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Here Are Atlanta’s 2023 James Beard Award Semifinalists

The teams behind Ticonderoga Club, Lyla Lila, and Buena Gente Cuban Bakery and a handful of Atlanta chefs are James Beard award semifinalists

Stacie Antich and Manny Rodriguez
Stacie Antich and Manny Rodriguez, owners of Cuban bakery Buena Gente in Decatur.
Buena Gente
Beth McKibben is the editor and staff reporter for Eater Atlanta and has been covering food and cocktails locally and regionally for 12 years.

The James Beard Foundation just dropped the list of the 2023 semifinalists in the restaurant and chef categories, and there are a few Atlantans and Atlanta establishments among the names.

Known as the “Oscars” of the food world, restaurant and chef awards are given out annually in categories like best chef southeast, outstanding restaurant, best new restaurant, and emerging chef. The foundation also recognizes a handful of restaurant institutions throughout the country with an America’s classic award, honoring independent and family-owned restaurants open for more than a decade that exhibit “timeless appeal.” Last year, Busy Bee Cafe in Atlanta’s Vine City neighborhood was named an America’s classic.

In 2021, the James Beard Foundation conducted an extensive audit in an attempt to overhaul its policies and procedures to be more inclusive and transparent in how nominees are scouted, vetted, and voted upon each year. The audit followed years of accusations of racism and sexism and scandals surrounding bad actors in the restaurant industry who were subsequently nominated for awards by the foundation.

Below is the complete list of the Atlanta and Georgia semifinalists, as well as semifinalists from Alabama. Finalists in the 2023 restaurant and chef categories will be announced Wednesday, March 29, with winners announced during an awards ceremony taking place Monday, June 5, in Chicago.

Best Chef: Southeast

Outstanding Bakery

Outstanding Hospitality

Outstanding Wine Program

Outstanding Restaurateur

  • Clinton Gray, Derrick Moore, and Emanuel Reed, Slim and Husky’s Pizza Beeria, Nashville (two Atlanta locations on Howell Mill Road and Metropolitan Parkway)

Outstanding Restaurant

Best New Restaurant

Best Chef: South

Disclosure: Some Vox Media staff members are part of the voting body for the James Beard Foundation Awards.

Update, 1/26/2023, 10:15 a.m.: The initial press release from the James Beard Foundation mistakenly left off chef Aaron Phillips from Lazy Betty as a semifinalist for best chef southeast. We have updated the list above to reflect the correction by the foundation and their updated press release.

Heirloom Market BBQ

2243 Akers Mill Road Southeast, , GA 30339 (770) 612-2502 Visit Website

Ticonderoga Club

99 Krog Street Northeast, , GA 30307 (404) 458-4534 Visit Website

The Deer and The Dove

155 Sycamore Street, , GA 30030 (404) 748-4617 Visit Website

Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours

1133 Huff Road Northwest, , GA 30318 (404) 350-5500 Visit Website

Lyla Lila

693 Peachtree Street Northeast, , GA 30308 (404) 963-2637 Visit Website


2317 Cascade Road, , GA 30311 (404) 343-1342 Visit Website

Chai Pani

406 West Ponce de Leon Avenue, , GA 30030 (404) 378-4030 Visit Website


675 North Highland Avenue Northeast, , GA 30306 (404) 474-0262 Visit Website

Busy Bee Cafe

810 Martin Luther King Junior Drive Southwest, , GA 30314 (404) 525-9212 Visit Website

Lazy Betty

1530 DeKalb Avenue Northeast, , GA 30307 (404) 975-3692 Visit Website

The Grey

109 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Savannah, GA 31401 (912) 662-5999 Visit Website

Buena Gente Cuban Bakery

1365 Clairmont Road, , GA 30033 (678) 744-5638 Visit Website

Juniper Cafe

2260 Marietta Boulevard Northwest, , GA 30318 (470) 427-3057 Visit Website