May 5th, 2014
06:00 PM ET
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The film industry has the Oscars, the music industry has the Grammy Awards. If you're a chef or restaurateur, you want a James Beard Award medal around your neck.

Since 1990, the not-for-profit James Beard Foundation named after "the father of American cuisine," has been honoring the outstanding names in the food and beverage industry.

There is no cash reward, but a win – or even a nomination – can substantially increase the buzz for business, according to foundation President Susan Ungaro.

Chef and restaurant winners are being announced on Monday, May 5 at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall in New York City and Journalism, Books and Broadcast were announced Friday, May 2 at Gotham Hall in New York City.

We'll be updating all the chef and restaurant nominees below as the winners are revealed. Explore the gallery above for pictures and color from last year's awards.

https://www.instagram.com/p/noj4rrPxMx/
Robert De Niro makes a cameo in the James Beard press room, celebrating Sirio Maccioni's Lifetime Achievement award.

Best New Restaurant
Betony (New York City)
Carbone (New York City)
Coqueta (San Francisco, California)
Estela (New York City)
Winner: Pêche (New Orleans, Louisiana)

Outstanding Bar Program
Bar Agricole (San Francisco, California)
Winner: The Bar at the NoMad Hotel (New York City)
Clyde Common (Portland, Oregon)
Maison Premiere (Brooklyn, New York)
The Violet Hour (Chicago, Illinois)


Leo Robitschek and Will Guidara of The NoMad share some ham in the press room.

Outstanding Chef
Michael Anthony, Gramercy Tavern (New York City)
Isaac Becker, 112 Eatery (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
Suzanne Goin, Lucques (Los Angeles, California)
David Kinch, Manresa (Los Gatos, California)
Winner: Nancy Silverton, Pizzeria Mozza (Los Angeles, California)
Marc Vetri, Vetri (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Outstanding Pastry Chef
Winner: Dominique Ansel, Dominique Ansel Bakery (New York City)
Dana Cree, Blackbird (Chicago, Illinois)
Belinda Leong, b. patisserie (San Francisco, California)
Dahlia Narvaez, Osteria Mozza (Los Angeles, California)
Christina Tosi, Momofuku (New York City)

Outstanding Restaurant
Hearth (New York City)
Highlands Bar and Grill (Birmingham, Alabama)
Winner: The Slanted Door (San Francisco, California)
Spiaggia (Chicago, Illinois)
wd~50 (New York City)

Outstanding Restaurateur
Winner: Barbara Lynch, Barbara Lynch Gruppo, Boston, Massachusetts (No. 9 Park, Menton, B&G Oysters, and others)
Donnie Madia, One Off Hospitality Group, Chicago, Illinois (Blackbird, Avec, The Publican, and others)
Cindy Pawlcyn, Napa Valley, California (Mustards Grill and Cindy’s Back Street Kitchen)
Caroline Styne, The Lucques Group, Los Angeles, California (Lucques, A.O.C., Tavern, and others)
Phil Suarez, Suarez Restaurant Group, New York City (ABC Kitchen, Jean-Georges, wd~50, and others)

Outstanding Service
Blue Hill (New York City)
Quince (San Francisco, California)
Winner: The Restaurant at Meadowood, St. Helena, California
Topolobampo, (Chicago, Illinois)
Vetri (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Outstanding Wine Program
A16 (San Francisco, California)
Bar Boulud, NYC
Winner: The Barn at Blackberry Farm (Walland, Tennessee)
FIG (Charleston, South Carolina)
The Little Nell (Aspen, Colorado)


Andy Chabot of Blackberry Farm

Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional
Sam Calagione, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (Milton, Delaware)
Ron Cooper, Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal (Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico)
Winner: Garrett Oliver, Brooklyn Brewery (Brooklyn, New York)
Harlen Wheatley, Buffalo Trace Distillery (Frankfort, Kentucky)
David Wondrich, spirits educator (Brooklyn, New York)


Garrett Oliver of Brooklyn Brewery

Rising Star Chef of the Year
Winner (tie): Jimmy Bannos Jr., The Purple Pig (Chicago, Illinois)
Katie Button, Cúrate (Asheville, North Carolina)
Jessica Largey, Manresa (Los Gatos, California)
David Posey, Blackbird (Chicago, Illinois)
Winner (tie): Blaine Wetzel, The Willows Inn on Lummi Island (Lummi Island, Washington)

Best Chef: Great Lakes
Winner: Dave Beran, Next (Chicago, Illinois)
Curtis Duffy, Grace (Chicago, Illinois)
Jonathon Sawyer, The Greenhouse Tavern (Cleveland, Ohio)
Paul Virant, Vie Restaurant (Western Springs, Illinois)
Andrew Zimmerman, Sepia (Chicago, Illinois)

