Tucson City of Gastronomy

Restaurant Certification Program

The non-profit Tucson City of Gastronomy (TCoG) manages the UNESCO City of Gastronomy designation for metro Tucson and it’s southern Arizona foodshed, and is developing a new program for certifying and promoting Tucson City of Gastronomy Restaurants in the region. 


The goals of the program are to make the certification meaningful through criteria that connect locally owned, unique restaurants to the rest of the local food system and the community in positive ways, and to promote those restaurants that meet the criteria. The criteria are designed to be within reach of all types and sizes of locally owned restaurants, but it is expected that many restaurants would need to change at least some of their menu and operations in order to qualify. 

Those that receive certification will be models for how restaurants can help move the local food system in positive directions, and contribute to building a local food economy that is stronger, more sustainable and equitable, and better connected to the community. We believe that, under these criteria, certification with the Tucson City of Gastronomy brand will bring more attention and business from both residents and visitors, who will vote with their wallets to support local restaurants offering authentic tastes of our region and making a difference in our community.

City of Gastronomy Restaurants


To be certified for the calendar year, a restaurant must fill out and submit an application demonstrating how it meets all of the required criteria AND score at least 15 points in the 7 self-selected criteria categories. The 7 categories are Local Sourcing, Heritage Conservation, Food Service Employee Support, Addressing Food Security, Environmental Stewardship, Economic Development, as well as a self selected category.

To increase consumer awareness and maintain the transparency of the program, certified restaurants must prominently display for customers their certification and list how they meet the program’s criteria with a framed certificate (provided), chalk board, menu note, or table placards. Certifications must be renewed through annual re-applications.


Mock Up of Sticker (NOT THE FINAL LOGO)

Mock Up of Sticker (NOT THE FINAL LOGO)

Tucson City of Gastronomy Restaurants

  1. May display the “Tucson City of Gastronomy” name and logo for the calendar year. (Window sticker and frameable certificate are provided).

  2. May promote themselves as a “Certified Tucson City of Gastronomy Restaurant” for the calendar year. 

  3. Will be specially promoted by Tucson City of Gastronomy and Visit Tucson. 

  4. Will become part of the network of Tucson City of Gastronomy restaurants participating in international chef exchanges, event appearances, press opportunities, and an annual Tucson Gastronomy Week. 

  5. Will be offered complimentary attendance for up to 10 staff at Local First Arizona Tucson paid events and seminars upon membership with Local First Arizona ($200 value not included with regular memberships).

  6. Will be offered the opportunity to have exclusive, complementary promotional space and branding at one Local First Arizona Roadshow event in Tucson in partnership with Tucson City of Gastronomy upon membership with Local First Arizona ($1,500 value not included with regular memberships).

Fee Structure

Annual fee tiered by the number of seats in the restaurant:
Food Truck $75
20 seats or less $100
20-50 seats $150
50-100 seats $200
More than 100 seats $250