The national James Beard Foundation has honored longstanding Michigan restaurant Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth with the 2020 America's Classic Award.

The family-friendly destination in Saginaw County is one of six restaurants this year to receive the honor, which is given to locally owned businesses that have "timeless appeal and are beloved regionally for quality food that reflects the character of its community."

More than 100 restaurants have been granted an America's Classic Award since the James Beard Foundation introduced the category in 1998. Zehnder's and others will be feted at the James Beard Awards Gala on May 4 in Chicago. 

The famous restaurant's story starts in 1928 when the Zehnder family purchased the Exchange Hotel, which dates back to the 1850s. Today Zehnder's has a restaurant, tap room, golf course, event space and is home to Splash Village. 

Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth the restaurant is known for serving family-style fried chicken dinners with mashed potatoes, dressing, buttered egg noodles and other fixings. 

Zehnder's is at 730 S. Main in Frankenmuth and is open daily at 11 a.m. Call (844) 802-8323 or visit

Dearborn's Al Ameer was honored with the award in 2016.

Twitter: @melodybaetens

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