Posted on April 18, 2017 by Indiana's Cool North
Want to make the most of your precious vacation time when you travel to Indiana’s Cool North? Check out our top 15 things to do that are anything but ordinary. Of course this is just a sampling of all the awesome attractions and activities our region has to offer. What will you discover when you visit us?
A passion for fresh cuisine, fine wine and unforgettable presentation led respected chefs Nicole Bissonette and Gary Sanders to open their third restaurant—Barlett’s Gourmet Grill. Combining incredible dining with neighborhood friendliness, it’s a place where you can dress casually and bring the kids along. Dine with a view of the spectacular Indiana Dunes, order carryout, or opt for “Bartlett’s on the Beach,” a choice that comes in your very own picnic basket, complete with spirits.
The menu is filled with delicious choices. At lunch, choose from a variety of sandwiches, including pecan-dusted fresh whitefish filet and the house special, pulled pork. There are also soups and salads, such as chicken Waldorf or spinach/orange/walnut topped with gorgonzola cheese. The dinner menu offers everything from blue cheese-crusted filet mignon and chicken schnitzel to macaroni and cheese and the Bartlett burger—served on a pretzel roll.
It’s not surprising that this popular restaurant tucked away along a quiet country road has a long and loyal following. The atmosphere is casual, the staff is friendly, and the fantastic food is award-winning. Once upon a time, it was a dairy in a tiny town named Heston. The town is long gone, but the refurbished building still stands—a testament to a bygone era.
The restaurant’s reputation is built on hearty cuts of slow-roasted prime rib of beef. But you’ll also find a variety of hand-cut steaks, Colorado lamb chops, baby back ribs, cold-water lobster tail, Alaskan king crab legs, sautéed lake perch, Canadian walleye, and so much more.
You’re welcomed to dinner with complimentary Heston Supper Club cheese. All entrées are served in the supper club tradition with homemade soup, salad, and choice of side. Be sure to save room for their homemade desserts. With exceptional food, and service, combined with a wine list that received the “Award of Excellence” from Wine Spectator, Heston Supper Club is dedicated to serving the best in American fare.
In days long past, a country inn would be a place you could get a good meal, a good drink, and a good night’s rest. And that’s just what Duneland Beach Inn offers today! You’ll find sophisticated decor in the inn’s restaurant and newly-built bar, and an atmosphere that invites you to relax and enjoy everything from Indiana duck breast, and pumpkin ravioli to fried chicken and burgers.
If you’re in the mood for sharing, the restaurant also offers small plates, with choices such as seared Ahi tuna, tenderloin sliders, and duck quesadillas. A delicious Sunday brunch features both breakfast favorites like eggs Benedict and pancakes with all the fixings, and lunch dishes, including chicken salad and a prime rib sandwich. The inn also offers overnight guest rooms that are individually decorated—perfect after a long day at the beach.
Elegant but never stuffy. Sleek but unpretentious. That’s the goal of this upscale restaurant in downtown South Bend, serving innovative entrées made from the freshest possible ingredients. The restaurant is housed in South Bend’s oldest commercial structure—built in 1868 as the St. Joseph Hotel—where original fine art created by local and nationally acclaimed artists adorns the walls.
The menu at LaSalle changes daily, so whether it’s your first or fifth visit you’ll be certain to enjoy a unique culinary experience. Savor starters like baked brie en croute or stuffed Portobello mushrooms. The entrées run a wide range, including perfectly cooked steaks, stuffed rainbow trout, and vegetarian selections like roasted beet risotto. True to its roots in Northern Indiana, LaSalle often features a game option. Wild boar tenderloin anyone? It’s a unique dining experience that’s perfect for a special occasion.
The Studebaker family loved to entertain dinner guests in style back in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Live the luxury and ambiance of the era for yourself when you dine at Tippecanoe Place. The Studebakers, known first as makers of sturdy wagons that were used in the Civil War and later as car manufacturers, lived in this mansion, built by Clem Studebaker in 1886. Today, you’ll be treated to a casual dining experience with white tablecloth elegance at this premier landmark in the heart of South’s Bend’s Historic District.
The menu features longtime favorites with inventive twists, such as scallops risotto or New York strip steak with crispy shallots and whiskey peppercorn sauce. Don’t miss the carved roast beef at Sunday brunch—a Tippecanoe Place tradition. After your meal, take a self-guided tour of the mansion’s 40 rooms, brimming with fine antiques, 20 ornate fireplaces, and intricate hand-carved woodwork.
Dine under hand-hewn timbers and fill up on hearty Amish fare at this restaurant, located in the heart of Amish Acres, a complex that features shops, a theater, and living history activities that detail Amish culture. The restaurant itself is housed in a barn originally raised in 1870 and reconstructed in 1977. The food is as bountiful as it is authentic, featuring recipes in the Amish tradition.
Get a taste of the true Amish experience at a Threshers Dinner, a feast reminiscent of the hearty fare cooked for Amish men who worked the fields on threshing day prepared in wood-fired stoves and ovens. The dinners feature such delights as smoked ham, roasted chicken, beef and noodles, sage dressing, homemade breads with churned butter, and a host of pie choices, such as shoo-fly, apple dumpling and chocolate cream. Order off the menu for a family-style chicken dinner with all the trimmings, or lunches that include sandwiches or shepherd’s pie.
Genuine recipes passed down for generations create an authentic Amish experience and Das Dutchman Essenhaus in Middlebury. Dine on soul-satisfying fare in Indiana’s largest restaurant with over 1,100 seats! Choose from three types of dining: menu, buffet, and family-style. Don’t miss the bakery just steps away, where you can take home fresh bread, cookies, or one of 31 varieties of pie.
