Eat at These James Beard Award-nominated and Winning Restaurants
The James Beard Foundation, the standard-bearer for most things culinary, selects outstanding chefs and restaurants around the country to award them for their excellence. Georgia has been proud to have many restaurants and chefs receive James Beard Awards over the years.
What does that mean? For starters, it means that you can plan your next vacation around some stellar food and drink! With winners and nominees from Atlanta to Savannah in categories like America's Classics, Best Chef, Best New Restaurant, Outstanding Bar Program, and Outstanding Wine Program, you can't go wrong.
Look below and decide which restaurants you plan to dine in, cocktails you plan to sip, and chefs you'd love to meet.
James Beard Award Winners and Nominees in Georgia
Category: Best Chef: Southeast
Chefs who have set new or consistent standards of excellence in their respective regions. Eligible candidates may be from any kind of dining establishment and must have been working as a chef for at least five years with the three most recent years spent in the region.
Given to locally owned restaurants that have timeless appeal and are beloved regionally for quality food that reflects the character of its community. The establishment must have been in existence for at least 10 years.
A restaurateur who uses their establishment(s) as a vehicle for building community, demonstrates creativity in entrepreneurship, integrity in restaurant operations, and is making efforts to create a sustainable work culture. Eligible candidates must have been in the restaurant business for at least five years and they must not have been nominated for a James Beard Foundation chef award in the past three years
Kevin Gillespie, Gunshow in Atlanta and Revival in Decatur (2022)
A pastry chef or a chef who makes desserts, pastries, or breads served as part of a meal. Candidate demonstrates exceptional skills and can be affiliated with any food business and does not need a brick-and-mortar presence. Eligible candidates must have been working as a pastry chef or chef who makes desserts for the past three years.
Category: Outstanding Hospitality Presented by American Airlines
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.
Category: Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages Program
Expanded in 2023 from Outstanding Wine Program 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.
A restaurant opened in the calendar year before the award will be given that already displays excellence in food, beverage and service, and that is likely to make a significant impact in years to come.