Oriental Mart Gets America's Classics Award from James Beard Foundation

Oriental Mart is famous for its salmon tamarind soup.
IMAGE INSTAGRAM/ @beardfoundation

The James Beard Foundation has just announced the six recipients of the 2020 America's Classics Award, and Pike Place icon, Oriental Mart, was among those recognized. The Filipino grocery store and restaurant was opened by Milagros Apostol in 1971 after emigrating to Seattle.

In an interview with the Seattle Times, cook and owner Leila Rosas said the award was an incredible honor to "a restaurant that is just a hole in the wall." It was Rosas, Apostol's daughter, that decided to open an eatery adjacent to the grocery in 1987.

Oriental Mart is famous for its salmon tamarind sinigang and “Do You Trust Me Plate,” a hot plate of assorted items that depends on what's in season or Rosas' picks for the day.

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Since 1998, the James Beard Foundation Awards Committee has worked to recognize America's regional restaurants with a mission to celebrate, nurture, and honor chefs and other leaders. To be designated as America's Classics, the committee looks into an establishment's timeless appeal, as well as how one serves quality food that reflects the character of their communities.

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Paolo Chua
Associate Style Editor
Paolo Chua is the Associate Style Editor at Esquire Philippines, where he writes about fashion and grooming. Before joining Esquire Philippines, he was a writer at Town & Country Philippines.
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