Snail of Approval Guidelines

Slow Food Southern Arizona announces our new Snail of Approval program, which honors local restaurateurs

who exemplify the principles of Slow Food and contribute to the quality, authenticity, and sustainability of food

in our community. Awarded restaurants are all located in the Southern Arizona region and all show commitment

to the three basic principles of Slow Food: good, clean, and fair.


  • Seasonality: Menu emphasizes use of seasonal, fresh produce.

  • Taste: Menu offers fresh and wholesome ingredients; food is prepared with care and craft.

  • Community: Contributes to the uniqueness and richness of the Southern Arizona culinary community.

 Involved in advancing the awareness of Slow Food principles in the community through sharing time, talent,

 knowledge, and/or resources.

  • Artisan: Presents fine food created by their own or the hands of other artisans; traditional foods are true to their cultural heritage.

  • Authenticity: Heirloom varietals and heritage breeds are true to their evolutionary history.


  • Sustainability: Establishment uses natural products free of additives and strives to incorporate local, seasonal foods on the menu. Uses meats, dairy, fish, and shellfish that have been produced responsibly, sustainably, and humanely from reputable providers. Produce is grown and harvested with methods that have a positive impact on our local ecosystems and promotes biodiversity.

  • Low Impact: Produces food using products and processes that minimize waste and impact of food production/distribution (e.g., avoids single-use, nonrecyclable packaging/products; participates in recycling/composting and low-carbon delivery programs).


  • Local Sources: Makes an effort to procure food sources in Tucson, Southern Arizona, and Arizona.

  • Awareness: Establishment includes outreach and education for customers on the source of the products used. 

  • Fair Business and Labor Practices: Contributes to the quality of life in the Southern Arizona region through fair employment practices; purchases ingredients produced by people who are treated with dignity and justly compensated for their labor.


Nomination and Approval Process

  • Slow Food members can nominate any restaurant in Southern Arizona that contributes to the quality, authenticity, and/or sustainability of our food supply.

  • Restaurants that are Slow Food members can nominate themselves. Recipients are not required to be Slow Food members to be nominated the Snail of Approval.

  • Nomination forms will be submitted to the SFSA Snail of Approval Committee. The Committee will then vet the recipients (including an onsite visit if necessary) and forward its recommendations to the SFSA officers. Recipients will receive Snail of Approval decal(s) to be displayed, and will be listed, along with a description of their products and services, on the Snail of Approval page of the SFSA website.

  • The Snail of Approval designation is good for two years; renewal is by the same process.