Good Eats: Amish Country, Pennsylvania

Amish bakers make the most mouthwatering goods. That’s a fact. If you’ve ever tried Amish baked apple bread, you know what I’m talking about. Thus, if you happen to find yourself within visiting distance of Amish Country Pennsylvania, here are a couple food locals where you should definitely eat:

Lancaster’s Central Market
We rolled into Lancaster in time for a late lunch, so thanks to a recommendation we went in search of Central Market and lunch. Central Market is a good-sized indoor food and craft market. Each vendor sells specialty food items or Amish-sewn potholders and other useful fabric items. If you’ve never been to an indoor market or you’re a foodie, this is a definite do-not-miss. (This was Micah’s first introduction to an indoor food market (and Amish food), and he’s a foodie, so he was in heaven.) We strolled the food stalls and managed to gather all we needed for a picnic lunch. We bought a loaf of rye bread, sliced cold cuts, jam, and fresh goat cheese. I’ve never tasted goat cheese so delicious!

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Lancaster Central Market

After circling the stalls once to make decisions and then retracing our steps to buy our desired items, we found a couple of Amish stools and a small table. There’s a very small seating area along one side of the building. We ate with gusto, one of the best picnic lunches of all time. Did I mention the goat cheese was delicious? Micah began calculating the feasibility of starting a goat farm back home so we could have fresh cheese all the time!

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Fresh goat cheese at Lancaster Central Market!

Good ‘N Plenty, between Intercourse & Bird-in-Hand
The local shopkeepers in Intercourse suggested we eat at the Good ‘N Plenty restaurant. It wasn’t hard to find. It has a huge parking lot. When we stepped inside the sight that greeted our eyes was a large room with long tables lined with fat American tourists shoveling fried chicken and potatoes into their faces while waitresses carried trays piled high with various meat dishes. Ok, not quite how I had imagined eating out together in Amish country, but now understood we had been pegged as tourists by the shopkeepers. Hungry, and not willing to look elsewhere, we bravely asked for space for two. Our waitress then walked us past the large room to a smaller quieter back room with family size tables and asked if we’d prefer to sit here. I think the relief was apparent on our faces. We thanked her and sank into the seats. And let me tell you- that was some delicious good ol’ ‘Merican food. Fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, mac ‘n cheese, and apple pie.

Never visit Amish Country on the weekend.
Oops. Turns  out the Amish, being a religious community, shut down businesses for the weekend. This is why I only have two recommendations for you since we drove in on a Friday and left on Sunday. However if you do make the same mistake we made in our weekend planning, there is a strip of American fast food restaurants on a road that runs almost parallel to Amish country. So you won’t starve. We just didn’t have the food weekend I’d originally planned on.

Have you visited Pennsylvania’s Amish Country? What did we miss out on that’s open during the week? Have you had Amish baked goods? Tell me about it in the comments below!

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