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic
Cathal Armstrong, Restaurant Eve (Alexandria, Virginia)
Spike Gjerde, Woodberry Kitchen (Baltimore, Maryland)
Brad Spence, Amis (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Winner: Vikram Sunderam, Rasika (Washington, D.C.)
Cindy Wolf, Charleston (Baltimore, Maryland)

Best Chef: Midwest
Winner: Justin Aprahamian, Sanford (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
Paul Berglund, The Bachelor Farmer (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
Gerard Craft, Niche (Clayton, Missouri)
Michelle Gayer, Salty Tart (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
Kevin Nashan, Sidney Street Cafe (St. Louis, Missouri)
Lenny Russo, Heartland Restaurant & Farm Direct Market (St. Paul, Minnesota)

Best Chef: Northeast
Winner: Jamie Bissonnette, Coppa (Boston, Massachusetts)
Joanne Chang, Flour Bakery + Cafe (Boston, Massachusetts)
Gerry Hayden, The North Fork Table & Inn (Southold, New York)
Matt Jennings, Farmstead Inc. (Providence, Rhode Island)
Michael Leviton, Lumière (Newton, Massachusetts)
Barry Maiden, Hungry Mother (Cambridge, Massachusetts)

Best Chef: Northwest
Renee Erickson, The Whale Wins (Seattle, Washington)
Jason Franey, Canlis (Seattle, Washington)
Winner: Naomi Pomeroy, Beast (Portland, Oregon)
Ethan Stowell, Staple & Fancy (Seattle, Washington)
Cathy Whims, Nostrana (Portland, Oregon)


Naomi Pomeroy beasts it in the press room after her win.

Best Chef: NYC
Winner: April Bloomfield, The Spotted Pig
Dan Kluger, ABC Kitchen
Mark Ladner, Del Posto
Jonathan Waxman, Barbuto
Michael White, Marea


April Bloomfield wins Best Chef NYC.

Best Chef: South
Vishwesh Bhatt, Snackbar (Oxford, Mississippi)
Justin Devillier, La Petite Grocery (New Orleans, Louisiana)
Winner (tie): Ryan Prewitt, Pêche Seafood Grill (New Orleans, Louisiana)
Alon Shaya, Domenica (New Orleans, Louisiana)
Winner (tie): Sue Zemanick, Gautreau's (New Orleans, Louisiana)

Best Chef: Southeast
Kathy Cary, Lilly's (Louisville, Kentucky)
Winner: Ashley Christensen, Poole's Downtown Diner (Raleigh, North Carolina)
Edward Lee, 610 Magnolia (Louisville, Kentucky)
Steven Satterfield, Miller Union (Atlanta, Georgia)
Tandy Wilson, City House (Nashville, Tennessee)

Best Chef: Southwest
Kevin Binkley, Binkley’s (Cave Creek, Arizona)
Bryce Gilmore, Barley Swine (Austin, Texas)
Hugo Ortega, Hugo’s (Houston, Texas)
Winner: Chris Shepherd, Underbelly (Houston, Texas)
Justin Yu, Oxheart (Houston, Texas)

Best Chef: West
Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski, State Bird Provisions (San Francisco, California)
Michael Cimarusti, Providence (Los Angeles, California)
Corey Lee, Benu (San Francisco, California)
Winner: Daniel Patterson, Coi (San Francisco, California)
Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, Animal (Los Angeles, California)


Aaaaand Eatocracy got to hang out with Questlove, which we take as a James Beard win, too.

Editor's note: Eatocracy Editor Kat Kinsman is the vice chair of the James Beard Journalism Committee, the group that oversees the journalism category's awards. These awards are entirely separate from the restaurant awards. An independent accounting firm oversees the process.

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Filed under: Awards • James Beard • News


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soundoff (386 Responses)
  1. Carleen

    Have you forgotten that Hawaii is a STATE? I can name two chefs there (begin with Chef Bikram) who are, without a doubt, contenders!

    Come on in – the water (and the food) is fine in Hawaii.

    May 6, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
    • Jackson

      Perhaps they were contenders. However, if you haven't sampled each and every nominee, how can you claim, with any certainty, that there was something amiss with this list?

      May 6, 2014 at 4:06 pm |
  2. Fattie

    What, no Golden Corral? I love the feeding trough they provide. Gotta feed them apes.

