Customer satisfaction and trust is earned through authenticity reflected in your food and dining atmosphere. A skilled architect can help you achieve the best possible atmosphere for your restaurant by energizing and improving your restaurant design and brand experience. They can shoulder the responsibility of incorporating aesthetics with thoughtful and functional design, creating extraordinary and memorable settings that are an authentic reflection of your brand.

The list below describes the best restaurant architects in  Scottsdale, Arizona. These firms were selected for their accreditations, certifications, and professional affiliations. We also looked at each firm’s industry awards, client reviews, and press features. Below, we’ve discussed the range of services the firms offer, their specializations, and the length of time they have been in the industry.

Nelsen Partners

15210 N Scottsdale Road, #300, Scottsdale, AZ 85254

A service-focused architecture and planning firm, Nelsen Partners is committed to creating high-quality spaces and communities throughout the world. Nelsen Partners’s success is rooted in its ability to listen, understand the design problem, and skillfully create a sound architectural solution. Each project is considered under a distinct set of criteria, using sound design principles as the foundation of each design solution. The company’s highly collaborative design methodology begins with the firm’s understanding of the project objectives, market position, and the client’s goals. The overall process is executed with a structured project management system to guide the project from inception to completion. Nelsen Partners balances its expertise with creativity in providing solutions and services to its clients. Brad Nelsen, the president and founder, is a member of the AIA. For nearly 40 years, he has been designing mixed-use, retail, office, multifamily, hospitality, and custom residential projects throughout the United States, as well as in Australia, the Middle East, and North Africa. Brad plays a guiding role in all aspects of the firm’s work, as he did with the development of Ocean 44.

The southwest corner of the restaurant is wrapped in glass to fully reveal the interior. The glazing is protected with a deep overhang that overlaps solid walls of adjacent masses. The underside is clad with phenolic wood panels that flow inside creating a continuous soffit within while providing a deep soft shade. Being a dinner-only restaurant, the subtle dark color of the metal was used to fade into the dark sky at night and further accentuate its stone walls.

Cawley Architects, Inc.

730 North 52nd St. Suite 203, Phoenix, AZ 85008

Accredited by NAIOP, Cawley Architects applies its collaborative approach to project management in order to create commercial buildings of superior form, function, and value. The design-build firm is knowledgeable in specialized architectural requirements, technologies, and building trends across a number of styles and sectors. That includes industrial, manufacturing, distribution, healthcare, bioscience, retail, restaurant, entertainment, office, automotive, aerospace, and multifamily properties.

After perfecting his craft in a small design studio for 13 years, Sherman Cawley founded Cawley Architects in 1994. He has practiced architecture in Phoenix for 40 years, primarily in the design-build commercial arena as a member of the AIA and the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR). Paul Devers, Jr., Vice President of Cawley Architects, is a member of the National Council of Registration Board (NCARB) and has provided architectural services for office, retail, industrial, corporate, hospitality, and medical projects. 

With visionary leadership from Sherman and Paul, the firm completed Bottled Blonde in Tempe, Arizona. The design upped the al-fresco ante by carving out over 9,000 square feet of covered patio dining and lounge space right in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale’s bustling Entertainment District. Picnic-style tables and wood-fired pizzas are contrasted with modern nods from both the classic Italian kitchen and the German beer garden.

PHX Architecture – Erik B. Peterson

15990 N Greenway-Hayden Loop, Suite C-100, Scottsdale, AZ 85260

PHX Architecture collaborates with clients on classic and contemporary residential, specialty commercial, golf clubhouse, and hospitality projects that are aligned with the ideals of the AIA. The firm delivers a full range of architectural services spanning site planning and construction administration to graphic renderings. Its team pays great attention to detail in creating designs that address the needs of the client while responding to the project’s distinct qualities.

Erik B. Peterson, the president of the firm and a member of the AIA, worked at the renowned Taliesin Architects—Frank Lloyd Wright’s firm in Arizona. There he gained considerable experience in organic architecture. The NCARB-certified professional is an expert in lifestyle design, including luxury, bespoke residential, golf clubhouses, boutique resorts, and distinctive dining. He is a recipient of multiple Gold Nuggets, Best in American Living and Luxe Magazine Red Awards. Erik has also been honored as “Master of the Southwest” by Phoenix Home & Garden and an “Icon of Beverly Hills” by Modern Luxury

Erik steered the PHX team in developing SumoMaya, influenced by the Mayan Culture of Mexico and fused with the Japanese culture of Asia. The open kitchen design allows guests to interact with the chefs as they create unique dishes. The 18-foot tall tree is the focal point of the interior, while the lines are blurred between indoor and outdoor dining on the 1,400-square-foot covered patio.

