City of Gastronomy

To be designated as a City of Gastronomy, a city must:

  • show how its food system, food economy, and food culture can act as a driver for finding solutions to its main development challenges
  • describe how its cultural and culinary assets played an important role in the city’s history and economic development
  • list the food-related festivals, conferences, and special events that are aimed at professionals, the public, and tourists
  • identify programs, institutions, and organizations that support businesses and employment in the culinary industry
  • summarize food-related research being conducted
  • identify incubator programs and spaces for culinary businesses
  • present examples of food-related programs and projects that support vulnerable social groups and those that strengthen connections between the city, the private sector, and academia
  • list the policies, initiatives, and international exchanges and partnerships implemented by the city over the last five years that support the local food system and culinary industry
  • develop programming that provides opportunities to connect with other cities in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network


Tucson was selected to be the first UNESCO City of Gastronomy in the United States due to the region's lengthy agricultural history, heritage foods, sustainable agriculture, and vibrant culinary scene. Tucson has the longest agricultural history of any city in North America, extending back more than 4,000 years. As a result, the region has thriving food traditions and culinary distinctiveness (a unique blend of foods and traditions resulting from our multicultural history.) The city also fosters local food culture through food business start-ups, urban agriculture, food festivals, and the University of Arizona’s interdisciplinary food studies.

Learn more about Tucson, City of Gastronomy


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