Looking to try the best US restaurants in 2022? Look no further. The James Beard Awards just released their shortlist for Outstanding Restaurant, and there are a number of locations you’re going to want to try.
Once referred to by Time magazine as “the Oscars of the food world,” the James Beard Awards recognize exceptional talent in the culinary arts, hospitality, media, and the broader food system. Named after charismatic American chef James Beard, who helped pioneer TV cooking shows, the awards are judged by top-tier food and beverage journalists from around the country.
Winners are awarded a bronze medallion engraved with the James Beard Foundation Awards insignia, plus bragging rights as one of the top restaurants in the country that year.
To help you plan your next culinary vacation, here are a few of the restaurants shortlisted for the prize, broken down by city.
Location: New Orleans
Founded in 1946 by New Orleans native Owen Brennan, the restaurant is housed in a pink two-story French Quarter mansion constructed in 1795. Serving traditional Creole dishes with French and Spanish influences, Brennan’s is known for its decadent breakfasts. Make sure to try the baked apple, turtle soup, or eggs hussarde. The restaurant even offers an option where you can have meals like soft scrambled truffled eggs, steak Diane, seasonal crepes Fitzgerald, and Brennan’s signature bananas foster, flambéed for you tableside.
Di Fara Pizza
Location: New York City
With its faded brown corner-store exterior, Di Fara Pizza may not look like much, but there’s a reason people lineup around the block to grab a slice. First opened in 1965 by Domenico De Marco after he emigrated from Italy to Brooklyn, Di Fara Pizza has been serving some of the best pies in New York for over 50 years. Marco is still cooking at age 82, importing many of his ingredients straight from Italy. For your first slice, we suggest keeping things simple. The pepperoni won’t let you down.
Location: San Antonio
Mixtli has been serving some of San Antonio’s best Mexican cuisine since 2013 when it was first housed in a leased railcar with a twelve-seat communal table. Run by chef-owners Diego Galicia and Rico Torres, the restaurant offers regional Mexican tasting menus with drink pairings inspired by all regions and time periods of Mexican culinary history. Start the experience with a margarita, perfectly balanced with its sweet-to-tart ratio. Follow that up with a tostada containing butter-poached shrimp and avocado mousse, or their pork belly skewer with mini tortillas. Keep in mind, the menu does change often.
Sushi Izakaya Gaku
Similar to an English pub, an Izakaya, in Japanese culture, is a social gathering place. That’s exactly what Sushi Izakaya Gaku does. Located in the center of Honolulu, the restaurant brings together friends and family members, serving small, creative plates of sashimi and nigiri. While there, make sure to try the hamachi tartare topped with tobiko and raw quail egg, served with sheets of crisp nori.
Home to a Michelin Star, Parachute is a Korean-American jewel run by husband-and-wife chefs Johnny Clark and Beverly Kim. The restaurant has been doling out modern cuisine since 2014. Perch yourself on a stool at the double-sided kitchen counter before ordering two helpings of Parachute’s legendary bing bread, a crispy potato bread baked with scallions, cheddar, and bacon, served with sour cream butter. Or try the shrimp beignets dipped in aioli.
Post & Beam
Location: Los Angeles
Located in the Baldwin Hills of south LA, Post & Beam’s open kitchen, spacious dining room, and garden patio are designed to make you feel at home. Serving California cuisine since 2011, the restaurant is run by restaurateur Brad Johnson, chef-owner John Cleveland, and chef-consultant Govind Armstrong. Enjoy homemade corn bread with whipped butter, oxtail hash, or fried chicken and waffles, all while listening to a live jazz duo on the outdoor patio.
Chef-owner Shinji Kurita has been creating traditional sushi for 41 years. He first started cooking when he was a boy at his parents’ restaurant in Japan. ShinBay’s omakase costs $185 per person, but it’s worth it. The meal incorporates six courses, including Kurita’s legendary nigiri: 10 courses of 10 different fish, including baby red snapper, kelp-cured halibut, and ivory-colored needlefish. Another highlight is the snow crab capped with a double-boiled egg and Osetra caviar.
Other restaurants on the James Beard Awards shortlist can be found here.