    May 6, 2014 at 2:26 pm |
  3. Craig

    For everyone who is complaining about the lack of restaurants in various parts of the country, or for lack of focus on health, etc, you may want to check out the full list at http://www.jamesbeard.org/blog/complete-2014-jbf-award-nominees. I'll leave you with this:

    2014 James Beard Foundation America’s Classics

    Hansen’s Sno-Bliz, New Orleans
    Owner: Ashley Hansen

    Nick’s Italian Café, McMinnville, OR
    Owners: Nick Peirano, Carmen Peirano, and Eric Ferguson

    Olneyville New York System, Providence, RI
    Owners: Stephanie Stevens Turini and Greg Stevens

    Perini Ranch Steakhouse, Buffalo Gap, TX
    Owners: Lisa and Tom Perini

    Sokolowski’s University Inn, Cleveland
    Owners: Bernard Sokolowski, Mary Balbier, and Michael Sokolowski

    May 6, 2014 at 2:25 pm |
  4. James "Rigged Awards" Beard

    So many NYC restaurant winners??? Maybe because the James Beard Foundation is headquartered in NEW YORK CITY!

    May 6, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
    • Pace Guys

      NEW YORK CITY?!?!?!

      May 7, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
  5. cajr

    congrats to the winners. im sure it took a lot of training and practice. nothing against fine dining but just not my bag. i'm totally fine with kicking back with a paper plate full of bbq. I still go occasionally to a nice place but I literally only own t-shirts and levi's, to my wife's dismay. I have one polo shirt and when my wife makes me wear it I feel like its a tux. ive eaten $80 rib eyes (in the same t-shirt and jeans, thanks for still serving me;). that said i'm much happier after a night out with the boys tearing up a double double while laying in bed watching iron chef!

    May 6, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
  6. lool

    There's a clear bias for East and West Coast cities. There's too many from California and New York.

    May 6, 2014 at 1:35 pm |
    • Brian Obermiller

      that's because most of the best dining/drinking/entertainment/culture/etc. are on the coasts which is also where MOST PEOPLE LIVE. The list is very NY/Chicago/SFO-oriented because those are the traditional culinary stalwarts. los angeles is way underrepresented

      May 6, 2014 at 1:56 pm |
    • Foodie 14

      Not really I think the list is a good sampling of restaurants...A restaurant in TN wins for outstanding wine program ? This is not Napa valley ...more like Dolly-wood...but who would have thunk it! Congrats to all the nominees and winners for this year. Don't worry and enjoy the diversity of the list, and feel free to enter your local eatery!

      May 6, 2014 at 2:07 pm |
  7. whatever

    this list is laughable, there is a place where I live that uses regular cookbook recipes and the finest ingredients from the grocery store to create the most average food, why arent they on this list?

    May 6, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
    • d. butter

      This list is not for you. Please go to McDonalds and be quiet while the adults talk.

      May 6, 2014 at 2:30 pm |
      • Foodie 14

        Oh Boy really? yes go to the Clown and get a heaping of #2....enjoy

        May 6, 2014 at 2:33 pm |
  8. slduncanbooks

    This is the sixth nomination in a row for Highlands Bar & Grill in the best restaurant category. Lucci? Susan? Your table is ready.

    May 6, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
  9. Caleb

    I scrolled through this entire list and did not see one McDonalds… Such an underrated restaurant.

    May 6, 2014 at 1:14 pm |
  10. T.Paul

    There are many great restaurants in New Orleans but out of my price range now. Give me the small town cafe's who have real food not gourmet. To mention a few Lafayette, Lake Charles, Louisiana,Idaho Springs,Estes Park,La Junta,CanonCity,, Colorado, and in Texas too many to mention. And I'm sure every state has one. I like to enjoy my food not overpriced fancy or the 30 second uncooked meal............T.PN

    May 6, 2014 at 1:02 pm |
    • galileo galileo

      There's a great place to get a Crawfish Po boy sandwich called Mother's, at least it was there in the 90s. Has anyone been there?

      May 6, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
      • Screamin' Border Boy

        Yes, Mother's is still there. Still very good. I sat down with the owner one day to pick his brain about how he does his etoufee and gumbo.

        May 6, 2014 at 1:41 pm |
      • BeerBrewerDan

        Locals will say "Over-rated touristy crap!" and the rest will say "Damn, it's good!". I'm not a local. I also say "ask for some grease and bits from the trap to be put on your poboy." That place still rocks.

        May 6, 2014 at 1:42 pm |
        • denmom

          Yes – the bits – the DEBRIS! Whenever I go to NOLA, I always stop by K Paul's, just to get some debris to mop up with the bread. If they had it on the menu as an appetizer, I'd order it.

