Well-beloved longtime Austin Mexican restaurant Joe’s Bakery & Coffee Shop won one of the James Beard Foundation’s America’s Classic restaurants this year. The full list was announced today, February 22.
The America’s Classics awards are the foundation’s way of honoring longstanding important historical restaurants that, as it describes in a press release: “have timeless appeal and are beloved regionally for quality food that reflects the character of its community.” Joe’s Bakery won within the Texas region.
Joe’s Bakery’s co-founders and couple Joe and Paula Avila opened the restaurant in 1962, offering a space for great food (the barbacoa and fried bacon are fantastic) and the community in what had been a very heavy Mexican-American neighborhood that has since shifted due to gentrification. But still. the restaurant stands, and two generations later, the business is run by their granddaughter, co-owner and manager Regina Estrada, along with their daughters, Estrada’s mother Rose Ann (Estrada’s mother) and Estrada’s aunt Carolina Avila.
The award winners will be celebrated during the James Beard Awards ceremony on Monday, June 5 in Chicago. That’s also when the chef and restaurant winners will be announced. For Austin, this means potential semifinalists Canje’s Tavel Bristol-Joseph, Distant Relatives’s Damien Brockway, KG BBQ’s Kareem El-Ghayesh (all three in the Best Chef, Texas category); Comadre Pandaderia’s Mariela Camacho in the Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker category; La Condesa in Outstanding Restaurant category; and Suerte in the Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages Program. The finalists will be announced on March 29.
Disclosure: Some Vox Media staff members are part of the voting body for the James Beard Awards.