Amish Surprises

Think Indiana farmland is all about old-fashioned furniture, quilts and fried-chicken dinners? There’s plenty of that, sure. But here are seven startling finds that also fill Amish country.

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1 A Hip Music Joint

120 E. Washington St., Goshen
574-971-8282

The latest indie bands play Ignition Music Garage, where you can also pick up vinyl at this garage-turned-music-store. The venue sells lots of Americana and new indie-rock, but doesn’t shy away from more specialized releases, like bluegrass, garage and psychedelic albums.

2 Riding a Chicken

255 E. Main St., Shipshewana
260-768-7300

Climb aboard a chicken, horse, cow or dog—all carved to represent animals you might see around town—on the 110-year-old Dentzel Carousel. It’s one of several masterpieces crafted by the famed Dentzel brothers from Germany, and the attention to detail still shows more than a century later.

3 Awesome Cinnamon Rolls

1065 N. 1150 W.,Middlebury
574-825-4032

When you walk into Rise ’n Roll Bakery & Deli, your head may be turned by the chocolate whoopie pies, raspberry-cream-filled donuts or glossy fruit tarts. This is understandable. But do not let yourself be distracted from the true prize: the pillowy, melt-in-your-mouth rolls laced with cinnamon and sugar. Eat one now, thank us later.

4 Bacon Beer

315 W. Washington St., Goshen
574-971-5324

Really. And it’s good! Try a pint at Goshen Brewing Co., a family-friendly brewpub just two blocks off Main Street, which taps other beers redolent of bittersweet chocolate, honeydew and pears.

5 Scenic Biking

Get out your two-wheeler and hit the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail, which, with help from the Maple City Greenway and the MapleHeart Trail, connects Elkhart, Goshen, Middlebury and Shipshewana. You’ll pass through urban areas, small towns and, of course, tranquil Amish countryside.

6 Perfect Pizza

123 E. Lincoln Ave., Goshen
574-485-2985

The brick-lined walls of Venturi make for a cozy atmosphere for tasting Neapolitan-style pies that get topped with mascarpone, prosciutto, figs and other gourmet ingredients.

7 Amish Furniture that Doesn’t Look Amish

130 E. Middlebury St., Shipshewana
888-447-4725

Amish-made furnishings are known for their superior craftsmanship, and the pieces at Shipshewana Furniture Co. at Riegsecker Marketplace run the gamut from Shaker to traditional to contemporary. If you love classic farmhouse-style pieces, you’ll find plenty to choose from. But there are also more modern, clean-lined coffee tables, sideboards and such that you might not expect.