          May 6, 2014 at 5:11 pm |
      • paul

        You want some great Po-boys away from the tourist trade, head out to the lake front to R&R's. Still a favorite every time I go home to visit.

        May 6, 2014 at 2:24 pm |
  11. Ryan Texan

    I'm just not into experimental food.
    Call me when your dish is a classic.
    The problem is awards like this are made by people who want something new. The equivalent of modern art.
    In reality, most people want works of the old masters.
    Also, let's be honest – those giving the awards are geographically located – barring the few excursions that make up a tiny fraction of their year.
    So the areas they work from are over represented.
    Not some conspiracy, just logistics and human nature.

    May 6, 2014 at 12:57 pm |
    • Glenn

      Eat at Beast in Portland, who won an award here. Nothing experimental, or "modern art" about it. Just really good cooking of really good meat and other food. People who don't eat at places like these restaurants choose not to appreciate the difference between them and a microwaved "meal" at Applebees.

      May 6, 2014 at 1:08 pm |
      • Ryan Texan

        Many of the other places listed are known for unusual or experimental food.

        May 6, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
        • Glenn

          Agreed, I just tire of the simpleton "my favorite restaurant/state/city" isn't here, so it's crap. Or the "if I can't afford to eat there," it's crap crowd. I don't watch NASCAR, but I don't need to make myself feel superior by ripping on it all the time. Fine dining is one of the greatest pleasures in life. I feel bad for those that can't enjoy a good plate of BBQ as well as a meal at a 3 star Michelin restaurant.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:45 pm |
    • Foodie 14

      There is some validity to your point, but this is a good diverse list, I think though as we branch out more and food is infused with our culture, infusion of flavors and presentation that the list can only grow to represent a few more categories over time. Maybe next year best portable restaurant ..( food truck) should be in there somewhere.. :)

      May 6, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
      • John Doe

        also need to add best vegan, if it isn't already there. also best juice bar. make it more health-conscious. restauranteurs and chefs need to wake up and see what's happening to people. obesity is bigger (pun intended) than just medicine and exercise.

        May 6, 2014 at 2:17 pm |
    • AkrNYC

      Carbone in NYC is traditional Italian food and quite amazing.

      May 6, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
  12. Frank

    Interesting comments here.

    I'm by no means "rich" but I've had the distinct pleasure of dining at quite a few of the so-called "snobby" restaurants on this list and beyond. They've all been incredible experiences worth every penny.

    On the other hand, being born and raised in rural North Carolina, I also love my mama's delicious southern cooking and one of my favorite dishes is a huge plate of piedmont style BBQ served out of a double-wide trailer just outside of Raleigh.

    "Fine dining" is all simply a matter of enjoying something new and creative and delicious. No need to get all crazy about it.

    May 6, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
    • Kate

      I totally agree with your comment Frank. I am not rich but I have enjoyed fine dining. It's a wonderful experience to taste a talented chef's amazing creations. And yes on the other hand I enjoy simple food, a good diner, good barbecue, etc. Some of these comments just left me at a loss. Heading to Burger King? I do not understand how people can be so dismissive and so quick to say this is all for snobs. Oh well.....

      May 6, 2014 at 1:00 pm |
    • Foodie 14

      good observations...this is a good benchmark list for folks that appreciate fine dining, and the experience. If you are into that ( AKA Anthony Bourdain etc) then cool you know how to serve and appreciate a souffle. And yes there are those out of the way places we all like to call our own. From Mamma's this to Uncle Leo's that or Aunt Elsie's magic pot...we all like to think that the most expensive things are the simplest. For some its a white table cloth service and a 59 Chateau Margaux...for others BBQ and a bud light make for the perfect meal.

      May 6, 2014 at 2:23 pm |
  13. Casey

    Obviously didn't travel to Dallas, TX

    May 6, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
    • d. butter

      Why subject oneself to Texas? What a horrible place.

      May 6, 2014 at 2:31 pm |
  14. Jim

    If I am ever interested in spending $100+ per person for dinner, I might try one of these. I will live a happy and productive life if I never do, though.

    May 6, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
    • d. butter

      Enjoy eating at Red Lobster, you slobster.

      May 6, 2014 at 2:31 pm |
  15. David

    Per Capita, there can not be a city in the country that has the number of top notch restaurants that we have here in Charleston. Truly lucky.

    May 6, 2014 at 12:31 pm |
    • Jason

      New Orleans, per capita, beats out Charleston.

      May 6, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
      • John Doe

        I love New Orleans and haven't been to Charleston. Is it possible to eat well, and healthy, in either city? Or do I have to bring some lipitor?

