There's usually a queue outside, but never fear! I've never had to wait more than 20 minutes.
What is there to say about the pizza that hasn't already been said... Franco Manca made a pizza snob from New York fall in love with their beautiful, beautiful little sourdough pies. Baked to perfection and topped with interesting, fresh ingredients like wild broccoli and different types of sausage. What a find.. I'll definitely be back soon!
The pizza here is most definitely a cut above most places and that's why it's a deservedly popular place. I couldn't help but find the menu rather confusing but at the same time very short of choice....which if you are asked your order while you queue can lead to additional flustering (although ordering while queuing is a good idea otherwise). I think I'd prefer trying takeout (I could add my own jalapeños for a start) or one of their restaurants next time.
The no logo lager was a bit disappointing, tasting much like one of the bland mainstream brands.
Meat Special Pizza ! OMG . :)
Truly Amazing. Mesmerizing. Tempting. Lots of words I can say about it. lol
I had this last night and it was so good. The crust was nice and soft. And I love the meat on this pizza. It's nice to have a pizza that is just meat and cheese with no weird ingredients also on top.
Yet another bomb!!! As good as Italian pizza gets in London.
Unpretentious, loud, fun, and right in the heart of the Brixton Market.
No better place to get your friends together in a chilled/relaxed environment for great pizza and good wine. Oh yeah, and the prices are so, so good !
I've returned numerous times and will continue to do so.
Best pizza in London hands down. Been going to the one in Brixton since it opened and I am glad to say despite becoming crazy popular the pizzas are just as good and they have not decided to double the price. Well worth a trip
Between all the Franco Manca places, this is always my fave!
The staff is more than friendly and as Italian I feel always at home!
Their pizza is AMAZING!
Nothing better than good sourdough topped with the best italian ingredients, like friarelli!
Their Lemonade is super nice, but also try their No Logo beer and you won't be disappointed!
BEST PIZZA IN LONDON!
Long line? Check.
Friendly staff offering drinks while we wait? Check.
Tiny place involving sharing tables with strangers? Check (but I don't mind).
I've been hearing great things about Franco Manca for a while, and when my partner and I were down in Brixton to meet some friends we decided to have a quick dinner there, first. We shared a regular pizza and a tomato/garlic/oregano pizza. The regular pizza was delicious! So was the garlic one, but it was actually a bit too garlicky for us - surprising, considering we both put garlic in everything!
Also surprising was the service. Considering how quick the line ended up moving to get in, we both expected to feel rushed through our meal. Instead, the staff never pushed us and, in fact, encouraged us to sit and order more if we wanted. They also took their time bringing us the check - both good (in the sense that they weren't rushing us out) and bad (in the sense that, well, we were ready to go!).
The real draw here is the dough, and they didn't disappoint. Slightly burnt bottom, chewy crust. This former New Yorker loved it, and will definitely be back!
Just order the number 6 (two types of chorizo) and all will be fine with your world.
The best pizza in London, no question.
I realised that people not only come to this particular Franco Manca for it's famous sourdough pizza but also for the atmosphere, the location and the vibe. Brixton is becoming very popular and just located in Market Row, a small indoor dining complex located Franco Manca amongst many other popular food joints like Honest Burger. It is funny how earlier that evening we walked pass the Franco Manca near Warren Street and it was only half empty only to arrive at this particular joint and find a long queue forming already. But as it is a one dish place unless you order a starter on the side which arrives with the main anyway, the queue does move quick. My expectations were high as I have heard so much about their pizza, many voting them the best pizza in London which is a big thing considering how many pizza places there are.
It was nice to see the different group types from friends to family and even children. It is a place that caters for everyone, if you like pizza that is. After a half an hour wait we managed to get a seat outside with electric heaters from above to warm us up. All tables are made for sharing here. Long beach like chairs facing marbled tables that can sit 6 people round it. As everyone is ordering roughly the same thing you do feel quite united and part of this pizza culture. If you don't like people watching you eat then I'm afraid you're in the wrong place as that is exactly what you will be doing when queuing and people in the queue will do when your pizza arrives.
I was immediately attracted by the meat special which was a tomato based pizza topped with prosciutto, parmesan shavings and fresh rocket whilst my boyfriend looking something towards the seafood range went for the tomato, oregano, capers, garlic, anchovies, mozerella with added chorizo. With that we washed it down with organic lemonade that was a sugary treat to balance the saltiness of the pizza.
