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2019 James Beard Award Winning Restaurants and Chefs

At OpenTable, we’ve got the right restaurant for anything – including an award-winning meal. The James Beard Foundation announced the honorees of its annual awards on May 6th, and we’re thrilled to celebrate their accomplishments. Join us in raising a glass to – and snagging a reservation at – the 2019 James Beard Award winners.

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The OpenTable team
Updated May 04, 2020
A photo of Boka restaurant


Price: Expensive
Contemporary American
Lincoln Park
6502 reviews
Partners Rob Katz and Kevin Boehm took home the Outstanding Restaurateur award for their collection of acclaimed eateries including BOKA, Girl & the Goat, Momotaro, and more. Two of Chicago’s most respected operators and visionaries, their forward-thinking restaurants continue to stand out in the city’s stellar dining scene, thanks to their dedication to detail and distinction.

A photo of Willa Jean restaurant

Willa Jean

Price: Moderate
Central Business District
2111 reviews
The third time’s the charm for Kelly Fields, who was named Outstanding Pastry Chef after three nominations in the category. The restaurant, which opened in 2015, is named for Fields’s grandmother and rapidly garnered devotees of her outstanding biscuits (seriously, the menu has a whole biscuit section) and homey baked goods (the milk and cookies are a sure win). With its all-day offerings and popular weekend brunches, you’ll want to be sure to book this spot in advance.

A photo of Parachute restaurant


Price: Expensive
1626 reviews
Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark serve fare from the heart, or rather, hearts. The married couple has melded Korean and American cuisines together to the delight of diners and critics, one of whom called it the most exciting restaurant to open in Chicago in 2014. The menu changes daily (save for the delightful baked potato bing bread) but expect excellence in every bite from the two new Best Chef: Great Lakes winners as these two cultures mix and mingle in creative, flavorful dishes.

A photo of Uni restaurant


Price: Very Expensive
Contemporary Asian
Back Bay
1972 reviews
File this under “Local Boy Makes Good.” East Boston native Tony Messina completed his culinary education and training in and around Boston at some of the area’s finest restaurants, including AKA Sushi, Clio, and Menton. As his star rose and opportunity knocked, he partnered with Ken Oringer at UNI and has continued to shine in his own backyard, where he regularly earns accolades, including UNI being named the best restaurant in the city. Order the lubina (and thank us later).

A photo of Snackbar restaurant


Price: Expensive
285 reviews
It took multiple nominations and a decade of dazzling diners at this Oxford destination beloved by foodies, but Viswesh Bhatt captured the award for Best Chef: South for his cooking at Snackbar. His menu is French bistro fare with a north Mississippi point of view (you’ll find French onion soup alongside rabbit and andouille gumbo and housemade charcuterie served with southern flourishes, like spicy BBQ sauce). The experience is definitely more than a snack.

A photo of Providence restaurant


Price: Very Expensive
4092 reviews
This sustainability-first seafood temple has long been ahead of the curve when they started serving nearly 14 years ago, and, after years of tireless pursuit, chef Michael Cimarusti earned the Best Chef: West award. He grew up fishing and then developed his culinary skills alongside legendary chefs, such as Larry Forgione and Paul Bocuse, ultimately wedding his hobby and his profession at Providence. His win comes after multiple nominations and decades in pursuit of perfection. Don’t miss the iconic uni egg.

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