Meals served in smartly fronted little restaurants and lunch stands retain the unmistakable tang of country cooking. 

Indiana: A Guide to the Hoosier State (WPA, 1941)

Small town diners in Indiana: stop in a good one and you will likely meet some incredible people; owners who love to cook and are adept at running a business on a shoestring. Small town cafes are personal spaces that reflect the ups and downs of their surrounding community.  They provide a central meeting spot and a sociable place to eat alone.

How to rate a café in the Hoosier state? If hand-breaded tenderloin and homemade pie are on the menu, your order will not disappoint.

Guide Notes:


  1. Mary Ann Rubio, Family Café, Knox, IN
  2. The Grill, LaCrosse, IN
  3. Happy Days Café, Wakarusa, IN
  4. White House Hamburgers, Logansport, IN
  5. Hamlet Café, Hamlet, IN
  6. Crockpot Café, Walkerton, IN
  7. Teel’s Family Restaurant, Mentone, IN
  8. Northside Diner, Chesterton, IN
  9. The Nook, Columbia City, IN
  10. Woodland Inn, Woodland, IN

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Kay Westhues is a photographer based in South Bend, IN. Through her work she aims to describe the vitality and complexity of places and people whose lives are often overlooked and unexamined. She is inspired by the ways rural tradition and history are interpreted and transformed in the present day. You can see more of her work at kaywesthues.com or follow her latest project on tumblr (kwesthues.tumblr.com).

This dispatch arrived care of THE AMERICAN GUIDE submission page. Be a guide yourself and send a post from your state: theamericanguide.org/submit.