        May 6, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
    • Foodie 14

      Best Moonshine in the country is in Low Country...restaurants ...good southern style. But My Momma made the same shrimp N grits growing up too....sooooo

      May 6, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
  16. bpats23

    Again, The Colonel is shut out.. this is bs.. 11 herbs and spices people.. Some sort of anti-southern fried thing going on here..

    And what about that lady who makes the Popeye's? not even an honorable mention .. outrageous..

    May 6, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
  17. TS

    WOW look at the diversity. I wonder where this is based?????
    Because clearly, NYC does not qualify as the "Northeast" so they get their own category.

    I'll wager there are a lot of fantastic restaurants out there that didn't even get mentioned.

    May 6, 2014 at 12:06 pm |
    • Foodie 14

      Probably so but then again there area ton of movies out there that don't get an Oscar every year....This is a good list and congrats to all the nominees! Folks need benchmarks and for this year this is it, whether you agree or disagree you have to say that this is a good sampling ...its time to plan a vacation and I think NO is on the list this year for a good long extended weekend! I am sure that the committee will come up with another category or two for next year like best use of non food in a presentation platter or best non alcoholic beer or best food truck in an urban setting under 3 million and above 3 million .... Come on all you gastronomy experts ...lol enjoy what this country has to offer, we are still the new kids on the block in many areas, food still being one of them. ..Bon Appetit !

      May 6, 2014 at 1:59 pm |
    • Dee Snarl

      Ya think? No, I'll bet these are all the fantastic restaurants in the country...

      May 6, 2014 at 5:24 pm |
  18. zaglossus

    What a bunch of one percent phonies.

    May 6, 2014 at 12:00 pm |
    • Glenn

      You enjoy your microwaved Hungry Man dinner tonight. You know, there are people who enjoy things that you don't. It's called culture. No need to get your panties in a bunch about it. I've eaten at many of these restaurants, most of which are very affordable. Do a bit of research.

      May 6, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
  19. Steve Remlinger

    Three cheers foe effete snobbery!

    May 6, 2014 at 11:50 am |
  20. Kasey

    It'd be nice if they'd try somewhere in the south BESIDES New Orleans. Maybe Memphis or Nashville or, you know, anyplace. And in CA? There are other places with great food besides L.A. and San Francisco.

    May 6, 2014 at 11:43 am |
    • Paul

      Geez, Nashville is mentioned as well. And Asheville, NC. Sure, it's urban-centric, but so are restaurants. They haven't exactly neglected the rest of the country.

      May 6, 2014 at 11:46 am |
  21. Andrew

    glad they travelled to about 12 cities to get these awards done

    May 6, 2014 at 11:36 am |
    • Grizmannn

      Couldn't agree more ... what a joke

      May 6, 2014 at 11:47 am |
  22. get realist

    MY PREFERRED CHEF/RESTAURANT/BAR ISN'T ON HERE, THEREFORE THESE AWARDS ARE INVALID.

    May 6, 2014 at 11:27 am |
  23. Josh

    I am quite glad to not see Gordon Ramsey anywhere. Greatly improves the reputation of the winners.

    May 6, 2014 at 11:19 am |
  24. Logic

    Pretty sure 99% of us will never ever visit any of these places. Oh well, off to Burger King...

    May 6, 2014 at 11:18 am |
    • Inglourious

      Had a burger for lunch at the Spotted Pig this past weekend. I'm a one-percenter - woohoo!

      May 6, 2014 at 2:31 pm |
    • d. butter

      Enjoy the horrible shitty fried food, lardo!

      May 6, 2014 at 2:32 pm |
  25. Eli

    Joke of a List..No peruvian restaurants?

    May 6, 2014 at 11:17 am |
  26. chef Singh

    now every one got their medals and rewards, if you get a chance come and try my 'Hot Air Cooking'

    http://www.Tandorgrill.com

    May 6, 2014 at 11:14 am |
    • ollyoxen

      Wow! Is it easy to cook with a tandoor oven at home, or is it mostly a restaurant thing?

      May 6, 2014 at 12:13 pm |
  27. Jowls

    Pretentious hipsters ordering something they can't even pronounce. Hope they don't choke.

    May 6, 2014 at 11:02 am |
    • get realist

      you mad?

      May 6, 2014 at 11:24 am |
      • lox

        haha love your comments.

        May 6, 2014 at 11:34 am |
  28. snowicane

    I'm sorry, but you just can't beat McDonald's. Stop trying.

