All you need is an appetite, stretchy pants and this guide to some of the tastiest treats along the Heritage Trail.
DAY ONE (Nappanee)
Start your morning at Main Street Roasters with an espresso blend (calories don’t count on vacation so why not add a white chocolate raspberry scone?). Take it to go and explore Nappanee’s Countryside Shops. This mix of Amish-owned and family-run shops is as far from the big box as it gets.
Back in town, head over to Coppes Commons, a (really) rustic take on an urban mall. The former furniture factory is now home to locally owned businesses including the Nappanee Bakery & Treat Shoppe. Try their traditional Amish “Haystack” or a classic Reuben. You could follow it with a pillowy-soft whoopie pie (we like the red velvet / vanilla combo). Just a few steps away at Rocket Science, you can watch while the ingredients you choose are flash frozen (using liquid nitrogen) into awesome ice cream.
We suggest walking off lunch to justify the food that follows. Don’t miss Veni’s Sweet Shop (101 W Market). It’s like visiting a 19th century candy store with its tin ceilings and glass cases packed with chocolate perfection. Downtown sidewalks are laced with historic ads turned into murals and apple-themed sculptures. Stop by the Nappanee Center (302 W Market) for the quirky exhibits, historic Haman House and outsized “Connie’s Bloomin’ Stitches” Quilt Garden.
The Barns at Nappanee, home of Amish acres is well over a hundred years old and a must stop for dining, theater, tours and events. Enjoy a wonderful meal at the Barns Restaurants. Take in a play at the round barn theater, tour the property in an Amish wagon and enjoy the new mercantile, coffer bar and wine bar.
>> Worth the trip ... Arts & Crafts Festival August and the Nappanee Apple Festival (September)
DAY TWO (Goshen)
Goshen fuses urban edge and historic charm. The food and food settings reflect this. Your morning cuppa will runneth over with a café au lait at Electric Brew (118 E Washington) or the “Drink of the Week” at Java Junction (1700 S Main). Looking for family owned or just plain fun? Try a burger at the counter at the 103-year-old Olympia Candy Kitchen or the house-made chili at the South Side Soda Shop featured on Diners, Drive-ins & Dives. You can usually find The Weiner Shack cart (seasonal) at the corner of Lincoln & Main (next to the Courthouse). The Ultimate Bacon-Chipotle dog comes highly recommended as do the pesto-parmesan fries.
Snack time! Salt and vinegar or sour cream and onion? A pretzel (or two!) at JoJo’s Pretzels is always worth the trip. Wash them down with a Coke (you can get the cane-flavored Mexican variety here). The strawberry mint gelato from the The Nut Shoppe (204 S Main) is especially tasty on a hot summer day; locals love the tres leches cake from Gutierrez Bakery (122 S Main).
Anna’s Bread at the Goshen Farmer’s Market (212 W Washington) serves up great sandwiches – they change daily. Don’t leave without some Parmesan Pesto Walnut bread, pistachio fig pastries or lemon raspberry rolls. Dinner? Already?! The wood-fired pizza at Venturi is faithful to the Neapolitan tradition and made with imported Caputo flour, fresh basil and house-made mozzarella. Ready for a locally crafted beer?
Sample a variety and pick out your favorite brew to take home in a growler from the Goshen Brewing Co. The menu features farm-to-table selections highlighting local and organic ingredients. We suggest you bike in on the Millrace bike path on Sunday for brunch and try the biker bowl.
>> Highly recommended ... If you’re here during the summer, we can’t let you leave Goshen without a trip to The Chief Ice Cream (502 W Lincoln) – recently ranked the best in Indiana.
DAY THREE (Middlebury and Shipshewana)
One of the prettiest stretches along the Heritage Trail connects Middlebury and Shipshewana. The Amish presence is strong here, and family owned businesses specializing in regional food favorites thrive.
Where do the locals start their day? At the Village Inn (107 S Main) with eggs over easy and corned beef hash. Walk off your breakfast in Middlbeury’s downtown or enjoy a guided walking tour. For lunch, head to West on Warren (200 W Warren St) for the sweet and savory burger or chicken tacos.
Ready for desert? Das Dutchman Essenhaus serves over 30 varieties of pies in the restaurant and also sells them in the bakery!
Time for some shopping (and sampling!). Old Hoosier Meats grinds and cures the pork for their sausages and smokes their ribs on-site. Dutch Country Market makes the noodles they sell and raises the bees for their honey products. You’ll always find a member of the Lehman family at the register. Take your time driving toward Shipshewana (and please be mindful of the many buggies you’ll see).
The town of Shipshewana is brimming with yummy food finds. Comfort foods served family-style are the specialty at the Blue Gate Restaurant. Yoder’s Meat and Cheese Shoppe prides itself on organic and hormone-free. It’s hard to beat the produce at the Shipshewana Flea Market (SR 5). We’re not sure why anyone needs a 64 oz. bag of rice crispies (or a big bag of cereal marshmallows) but if you do, E&S Bulk Food Sales (SR 5) is the place.
>> Highly recommended ... Half way between Shipshewana and Middlebury is Rise ‘n Roll Bakery & Deli (1065 N 1150 W). Famed for its melt-in-your-mouth cinnamon caramel donuts, mouthwatering pastries and crunch candies. Go there!
>> Off the Beaten Path ... Take a side trip to Cook’s Bison Ranch where you can take a wagon ride, feed the buffalo and enjoy a buffalo burger.
MORE FOOD FORAYS...along Downtown Elkhart’s Gateway Mile
Artisan (505 S Main)
AAA Four Diamond restaurant serving classic midwestern cuisine
Iechyd Da (317 N Main)
House-made brews and pizza
The Vine (214 S Main)
Relaxed bistro serving steaks, pasta and ample wine
523 Tap & Grill (523 S Main)
Hand cut steaks plus craft cocktails
Five Star Dive Bar (526 S Main)
Burgers and Beers
Daily Grind (113 E Lexington)
Hot & cold sips, sweet savory snacks
Moringa Tree (109 W Lexington)
Organic café and juice bar
For a complete listing of restaurants and pubs, shopping, special events
and more visit GatewayMile.com.
>> Don’t leave home without it! The People and Places along the Heritage Trail Guide is filled with more must-see stops, scenic drives, signature foods, unique shops and historic sites along the nationally-recognized Heritage Trail.