Indiana Foodways Alliance Culinary Trails: Guide to Hoosier Dining

Bucket lists have become a big thing. Or maybe it’s just the term du jour. People have always checked to-do’s off travel lists. Visit all 50 states. Take in a ballgame at every Major League Baseball stadium. I do the same even with smaller lists. Photograph every Seward Johnson sculpture in a city. Stop at every  shop on the Wayne County Chocolate Trail. So when I learned about the Indiana Foodways Alliance culinary trails, I was on board. Right away I decided I wanted to eat pie at every restaurant on the Indiana Foodways Alliance Hoosier Pie Trail. My attempt was a miserable failure.

My Attempt at the Hoosier Pie Trail

A girl can eat only so much pie. I started with the Bread Basket Café & Bakery in Danville. The creamy, coconut and pineapple piña colada pie was out of this world. The chocolate cream and the fresh peach pies at the Blue Gate Restaurant in Shipshewana were delicious. We picked up pie to go at the Bread Box Café in Shipshewana. And the pie at the Gray Brothers Cafeteria in Mooresville was tasty, too. I ate pie at four of the restaurants out of twenty-one on the list; that’s not even 20%. I tried to get to one one more, Lisa’s Pie Shop. We drove right past the bakery on our way home from an Indiana trip, but alas! The shop is closed on Sundays.

Pina Colada Pie
Piña Colada Pie, Break Basket Café and Bakery

Adding Culinary Trails to My List

Does not eating pie at every restaurant on the Hoosier Pie Trail mean that I give up? No way! I simply added to my lists. The Indiana Foodways Alliance boasts 19 different culinary trails. So instead of concentrating on one trail and trying to eat at every restaurant on that trail, I’ve started using Indiana Foodways Culinary Trails as a guide.

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I created a spreadsheet (yeah, that’s anal me), listing every restaurant in the program, with check boxes for each of the culinary trails in which they participate. When we travel to or through Indiana, which we do often, I refer to my list even before I check TripAdvisor, my usual go-to restaurant app. At the Gray Brothers Cafeteria, for example, in addition to the Hoosier Pie Trail, I checked off the Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner trail; and the Here Fishy Fishy trail. On the Pizza trail list I checked off Bruno’s Big O Sports Room in West Lafayette, as well as Tomato Pie in Paragon. At Triple XXX Family Restaurant I checked off both the Burgers, Brews & Dogs trail and the Just Cruisin’ trail. And the list goes on.

Foodways Alliance
Left to right: Triple XXX Family Restaurant; Squealers BBQ, Tomato Pie

No longer am I trying to complete an entire specific Indiana Foodways Alliance Culinary Trail. That’s too tall an order and would take years of Indiana travel to accomplish. What I do know is that every meal or glass of wine or ice cream treat I’ve tried on the culinary trails has been delicious. The hard part is deciding which restaurant to try next.

About the Indiana Foodways Alliance

The Indiana Foodways Alliance is a member-based organization that nurtures Indiana’s culinary heritages through education, partnerships, public relations and regional cooperation. Visit the website for a full list of trails and participating businesses.

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Indiana Foodways Alliance


Disclosures: Some, but not all, of the meals mentioned in this article were hosted by area visitor bureaus.

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6 thoughts on “Indiana Foodways Alliance Culinary Trails: Guide to Hoosier Dining

  • March 15, 2018 at 7:40 pm

    All pies should be served with an umbrella! Now I really want pie….!

    • March 15, 2018 at 11:11 pm

      Ha ha, only the fancy ones, just like fancy tropical drinks.

  • March 16, 2018 at 9:42 am

    Oh man, I’m off to check them out and start my food bucket list again. And, I’m thinking I need to create spreadsheet too 🙂

    • March 16, 2018 at 10:37 am

      I found the spreadsheet was the easiest way to find restaurants on any of the trails in a specific city. And it’s always fun to check them off, too.

  • June 10, 2023 at 1:33 pm

    Very good reviews.. My husband would and love to try some of these. We might go to Madison We love that area though we are 3 hours away. ⁸

    • June 11, 2023 at 3:28 pm

      Thank you, Linda. It’s been a few years since we’ve been to Madison. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.


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