Fair Oaks Farms
Visitors get a peek behind the barn door at this northwestern Indiana grange with educational dairy and pig adventures that allow people to view the animals. The glass-encased kitchen at the 300-seat Farmhouse Restaurant gives diners an up-close view of chef Paul Polizzi’s pork mastery as he creates bacon-wrapped meatloaf, hand-breaded tenderloins, and slow-cooked short ribs.
856 N. 600 E, Fair Oaks, 877-536-1194
Quaint white barns and little apple-red tractors give this 200-acre Southern Indiana spread a small-town feel. Here, tradition reigns, from U-pick strawberries every summer to family movie nights in the pasture. Chef Katie Huber whips up food her ancestors used to cook on the farm, like fried biscuits swiped with smoky-sweet apple butter and chicken and dumplings made from scratch. 2421 Engle Rd., Starlight, 812-923-5255
A menu experiment with Wagyu led the owners of this 300-acre Columbia City farm and restaurant on a trip to Japan to meet famed beef master Shogo Takeda. After learning Takeda’s husbandry practices and acquiring his cattle genetics, Joseph Decuis became the only restaurant in the U.S. to raise its own Wagyu. The tender, marbled meat shines on chef Aaron Butts’s menu in glorious forms, from beef tartare drizzled with “horsey” sauce to thick, juicy burgers that prod customers to line up early at Friday-night barbecues in the courtyard. 6755 E. 900 S, Columbia City 260-672-1715 (farm); 191 N. Main St., Roanoke, 260-672-1715 (restaurant)
Traders Point Creamery
As soon as guests’ car tires roll onto this dairy farm’s gravel path, picturesque outbuildings and rolling pastures sweep them into a little country dream. Small herds of visitors can gather around the barns to view a milking before dining at The Loft restaurant, where chef Brandon Canfield’s recipes, like milk-braised pork loin, reap the benefits of an abutting creamery and grass-fed livestock reared exclusively for the eatery. 9101 Moore Rd., Zionsville, 317-733-1700
This 250-acre former horse farm oozes charm with antique buildings and an old chicken coop flipped into a Bavarian-style lodge restaurant. Chef Nicholaus Gladding represents the homestead’s Black Angus cattle and Berkshire pigs with house-cut steaks, cured meats, and homemade chorizo—but his cranberry-walnut cinnamon bread alone will inspire the drive. 857 Six Pine Ranch Rd., Batesville, 812-934-2600
This article appeared in the August 2015 issue.