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James Beard Foundation Announces 2017 America’s Classics Awards

Five restaurants made the cut

Fried chicken at Bertha’s
Bill Addison
Hillary Dixler Canavan is Eater's restaurant editor and the author of the publication's debut book, Eater: 100 Essential Restaurant Recipes From the Authority on Where to Eat and Why It Matters (Abrams, September 2023). Her work focuses on dining trends and the people changing the industry — and scouting the next hot restaurant you need to try on Eater's annual Best New Restaurant list.

Today, the James Beard Foundation announced the five 2017 recipients of the America’s Classics awards. The Foundation gives this title every year to restaurants that are “regional establishments, often family-owned, that are treasured for their quality food, local character, and lasting appeal.” Generally, these restaurants have been open for more than 10 years, and tap establishments, chefs, and restaurateurs generally overlooked by the other Beard award categories. It’s considered an honor and also recognition of both quality and longevity; past winners have included beloved restaurants like New York City’s Keens Steakhouse; Chapel Hill, North Carolina’s Crook’s Corner; Brooks’ House of Bar-B-Q in Oneonta, NY; and many others.

Introducing this year’s recipients:

La Taqueria, San Francisco

Known more for the burritos — an iconic, riceless riff on Misson-style — than the namesake tacos, La Taqueria is a San Francisco institution and a long-time Eater SF 38 member.

Sahadi’s, Brooklyn

This bustling Middle Eastern market offers everything from spices, dried fruit, and nuts to hummus, labneh, and baklava in Brooklyn.

Schultz’s Crab House, Maryland

Maryland crabs are seriously great, and served steamed at Schultz’s, they are “are dense and full of such delicate, heavenly meat,” writes Eater restaurant editor Bill Addison.

Gioia’s Deli, St. Louis

This St. Louis lunch icon is known for its hot salami, which the Foundation describes as “a fresh, boiled sausage, with a texture like coarse pâté and a flavor that is porky, earthy, a little funky” and topped with Provel cheese.

Bertha’s Kitchen, North Charleston

One of Charleston’s tasiest oldest restaurants, and a longtime Eater Charleston 38 member, Bertha’s Kitchen has secured its place in history with its fried chicken and fish.

Note: Eater’s Restaurant Editor Bill Addison is on the Beard restaurant committee but had nothing to do with the creation of this story.

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