Aline Architecture Concepts

7340 E Main Street, #210, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

The concept for Clever Ramen was to use raw, true materials that bring warmth and life to the space while representing the client’s food values of quality, craft, and raw ingredients. Their goal was to bring plant life and warmth into the project, but also let the design and function lean heavily on technology. ALINE developed a parametric plywood ceiling and wall feature using a software that allows them to control the shapes and feed directly to a CNC machine for quick turnaround, quantity take offs, real time cost, and less than 5% waste.

Since 2010 ALINE has been a leading design firm in the valley and currently working on several high-profile projects. Their focus has been on developing projects with a higher level of craft, collaborating with local companies, and supporting the Phoenix community and environment. The principal’s, Brian Laubenthal and Brian Krob, have built a strong reputation in the valley for their honest, respectful approach to business as well as putting their client’s goals and agenda first. The firm has received international, national, and local awards and recognition for their efforts.

180 Degrees Design + Build

4955 N 7th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85013

Backed by 21 years of experience, 180 Degrees Design + Build is one of Arizona’s award-winning, architect-led firms that forward innovation and sustainability in its craft. Thanks to its continued commitment to good design, its work has been featured in several large publications such as ArchDaily, ABC15 Arizona, Dwell, AZ Big Media, Biz AZ Magazine, and Builder Magazine.

Leading the business are principals and AIA members James Trahan, John Anderson, and Troy Vincent. James is a licensed architect in multiple states, including Arizona, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, and Illinois, and is a past recipient of the AIA’s Young Architect Award. He even served as the past president of both the AIA Rio Salado and AIA Arizona. He is joined by John, an active member of the community and previous president of the AIA student chapter at Arizona State University where he currently serves on the board of its School of Architecture student council.  Meanwhile, Troy has also served several terms on the AIA Central Chapter’s board of directors and has served as a guest critic on several design awards like the City of Scottsdale environmental design awards, Arizona Masonry Guild regional design awards, and the American Society of Landscape Architects state design awards.

Featured here is Cartel Coffee Lab in downtown Phoenix. The exterior presents itself as a row of five windows with a window bar and stools in front of four of them. Inside, the layout is very simple: another window bar is situated to the right, almost mirroring the one outside, while the counter occupies the back and left walls. The lobby has a pair of benches and two picnic-style tables. There is a small, round table to the left of the entrance. Beyond that, there is a large meeting room which can be used for seating if not occupied by the building’s tenants.

Allen + Philp Partners

7154 East Stetson Drive, 4th Floor, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Allen + Philp Partners is well-known in the commercial real estate industry, having won a Real Estate and Development (RED) Award. The firm’s strength lies in its core competencies in architecture and interior design that respond to the site and programmatic requirements of each project. Allen + Philp Partners has a special interest in hospitality and urban mixed-use developments, spanning destination resorts, signature spas, casinos, golf and country clubs, specialty retail and restaurants, and residential facilities. With projects in China, Spain, Croatia, Montenegro, Mexico, and a number of other countries, the company has worked with diverse geographical, climatic and cultural influences and has an in-depth understanding of how these affect design, systems, and materials.

Allen + Philp Partners began with Kenneth L. Allen and Mark A. Philp who hold membership with the AIA and certificates from NCARB. Apart from serving on the City of Scottsdale Development Review Board and Redevelopment Board, Allen is a member of the Urban Land Institute and the International Society of Hospitality Consultants. He acts as the firm’s business manager; Philp leads the design direction which has earned the company over 50 Awards for Design Excellence. Along with Partners Dino Ortis, Matthew Kosednar, and Michael Marcoux, Allen and Philp oversaw the design team in developing the Canal Restaurant.

The Canal Club showcases gold upholstered chairs, pink fringed lamps, and a wall sealing off the kitchen from the dining room. Other restaurant projects designed by the firm include the wood-and-stone, western-style El Paso BBQ company in Scottsdale, the former Hops Bistro & Brewery, and the Trader Vics Restaurant in Scottsdale. Each of these restaurants had a distinctive style and atmosphere created with elegance and ease by Allen + Philip.

