The 2023 James Beard Awards restaurant and chef finalists are here

Sepia, honored as an outstanding hospitality finalist, serves an ever-changing seasonal American menu. | Credit: Sepia

One of the biggest days for restaurants and chefs across the country has arrived: The James Beard Foundation just announced the finalists for its coveted restaurant and chef awards.

Among the nominees this year are Philly hospitality phenom Ellen Yin for outstanding restaurateur, chef Valentine Howell at Boston stalwart Krasi for best chef Northeast, and the sustainability-focused Restaurant Beatrice in Dallas for best new restaurant.

The winners will be announced at a glittering ceremony in Chicago on June 5. Read on for the full list of nominees, with links to all restaurants available to book on OpenTable.

Outstanding Restaurateur 

A restaurateur who uses their establishment(s) as a vehicle for building community, demonstrates creativity in entrepreneurship and integrity in restaurant operations, and is making efforts to create a sustainable work culture, while contributing positively to their broader community.

Brandon Chrostowski, EDWINS Leadership and Restaurant Institute (EDWINS Leadership and Restaurant Institute, edwins too, EDWINS Bakery, and others), Cleveland, OH

Greg Dulan, Dulan’s Soul Food Kitchen, Dulan’s on Crenshaw, and Dulanville, Los Angeles, CA

Aaron Hoskins, Sarah Simmons, Nicole Storey, and Elie Yigo, City Grit Hospitality Group (SmallSUGAR, CITY GRIT, and Il Focolare Pizzeria), Columbia, SC

Yenvy and Quynh Pham, Phở Bắc Sup Shop, Phởcific Standard Time, and The Boat, Seattle, WA

Ellen Yin, High Street Hospitality Group (Fork, + bar, High Street Philly, and others), Philadelphia, PA

Outstanding Chef

A chef who sets high culinary standards and has served as a positive example for other food professionals, while contributing positively to their broader community.

Rachel Miller, Nightshade Noodle Bar, Lynn, MA

Niki Nakayama, n/naka, Los Angeles, CA

Erik Ramirez, Llama Inn, Brooklyn, NY

Rob Rubba, Oyster Oyster, Washington, D.C.

Hajime Sato, Sozai, Clawson, MI

Outstanding Restaurant

A restaurant that demonstrates consistent excellence in food, atmosphere, hospitality, and operations, while contributing positively to its broader community.

Copine, Seattle, WA

Cora Cora, West Hartford, CT

Friday Saturday Sunday, Philadelphia, PA

Lucia, Dallas, TX

Mita’s, Cincinnati, OH

Emerging Chef

A chef who displays exceptional talent, character, and leadership ability, and who is likely to make a significant impact in years to come, while contributing positively to their broader community.

Damarr Brown, Virtue, Chicago, IL

Rashida Holmes, Bridgetown Roti, Los Angeles, CA

Serigne Mbaye, Dakar NOLA, New Orleans, LA

Charlie Mitchell, Clover Hill, New York, NY

Amanda Shulman, Her Place Supper Club, Philadelphia, PA

Best New Restaurant

A restaurant opened between January 1, 2022, through September 30, 2022, that already demonstrates excellence in cuisine, atmosphere, hospitality, and operations while contributing positively to its broader community, and seems likely to make a significant impact in years to come. Those establishments that have opened after September 30, 2022, can be considered for the 2024 awards.

Causa, Washington, D.C.

Dept of Culture, New York, NY

Don Artemio, Fort Worth, TX

Kann, Portland, OR

Lupi & Iris, Milwaukee, WI

Neng Jr.’s, Asheville, NC

Nolia, Cincinnati, OH

Obélix, Chicago, IL

Restaurant Beatrice, Dallas, TX

Tatemó, Houston, TX

Outstanding Bakery

New in 2023, this category recognizes a baker of breads, pastries, or desserts that demonstrates consistent excellence in food, atmosphere, hospitality, and operations while contributing positively to its broader community.

Angelo Brocato, New Orleans, LA

La Casita Bakeshop, Richardson, TX

Kuluntu Bakery, Dallas, TX

Yoli Tortilleria, Kansas City, MO

Zak the Baker, Miami, FL

Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker

The former Outstanding Pastry Chef and Outstanding Baker categories have been combined into one, Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker. This category recognizes a pastry chef or baker who makes desserts, pastries, or breads. Candidate demonstrates exceptional skills and can be affiliated with any food business and does not need a brick-and-mortar presence. Candidate contributes positively to their broader community.

Veronika Baukema, Veronika’s Pastry Shop, Billings, MT

Vince Bugtong, Viridian, Oakland, CA

Margarita Manzke, République, Los Angeles, CA

Shawn McKenzie, Café Cerés, Minneapolis, MN

Elaine Uykimpang Bentz, Café Mochiko, Cincinnati, OH

Outstanding Hospitality

A restaurant, bar or other food and drinking establishment that fosters a sense of hospitality among its customers and staff that serves as a beacon for the community and demonstrates consistent excellence in food, atmosphere, hospitality, and operations while contributing positively to its broader community.

The Black Cypress, Pullman, WA

Bottega, Birmingham, AL

Lula Drake, Columbia, SC

The Quarry, Monson, ME

Sepia, Chicago, IL

Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages Program

Expanded from Outstanding Wine Program this year to include other beverages, this award is presented to a restaurant that demonstrates exceptional care and skill in the pairing of wine and other beverages with food while contributing positively to its broader community. This includes the selection, preparation, and serving of wine, cocktails, spirits, coffee, tea, beer or any other beverage with outstanding hospitality and service that helps inform and enhance a customer’s appreciation of the beverage(s). Ethical sourcing and positive contributions to the broader community will also be considered.

