James Beard Foundation
Good food isn’t just found at fine dining restaurants with impossible-to-get reservations — local eats offering a taste of home can also make for a memorable eating experience. It is with this in mind that the James Beard Foundation names the five recipients of its 2016 America’s Classics Award, given to restaurants “that have timeless appeal and are cherished for quality food that reflects the character of their community,” according to a release.
Susan Ungaro, president of the James Beard Foundation, says, “James Beard would have loved these restaurants; they represent how America eats. Each has played a role in bringing their communities together, representing the heart and soul of our national culinary landscape—we’re proud to honor them as classics!”
The winners are Al Ameer Restaurant in Dearborn, Michigan; Brooks’ House of BBQ in Oneonta, New York; Matt’s Place Drive-In in Butte, Montana; Bully’s Restaurant in Jackson, Mississippi; and Rancho de Chimayó Restaurante in Chimayo, New Mexico.
To qualify for this award, restaurants must be locally owned and have been in existence for at least 10 years. The 2016 honorees join nearly 100 restaurants that have received the awards over the years, since the category was introduced in 1998. They will be celebrated at the 26th annual James Beard Foundation Awards, which will take place on May 2 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.