“When people think about where to pick up a pizza, I want the first word out of their mouths to be ‘Honor Market,’” says Hannah Locke, general manager of the Montecito takeaway pizza shop that also sells wine, beer, home décor, and all things aesthetically and edibly delicious.
As I gaze down at the huge and reasonably priced pizza before me — bursting with ripe farmers’ market tomatoes, fresh broccolini, and handmade meatballs — sip on a juicy Napa Valley Mi Sueño Cabernet Sauvignon (which they’ll generously pour for visitors as they wait), and look out onto Coast Village Road, I’m running out of reasons why this spot shouldn’t be first in mind when it comes to convenient takeout for S.B. palates.
Locke is confident in their product and ability to carve out a name for themselves in the world of pies. “Through our standards and our commitment to making every pizza the best, I don’t see why that won’t happen,” she says.
Honor Market opened in May 2016, shortly after Honor Bar opened next door. Both locations are part of the Hillstone Restaurant Group, which operates restaurants under 15 different names across the U.S.
“What sets Hillstone apart is the attention to detail; there’s a huge emphasis on design and ambiance,” Locke says of their meticulous dedication to creating the optimum atmosphere, which involves stage lighting.
The variety of ingredients includes gourmet cheeses, such as fromage blanc from France and Cypress Grove goat cheese from Arcata, as well as many farmers’ market finds, such as their honey.
The ridiculously tender chicken meatballs on their irresistible chicken meatball pizza will have diners swooning, but the true star of their pie is the crust. Not too thick and not too thin, it’s light and fluffy with plenty of crunch on the outside thanks to precise cooking and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.
“It took them seven years to develop the crust,” Locke says of the magical two-day processed dough.
Locke explains the Hillstone mind-set as, “What can we do to make this our own and make it better?”
Answers to this question shine in every corner of the market, in items as big as their artisan cutting boards and selection of high-quality wines to their sides of Green Sauce, a tasty condiment consisting of lime juice, garlic, sour cream, and cilantro served along with their pies. The delectable dip may have ranch fiends rethinking their addiction.
Honor Market also serves a satisfying Caesar salad accented with green kale, yellow corn, reggiano cheese, and perfectly moist corn-bread croutons.
For morning fare, they boast breakfast burritos, a coffee and espresso bar, cold-pressed juice, and raisin-pecan scones. Dusted with powdered sugar, these buttery creations strongly sing of Mexican wedding cookies.
Everything from the Honor Bar can be ordered at the Market, including bottles of their wine. Their pizzas change frequently and include clever creations, such as three peppers, pickled red onion, and French feta. “Because we have so many regulars, I like to keep it exciting,” Locke says.
For appreciators of good taste, Honor Market is sure to thrill. With their fantastic menu, gracious customer service, and calming location, they have elevated the idea of takeout pizza. Who knew ordering in could be just as glamorous as dining out?
Honor Market is at 1255 Coast Village Road. Call 969-6964 or visit honormarket.com.