The lunch and dinner menu features everything from chicken and noodles to lightly breaded pork tenderloin—an Indiana specialty. Choose from entrees such as baked steak, roasted chicken and smoked ham for family-style dinners, plus a variety of side dishes like mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, home-baked bread with apple butter and, of course, a generous wedge of pie. A Thursday evening buffet features popular barbecued pork ribs and a salad bar. Buffet dining is also available every evening from October through April.
Feast on filling meals just like the Amish serve at home in this popular Shipshewana restaurant. Resembling the rambling white farmhouses that dot the surrounding countryside, let Blue Gate fuel your adventure in Northern Indiana with nourishing dishes like meatloaf sandwiches, hearty homemade chicken and noodle soup, fried chicken, pork chops and other Amish favorites.
Can’t choose? Opt for family-style dining, and have a buffet brought tableside in bowls and platters. Tender roast beef, homemade meatloaf or smoked ham often accompany fried chicken as your entrées. Your meal also includes mashed potatoes, dressing, gravy, homemade noodles, a garden salad, plus your choice of over 25 different pies. Stock up on treats before you leave at the Blue Gate Bakery, featuring Amish peanut butter, cookies, sweets, and their famous Cashew Crunch.
For over a century this restaurant and candy shop has been a fixture of Goshen’s thriving downtown district. Greek immigrant Nicholas Paflas began making hand-dipped chocolates and serving up soda in 1912, and added a diner in 1920. Today, still in the same family, the business offers breakfast, lunch and, of course, delicious candy.
With its red-and-white awning, original soda fountain complete with high swivel stools, and dark polished wooden booths, the business remains virtually unchanged. You can count on specialties like an olive burger with homemade mayonnaise, along with a rich chocolate malt. Popular selections at the candy counter include turtles and caramels, plus chocolate-covered cherries, which were served at the Inaugural balls of both President Reagan and President Bush. Along with its many other chocolate goodies, Olympia Candy Kitchen also sells gummy candies, jelly beans, licorice, and more—sure to satisfy any sweet tooth!
Just 10 minutes from Shipshewana—in the heart of Northern Indiana Amish Country—you’ll find a hidden treasure at the Emma Café. Making its home in an old general store, order from a classic menu including sandwiches and grinders on homemade bread, salads, ribs, chick, noodles, and pizza.
The restaurant also offers daily specials like ham loaf or Swiss steak with delicious sides. If you still have room for dessert, treat yourself to a piece of pie, a sundae, or an ice cream cone. The location has been an important part of this tiny town since two brothers built a general store here in 1881. The current owners took over in 2007, and today it makes a great stop to fuel your adventure in Indiana’s Cool North.
Beautiful views of Winona Lake provide the perfect accompaniment to your meal at this award-winning restaurant featuring a casual atmosphere an upscale menu. The BoatHouse dates back to the 1870s when three brothers bought the land and developed the area into a lakeside resort. Built on the site of the original boat house, the restaurant’s nautical décor pays tribute to the area’s heritage.
Everyone will find something to please their palate on the BoatHouse’s extensive menu. Start with crab cakes or homemade soup, then try a specialty dish such as champagne chicken; pasta Diablo with shrimp, scallops and clams; pork chop with caramelized apples. For an intimate lakeside experience, outdoor dining is available in season.
Families, fishermen, lake cruisers, and sun worshippers all flock to this oasis perched on a beautiful channel connecting Lake Wawasee and Lake Syracuse. Whether arriving by car, boat, personal watercraft, or even seaplane—guests will love the Channel Marker’s relaxing atmosphere, great food, and breathtaking sunsets. Grab a seat at the TikiBar in the summer you’ll and feel like you’re down south without leaving Indiana’s Cool North.
Mouthwatering menu options go hand-in-hand with a waterside vacation. You’ll find a host of fish and seafood specialties, with appetizers such as Shashimi tuna, entrées that include pan-fried lake perch, and sandwiches like crab cake sliders and poboys. But there are plenty of other delicious options for landlubbers, too. Savor chicken Alaska, juicy rib eye, Kobe burgers, and pizza. The desserts are made from scratch and include favorites such as pecan pie, carrot cake and key lime pie.
Learn why locals love this eclectic restaurant on the banks of Lake Maxinkuckee. Most marvel at the kitschy décor, featuring a 20-foot sail boat hanging from the dining room ceiling, funky original surfboard art adorning the walls, a 30-foot mural, and super-sized nostalgic advertising. Crisp white tablecloths and bistro-style parchment paper add a dressed-up quality to this distinctly different space, making it the perfect spot for a casual luncheon or an upscale dinner.
The meals draw rave reviews, with cut-to-order steaks, fresh fish, and delicious seafood, all served up with beer that made Lake Max famous – Maxinkuckee Mist. Enjoy fresh Gulf grouper, five varieties of skewered shrimp, dozens of pastas, entrée salads, thin-crust pizzas, stir-fry dishes, hoagies, baby back ribs, and much more.
Remember that hometown restaurant where everyone seemed to know everyone else, and strangers were greeted like family members? You’ll find it at Granny’s—a family-owned and operated eatery in downtown Plymouth. Nothing fancy, just honest, homemade food served with small-town charm.
The menu is amazing, with a host of sandwiches that include everything from Stromboli to Monterey chicken, plus baked chicken wings served with your choice of six sauces. Then there are filling entrées such as chicken Parmesan, or their unique cheeseburger pasta. Many of the recipes have a Southwestern spin, including burritos and bountiful salads. But the specialty diners rave most about is Harold’s Pizzeria Cracker Crust pizza.
Save room for one (or more!) of Granny’s delicious cookies for dessert. Choose from chocolate chip, Mississippi mud, cranberry-nut, maple sugar, or walnut pie flavors. They’re all scrumptious.