SPS+ Architects LLP

​8681 E Vía de Negocio, Scottsdale, AZ 85258

SPS+ Architects is a full-service firm providing architectural and engineering services for education, commercial, multifamily, legacy, and native American design projects. The firm specializes in design, archeological studies and clearance, construction administration, code analysis, cost estimation, and construction documents and procurement. Through an inclusive, interactive design process, the company’s work embodies the values and social organizations of the communities it serves. SPS+ extends its dedication to its clients by keeping them in the loop throughout the entirety of the project. As members of the US Green Building Council with four LEED Accredited Professionals on staff, the firm implements passive and active green building strategies into the design of each project by way of its Green Initiative.

Partner Mark Davenport is a member of the AIA, the Association for Learning Environments (A4LE), and a LEED AP for Building Design and Construction. Under his leadership, SPS+ Architects actively participates on committees and boards in the Arizona Association of School Business Officials (AASBO) and the Arizona School Board Association (ASBA/ASA). The firm has received recognition from AIA Arizona and the Hong Kong Institute of Architects.

SPS+ is responsible for the design of the third Jade Palace location. SPS+ updated the Jade Palace brand to appeal to a more high-end clientele while applying feng shui principles. The team converted adjacent offices and dental facilities into a 6,940 -square-foot restaurant complete with a nine-wok full commercial kitchen, a private dining room, a bar, and a sliding door partition for space flexibility.

Deutsch Architecture Group

4600 East Indian School Road, Phoenix, AZ 85018

For over 40 years, Deutsch Architecture Group has delivered exceptional architecture, interior design, and planning services to national and international clients. Its in-house staff supports its capabilities in furniture procurement, material selection, and rendering that adheres to the standards of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and the International Interior Design Association (IIDA). To contribute to protecting and enhancing the environment, Deutsch Architecture Group follows LEED principles and strives to integrate the natural landscape with people’s needs for the benefit of both.

Bernie Deutsch brings over four decades of experience in architecture and engineering to Deutsch Architecture Group’s practice. He holds membership with the AIA and an NCARB certificate. Within the community, he currently serves on the Arizona Manufacturers Council Board of Directors. Bernie runs the firm alongside David Calcaterra. As a member of NAIOP, David upholds the organization’s principles when executing Deutsch Architecture Group’s design approach. Bernie’s and David’s combined leadership has established a culture of design excellence at the company, as demonstrated by their work on the Lighthouse Cafe in the OdySea Aquarium. The interior echoes the marine and aquatic theme of the Aquarium, using bright colors that add playfulness to the space. Customers enter the dining area through a striking model of a lighthouse. The cafe is anchored by a stunning art exhibit, extending the learning experience from the aquarium to the dining area.

3rd Story Architecture & Land Planning

20789 N Pima Road, Suite 220, Scottsdale, AZ 85255

Widely recognized for its luxury residential and commercial architecture and land planning work, 3rd story crafts award-winning mixed-use, hospitality, healthcare, and wellness facilities that enrich people’s lives. Providing new construction, renovation, and adaptive reuse, the firm develops creative design solutions that are budget and schedule-sensitive. The multidisciplinary practice is driven by its commitment to fulfilling client needs through a collaborative design approach spearheaded by owner and principal Rick Daugherty. 

Rick discovered his passion for building design on a trip to Italy which led to his degree in Environmental Design. As an architect with three decades of experience, he has a wealth of knowledge that comes out of a multitude of construction sites, materials, and methodologies. Rick offers extensive insight into costs, risk, and project management balance from working alongside leading developers and investors throughout the country.

3rd Story has a strong track record of taking on challenging projects, such as Fat Ox in Scottsdale. The sleek 7,000-square-foot restaurant features a marble and brass bar, leather banquettes, and a touch of Art Deco dazzle. A cool expanse of conservatory-style black steel mullioned windows, gleaming wood columns, and the soft glow of good lighting all add up to a sophisticated backdrop for the modern Italian food Fat Ox serves.

