Enjoy a Taste of the Midwest at These Cool Pizza Farms
If you're looking for a new way to savor a pie from a smoldering wood-fired oven, the Midwest's pizza farm boom has led to unique dining experiences that help small farmers diversify their offerings and visitors support their local food systems. With the region's deep agricultural roots (and so much time spent at home over the last couple of years), it's no surprise communities are hungry for more of these farm-to-table events. Pack a picnic blanket or lawn chair and take advantage of summer's bounty with an evening of delicious food and picturesque scenery.
Suncrest Gardens Farm, Cochrane, Wisconsin
Pizza really is the perfect canvas for showcasing seasonal ingredients like heirloom vegetables and aromatic herbs, plus locally sourced meats and homemade cheeses—and Suncrest Gardens lets you do just that. The farm, miles southeast of Alma just off Wisconsin's Great River Road, offers a full menu of appetizers and salads as well as an expansive selection of build-your-own or seasonal pizzas. Claim your spot around the wooden barn then head to the on-site bar for house drinks like wine, homemade margaritas and craft lemonade. There's fun for the whole family with a playground, yard games and live music. As the sun sets, treat yourself to a DIY s'mores kit and gather around the bonfire to roast the perfect marshmallow.
When to Visit: Fridays and Saturdays (May to October 1)
Good Roots Farm and Gardens, Brookings, South Dakota
After visiting pizza farms in Minnesota and Wisconsin, Bill and Julie Ross wanted to bring the concept back to their home state of South Dakota. So they opened Good Roots Farm and Gardens. Each Sunday, Good Roots serves visitors rustic, wood-fired pizzas—like veggie-packed Garden Up and Cherry Delight, a sweet-tooth satisfier loaded with sour cherries, homemade streusel and icing. BYOB or pick from a selection of beers, wine and signature lemonade. Bonus: friendly dogs on leashes are welcome to join the fun.
When to Visit: Sundays (June to October)
Luna Valley Farm, Decorah, Iowa
Iowa's Driftless Area has become a magnet for beer nerds and nature enthusiasts, and now pizza lovers too. Locals and visitors alike head to Luna Valley Farm, just 15 minutes northeast of Decorah, to try artisan creations like Peachy Pig starring juicy peaches, bacon and fig balsamic glaze. Pair with locally crafted beer from one of Decorah's many breweries like award-winning Toppling Goliath Brewing Company or try non-alcoholic sodas from Spring Grove Soda. Make it a staycation and get the full farm experience by glamping in one of their off-grid tents.
When to Visit: Fridays and Saturdays (June to August), Fridays (September and October)
Millsap Farms, Springfield, Missouri
On Thursday nights throughout the summer, Curtis and Sarah Millsap's 20-acre farm transforms into an ultra-hip Pizza Club. Pies are fired up in their handmade New Mexico-style Horno (earthen oven), then served buffet-style, with toppings that reflect the season's bounty. Indulge in unique flavors with catchy names like the Thai Me Up made with chicken from their farm, homemade peanut sauce, kale, Terrell Creek feta, carrots, peanuts, mozzarella and cilantro.
When to Visit: Thursdays (May to October)
Pleasant Grove Pizza Farm, Waseca, Minnesota
An hour south of Minneapolis near Blooming Grove Township, Pleasant Grove Pizza Farm bakes mouthwatering pies on the family-owned 55-acre farm. In summer, the farm's event calendar features a steady rotation of local musicians that visitors can jam to while chowing down on specialty pizzas. Bring your own drinks, appetizers and salad to round out your meal, but save room for their signature Blueberry Dessert pizza, a heavenly combination of cheesecake, basil-infused olive oil, blueberries, honey and fresh-squeezed lemon. If you can't make it to the farm, look for their Mobile Pizza Unit that travels to local wineries, breweries and distilleries.
When to Visit: Friday—Sunday (May), Thursday—Sunday (June to September), Friday—Sunday (October)
Heritage Prairie Farm, Elburn, Illinois
Escape the city and head an hour west of Chicago for Farm Social Nights at Heritage Prairie Farm. This USDA-certified organic farm and outdoor venue opens to the public every Wednesday to offer wood-fired pizzas plus local food truck fare. Relax under a massive tent and listen to local bands, or try your hand at lawn games while sampling inventive pizza flavors like White Heat (cayenne béchamel, seared shrimp, sweet lemon oil and chopped herbs).
When to Visit: Wednesdays (June - August)
Hawkins Family Farm, North Manchester, Indiana
Come rain or shine, every Friday evening the folks at Hawkins Family Farm craft homestyle pizzas on their wood-fired brick oven. Located 45 minutes west of Fort Wayne, the farm offers pizza nights in addition to their seasonal farm shares and online farm stand. Pizza lovers can feast on classics like margarita and ham or the Harvest Special that changes every week. Proceeds for each event go toward their non-profit organization.
When to Visit: Fridays (June to September)
Pizza on the Prairie, Orient, Iowa
Get a taste of history, art and good food at former Vice President Henry A. Wallace's family homestead in Orient, Iowa, an hour southwest of Des Moines. The Wallace Centers of Iowa hosts Pizza on the Prairie on summer Fridays. This 10-acre working farm grows over 40 types of vegetables that are picked fresh and transformed into delicious desserts, sides and brick-oven pizza. After dinner, enjoy stunning views and live music next to the white gathering barn or stroll the restored prairie along the property, lined with community artwork.
When to Visit: Fridays (June to September)