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James Beard "America's Classics" Complete List of Award Winners Since 1998


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This is worth its own thread strictly for historical purposes (and there's your retirement trip, Joe: an oval (egg-shaped :)) road trip across America and back, trying each-and-every America's Classics winner. I'll bet nobody has ever done it, and it could easily be done in a summer (I count 84). You'd need to fly to catch the Alaska and Hawaii winners, but other than that, I'd be happy to write you a travel route that would minimize driving (I knew that M.S. in Computer Science would come in handy one day. ;)). These places tend to be somewhat unhealthy, so you'd really need to exercise daily, and eliminate pretty much all eating except for these restaurants plus healthy snacks. Hell, when Matt goes off to college, *I* might do it. What a journal this would make! And what a cool, thorough way to get to know the U.S.A.)

Below is the complete list of James Beard American Classic Award winners dating to its first year in 1998.



Durgin-Park, Boston, MA
Second Avenue Deli, New York, NY (Was closed at one point)
Doris & Ed's, Highlands, NJ
Original Stroud's, Kansas City, MO
Joe's Stone Crab, Miami Beach, FLA
Joe T. Garcia's, Ft. Worth, TX
Tadich Grill, San Francisco, CA
Emmett Watson's Oyster Bar, Seattle, WA


The Berghoff, Chicago, IL (was closed, but re-opened)
Café Pasqual's, Santa Fe, NM
Doumar's Cones and BBQ, Norfolk, VA
Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, New Haven, CT
Mosca's, Avondale, LA.
The Original Pancake House, Portland, OR
Philippe the Original, Los Angeles, CA
The Oyster Bar at Grand Central Terminal, New York, NY


Camp Washington Chili, in Camp Washington, CincinnatiOhio.
Helena Hawaiian Foods, Oahu HI
Mario's, Bronx, NY
Moosewood Restaurant, Ithaca, NY
Mrs. Wilkes' Dining Room, Savannah, GA
The Original Sonny Bryan's, Dallas, TX
White House Sub Shop, Atlantic City, NJ
Swan Oyster Depot, San Francisco, CA


Versailles, Miami, FL
Waterman's Beach Lobster, South Thomaston, ME
H&H Carwash & Restaurant, El Paso, TX
Langer's Deli & Restaurant, Los Angeles, CA


Ray's Boathouse, Seattle, WA
Marconi's, Baltimore, MD (Now closed)[12]
Three Brothers Serbian Restaurant, Milwaukee, WI
Peter Luger Steak House, Brooklyn, NY


Duarte's Tavern, Pescadero, CA
Anchor Bar, Buffalo, NY
The Skylight Inn, Ayden, NC
Lexington #1, Lexington, NC
The Shed, Santa Fe, NM


Sam Choy's Kaloko, Kailua-Kona, HI
The Prime-Burger, New York, NY
Ben's Chili Bowl, Washington DC
Al's Breakfast, Minneapolis, MN


Yuca's, Los Angeles, CA
Charlie's Sandwich Shoppe, Boston, MA
Willie Mae's Scotch House, New Orleans, LA
El Chorro Lodge, Paradise Valley, AZ


Barney Greengrass, New York, NY
Bowens Island Restaurant, Charleston, SC
Hamura's Saimin Stand, Kauai, HI
John's Roast Pork, Philadelphia, PA
Lagomarcino', Moline, IL
Louie Mueller Barbecue, Taylor, TX
Polly's Pancake Parlor, Sugar Hill, NH
Taylor's Automatic Refresher, St. Helena, CA


Primanti Brothers, Pittsburgh, PA
The Pickwick, Duluth, MN
Doe's Eat Place, Greenville, MS
Aunt Carrie's, Narragansett, RI
Brookville Hotel, Abilene, KS
Weaver D's, Athens, GA


Bagaduce Lunch, Brooksville, ME
Jumbo's, Miami, FL
Irma's Restaurant Houston, TX
Tufano's Vernon Park Tap, Chicago, IL
Maneki, Seattle, WA


Breitbach's Country Dining, Sherrill, IA
Totonno's, Brooklyn, NY
Mustache Bill's Diner, Barnegat Light, NJ
Yank Sing, San Francisco, CA
Arnold's Country Kitchen, Nashville, TN


Al's French Frys, South Burlington, VT
The Bright Star, Bessemer, AL
Calumet Fisheries, Chicago
Gustavus Inn, Gustavus, AK
Mary & Tito's Cafe, Albuquerque, NM


Chef Vola's, Atlantic City, NJ
Crook's Corner, Chapel Hill, NC
Le Veau d'Or, New York, NY
Noriega Restaurant and Hotel, Bakersfield, CA
Watts Tea Shop, Milwaukee, WI


The Fry Bread House, Phoenix, AZ[13]
Nora's Fish Creek Inn, Wilson, WY
St. Elmo's Steak House, Indianapolis, IN
Jones Bar-B-Q Diner, Marianna, AR
Shady Glen, Manchester, CT

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When I first started reading this I counted seven out of the eight from 1998 that I had been to.  31 overall.  Some places are interesting such as both Stroud's in Kansas City and the Brookeville Hotel in Abilene, KS which are each known for fried chicken and long standing tradition.  Crisfield used to have fried chicken in a black cast iron skillet that was as good (haven't had it in a few years) and just as much tradition in its own way as either of them.

Beard needs to add a Maryland seafood restaurant to this list.

Coincidentally we were at Chef Vola's last night and even though Atlantic City was totally dead Vola's was full @6:30.  That's the kind of popularity and loyalty that qualifies a place for Beard's list.

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When I first started reading this I counted seven out of the eight from 1998 that I had been to.  31 overall.  

I've only eaten in 15 of them (16 if you count take-out from Calumet Fisheries), not too bad but not up to Joe H standards.  Must try to add a few more.  Will be in Miami for one night at the end of March; thought about Versailles which is on the list, but instead made a booking at The District, where chef Horacio Rivadera was selected as a James Beard semi-finalist for 2014 best chef South.  We'll see.

We've already tried another on the same list, Hari Pulapaka of Cress in DeLand, FL.  Interesting guy -- in addition to running his restaurant he is a full tenured professor of mathematics and Comp Sci at Stetson University across the street.  Makes an outstanding dish of escargot, while grading papers he said to me, only half-joking. 

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