Nothing brings a group together like food. And a big group dinner doesn’t just nourish your body, it nourishes your soul. It doesn’t matter if you’re seated elbow to elbow along with a 20-foot picnic-style table or at a smaller 10 person round table, a well-crafted meal is a great way to treat your group no matter the event.
Elkhart County, Indiana has plenty of places ready to serve large groups for any type of event. Some of our best hotels and inns have amazing restaurants on-site or you can search out authentic Amish meals served up family-style.
We like to think of meals as opportunities—opportunities to center our minds, talk with friends, exchange ideas with colleagues. And in Elkhart County, the opportunities are endless.
The Amish often have big families and have been specializing in “family style” dining long before it became mainstream. Yoder’s Banquets in Shipshewana brings the Amish experience right to the plate in front of you. They serve more than 100 at a time, offering several meat choices for your main course, along with hand made sides and more than a dozen pies to choose from for dessert. Relax on their gracious front porch, or take a buggy ride. Yoder’s isn’t a meal, it’s an experience.
The Carriage House in Topeka offers up an immersive Amish experience. A cooking demonstration shows you how to make their delicious cinnamon rolls. Later your group can sign up for the Quilting Bee meal as they teach you how to quilt and share their stories like they’ve done in their own community for generations.
A Cultured Palate
For a taste of the old world, check out DaVinci’s Italian Family Restaurant in Elkhart. Their banquet room lets your group interact over a glass of wine to start before moving on to the main course. You can order entrees off the menu, or the family will serve up dinner buffet style. If your group isn’t leaving the meeting space, Davinci’s catering service will come to you.
Dinner and a show are on the agenda in Shipshewana at The Blue Gate Inn. Their five banquet rooms can be customized to fit your size and needs. They offer family-style dining for a sharing experience that can be packaged with family-friendly productions at their on-site theater. You’ll never want this group gathering to end, and it doesn’t have to!
A Taste of Elkhart County
You can get in touch with nature, literally, at Cook’s Bison Ranch in Wolcottville. Grab a seat in their barn setting dining hall and order up their chuckwagon meal. And while you’re there, take a tour of the bison ranch and go face to face with the bison themselves.
Nelson’s BBQ is legendary in Elkhart County, one taste and you’ll know why. They have a couple of lovely dining halls or will cater to wherever you’re holding your event.
Das Dutchman Essenhaus in Middlebury is one of those rare family-owned gems that focuses on hospitality. Your group will feel right at home even in a banquet space that holds up to 220 people, but it’s the food that will have them talking long after the last crumbs have been swept away. The menu includes Amish and Mennonite recipes that have been handed down through 3 generations of the Miller family. There’s also a theater on-site for an after-dinner show.