Hansen's Sno-Bliz

Fluffy ice. Homemade syrups. And the inventors of the first ice-shaving machine. That's what you get at this New Orleans mainstay, first opened in 1939. They make new flavors everyday, but still create snoballs from the original machine. Pretty epic. Let's just hope they clean it.

Hansen's Sno-Bliz - New Orleans, LA

Nick's Italian Cafe

As far as Oregonians go (and now James Beard), Nick's Italian Cafe is a local legend. Nick's minestrone and smoked salmon lasagna are two dishes that have fed generations while enduring the test of time. And by test of time, we mean over 30 years of superb service.

Nick's Italian Cafe - McMinnville, OR

Olneyville New York System

You gotta love when a place with New York in the name makes its home in Rhode Island. That's just part of the magic of Olneyville. They've been around since the 50's when Nicholas Stevens and his father Anthony moved to Rhode Island from Brooklyn to cook up "RI's Best Hot Wieners." They've since expanded to three locations in Providence. Here are two.

Olneyville New York System - Providence, RI
Olneyville New York System - N. Providence, RI

Perini Ranch Steakhouse

When "cowboy gourmet" Tom Perini moved his cuisine from the back of a chuck wagon into a restaurant on his family's ranch in 1983, it was the beginning of a long, successful career that would include everything from appearances on 'Good Morning America' to catering congressional picnics at the White House. Now, it includes this honor.

Perini Ranch Steakhouse - Buffalo Gap, TX

Sokolowski's University Inn

As one of the oldest family-owned-and-operated restaurants in Cleveland, this prized Polish restaurant has been open for over 90 years. Given its niche, it's hard to fathom you'll find a better kielbasa elsewhere. Well, maybe in Poland.

Sokolowski's University Inn - Cleveland, OH

Olneyville New York System
To see James Beard's top semi-finalists for 2014, gobble up the complete list at the official JBF Awards website. Winners will be announced on May 2nd and May 5th, at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall in New York City.