The Foodist Awards recognize the most amazing tastes, faces and places in Arizona food and beverage. Awards are given to entries that demonstrate innovation, quality of execution, effectiveness and an influential impact on the culinary and hospitality industry.

The nomination process is open to the public. Finalists and winners are chosen by a panel of industry influencers, organized by The Arizona Restaurant Association.


Innovative Restaurant Concept – Recognizes a restaurateur or restaurant group who demonstrates that they don’t follow trends; they define them, setting the bar in restaurant operations and the overall customer dining experience.

Outstanding Food Truck – Recognizes outstanding achievement in mobile nourishment, operations and community development.

Emerging Restaurant of the Year – Honors promising up-and-comers that demonstrate exemplary talent, showcase innovation and have already distinguished themselves as pacesetters in food, beverage and service.

Best Arizona Caterer  – An Arizona grown catering team that provides quality dining experience at any location with fantastic service.

Outstanding Multiple Location Restaurant – Honors a culinary concept with more than 3 locations, demonstrating exceptional achievement and commitment to excellence in marketing, menu design and customer service.

Uniquely Arizona – Home to some of the oldest documented food traditions, Arizona has a rich culinary history. We are searching statewide for the restaurants that embrace not only the local food but are staples of the state.

Innovative Fast-Casual Dish – Honoring our fast-casual segment, and the most unique dish on the menu.

Best Arizona Restaurant Retail Food Product.  Hats off to the best sauces, spices, and restaurant recipes sold in stores around the Valley of the Sun.

Best Signature Dish: – Honors the restaurant that quite simply does it best.

Best Arizona Wine – Raising a glass to the best wine made in Arizona – from rose to chardonnay, this wine is the best of the best from State 48.

Best Arizona Beer – Raising a glass to the best beer made in Arizona – from ales to malts, this beer is the best of the best from State 48.

Best Cocktail– Raising a glass to the best cocktail made in Arizona. This beverage is an exceptional cocktail that is without-a-doubt delicious, garnished to perfection while pushing the limits with flavors.

Best Beverage Program – Recognizing a bar or restaurant that keeps their beverage menu edgy yet approachable, embracing all things beverage – cocktails, spirits, wine and beer.

Restaurant Employee – Recognizes the front or back of house employee (non-managerial) who has set the gold standard for customer service and enhances the overall dining experience.

Restaurant Manager –Recognizes the manager who has set the gold standard for customer service and leadership, and continually enriches the overall customer and team experience.

Top Chef – Pays tribute to outstanding culinary excellence, breaking new ground with an innovative menu while enhancing the dining experience.

Top Mixologist – Honoring an individual who is behind the bar, continually shaking it up and defining trends in the beverage scene.

Good Neighbor – Recognizes a team or individual’s outstanding leadership and devotion to making a difference in our neighborhoods and communities at large.

Best of the Best Food Writer – This award recognizes a writer, blogger, or food critic who dedicates time, passion and energy to capturing the beauty and telling the important stories of our industry.

Food Pioneer – Honors a lifetime of outstanding culinary excellence that continues to educate, inspire, entertain and foster a deeper understanding of the culinary culture in Arizona.

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