The 11 Best Restaurants & Bars In Southern USA This Year, According To America’s Food Experts

The 2022 James Beard Awards finalists are out, and the places are 🔥 (and affordable!).

Georgia Staff Writer
A salmon-colored wall in Brennan's restaurant. Left: A man smiles and holds a sandwich at Butcher & Bee.

A salmon-colored wall in Brennan's restaurant. Left: A man smiles and holds a sandwich at Butcher & Bee.

Every year, members of the James Beard Foundation gather together and curate a list of nominees that reflect excellence in the food and beverage industry.

"The mission of the James Beard Awards is to recognize exceptional talent and achievement in the culinary arts, hospitality, media, and broader food system, as well as a demonstrated commitment to racial and gender equity, community, sustainability, and a culture where all can thrive" explains the foundation on their website.
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Narcity has used this year's list of finalists to serve as a roadmap to delicious food in the Southeastern U.S.. This list features finalists from the narrowed-down list of 2022 nominees, which was announced on March 16.

This list is essentially your personal guide, curated by experts in their field, whose passion is to guide you to unforgettable dining experiences!


Butcher & Bee, Charleston, SC

Nomination: Outstanding Restaurant

Price: 💸💸

Why You Need To Go: Butcher & Bee offers wide-ranging seasonal cuisine in a comfortable, hip setting. While their inventive menu is rotating, flavors from their scratch kitchen are consistent in their deliciousness.

Website

Brennan's, New Orleans, LA

Nomination: Outstanding Restaurant

Price: 💸💸💸

Why You Need To Go: With elevated plates rooted in Creole traditions, Brennan's offers New Orleans classics with contemporary elements. Their pastel colorful walls can brighten any morning grogginess.

Website

Chai Pani, Asheville, NC

Nomination: Outstanding Restaurant

Price: 💸💸

Why You Need To Go: Chai Pani serves mouthwatering Indian street food and platters in a creative, laid-back space. From chaats to uttapams, their savory and vibrant flavors are unforgettable.

Website

Roots Southern Table, Farmers Branch, TX

Nomination: Best New Restaurant

Price: 💸💸

Why You Need To Go: Roots Southern Table is a love letter to traditional flavors of the South. Inspired by deep familial traditions, and ways of eating, Chef Tiffany Derry elevates farm-to-table cooking to a whole new level.

Website

Cúrate, Asheville, NC

Nomination: Outstanding Hospitality

Price: 💸💸💸

Why You Need To Go: Incredible ambiance in a renovated 1927 bus depot offering Spanish tapas paired with a highly curated wine list.

Website

Ticonderoga Club, Atlanta, GA

Nomination: Outstanding Hospitality

Price: 💸💸

Why You Need To Go: Inventive cocktails and frozen drinks in a buzzing colonial-inspired tavern can add a creative twist to any night out.

Website

Alley Twenty Six Durham, NC

Nomination: Outstanding Bar Program

Price: 💸💸

Why You Need To Go: This swanky bar and lounge offers sophisticated charcuterie pairings with perfectly balanced craft cocktails.

Website

Attaboy, Nashville, TX

Nomination: Outstanding Bar Program

Price: 💸💸💸

Why You Need To Go: This dimly lit speakeasy offers off-the-cuff drink creation, no menu necessary. Tell their bartenders your flavor profile preferences, and receive a personalized cocktail, concocted to your tastes.

Website

The Grey, Savannah, GA

Nomination: Outstanding Chef, Mashama Bailey

Price: 💸💸💸

Why You Need To Go: Iconic award-winning restaurant rich in history and flavors set in a formerly segregated Greyhound bus station. Chef Mashama Bailey provides a dining experience that is nothing short of excellent.

Website

Julep, Houston, TX

Nomination: Outstanding Bar Program

Price: 💸💸

Why You Need To Go: Julep serves upscale masterfully crafted cocktails in a down home Southern setting.

Website

Hugos's, Houston, TX

Nomination: Outstanding Hospitality

Price: 💸💸💸

Why You Need To Go: World-class authentic Mexican cuisine featuring fresh ingredients, complex traditional dishes, and a stellar tequila and wine list.

Website

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