3 Birmingham restaurants are semifinalists for the 2023 James Beard Awards

pizza grace, james beard awards
Pizza Grace up for Best New Restaurant. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

As if you needed another reason to believe Birmingham is a food city, two restaurants and one Bham chef have made it to the semifinals of the 2023 James Beard Awards. Keep reading to learn who is on the list from The Magic City.

What are the James Beard Awards?

Also known as the “Oscars” of the food world, the James Beard Awards first started in 1990 by the James Beard Foundation to recognize culinary professionals and their achievements in the field. This furthers the foundation’s mission to celebrate, nurture and honor chefs who make America’s food culture more delicious, diverse and sustainable for everyone.

Finalists will be announced on Wednesday, March 29 and the winners will be celebrated at the James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards Ceremony on Monday, June 5, 2023, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. 

1. Best New Restaurant | Pizza Grace

Pizza Grace owner and head chef, Ryan Westover. (Ben Johnson / Bham Now)

Pizza Grace earned a spot in the semifinals as the best new restaurant and we couldn’t agree more. Their delicious pizza and mouth-watering appetizers (I’m talking about the garlic bread, of course) have quickly won our hearts here in Birmingham. Plus, their location on historic Morris Avenue is the perfect spot to make you feel like you are in Italy.

2. Best Chef: South | Timothy Hontzas, Johnny’s Restaurant

johnnys catfish 3 Birmingham restaurants are semifinalists for the 2023 James Beard Awards
Meet me for a meat and three at Johnny’s. (Johnny’s Restaurant)

For the sixith year in a row, chef Timothy Hontzas with Johnny’s Restaurant has secured his spot in “Best Chef: South”. This meat and three offers amazing food such as their Greek meatballs, mac n’ cheese and so much more. Here’s to hoping Timothy Hontzas will come out as the winner this year.

3. Outstanding Hospitality | Bottega

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Frank, Pardis and Weston Stitt make Bottega’s hospitality the best. (Bham Now)

Bottega has just recently opened back up their fine dining room to the public after having to close it during the pandemic. With their recent renovations and top-notch staff, it is no wonder they made it as a semifinalist in the “Outstanding Hospitality” category. If you haven’t tried Bottega yet (or Bottega Café, their more casual counterpart) this is the perfect reason to.

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Emma Johnston
Emma Johnston
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