s simplicity and the table setting’s everyday style. Seating is not assigned, and once you’re seated, the family will lead everyone in a silent prayer.

Dinner food on plate

Balancing eyes and stomach: A Delicious Dilemma

Once the prayers for the meal were said, the Amish feast began! Plates heaped full of homemade food were brought out and placed on the table to be passed around family style. Here’s where my eyes were almost bigger than my stomach, and I was careful only to take what I knew I could eat, but if I am honest, I took more than normal. An Amish thresher meal can consist of wedding steak, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and homemade dressing, but you can also order a haystack meal or breakfast for your visit. 

Shipshe pro tip: A family-style thresher meal means that the food is passed around the table, and each person takes whatever serving they would like before passing the item to the next person. Thresher meals are the traditional meat, strong sides to put meat on the bones, and delectable desserts. The haystack meal is where you choose your own adventure of foods, stacking the prepared foods into a haystack!

Homemade Fried Pie

The Grand Finale: Homemade Pies

Once we began winding down the meal, out came the pies. Now, this is where I have to stop and say I should have saved more room. As the pies came by, I took a serving of each one and got up to the coffee station to pour a cup to sip alongside the sweet perfection. As we sat enjoying the meal’s last bites, the conversation and laughter around the table were continuous and convivial. 

Shipshe pro tip: Be prepared to relax and breathe in the simplicity of the simple life. Don’t rush.

The Warmth and Kindness of Amish Hospitality

Carolyn was the best hostess. She was quick and willing to answer all my questions about her faith and why they choose to do the things they do. She was even willing to share her stuffing recipe with me after I told her what a horrible cook I was and that I was serving stovetop stuffing for our holiday meal. That’s just the kind of person she is, and it exudes the warmth that the whole experience of dining in an Amish home brings.

Dining in an Amish home in Shipshewana, Indiana was a truly unforgettable experience. The warm hospitality, delicious homemade food, and the opportunity to immerse myself in the Amish way of life made it an experience I won’t soon forget. From the family-style thresher meal to the delightful pies, every moment was filled with warmth and genuine connection. I left with a deeper appreciation for the simplicity and warmth of the Amish way of life, and I look forward to returning to savor the experience all over again.

Shipshe pro tip: Before you go to your in-home Amish meal, you will want to tour Menno-Hof, where you can take a tour of the why beyond the Amish faith. At Menno-Hof, you will learn the history of the Amish and Mennonites, what they believe, and how they came to Shipshewana,  Indiana.

Fresh baked bread

Yoder’s Homestyle Cooking

Amish home

Is located at 10667 W 325 N. Shipshewana, IN 46565. To book a reservation please call (260) 768-3078.


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Stop by the Visitor's Center for local tips, referrals, FREE coupon books and visitor's guides. We are located at 350 S Van Buren St.