PHOTO: Vespertine. Designed by EOM. Detail of an image by:Casey Dunn

Greetings, the RDAs will take a break during 2020 and be back in 2021. Please support your local restaurant in ways that are appropriate.

Now ready for 2020 service.
The AIA|LA Restaurant Design Awards (RDAs) honor the delicious design of restaurants, bars, cafes, nightclubs, and lounges.

Scroll Down to View: Key Dates, Eligibility Requirements, Conditions of Entry, and Registration Link.

The program is an opportunity for both owners and designers to showcase the design of their premises that is as tasty as the cuisine the architecture sets the table for.

An esteemed interdisciplinary jury panel selects RDA winners as well as additional finalists presented to the public and eligible for People’s Choice Awards. Past jurors have been the late, great LA food critic Jonathan Gold, chefs & restaurateurs Nancy Silverton and Barbara Lazaroff, marketing gurus, foodies, chefs, and, of course, stellar designers.

In 2020, the awards ceremony returns to the LA Design Festival held at ROW DTLA. The festivities are a two-parter. First, sit in on the AIA|LA’s “Behind Great Restaurant Design” during which the design teams behind the finalists describe the design process behind their restaurant and judges share why the project was included as a finalist. Then, the winners are announced and presented a custom-engraved NotNeutral award.

Talk about tasty!

Scroll through this page for all eligibility and conditions of entry information.

KEY DATES / 2020

2020 RDAs are suspended

Call for Entries Opens / Tues. March 10

Registrations Due / Mon. April 6

Submissions Due / Mon. April 29

Jury Day / TBD

People’s Choice Voting Opens / Tues. May 26

People’s Choice Voting Closes / Fri. June 12 at 11:59PM

Awards Ceremony / Sat. June 20


Restaurants: projects designed for full food and drink table service.

Cafés/Bars: projects designed for counter, or informal, food and drink service.

Lounges/Nightclubs: projects designed for entertainment, typically serving drinks and offering seating, music, dancing, etc.


A distinguished jury will convene to review this year’s entries and designate projects for recognition. Evaluations will be based on function, ambience and visual impact. The number of projects awarded will be at the discretion of the jury.

The jury’s top selections will be revealed as finalists for open People’s Choice Voting. The highest recipient of votes in each category will be announced and awarded at the Restaurant Design Awards Ceremony.

2018 Finalist: Coffee for Sasquatch by Dan Brunn Architecture. Photo by Brandon Shigeta.
+The AIA|LA Restaurant Design Awards are open to owners, architects, designers; AIA Members and Non-Members alike.

+Project Categories are: Restaurants, Cafes/Bars, and Lounges/Nightclubs.

+Projects must be located in the United States, or be the work of US-based individuals and practices, completed outside of the USA.

+You may register & submit any number of built projects, in any of the three categories.

+Projects must have been completed in the last four years - finished no earlier than January 1, 2016.

+Projects must be, or have been, open to the public. If the site is no longer in operation, the project may still be submitted.

+Projects by any 2020 AIA|LA RDA jury member (or that jury member's firm, regardless of location) are not eligible.

+An entry will be eligible even though the submitting architect is not the sole author, providing the submitting architect credits all other participants who substantially contributed to the design of the project.
2018 Finalist: Dekkadance & Sora by AC Martin. Photo by Eric Laignel
+A non-refundable entry fee must be paid online at time of registration. No entry fee will be refunded for entries that are disqualified, late, or not completed.

+In order to submit, registration must be completed no later than Monday, April 6, 2020.

+Projects submitted to other awards programs are eligible.

+Detailed submittal requirements, including specifications for entry materials and template, will be sent to all entrants after registration closes.

+All submissions will include:
++A "blind" project presentation for jury review.
++A concealed ID form with project credits.
++High-resolution project images, a selection of which may be used during People's Choice Voting, the AIA|LA Restaurant Design Awards Ceremony, and/or for publication and publicity.

PHOTO: Banner: ATX Cocina by Michael Hsu. Detail of image by Casey Dunn.