With people visiting Amish communities this summer, I thought it would be good to go into the topic in a video. And also, what should you expect at an Amish home dinner?
As explained in the video, experiences can vary. In a nutshell, there are a couple of ways to arrange dinner in an Amish home – either through a word-of-mouth contact, or via go-between companies who have emerged to service this demand in different Amish communities.
I share more on pricing (which varies a good bit but seems to range anywhere from $20-40) and what a typical meal menu is like.
Below you’ll find a list of contacts that provide meals or help arrange them. I’ve had to remove one from this list (Nolt’s Family Dinner Haus in Allen County, Indiana), which has apparently closed. Nolt’s was a bit different from most – while typically these meals are arranged in advance for groups of a minimum size, Nolt’s would serve individual walk-ins.
Unless things have changed in the meantime, there is at least one Amish family (Cindy Burkholder of Panama, NY) providing for individual dinner guests (with a reservation), but most adhere to the group + advance arrangement model.
There are more places than this out there, but it is a start. These aren’t endorsements of these businesses, but are provided for your information.
Not all Amish home meal businesses are necessarily licensed (which is why they were more under-the-radar in previous years), so use your own judgment when arranging a meal. Let me know in the comments if you know of others which should be on the list.
Amish Home Meal Businesses
discoverlancaster.com – meals at the home of Samuel & Ruth Lapp in Lancaster County
amishexperience.com – arranges meals at the homes of three Amish families in Lancaster County
amishfarmandhouse.com – offers bus tours of Lancaster County combined with a meal at an Amish home (possibly still on pause due to covid)
Amish Heartland Tours – organizes group meals at Amish homes in Holmes County, Ohio
Cindy’s Home Cooking
348 Weeks Road
Panama, New York
Provides dinners in her home
Visit Shipshewana – lists several Amish home meal places
8400 E Colonville Rd
Clare, MI 48617
There is a third way to eat a meal in an Amish home of course, but takes a bit more time investment. That would be making friends with Amish people and getting invited to dinner. Here’s a comment from someone (Ken Tibbetts) who has had this experience:
It’s conincidental that the subject of meals at or with Amish should come up today…because it was just last Wednesday that my wife and I, along with a friend were invited to dinner with Amish friends of ours. This isn’t an uncommon phenomenon; we have had many meals with this Amish family. And, they’ve had several with us…yes, the whole family at our house – all nine of them.
What a sumptuous meal it was: pizza (homemade by our hostess), noodle casserole, two kinds of salad. And, for dessert four different kinds of pie.
What a time we had: singing, story telling, listening to “harp” music. We not only have meals at each other’s houses, we even visit restaurants with our adult friends. What a good feeling it is to have such great friends from a totally different culture than the “English” one in which we exist.
Hope you enjoy the video (runtime 8:29):
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