The James Beard Awards Announced Its 2023 America's Classics Winners

Is your go-to restaurant rotation starting to get a little tired? We hear you. If you've been searching for a new restaurant to add to your radar, you're in luck: The James Beard Foundation just announced its 2023 America's Classics winners, one of the most prestigious recognitions in the culinary world. According to the James Beard Foundation, to qualify as an America's Classic establishment, a restaurant must be locally owned, "have timeless appeal," and showcase regional dishes. Unlike Michelin Guide's rankings, which recognize restaurants in the highest echelons of the fine dining world, the emphasis here is on community. It's a fitting accolade for an organization named after the chef lauded as "America's First Foodie." James Beard was the first television chef in history and a prolific cookbook author; his life's work was dedicated to culinary education. Today, the James Beard Foundation is a nonprofit that celebrates and recognizes some of the most outstanding restaurants in the U.S. – and its 2023 America's Classics winners are in.

In 2022, the Foundation awarded Wo Hop, which has been holding down its spot in NYC's Chinatown for more than 80 years. Other winners included Atlanta's Busy Bee Cafe, a favorite diner for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and soul food joint Florence's Restaurant – the first eatery in Oklahoma to ever receive James Beard Foundation recognition. For 2023, only six restaurants made the cut. Here are the winners.

This Hawaiian hotel has been bed-and-boarding since 1917

Manago Hotel is home to the oldest active restaurant in Hawaii. It was opened by Kinzo Manago and Osame Nagata after they immigrated from Japan in 1917. For such a huge accolade as America's Classics, the hotel started off with decidedly humble beginnings: A room full of cots in Manago and Nagata's personal home, catered with udon, bread, jam, and coffee for travelers. Today, the hotel continues to serve and house patrons and is run by sisters Britney and Taryn Manago, the fourth generation of the family.

Joe's Bakery & Coffee Shop is a local mainstay in a rapidly gentrifying East Austin, Texas neighborhood. Since the bakery opened in 1935, the community has seen a kaleidoscope of transfigurations as longtime residents are replaced by trendy pop-ups. The landscape might look a little different around Joe's, but Joe's hasn't changed. It still serves its community traditional Mexican pastries and Tex-Mex fare, such as pan dulce and warm breakfast tacos.

If affordable comfort food is your thing, look no further than San Juan's La Casita Blanca. The family-operated Puerto Rican restaurant has been serving accessible favorites since 1980. Dishes range from rice and beans to more traditional fare like patitas de cerdo, fricase de pollo, and carne guisada. Plus, per the James Beard Foundation, it's decorated like "your tía's or abuela's house" for extra hominess and familiarity.

Honoring the longest-running family-owned Chinese restaurant in America

Montana's Pekin Noodle Parlor boasts the impressive accolade of being the oldest continuously-operating family-owned Chinese restaurant in America. Peking has been serving Butte residents since 1911 when its first clientele was Chinese immigrants who worked in railroads and mines. Today, the menu features a wide array of Chinese-American cuisine, including 16 different types of chop suey. Peking has become a beloved pillar in its local community during its long tenure. When the former owner passed in 2020, a nearby road was officially named in his honor. Today, his son Jerry Tam runs the restaurant.

If you self-identify as a farm-to-table foodie, buckle your seatbelt: Nezinscot Farm is a café smack in the middle of a farm. To be specific, it's the first organic dairy farm in Maine, and the land has belonged to the same family for over a century. Since opening as a café in 1978, Nezinscot Farm has since expanded to a bakery, charcuterie, and fromagerie.

This might be the only restaurant in history to have a James Beard award and no official recipe. At Wagner's Village Inn in Oldenburg, Indiana, the fried chicken is made with chicken, salt, pepper, flour, and lard. That's it. Perhaps most impressively, there's no definitive recipe for it, but it rocks every time. Simple dishes are often the hardest to get right, but Wagner's keeps it classic with homestyle sides like mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, and coleslaw enjoyed in a wood-paneled dining room.