James Beard Foundation Names 2020 America’s Classics Award Winners

Winners range from a Mexican restaurant in Denver and a Texan barbecue joint to a Filipino market in Seattle

2017 James Beard Award Nominees
James Beard medal of the the 2009 James Beard Foundation Awards Ceremony and Gala at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts on May 4, 2009 in New York City. (Victor Spinelli/WireImage)
By Bonnie Stiernberg / February 21, 2020 11:39 am

On Thursday (Feb. 20), the James Beard Foundation announced the six recipients of its 2020 America’s Classics Awards, honoring regional establishments for their “quality food, local character, and lasting appeal.” You know the places you go to and think there’s nothing like it anywhere else? That’s what this award celebrates. Places like Schultz’s Crab House in Maryland or Keens in NYC made the list in the past. The classics, plain and simple.

This year’s batch of winners, who will be honored at the James Beard Awards Gala at the Lyric Opera of Chicago on May 4, range from a Mexican restaurant in Denver and a Texan barbecue joint to a Filipino market in Seattle. The foundation revealed each honoree one by one on its Instagram page over the course of a week.

The America’s Classics category was introduced back in 1998, and as Eater points out, “Winners are typically more than a decade-old, often family-owned, and distinguished by ‘quality food that reflects the character of their communities.’”

You can check out a complete list of the winners below, and read more about them here.

Lassis Inn
518 E. 27th St., Little Rock, AR
Owners: Elihue Washington Jr. and Maria Washington

Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth
730 S. Main St., Frankenmuth, MI
Owner: Al Zehnder, Susan Zehnder, and Martha Zehnder Shelton

Puritan Backroom
245 Hooksett Rd., Manchester, NH
Owner: Arthur Pappas, Chris Pappas, and Eric Zink

Oriental Mart
1506 Pike Pl., #509, Seattle, WA
Owner: Mila Apostol and Joy Apostol

El Taco de Mexico
714 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO
Owner: Sasha Zanabria

Vera’s Backyard Bar-B-Que
2404 Southmost Blvd, Brownsville, TX
Owner: Armando Vera

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