    May 6, 2014 at 10:53 am |
    • Trollman

      Amen, sista. TESTIFY!

      May 6, 2014 at 10:56 am |
  29. JIm

    Waffle House!

    May 6, 2014 at 10:36 am |
  30. chris

    Nice to see Katie Button/Curate Tapas in Asheville, NC making the list for "Rising Star Chef" - the restaurant is phenomenal, and definitely NYC/SF quality fare in a small Southern town like Asheville. When traveling there, definitely plan to visit. Congrats, Katie Button!

    May 6, 2014 at 10:28 am |
  31. Solomon Walker

    “Cronut” is the product of a drug-induced society –
    The “Cronut” did not take creativity but is consistent with so many fields these days – using combinations of others ideas and marketing it for profit – that takes no effort and very little intelligence. Persons that developed and tested very intricate recipes or dishes worked very hard to perfecting them.

    Laziness of the mind is suffered by a drug-induced generation that places little effort into much of anything – such as it is with the adaptation of the donut and croissant. Very much on the idea of the business plan model adopted by Oprah Winfrey and Martha Stewart – using others’ ideas and then adding a slight twist, selling the products under your name. How tasteless.

    “Cronut” generation values mediocrity and mediocrity or abuse/molestation of an original, hard-earned idea is “trending” to a new generation of young Americans.

    Every nation seems to be delving into insults against the French that developed the world’s finest international dishes in most of human history, and many of these dishes were presented during the reign of Louis XIV, who prided himself on introducing to his nation the most unconventional facets of all societies known at the time.

    Placing importance on everyone all the time leads to sameness and dullards.

    Ansel’s Great Insult to France:
    I object to diminishing or molesting French society to this all new low – where the inventor of the croissant, were he alive, would be most insulted by the “Cronut” – and yet – this seems to be the intended goal by Ansel that is not deserving at all of any award except, “The Great Fraud Award of All Time,” for his greatest achievement in slothfulness by combining two very well-known recipes and then attaching his name to it for sport in order to test an experiment and see if anyone will buy this lazy man’s fare. I have not purchased a “Cronut,” and I never will.

    Dominique Ansel and his “Cronut” insults my societally- advanced French ancestry.

    May 6, 2014 at 10:26 am |
    • VladT

      It is awesome when one utilizes a thesaurus to give off the impression that they are actually saying something meaningful.

      Can you make a cronut?

      May 7, 2014 at 3:40 am |
    • Ally

      I have to disagree with you, Solomon. Great ideas often come from combining two or more things that already exist to make something new. It's, in fact, a smarter and less labor-intensive method for creativity. Google the book "Thinking Inside the Box". The book details small ways any company can look at what they're already doing and tweak it to create the next best widget.

      May 7, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
  32. OKC REP

    Why does a difference in opinion about an article have to be labeled hate? The list is an opinion of the one who put it together, just as the replies are the opionion's of the ones who are writing it. Hate is the Westboro Baptist Church....a differing opinion is pepsi or coke!

    May 6, 2014 at 10:24 am |
  33. Jeff

    My personal favorite: Totino's pizza rolls served with a 312 on my couch, Chicago, IL.

    May 6, 2014 at 10:21 am |
    • Blahface76

      HA!

      May 6, 2014 at 12:34 pm |
  34. john pickett

    I'm upset In & Out burgers did'nt make the list!

    May 6, 2014 at 10:15 am |
  35. Solomon Walker

    The best meal of my life was consistently created by my mother who was raised learning the fine art of cooking from her chef uncle. We were raised enjoying some of the finest dishes. I encourage Americans to remember that the art of dinner parties and interesting conversation are formulated and originated from homes that value others. Communal meals require humility and a pinch of piety. Two forgotten virtues. The French pride themselves in enjoying the entirety of a meal that is never rushed, and without stress – it is an daily event that brings relatives and friends together on a regular occasion.

    Feed your family well at home.

    May 6, 2014 at 10:07 am |
    • Linda

      Completely agree! No matter what we spend (granted, not what these places charge), I am more satisfied after a family meal than a restaurant meal. There's something about knowing your tastes and experimenting with that in mind.

      May 6, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
  36. Tunamelt

    Obvious big city bias which makes this award a joke. There a lot of fantastic small town restaurants that should be considered as well.

    May 6, 2014 at 10:01 am |
    • Craig

      Obviously? The only hate I see in this thread is from people living outside SF, NYC, Chicago, etc. The best restaurants are in these cities for obvious reasons: you have a cluster of talent, you have a large population to serve that prioritize eating out and have developed palates from having a broad selection of excellent restaurants, and, quite importantly, restaurants are able to scale and survive because in a city like NY, you can turn tables three times at night as opposed to just two in most areas of the country.

