If you’d asked me what my favourite pizza restaurant was a year ago, I would have told you Pizza Express. I love the base and they are creative with their topping combos (with my favourite being the Veneziana). However, since the sourdough revolution another pizza chain has pipped Pizza Express to the post and that’s Franco Manca.
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Giuseppe Mascoli is the founder of the sourdough pizza chain Franco Manca opening his first restaurant in Brixton Market in 2008. Since then it has expanded with restaurants opening up across London and further afield to places such as Southampton and Brighton.
Unlike many pizza chains, Franco Manca offers traditional soft-base pizzas with the other ingredients kept simple and as local as possible. They use proper wood-fired ovens that can cook a pizza within a minute when fully fired at 450C, so you won’t be waiting for long.
The menu may be short but simplicity is definitely a core value of this business and I’m not complaining as the proof is in the pudding.
http://fiveonenine.ca/2010/07/welcome-to-drumbo/drumbo/ What I ate at Franco Manca
I chose the first pizza on the menu which included tomato, garlic and oregano and cost £4.95, can you believe it? I decided to add wild mushrooms too, which upped the price slightly but it was totally worth it. As a vegan I would recommend choosing this pizza and then selecting your own toppings. They have their staples, which are olives, wild mushrooms, capers and wild broccoli but they also offer seasonal veggies on their specials board, so you’ll be able to mix it up.
In terms of the dough, the slow-rise sourdough crust is scrumptious. It’s light and fluffy and doesn’t leave you feeling like you’ve got a food baby at the end. At other pizzerias I’d leave my crusts and give them to the boyfriend to tuck into as I often find them chewy. However with Franca Manca that’s not the case. So they’re mine. All mine.
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If you have a craving for genuine, Neapolitan-style pizza and are a fan of the slow-rise sourdough crust then I would recommend Franco Manca. It’s amazing value for money and you don’t feel like you’re compromising on quality as their traditional pizzas are truly delicious. Normally I would whinge about them not offering vegan cheese, but the pizza is so delicious that I didn’t even think about it.
So next time you fancy a pizza, make sure you consider Franco Manca. Find out more about the restaurant here.
Have you been to Franco Manca before? What did you think?