Posted by: acooksca | 05/02/2015

Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone

The Lucky Penny in the Funk Zone

The Lucky Penny in the Funk Zone

Sandwiched in the few blocks between its famous beach and the Pacific Coast Highway is Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone. During the past decade this district of small, aged warehouses has been revitalized by local artists, artisans, urban wineries and hip eateries. The Zone isn’t so much funky as it is a neighborhood with a sub-culture of creativity.

Seated in a sunny courtyard made intimate by wall-art and foliage we begin our day at The Lucky Penny. Breakfast starts with carefully made espresso drinks and fresh squeezed orange juice. From the diminutive kitchen’s wood burning oven we choose one of several cast-iron casseroles: eggs, chorizo, potatoes, cotija cheese and salsa verde. Along side is crisp ciabatta toast.

 Egg casserole at the Lucky Penny

Egg casserole at the Lucky Penny

An adjoining patio is the outdoor dining room for The Lark, a New American fare eatery in a former fish market. Tucked away in the center of the same complex we find Les Marchands Wine Bar and Merchant. Here a former sommelier offers 600 wines, from small local producers to big name imports, along with small plates. The same block is home to Figueroa Mountain Brewery. We make a plan to walk for some hours then return for lunch.

We stroll past numerous local tasting rooms, some a part of the Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail. Garage-sized stores display all sorts of handmade goods. The Blue Door turns out to be an eclectic collection of vintage, modern and re-purposed treasures displayed over 3 floors.

 The bar at Figueroa Mountain Brewery

The bar at Figueroa Mountain Brewery

Much of what we enjoy about Santa Barbara is within a morning’s walk of the Funk Zone: a palm-bordered path along the beach, the core commercial corridor of State Street, art museums and civic buildings in the distinctive Santa Barbara architectural style. By lunchtime we need to sit down and recoup with something cold so we return to the Funk Zone and the Figueroa Mountain Brewery. They offer a dozen small-batch beers on tap and you can call the Lucky Penny to order lunch. We do that and someone from the Penny walks over a couple of excellent wood-fired pizzas. It’s all casual, communal and very fun.

Lucky Penny (127 Anacapa Street)-

The Lark (131 Anacapa Street) –

Les Marchands Wine Bar and Merchant (131 Anacapa Street, Suite B) –

Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. (137 Anacapa Street) –



  1. Karen, another article that makes me want to follow in your footsteps. Sounds like a fun trip with interesting discoveries! Thanks, as usual for a good read😋

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