Lucky Penny Sherry Villanueva Lucky Penny

Lucky Penny Awards

A takeout operation for wood-fired pizzas and more in Santa Barbara's Funk Zone.
Openings: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner daily


Lucky Penny, Santa Barbara, CA

Lucky Penny Restaurant Review:

Santa Barbara's Funk Zone has experienced an upswing in wine and food kicked off by Sherry Villanueva and her neighboring restaurants. Abutting the parking lot, Lucky Penny is a takeout operation occupying a small standalone building whose exterior is almost completely covered in pennies --- 164,456 of them, to be exact. After ordering inside, guests can enjoy their food out on the patio and admire the mural by local artist Campbell Baker. (It's a tribute to the Lark train that traveled from Los Angeles to San Francisco, stopping at the nearby Santa Barbara train station on its way.) In the mornings until 11 a.m., patrons can stop in for coffee (including cold brew coffee on tap that can be brought home in a refillable growler), baked goods, housemade granola or eggs baked in cast iron. The lunch and dinner menu then offers salads, sandwiches and pizzas prepared in a custom-built, wood-fired oven. Seasonal inspirations may include a spinach and frisée salad with bacon vinaigrette and fuyu persimmons. Pulled pork (braised in the Stagecoach Stout produced by Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. in Buellton) is paired with apple-jalapeño slaw and served on a brioche bun. Dan Russo, the general manager of The Lark and Lucky Penny, even has a signature pizza --- "Ode to Dan Russo" --- topped with oven-roasted tomatoes, pork and fennel sausage, spicy Calabrian chiles, smoked mozzarella and arugula. There's also draft beer and house red and white wines.

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