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 experts, organized by The Arizona Restaurant Association.
INNOVATIVE FAST BITES – This award honors the fast-casual segment and the restaurant that constantly brings innovation to the table.
Farm & Craft
ARIZONA CRAFT RETAIL FOOD PRODUCT – This award honors the tried and true recipes that foodies want to have available at home.
Cutino Hot Sauce
Queen Creek Olive Mill
SIGNATURE DISH – Honors the restaurant that quite simply does it best.
Barrio Café – Chiles en Nogada Cotton & Copper – Rabbit Bolognese Lasagna
Cup Café – Cast Iron Baked Eggs
ARIZONA’S BEST COFFEE HOUSE – Honoring Arizona grown coffee house that is taking the state, and maybe even the country, by storm.
Matador Coffee Roasters
Press Coffee Roasters
FAVORITE ARIZONA WINERY – Toasting the top Arizona Winery.
Page Spring Cellars
TOP ARIZONA BREWERY – Raising a glass to the best Arizona brewery.
Mother Road Brewing Company
COCKTAIL PROGRAM – Raising a glass to an elite cocktail program.
Tough Luck Club
WINE PROGRAM – Recognizing an outstanding restaurant or bar that demonstrates excellence and innovation in their wine program.
BEST BEVERAGE PROGRAM – Recognizing a bar or restaurant that keeps their beverage menu edgy yet approachable embracing all things beverage – spirits, wine and beer.
Bitter & Twisted
Tito & Pep
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.
FANTASTIC FOOD TRUCK – Recognizes outstanding achievement in mobile nourishment, operations and community development.
Maine Lobster Lady
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.
Cotton & Copper
Tito & Pep
TOP ARIZONA CATERER – An Arizona grown catering team that provides quality dining experience at any location and exemplary service.
Artisan by Santa Barbara Catering
Conceptually Social (CS) Catering
Farmboy Markets, Meats and Sandwiches
OUTSTANDING LOCAL RESTAURANT GROUP – Honors a culinary group with more than 3 locations with the same or different brands, demonstrating exceptional achievement and commitment to excellence in marketing, menu design and customer service.
Born & Raised Hospitality
Dahl Restaurant Group
Fox Restaurant Concepts
UNIQUELY ARIZONA – Home to some of the oldest documented food traditions, Arizona has a rich culinary past steeped in tradition. The ARA is searching statewide for the restaurants that embrace not only the local food but are staples of the state.
Cotton & Copper
ACCLAIMED INDUSTRY INSTAGRAMMER – Honoring the best Instagrammer who has captured the hearts of its visitors with outstanding Instagram food photography.
BEST OF THE BEST FOOD WRITER – This award recognizes a writer, blogger, food critic who dedicates time, passion and energy to capturing the beauty of the industry with the written word in any form.
Alison Bailin, Freelance
Dominic Armato, Arizona Republic
Lauren Saria, Arizona Republic
GOOD NEIGHBOR – Recognizes the outstanding community leadership and exceptional devotion to making a difference in local neighborhoods and the community at large.
Charleen Badman, FnB and the Blue Watermelon Project
The Breadfruit & Rum Bar
TOP MIXOLOGIST | BARTENDER – Honoring an individual who is behind the bar or constantly raising the bar and setting trends in the beverage scene.
Aaron DeFeo – Little Rituals
Nick Williams – Annex Cocktail Lounge
Ross Simon – Bitter & Twisted
TOP CHEF – Pays tribute to outstanding culinary excellence, breaking new ground with an innovative menu while enhancing the dining experience.
Gio Osso, Virtu
Michael Rusconi – Rusconi’s American Kitchen
Ryan Clark, PY Steakhouse
FOOD PIONEER – Lifetime Achievement Award. Honors a lifetime of outstanding culinary excellence that continues to educate, inspire, entertain and foster a deeper understanding of the culinary culture in Arizona.
Charleen Badman, FnB – out of town
Janos Wilder, Downtown Kitchen +Cocktails
Lisa Dahl, Dahl Restaurant Group
To be announced…
Employee of the Year
Recognizes the front or back of house employee (non-managerial) that has set the gold standard for exemplary customer service and enhancing the overall dining experience.
Manager of the Year
Recognizes the manager that has set the gold standard for exemplary customer service and leadership as well as enhancing the overall dining experience.
Finalists and winners will be recognized during a plated dinner ceremony on Thursday, October 10th at Young’s Market Company’s Seventh and Union.
2019 AWARD CATEGORIES