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Photograph: Martha WilliamsSun Wah

BYOB spot Sun Wah honored with James Beard Foundation America’s Classics award

Morgan Olsen
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Morgan Olsen

Monteverde, Proxi and Sixteen took home top honors at this year's Jean Banchet Awards over the weekend, but there's a not-so-new Chicago mainstay that's getting some extra love today. The James Beard Foundation announced the five national recipients of its 2018 America's Classics award, an honor meant to recognize restaurants "that have timeless appeal and are cherished for quality food that reflects the character of their community." The short list includes one Chicago spot: Sun Wah, the beloved no-frills Chinese barbecue joint in Uptown.

The writeup sums up a few of the many reasons city dwellers love this restaurant: "People travel from across the city for their famed three-course Beijing Duck Feast (so famous the family doesn’t bother listing it on the menu), carved tableside and served with duck fried rice and duck soup. Sun Wah got its liquor license years ago, but in a nod to its history and loyal supporters, permits B.Y.O. for a ludicrously low corkage fee."

The award is bestowed upon exceptional locally owned establishments that have been around for more than 10 years; honorees are selected by the JBF's Restaurant & Chef Awards committee and a panel of critics, writers, editors and industry experts. Stay tuned for more Chicago love when the James Beard Foundation Awards Gala rolls through town on Monday, May 7.

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