Bakeries & Specialty Eats In & Around Amish Country

Well, we finally made it! For most people, Spring and Summer are usually the go-to seasons most people reference as their “favorite,” as seasons go. I’ll concede that they have their place and perks, spring with its promise and renewal of life after a long winter, shedding the winter garb and the fresh air that rushes in when you open up the house, after many months of being closed up and cute baby animals everywhere. Then there’s summer, with its adventure of vacations and schools being out, water sports and beaches, ice cream and barbeques, and slow sipping a cold iced tea on the porch on a long hot summer’s day.

But for me, it’s Fall! There are thousands of reasons I personally love – love this season. Just a few to consider are cooler temps, the foliage changing color across the land, corn mazes and bonfires, the smell of pumpkin spice and potpourri in the air, and so on. But what is the thing I love most about fall? Baked goods! That wonderful smell travels through the air and tickles your nose with curiosity and makes your tummy growl with anticipation of what is to come. Cakes, pies, cookies, breads, and all of those other wonderful, tasty treats that come out of those ovens. It just makes me giddy knowing they’re just a taste away. Ahhh, you can bet with certainty in “Amish Country”, that there’s an oven of a local bakery firing up and producing those wonderful, tasty morsels of fall.

Bread baking began in Ancient Greece around 600 BC, leading to the invention of enclosed ovens. “Ovens and worktables have been discovered in archaeological digs from Turkey (Hacilar) to Palestine (Jericho (Tell Es-Sultan)) and date as far back as 5600 BC”. A little closer to home, the first bakery in Philadelphia was in 1846, Thomas Wattson established a biscuit bakery, housed in a four-story building on North Front Street. Then there is the Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery, Americas first commercial pretzel bakery established in 1861. From there and over time, the types of baked goods available in the area expanded greatly in the twentieth century. 

With a number of southern and eastern European immigrants who brought their ethnic baking traditions with them. Italian and Jewish bakeries became more common place, joining the German bakeries, which had long been part of the area’s food landscape. As was then, we now come to what we know now, as our neighborhood bakeries and bake shops where area residents can enjoy a wide range of those baked goods throughout the region. Here in “Amish Country” there a several small businesses that hone their expertise in the baking genre, some simple, some elaborate, but all tasty. Below we put a small spotlight on some of those businesses that dot the Central Pennsylvania landscape. Maybe stop in and see them sometime for a nibble and a bite. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. 

Bakeries In and Around Amish Country
  • Achenbach’s Pastries, Inc., 375 E. Main St., Leola, PA 17540
  • Bird-In-Hand Bake Shop, 542 Gibbons Road, Bird-In-Hand, PA. 17505
  • Countryside Road Stand, 2966 Stumptown Road Ronks, PA. 17572
  • Dutch Haven, 2857-A Lincoln Highway East, Ronks, PA. 17572
  • Cake and Cup Bake Shoppe, 12 W. Newport Road, Lititz, PA. 17543
  • Crumbs Bake Shop, 142 Park City Ctr., Lancaster, PA. 17601
  • Hershey Farm Restaurant, 240 Hartman Bridge Road, Ronks, PA. 17572
  • Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery, 219 East Main Street, Lititz, PA. 17543
  • Katies Kitchen, 200 Hartman Bridge Road, Strasburg, PA. 17572
  • Miller’s Smorgasbord, 2811 Lincoln Highway East, East Ronks, PA. 17572
  • Mr. Sticky’s Homemade Sticky Buns, 501 Greenfield Road, Lancaster, PA.
  • Scratch Bakes, 3 West Main Street, Ephrata, PA. 17522
  • Twilight Acres Creamery and Bakery, 4110 Conrad Weiser Pkwy., Womelsdorf, PA. 19567
  • Zigs Bakery and Café, 800 East Newport Road, Lititz, PA. 17540
  • Zook’s Homemade Chicken Pies (Dutch Town and Country Market), 3427 Lincoln Highway East, Paradise, PA. 17562

— Ed Blanchette