Nestled between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the postcard-perfect central coast beaches, the Funk Zone is Santa Barbara’s fastest-growing neighborhood. Originally home to the city’s industrial manufacturing plants, the area now houses an eclectic mix of bars, cafes, homes, and galleries. This ever-evolving neighborhood is a melting pot of students, creatives, and entrepreneurs. The area effortlessly blends laid-back California culture with community values, resulting in a vibrant row of boutique businesses frequented by visitors, locals, and long-time residents alike.
While you can’t go wrong with any restaurant or shop you stumble upon in the Funk Zone, we’ve rounded up the best places in the neighborhood to get you started.
Dune Coffee Roasters | 528 Anacapa
Circle up at Dune Coffee for no-fuss caffeine and fresh-baked pastries. Frequented by neighborhood regulars, students, and wet-suit bearing surfers, this coffee watering hole has a fix for everyone. They’re conveniently located at the start of the Santa Barbara farmers market (which you can catch every Tuesday and Saturday) and their free wifi and outdoor patio make the perfect work-station to set up shop.
Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. | 137 Anacapa
Enjoy a selection of rotating drafts and food trucks at Figueroa. With a sun-filled patio that overlooks Anacapa street, you’ll never miss a beat. Each craft beer incorporates seasonal ingredients from local Santa Barbara farms. Head down on Sunday afternoons for live music and Summer Shandys to soak up the last of your weekend.
The Lucky Penny | 127 Anacapa
Looking for a casual bite with a unique setting? The Lucky Penny has got you covered. With an exterior tiled in copper pennies, the Lucky penny glistens like an artisanal mirage. Inside, chef Ron Batdorf serves up woodfire pizzas, small plates, craft coffee, and wine. For a more upscale venue, check out their five-star sister restaurant, The Lark, for Californian cuisine in a whimsical-chic atmosphere.
Test Pilot | 211 Helena
This tiki bar is far from tacky. With passion fruit Moscow mules and fresh coconut cocktails, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped off the street and into the Swiss Family Robinson home. Gather here any night of the week for kitschy drinks or head down on Wednesdays for trivia, where you can test your Gilligan’s Island expertise.
Moxi Museum | 125 State Street
With rotating art installations and hands-on exhibits, the Moxi museum brings curious minds of all ages through its doors. As the newest addition to the Funk Zone, the Moxi adds an entirely new flare of creativity, science, and art to the area. Check out Moxi on Friday nights for the After Party and let your inner child loose.
Municipal Winemakers | 22 Anacapa
Established in 2014, this wine spot is known for being the hostess with the mostess. Municipal Winemakers is famous for partnering with neighboring businesses to throw events including outdoor movie nights, weaving workshops, yoga, and DJ garden parties. They’re encouraging sustainability by selling wine in reusable bottles, which you can refill for half price. Need wine on the fly? They’ll even deliver the goods to your door on bike.
Helena Bakery | 131 Anacapa
Treat yourself to freshly baked bread and layered sandwiches at Helena Bakery. Whether you’re at the start of your day or in for a mid-day pick me up, you can’t go wrong. Helena Bakery emulates Funk Zone community values by sharing their warehouse space with the Santa Barbara wine collective. Bread, cheese, and wine all in one stop? We’re all in on this trio.