      May 6, 2014 at 10:11 am |
      • sniff sniff

        Sounds like you smell your own farts?! No?

        May 6, 2014 at 11:01 am |
        • Huff Huff

          No, we prefer to huff on wine corks around here.

          May 6, 2014 at 11:06 am |
    • Paul

      Asheville, NC has less than 100,000 people, it's in there. Oxford, Mississippi . . . Cave Creek, Arizona . . . . What more do you want??

      May 6, 2014 at 10:25 am |
  37. livingthebajalife

    "Best Restaurants in America"? Misnamed....it's "Best Restaurants in the USA", not America.

    May 6, 2014 at 9:59 am |
  38. Francisco

    Shouldn't the people at Terminix or Truly Nolen be named alongside or right next to Dominique Ansel?? I mean, without them, his shop would be closed... But in reality, will never be closed... the powers that are behind all rating systems will find a way to prevail... Hi Bakery did not even get a grading reduction. Shameful!

    May 6, 2014 at 9:50 am |
  39. darrell

    who is this James Beard guy and what makes him such a great ood crtic...what does a guy have to do to before one of these so called critics

    May 6, 2014 at 9:48 am |
    • Exactly

      And with a name like James BEARD, one would expect him to have a more substantial display of facial hair, not that paltry 'been on a week long bender in Vegas' scrub brush he's currently sporting.

      May 6, 2014 at 10:06 am |
      • Kim

        James Beard not sporting any hair at all. He died in January 1985. He was an American chef and food writer.

        May 6, 2014 at 11:51 am |
        • Gumby

          Thanks...the great unwashed and uninformed!

          May 6, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
        • Gloria Hole

          James Beard died for our sins. God rest his bloated soul.

          May 6, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
    • Dave

      Doesn't he play for ZZ Top.?

      May 6, 2014 at 10:08 am |
    • Really?

      JFGI

      May 6, 2014 at 10:33 am |
  40. Sue

    Enoteca Maria, St. George, SI.

    May 6, 2014 at 9:38 am |
  41. JF

    For all the people claiming how the judging is biased towards a few cities and that there's a high degree of snobbery going on here...
    1) pretty sure it's a different level of snobbery when you put down fine dining just because it isn't in your city and/or you can't afford to eat there
    2) cities like NYC are constantly opening new restaurants, and have public support to keep putting out new/interesting dining options
    3) I used to think food was just food, until I started saving up for various acclaimed restaurants, which completely opened up my eyes to different levels of dining

    I'm not even from NY, and have been all over the map, so whenever people in Podunk, Midwest State recommend "the best" place to eat in their town, I've tried it, and while it may be a good meal, is still nowhere near what the best NYC, LA, or Chicago have to offer.

    But do keep hating about dining experiences a) you likely have never had and b) is focused on cities you don't care for.

    May 6, 2014 at 9:31 am |
    • phillycass

      I'm not sure why CNN has to post stuff like this when a good 95% of its readers can't afford to eat at these places anyways. They should put an article out for the places its readers can afford to eat at.

      Also you sound like a pretentious food snob.

      May 6, 2014 at 9:45 am |
      • Elizabeth Bybordi

        I've eaten at a handful of these places. I'm sorry but I think most people can afford a delicious treat from a place like Flour for $1.95 and enjoy it and appreciate it. It is of a different caliber and still affordable.

        May 6, 2014 at 10:08 am |
      • JF

        Thank you for proving my point about posters here displaying snobbery of another kind.

        Also, I enjoy a good In-N-Out burger every now and again as much as Bazaar's rendition of the Philly cheesesteak. Just because a restaurant from a big city with several $$$$ signs near its label won an award does not automatically make it pretentious or overrated.

        May 6, 2014 at 10:49 am |
        • Trollman

          I personally enjoy a good in-N-Out with your sister.

          May 6, 2014 at 10:56 am |
      • czerenity

        Many of these places are not expensive at all. I've eaten at Beast, Clyde Common, and Nostrana in Oregon. Of those three, only Beast was even close to being 'expensive' at $100 per person. And I saved up and ate there while in college and working for just over minimum wage. The other two are very average priced restaurants with really good food.

        May 6, 2014 at 11:37 am |
      • rahul

        a nice meal at the slanted door was within my modest middle class means when i lived in san francisco.

        the only pretentiousness here is that of people on this board who would write off any of these restaurants, having never been to any of them, based solely on their own biases against anything that doesn't resemble the slop that they shovel in their faces every day.

