Each year, the James Beard Foundation picks restaurants to be named as “American Classics.” These are the restaurants that are a part of our culture and lives. They’re the places we love to go, that have created American regional and national favorites, and have started massive food phenomenons.
Today, one popular San Francisco restaurant headlined the newest list of restaurants to receive this high honor.
Of the five restaurants selected, none is more well-known than SF’s La Taqueria, famous for inventing the iconic Mission-Style burrito. This immense creation of beans, meat, guac, and salsa is the originator and perfector of burritos that have been imitated and replicated worldwide.
La Taqueria has been around since 1973, and has been slinging out the Mission style of burritos from day one. The major highlights of the burrito are a lack of rice for a wetter but more flavorful burrito, as well as the dorado style that customers in the know absolutely have to get. Dorado-style burritos are cooked on the griddle after they’re wrapped up, leading to a crispy tortilla shell that perfects the entire experience.
Taquerias and restaurant chains across America have been replicating this style of burrito ever since, with Chipotle and Qdoba making their stamps nationwide with similar burritos. All of the widespread success of this large burrito can trace back to La Taqueria — and why it is now worthy to be on the list of James Beard American Classics.
Of course, the other four picks to receive this prestigious honor are all just as worthy of the title as La Taqueria. These restaurants are Bertha’s Kitchen in North Charleston, SC, Gioia’s Deli in St. Louis, Sahadi’s in Brooklyn, and Schultz’s Crab House in Essex, Maryland.
Congratulations to all of the restaurants for being named American Classic Restaurants. While La Taqueria is the most famous of the five, all of the James Beard Foundation’s picks are top-caliber restaurants deserving of their titles.