COTE, New York, NY

Lazy Bear, San Francisco, CA

Nancy’s Hustle, Houston, TX

OTOTO, Los Angeles, CA

Spencer, Ann Arbor, MI

Outstanding Bar

Expanded to include wine and other beverages, this award is presented to a wine bar, beer bar, cocktail bar, coffee bar, or any other business whose primary offering is beverage and that demonstrates consistent excellence in curating a selection or in the preparation of drinks, along with outstanding atmosphere, hospitality, and operations while contributing positively to its broader community.

Bar Leather Apron, Honolulu, HI

Drastic Measures, Shawnee, KS

Garagiste, Las Vegas, NV

Las Ramblas, Brownsville, TX

Rob Roy, Seattle, WA

Best Chefs (by region)

Chefs who set high standards in their culinary skills and leadership abilities, and who are making efforts to help create a sustainable work culture in their respective regions while contributing positively to their broader community.

Best Chef: California

Gilberto Cetina Jr., Holbox, Los Angeles, CA

Kyle and Katina Connaughton, SingleThread, Healdsburg, CA

Brandon Hayato Go, Hayato, Los Angeles, CA

Justin Pichetrungsi, Anajak Thai, Sherman Oaks, CA

Carlos Salgado, Taco María, Costa Mesa, CA

Best Chef: Great Lakes (IL, IN, MI, OH)

Omar Anani, Saffron De Twah, Detroit, MI

Diana Dávila Boldin, Mi Tocaya Antojería, Chicago, IL

Tim Flores and Genie Kwon, Kasama, Chicago, IL

Andy Hollyday, Selden Standard, Detroit, MI

Sarah Welch, Marrow, Detroit, MI

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic (DC, DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA)

Jesse Ito, Royal Ushi, Philadelphia, PA

Dionicio Jiménez, Cantina La Martina, Philadelphia, PA

Kate Lasky and Tomasz Skowronski, Apteka, Pittsburgh, PA

Michael Rafidi, Albi, Washington, D.C.

Chutatip “Nok” Suntaranon, Kalaya, Philadelphia, PA

Best Chef: Midwest (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD, WI)

Sanaa Abourezk, Sanaa’s Gourmet Mediterranean, Sioux Falls, SD

Gregory León, Amilinda, Milwaukee, WI

Francesco Mangano, Osteria Papavero, Madison, WI

Itaru Nagano and Andrew Kroeger, Fairchild, Madison, WI

David Utterback, Yoshitomo, Omaha, NE

Best Chef: Mountain (CO, ID, MT, UT, WY)

Salvador Alamilla, Amano, Caldwell, ID

Michael Diaz de Leon, BRUTØ, Denver, CO

Suchada Johnson, Teton Thai, Teton Village, WY

Kris Komori, KIN, Boise, ID

Ali Sabbah, Mazza, Salt Lake City, UT

Best Chef: New York State

Nasim Alikhani, Sofreh, Brooklyn, NY

Mary Attea, The Musket Room, New York, NY

Amanda Cohen, Dirt Candy, New York, NY

Shaina Loew-Banayan, Cafe Mutton, Hudson, NY

Junghyun Park, Atomix, New York, NY

Best Chef: Northeast (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT)

Valentine Howell, Krasi, Boston, MA

Christian Hunter, Community Table, Washington, CT

Sherry Pocknett, Sly Fox Den Too, Charlestown, RI

Yisha Siu, Yunnan Kitchen, Boston, MA

Renee Touponce, The Port of Call, Mystic, CT

Best Chef: Northwest and Pacific (AK, HI, OR, WA)

Joshua Dorcak, MÄS, Ashland, OR

Vince Nguyen, Berlu, Portland, OR

Thomas Pisha-Duffly, Gado Gado, Portland, OR

Beau Schooler, In Bocca Al Lupo, Juneau, AK

Aaron Verzosa, Archipelago, Seattle, WA

Best Chef: Southeast (GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, WV)

Sam Fore, Tuk Tuk Sri Lankan Bites, Lexington, KY

Josh Habiger, Bastion, Nashville, TN

Sam Hart, Counter-, Charlotte, NC

Terry Koval, The Deer and the Dove, Decatur, GA

Paul Smith, 1010 Bridge, Charleston, WV

Best Chef: South (AL, AR, FL, LA, MS, PR)

Ana Castro, Lengua Madre, New Orleans, LA

Timothy Hontzas, Johnny’s Restaurant, Homewood, AL

Alex Perry and Kumi Omori, Vestige, Ocean Springs, MS

Henry Moso, Kabooki Sushi, Orlando, FL

Natalia Vallejo, Cocina al Fondo, San Juan, PR

Best Chef: Southwest (AZ, NM, NV, OK)

Oscar Amador and Francesco Di Caudo, Anima by EDO, Las Vegas, NV

Kaoru Azeuchi, KAISEKI YUZU, Las Vegas, NV

Andrew Black, Grey Sweater, Oklahoma City, OK

Jeff Chanchaleune, Ma Der Lao Kitchen, Oklahoma City, OK

Justin Pioche, Pioche Food Group, Upper Fruitland (Doolkai), Navajo Nation, NM

Best Chef: Texas

Reyna Duong, Sandwich Hag, Dallas, TX

Benchawan Jabthong Painter, Street to Kitchen, Houston, TX

Emiliano Marentes, ELEMI, El Paso, TX

John Russ, Clementine, San Antonio, TX

Ernest Servantes and David Kirkland, Burnt Bean Co., Seguin, TX