Do the Amish eat fast food?

It’s probably not a huge revelation that Amish people, like non-Amish, enjoy fast food and eating at restaurants. I take a look at the topic in this new video. Below are a couple of the images I share in the video. First, this sign showing buggy parking at a McDonald’s in Sugarcreek:

I took that photo sometime in the mid-2000s. Here’s another photo, showing buggies parked outside a Pizza Hut in LaGrange, Indiana:

A number of viewers have shared their observations on the Amish & fast food topic. A viewer named Nancy wrote: “I am close to an Amish community and take them places. They love to get fast food when they go out. They also love Wendy’s frosties.”

A driver for the Amish named Gerald wrote: “When hauling Amish, we will often stop at fast food for a quick lunch. Many like Subway. Pizza is so big in my area that there are several pizza ovens that they use for events. Many make their own pizza and it is very good. They are also good customers of our several pizza shops. When traveling, they usually want to look for a good buffet but not a pricey one. Many will just pack lunches for day trips or eat wherever we go.”

Suggesting how things have changed over time, viewer Ohio Prepper noted: “When I was a kid you never saw Amish at Mcd’s or grocery stores, now they go anywhere we do.”

Another interesting comment, by Sweet Peach: “I think most people would be disappointed to see what the Amish actually eat.”

I thought this was a good point. Not that the Amish are eating particularly strange things or something. But I imagine some might expect the Amish to stick to a strict traditional PA Dutch diet, with lots of fresh garden foods and canned goods. And of course many Amish eat those things. As I suggest in the video, this shouldn’t be taken to think that Amish are not eating their traditional foods.

But some stick to this “classic diet” more than others, and with the differences across Amish groups and especially with the change in occupations moving off the farm, the diet is more varied than it was in generations past. And of course, people are people, Amish or non-Amish. Or, like another viewer put it: “everybody likes a quick burger now and then.”

I hope you enjoy the video:

 

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    14 Comments

    1. Rita

      Fast food

      I enjoy reading “The Connection” and was surprised at how often their meals were different from what I expected, both in their letters and in the recipe section. I especially didn’t expect to see comments about Chinese food, pizza, tacos, etc. I live in an Amish area and am familiar with the typical Amish foods – we eat Chicken Pot Pie, Shoo-fly Pie and the like regularly – nice to see they’re just like us and enjoy something different every now and then.

      1. Definitely. Kind of related, there happens to be an apparently quite good Mexican restaurant that local Amish enjoy right there in Topeka, Indiana, which is home to the Connection offices (or former offices, it’s possible there’s been a change there).

    2. Paula

      Fast food

      In Ovid NY, there’s a special parking place for buggies outside of Mickey D’Souza, complete with bucket & shovel for the horses.

      1. Mickey D’Souza

        Is that a restaurant or a regional chain maybe? I’m not familiar with it.

        Unless it is an autocorrect or nickname for McDonald’s 🙂

        1. Paula

          Fast food

          Sorry Eric…it was auto correct for “Mickey D’S…(it just tried it again) grrrrrrrr………

    3. Erik, I am enjoying your videos a lot. Would just like to say that I hope this doesn’t mean you won’t be running as many text posts as you always have. I have really enjoyed reading those and I’ve been introduced to not only Amish people and Amish culture, but other interesting people who are experts as well through your website. I recognize that devoting time to something new means less time for the previous activity. I dearly loved Suzanne Woods Fisher’s radio program – where I met you! – and I know she had to give that up to have more time for her writing, which I also love!
      Thank you and God bless!

      1. Thanks Stephanie, I’m happy to hear that. I have been putting more into the videos for the past several months, as I’m trying to build up the channel, so that’s one reason there have been fewer posts.

        They’ve also been getting a lot of engagement (comments, etc.) on the YT platform, which occupies more of my time. But I’m definitely not stopping with the posts here 🙂 This is still my “main” platform.

        But I hope the videos grow to something comparable. I’m more a reader myself, so I didn’t realize how many people prefer video content. Anyway it’s been fun. I’m glad you are here, also neat to hear you found it through Suzanne’s program – that was a little while back! It’s also good to get the feedback. I’ve been meaning to do a post on the channel at some point as well, and maybe give a little behind the scenes.

    4. J.O.B.

      Interesting. It does seem that Amish today are more comfortable eating fast food than before, say, 1980’s.

      I do not remember seeing too many Amish eating out in fast food places back then. Not that it never happened, just that it didnt seem as common back then.(Then again, how accurate is my memory?)

      I guess I thought it might be due to wanting to keep distance from people like tourists. Dinner is family time and being out in public during family dinner time did not seem to be common.

      Also, I thought “fast food” was frowned upon by some since some Amish may have thought it to be too worldly/technology driven. Maybe that’s the older Amish generation that thought that way.

      With all the new development moving into Amish areas the younger amish generation are used to seeing these places so maybe it’s not a big deal to them.

      Today, I see them at Chik-fil-a and ice cream/water ice places fairly often. But usually it’s due to them being away from home for work. And on the way home they treat themselves to ice cream.

      But yeah, many of them, esp the younger generation, visit these places often. Their grandparents may not have so much when they were younger. But again, how accurate is my memory of the 80’s?

      1. I wasn’t observing the Amish in the 80s but I think your memory is probably serving you well. It’s likely a function of several things – different occupations (businesses, factory work) meaning disruption of the traditional “farm” schedule and/or less time at home to prepare meals for some families, more disposable income making eating out more affordable, population growth, and so on. There would still be Amish of course who’d rarely eat out and I think as you are getting at, might be seen as wasteful or worldly by some people.

    5. Pat Monti

      Fast Food

      In our area (central Illinois) the majority seem to really enjoy fast food—anything and everything. They also love auction food.

      Regarding food; not necessarily considered “fast food,” we’ve noticed how fond most tend to be of ice cream—any season and any time of the day or night. We English tend to celebrate some events such as birthdays with ice cream AND cake. The Amish here tend to celebrate with ice cream and ice cream. 🙂

      1. I don’t believe I’ve ever had ice cream for breakfast. Might be worth a try:) I’ve done the ice cream and cake thrown in a bowl at those kinds of events – a bit of a sugar bomb (I don’t like sweets like I once did) but everyone seems to love it.

        1. Rita

          Ice cream for breakfast

          Yesterday, I had breakfast at Hinkle’s Restaurant in Columbia, Lancaster County. I was surprised to see “Waffles and Ice Cream” as one of the choices for breakfast. My breakfast companion didn’t think that sounded appetizing, but I could’ve definitely gone for that! (The Cinnamon Raisin French Toast won out!)

    6. Amish Taxi Driver

      I drive the Amish for a living. 5 years ago before I lived anywhere near the Amish I believed they ate very healthy.

      Once I began driving them, I learned otherwise. They certainly like their ice cream, and they love to go out to eat when we travel. Who can blame them?

    7. Hardees

      I have read your blog. You have given good information. Hardees has been around since 1961, and it has grown into one of the biggest hamburger chains in the country. The menu at Hardee’s is always changing to keep up with customers’ tastes. Today we’re going to talk about all the delicious items on their menu that you can’t resist!