        May 6, 2014 at 11:52 am |
        • ypw510

          The "shaking beef" at The Slanted Door is now $38. I've heard of customers who went in there, spent about $80/person, and complained about still being hungry.

          It's a tourist trap now. It was good when it was a neighborhood place in the Mission.

          May 6, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
    • Foodie

      I completely disagree JF. I have traveled all over this country – NY, SF, Chicago (where I have lived) and hands down some of the "best" meals I have had were not in the high priced big city restaurants. I used to drive over an hour to a tiny corner tavern for the best hamburgers I have ever eaten to this day. The best breakfast I ever had was a Mom and Pop place in Wisconsin – farm fresh and out of this world delicious. Yes, there is very good food, often excellent food in many fancy places but it is a little silly to consider them the "best." There is no way to really determine the best – that is what makes it so pretentious. I'm willing to bet the lobster in Maine is pretty good. And perhaps the BBQ in Texas, SC, Memphis, or KC. It's a big country – make room for the little guy.

      May 6, 2014 at 10:13 am |
      • mzfitz1215

        i was actually just going to say the same thing. Well stated Foodie!

        May 6, 2014 at 10:22 am |
      • mzfitz1215

        I mean to add: The best burger I've ever had in my entire life was in a little itty bitty town called Wheatland in Iowa I think the population including the nursing home was maybe 300 people anyway they had a bar there called Desperados, hands down best burger I've ever eaten, being military we've moved all over and yet my mouth still waters every time I think of that place.

        May 6, 2014 at 10:28 am |
  42. Eli

    A rich tradition dating all the way back to 1990.

    May 6, 2014 at 9:27 am |
  43. Me eat food

    At least they have a regional winner or else I'd think they never left New York and California.

    May 6, 2014 at 9:26 am |
    • Jmacq1

      It's rather telling that NYC gets its' own category all by itself in the "best chef" category rather than say, being lumped in with "The Northeast."

      May 6, 2014 at 9:46 am |
      • Inglourious

        There are 8.4M people living in NYC; that's more than all but 11 of the 50 states. Add in an additional 600K commuters and 150K tourists on a daily basis and you have a lot of people looking for quality meals in a relatively small place. You can find more good restaurants in NYC than anywhere else.

        May 6, 2014 at 6:51 pm |
  44. Erik

    Another subjective list. Is it also based on how high the price is and what 'celebrity chef' is there too?

    May 6, 2014 at 9:19 am |
  45. JAFO

    Best resturants in America: French Laundry and Gary Dankos. Well, that's what Europe constaly tells us. Considering, it's their style that we always emulate.

    May 6, 2014 at 9:17 am |
    • JF

      I've been to French Laundry, it was great, but I think Alinea in Chicago may be the "best".

      May 6, 2014 at 9:36 am |
      • The Dude

        Yeah, well that's just, like, your opinion, man.

        May 6, 2014 at 2:34 pm |
  46. Lonnie Smith

    The problem with this award is fairly obvious after looking at the first award – people who live in NY and SF love NY and SF. In fact, they think the rest of us are total country bumpkins. I was pleased to see Asheville and Charleston buried in there, but at least showing up.
    Obviously these people do not spend time in places like Richmond, Virgina or Savannah, GA. If they did, the list would look a lot different.

    May 6, 2014 at 9:16 am |
    • JAFO

      Best restaurant in America is the French Laundry. Europe will back me up on this, along with France.

      May 6, 2014 at 9:18 am |
      • Blahblah

        Alinea in Chicago was named #9 in the list of the worlds best restaurants. French laundry was in the 40's. At some point the French laundry was probably "the best". It is possible for new and upcomming chefs to dethrone the old guard.

        May 6, 2014 at 9:55 am |
    • mzfitz1215

      I'd like to throw in Austin, TX or Louisville, KY too. there's amazing food all over the country.

      May 6, 2014 at 10:24 am |
      • reen b

        Austin did get a Southwest nomination...and yes, deservedly so.

        May 6, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
  47. Dave O.

    Meh ... just another "best food" list ... nothing really special here.

    May 6, 2014 at 9:07 am |
  48. Jason

    America's best restaurants are.....

    Shockingly in a handful of the biggest cities.

    May 6, 2014 at 9:00 am |
  49. Drew

    Greenhouse Tavern, E. 4th St. Cleveland. Best meal of my life.

    May 6, 2014 at 8:59 am |
  50. Blanket Jackson

    Château Blanc, Cincinnati Ohio. The best boeuf cuit avec des oignons with pommes frites.

    May 6, 2014 at 8:49 am |
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