a.d. ArizaDo

1255 W Rio Salado Parkway, Suite 207, Tempe, AZ 85281

In 1999, Chris Cooper established a.d. ArizaDo with the intention of providing environmentally conscious design tailored to client needs. The firm sets the bar for quality architecture, interior design, and construction administration services supported by the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce. Before undertaking any project, the firm strives to get a good grasp of the client’s goals and vision in order to deliver spaces that engage with the end-user and create value for the client’s business. a.d. ArizaDo RGA addresses the complexities of restaurant, retail, and mixed-use design, while implementing sustainability strategies. 

a.d. ArizaDo remodeled the entire dining room and expanded the bar area. The team made the environment cozier with a lighter palette, raised fabric panels, and fire and water elements. The new design incorporates exotic veneers, various mosaic insets, and vertical beveled stone—all using a natural pallet of sustainability. The high ceilings, waterfall wall at the entrance, and open dining areas provide a fully immersive experience for Kona Grill’s customers.

RKAA Architects Inc.

2233 East Thomas Road, Phoenix, AZ 85016

For several years in a row, Kubicek Architects and Associates (RKAA) has been honored with the Best Architectural Services Award by Inside Self-Storage Magazine for its command of commercial architecture. The firm has particular strengths in the areas of site planning, entitlement, interior design, three-dimensional imaging, and construction administration. RKAA also undertakes prototype development for retail tenants and the production of construction documents for multiple locations, as well as engineering, landscape, and lighting design consulting. Through its work, the company maintains strong ties with the Arizona Institute of Architects and the International Council of Shopping Centers.

Founding Partner Robert W. Kubicek draws on 45 years of experience working with prominent brands like JCPenney, Sears, Kroger, and Walgreens. The AIA member and NCARB-certified architect led RKAA to adopt a flexible approach to design that allows for future user capabilities of expanding or dividing a building or space. Under his direction, the firm has completed various retail centers, businesses, and medical offices.  They’ve also provided work in the educational, hospitality, entertainment, and industrial sectors.

One of RKAA’s most memorable projects is the Crossroads North / South Pad. The clinic celebrates straightforward exterior through concrete brick walls, glass windows, and accent walls.

Sixty First Place Architects

7120 E Indian School Road, Suite L, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Sixty First Place Architects was founded in 1995, pioneering a different approach to the design of industrial, institutional, commercial, and single and multi-family housing developments. Its clientele has grown to accommodate both private businesses and government institutions such as Westcor, Grossman Company Properties, Department of the Navy, National Park Services, and the Gila River Indian Tribe. The LEED-accredited firm is certified as a Small Business Enterprise (SBE), a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), and a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE).

Three principals run the firm, bringing together creative, technical, and management expertise. Scott King is a LEED Accredited Professional and is certified by NCARB. His 26-year career includes working on the design of the Hyatt Regency at Gainey Ranch Scottsdale and The Westward Look Resort Tucson. With 25 years in the industry, Robert L. Gutierrez has a wealth of experience in the design, production, and administration of industrial, retail, residential, and restaurant projects such as Benan Ventures I through VI and the Flagstaff Mall. Rafique Islam has spent more than three decades refining his skills in commercial design, heading the completion of the Paradise Valley Mall, the Desert Sky Mall, and Hayden Square. They have all been instrumental in Sixty First Place Architects’ work in designing foodservice spaces such as OHSO Distillery.

The restaurant and local nano-brewery and distillery is designed to showcase locally brewed beer in a professional, yet casual setting. Concrete flooring adds a sense of functionality here. Lanterns hang over the patio’s high top and bar top tables, creating a warm and welcoming ambiance. Flatscreen TVs are fitted onto sections of the venue, providing entertainment for dining guests at every turn.


  • Blaine Comeione

    Blaine has served as Editor at General Contractors for six years, drawing from over ten years of experience in construction and real estate. His comprehensive understanding spans commercial construction, architecture, and home builds, cultivated through diverse roles in the industry. With four years at BuildZoom and a background as a licensed real estate agent, Blaine possesses a unique perspective that enriches his editorial work. His dedication to delivering informative content is underscored by his extensive tenure in the field, ensuring that readers receive valuable insights into the dynamic world of construction and home design. Expertise: Architecture, Commercial Construction, Home Design and Build Key Highlights: Over 6 years of experience writing and editing in the construction space, Editor at General Contractors, Previous experience at BuildZoom and Keller Williams Realty Education: Ohio University, Bachelor of Science in Human and Consumer Science - Minor in Business, 120+ Hours of New Jersey Real Estate Education, 120+ Hours of Arizona Real Estate Education