Dutch Amish Market - Closer Than You Think
One of our favorite day trips and weekend getaways is Lancaster County, PA to visit the Amish country. It's beautiful country! The Amish crafts are spectacular and food is delicious. Fall is our favorite time to visit. However, we can't always find time to escape to the beautiful Amish country as often as we'd like. Fortunately for us though, we can get our fix at the Lancaster County Dutch Market, which isn’t in Lancaster County at all.
Three days a week, the Amish community brings all sorts of goodies to the Lancaster County Dutch Market conveniently located close to my home in Germantown, MD. Yay for me!
Have you ever been? You have? Then you know how amazing this place is!
You haven’t? Then, you need to go!
The first thing you need to know about this Market is the hours. It is not open daily - only Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
The Lancaster County Dutch Market is an experience. Made up of individual markets housed in the same building. It has great food and a great atmosphere. Each section is run by a different family and items are paid for in that section, rather than at the end of your visit in a checkout line. The Market is full of Amish food, homemade candies, produce, furniture and other crafts.
It’s laid out in a square, with various markets lining both sides of the main aisle.
As you walk in, the first thing you will notice is the sweet smell of baked goods. The Lapp Pretzel stand is straight ahead. Trust me on this - you want one!
They make them right in front of you, while you are waiting to order. Once they're cooked, they are dipped in melted butter. Mmm, so good! If you are really hungry, try one of their pretzel dogs or my husband's favorite pepperoni roll or ham & cheese roll.
NOTE: Lapp Pretzels only takes cash, so if you want a fresh baked salty warm pretzel, be sure to have some dollar bills on hand! Don't worry, all other vendors take credit.
Across the aisle from the pretzels is the newest vendor Beilers Donuts. This area just got a makeover for their big grand opening in March. These are the same Beilers Donuts found in the Pennsylvania Reading Terminal Market. Just look at them!
To the left of the donut stand is the bakery. They have any sweet treat your heart could desire - breads, cookies, cakes, pies...
Ok, seriously, let's move on away from the pesky carbs...
Zook's Cheese stand has fantastic cheeses and spreads. We like to grab one of these yummy spreads when we are entertaining. Makes for a quick and easy cheese and cracker appetizer or dip for veggies. Our favorite flavors are the salsa cheddar, white jalapeno and pimento. Don't worry, you have a chance to try them all while you are shopping. And after you do, you will want to buy them! They are so good!
The Flower Garden puts together some gorgeous centerpieces. They are a bit pricey compared to my weekly Trader Joes flower bunches, but perhaps worth a splurge for the Holidays.
Across from Zook's Cheese is Lapps Quality Furniture. I have had the pleasure of speaking to the outgoing husband/wife owners, who also own the Dutch Family Restaurant in the Market. It amazes me how the Amish make such beautifully crafted wooden furniture. I can't walk by without stepping into the furniture section just to run my hand over the smooth wood. The furniture is fabulous quality, but not cheap. The home accents are affordable though and I love what owner, Ruthie Stoltzfus, picks for Holiday décor.
Moving on to the butcher. Some of my favorites are the different sausages. The brats are our favorite. I have also tried the flank steak, which was great, but I thought a little pricey compared to my usual Costco trip. They have some good sliced deli meats and also have some great bacon! They carry pepper bacon, apple wood smoked, and hickory smoked. You can’t go wrong - all fresh and delicious.
Also in the butcher section, we like their Pierogies. Not all flavors are equal - we are partial to the onion and cheddar jalapeno. They come in at a close second to my Polish friend Robyn's family pierogies.
Across from the butcher is the small Dutch Family Restaurant in the back of the market. There really is nothing truly special about this place. It's a standard American diner that is good for breakfast or a BLT sandwich. If you choose to dine in for lunch, get the onion rings instead of the fries. I don't often eat breakfast out, but my friends in the area all prefer the Dutch Market to any I-hop or other breakfast spot in the area.
Now the main attraction that everyone comes here for - King's BBQ, located in the back of the market. I have been told by my husband and friends that the fried chicken served here is some of the best in the area. There's a long line for this place every time I've been here, so it must be good! It's what fried chicken is meant to be - crispy and juicy. Then again, if fried food isn't your thing, you could always go with the rack of ribs or take a rotisserie chicken home for dinner. There are tables lining the aisle, but you should count on taking your chicken/ribs to go since the line wraps around the aisle, those few tables are always taken.
If you keep walking up the aisle, you come to the fresh produce stand. The fruits and veggies always look fresh, no matter what time of year I've come. The prices are higher than your average grocery store, but not more than your local outdoor farmer's market.
Across the way from the healthy stuff, you'll find all the chocolates, fudge, candies and dried fruit. Seriously, anything you could dream of, including those childhood favorites you can't find anymore. Look at these giant bunnies they sold before Easter!
We have now worked our way around to the Deli. In the summer months of backyard barbecuing, we never leave the market without getting what our friends call "crack potato salad". It's the red skin potato salad (2nd from left)- it's a little on the sweet side, but incredibly delish! I make a pretty mean potato salad from my mom's recipe, but there is something about this version from the Amish Market that we can't pass up. I think it must be the dill and bacon....isn't everything better with a little bacon?!
Lastly, make a stop at the Spice stand. They have everything you might need in the spice world offered at bulk prices. They also sell grains, lentils, soup mixes, and pastas. They have the best deal on sprinkles - make a stop before you make Birthday and Christmas cookies! The prices are really reasonable compared to your average grocery store.
There you have it! All of the delicious Amish food and crafts you could ever want right in Montgomery County, MD! If you live in the DC Metro and haven't been to the Market, it's definitely worth the trip up I-270 to Germantown! Just remember the reduced Thursday, Friday, Saturday hours. And when you go, be sure check their website for coupons.
Germantown Square Shopping Center
12613 Wisteria Drive
Germantown, MD 20874
Thankfully, with Maryland being so close to Pennsylvania Dutch country, there are several other Amish Markets in the area. I have linked the other Markets below in case one of these is closer to you.
Hagerstown Pennsylvania Dutch Market
Annapolis Pennsylvania Dutch Farmers Market
Cockeysville Pennsylvania Dutch Market
Upper Marlboro Dutch Village Farmers Market
Laurel Dutch Country Farmers Market