HomeAsian AmericansVietnamese restaurant in Philadelphia receives culinary award

Vietnamese restaurant in Philadelphia receives culinary award

The 40-year-old and family-owned business Vietnam Restaurant in Philadelphia’s Chinatown will receive the America’s Classics Award, recognized by the James Beard Foundation.

The restaurant, located at 221 North 11th Street, is one of the six restaurants in the country to be awarded the 2024 America’s Classics Award, according to CBS News.

Vietnam Restaurant was opened by Thuyen Luu and Nhu Lai in 1984, five years after the couple immigrated from Vietnam and two years after the family opened a grocery store called Fu Wah in Philadelphia.

In 1989, Thuyen Luu and Nhu Lai gave ownership rights of the restaurant to their son Benny, who together moved into a larger, multi-floor space in 2000, CBS News reported. The restaurant also has a second branch in West Philadelphia called Vietnam Café. 

“The family secured Vietnam’s place as one of Philly’s favorite date-night destinations for classic Vietnamese cuisine,” read a statement from the James Beard Foundation. “From barbecue platters laden with grilled meats, stuffed grape leaves, and Philly’s crispiest spring rolls, to nước chấm–splashed vermicelli bowls, fragrant noodle soups, lemongrass stir-fries, and clay pots sizzling with caramelized pork, Vietnam’s kitchen has remained a model of consistency for decades.”

The James Beard Awards, which began in 1990, is one of the top honors in the culinary industry. 

Since the category of America’s Classics was introduced in 1998, the James Beard Foundation has given this title to over 100 businesses of “locally owned restaurants that serve quality food, have timeless appeal, and reflect the character of their communities,” VnExpress International reported.

“We are honored and grateful to have been selected as a 2024 James Beard Restaurant America’s Classics winner!” read a statement from the restaurant on Instagram, CBS News reported. “To our cherished customers, you are the heart and soul of our restaurant. Thank you for being a part of our extended family for the past 40 years. Your support means everything to us!”

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