Now I'm not usually a crust person but one bite into the dough and already the pizza has won me over. It was that nice charry, smokey flavour of the thinly rolled out based, slightly crisp on top and chewy that really got me hooked and after another bite. My special was definitely my favourite out of the two. Deliciate cheesy flavours coming from the mozzarella contrasted with the more stronger flavour of the thinly sliced prosciutto. Depth was added from the stronger Parmesan shavings which went nicely with the rocket that gave that punch of peppery flavour to the pizza.
My boyfriend's anchovies pizzas was slightly too overpowering for me, too salty for me to taste and enjoy the dough itself. Most of the ingredients were strong in flavour. Maybe it was a bad idea we added chorizo on top as that itself was overly salted and could be reduced. I would have also preferred if the chorizo was a bit thicker and it was dried out and probably why it was so salty because all the moisture had evaporated. But beside from that I did enjoy the strong notes of garlic and the sharp, piquant flavours from the capers when eating it without the chorizo or the anchovies. It definitely needs some sort of side salad to balance it all out. But my boyfriend didn't seem to mind and demolished the whole pizza without a single compliant.
I am very much looking forward to trying Franco Manca again, probably another site to compare the consistency throughout their restaurants. As their cured meat is way too salty and some to dry, next time I might a vegetarian variety instead. Although busy service was not rushed and very efficient with a smile.
There's a reason any Italian living in London will tell you Franco Manca has the most authentic pizza. Simple, light, speckled goodness cooked in a wood burning fire. The only comment I would make is don't expect to have a leisurely meal here as the turnover is quick!
While I also have a soft spot for the 'Calabrese' pizza at Pizza Express (seriously, if you order anything else there you are wasting your time), there really is no competition when it comes to my favourite pizza chain in London.
Franco Manca serve up food so fresh, flavourful and downright delicious that one wonders how we ever coped for so long with the bland, doughy tripe Pizza Hut and co dare to call pizza. With a varying menu featuring lovely accompanying dishes and wines, friendly staff and a charming location in the bustle of Brixton Market, this really is an absolute winner on all fronts. The Stratford Westfield location is also worth a visit if you happen to be over that side of town, as it is a welcome oasis away from the madness of hyped up shoppers. Either way, go and stuff your face and thank me later.
Friends told us : Here you will get the best pizza in london & they were right.
I read there infos on the homepage and because i am a pizzaholic the expectation was very high. I always compare to top neapolitan pizza places in Italy.
So the pizza was very much like in Neaples & also the salad really good.
I was not sure if tey use buffalo mozzarella on their pizza because it was not written on the menu.
I like the atmosphere of the market hall anyway. So go there and get your pizza,
this is probably the benchmark of london.
Best pizza I've had in London! I just got back from Naples and was craving the amazing pizza I had there. Franco Manca definitely satisfied my craving! I ordered the tomato mozzarella and basil and it was delicious. The base tasted so similar to authentic Napoli pizza so the simple topping was all that was needed. I'd definitely recommend the trip to brixton for this. Come before 7pm on a weekend as the line gets long.
Having long heard of the delights of Franco Manca's, I was pleased to be treated to lunch there. There is something rather lovely about being taken out for lunch, especially when the food is a good as this. Flavourful really is the word. Everything tastes very fresh and vivid. Service was also very friendly.
If there were any negatives, for me there was a bit too much crust. I left the crust, but still had a good nosh though. I want to take every pizza chef in London for lunch there just to see what a really top-notch pizza is like. Seriously good value - this has to be one of the best quality-to-cost ratios in town.
i've visited various franco manca's around london, but have never visited the original despite coming to brixton village market and market row fairly regularly.
last sunday we were looking to eat at an odd time, so we decided to try (normally it has huge queues) and get a table for 4. we didn't have a wait at all, so that was lovely. the serving staff are very quick, efficient and friendly despite being busy ALL THE TIME.
the pizzas here are amazing! so so tasty, and really good value for money. they can turn tables around here very quickly as the pizzas cook quickly, so don't be alarmed if the queue looks big - it will move fast.
i always tend to go for the veggie special when i eat at a franco manca, but no.2 is a good option if you don't eat meat too - simple but delicious.
finally, if you are eating at the market row location and are happy to sit outside, you can bring your dog with you too, as you can everywhere in brixton village market (which is one of the reasons i love it so much, along with it's general feel good vibe)
Seriously good pizza. Thin, sourdough crust. Don't go for all the toppings; stick to the #1 or the #2 -- tomato, oregano, and garlic; or tomato, basil, and mozzarella (they also have mozzarella di bufala if you ask, which is worth it). A pizza and a glass of the house Barbera -- ahh!
