The James Beard Foundation announced Wednesday that Gusto Bread is a finalist for one of its nationwide awards, which are among the most sought-after honors in the industry.

Gusto has been serving artisan sourdough, savory pastries and innovative pan dulce on Fourth Street since 2020. It is the only Long Beach eatery still in the running for the award.

Two other Long Beach institutions, Ammatoli and La Parolaccia Osteria, were announced as semifinalists in January, but only Gusto made the cut to move on to the final round.

Gusto, which has been featured everywhere from the Long Beach Post to the New York Times, has earned a dedicated following for its stellar pastries, like the special pan de muerto that baker Arturo Enciso has made for Dia de los Muertos.

Pan de muerto a traditional bread for Dia De Los Muertos baked at Gusto Bread in Long Beach Friday, Oct. 23, 2020. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

Gusto is competing in the outstanding bakery category against four other contenders: The Burque Bakehouse, in Albuquerque, New Mexico; JinJu Patisserie, in Portland, Oregon; Mel the Bakery, in Hudson, New York; and ZU Bakery, in Portland, Maine.

The eateries are judged on “consistent excellence in food, atmosphere, hospitality, and operations while contributing positively to its broader community,” according to the James Beard Foundation.

Winners are scheduled to be announced June 10 at a ceremony in Chicago.

Gusto Bread is at 2710 E. Fourth St.

Jeremiah Dobruck is managing editor of the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or @jeremiahdobruck on Twitter.