I LOVE Brixton Market. They have a ton of different food stalls and it was very hard to not stop at these because we specifically went there for Franco Manca.
We came when it was just starting to get cold so the wait was a bit annoying, even though they did have outdoor heating. 45 minutes to an hour... for pizza. We stood right next to the people who were seated outside eating, so we were starving when we finally got seated.
My expectations were much higher after the long wait, but the pizza did just meet my expectations. Fresh toppings and a great combination of ingredients on a thin layer of pizza dough, but I thought they could have added more because having a pizza each, we were all still hungry.
We shared a bottle of wine and watched uncomfortably at the people who were waiting right in front of us, which was where we were just standing earlier before. If it wasn't for this I did really like this place... it's a cute, homey mini-restaurant that serves delicious fresh pizza.
I'm not really a pizza person but the world, his wife, her mother and her dog have told me that this is the most ammazzing pizza place in London. I say...yea baby!
I particularly liked the sourdough thin and crispy goodness. Owww weee, it works, it works, it works! I had a ricotta base rather than tomatoe sauce and you know what, that worked too! Atop my creamy fromage I had cured piggy meat, wild mushrooms, basil, more cheese and other bits of deliciousness.
I think there are only about six or seven different choices on the menu, but there is the option of the specials which I believe are changed daily. You can not book and seating is limited, so go early or don't get grumpy when you have to queue for a little while.
Be warned, I ordered what I thought was white wine. Emmm, in colour there was nothing white about it. I kind of looked like a murky browny yellow. About the colour of pee after a night of heavy drinking. It tasted like something that had been brewed in my grandfathers basement!* I don't know if that is the norm ( but I kinda got the impression it was), but I suggest sticking with the organic beer - that was actually really pleasant.
*By this statement I am not admitting knowledge nor liability for any items that may have been brewed, grown, stored in any of my relatives basement. This is not a statement and can not be used as evidence in a court of law. ;o)
I really wanted to not like this place - or at least, be able to gripe that the 45 minute wait wasn't worth it and you could pop down the road and not wait and... but no. It was worth it.
The pizzas here are seriously good - they are right in saying that because they use a sourdough base, the edge is absolutely delicious. Chewy and tasty. The toppings are very fresh. I had the number four, with ricotta and old spot ham, and it was a revelation. The ricotta tasted like it had been made that day, and the salty ham with it was great. My friend had the margarita which wasn't boring at all - down to the cheese, I think.
The restaurant itself is basic - you'll probably share a table with strangers if you're a pair - but because of the pizza oven it smells delicious. Staff are rushing around and the mood on a Friday night was very convivial.
Yes, you do have to wait. And it's not a particularly pleasant place to wait, to be honest. Also, the house wine, organic or not, wasn't to my taste. But, much to my chagrin, the pizza IS worth it. You can get takeaway.
Well, I hate to be controversial however I'm yet to be convinced...
They're stingey on the toppings and the service has always been pants, I'm not a fan of a queue. It's also right next to a fish stall which I'm sorry to say blummin stinks and really ruins the smell
That being said the pizza bases are pretty goddamn amazing... I've been told the best way to enjoy Franco Manca is in the comfort of your own home via take away, so that's what I'm going to do!!
The Guardian and TimeOut have both said this is the best Pizza in the UK and though I've not tried many of the country's pizza restaurants it's hard to imagine a more winning combination of delicious food at bargain prices.
When setting this, the original branch up about 5 years ago real passion went into the set-up. Artisans were flown over from Naples to hand build the special brick ovens. Specialist cheese makers were brought over from Italy to a farm in Somerset to teach them how to make perfect Mozzarella just for Franco Manca and all of the ingredients are high quality, seasonal and fresh. The Dough, which you should finish as it says on the menu, is sourdough and is left to rise for at least 20 hours before cooking at 500ºC for 5 minutes (leaving it crisp on the outside but chewy inside).
You only get the choice of 6 different pizzas, plus specials, salads and drinks and there are no starters, no desserts, only 1 kind of wine or lager. At busy periods you will have to queue for as much as 45 mins (though generally less), service can be a bit shaky (though this is made up for by the hilarious manager who is a bundle of energy and ensures you are seated and eating as quick as humanly possible) and there is no lingering; once you are finished eating they want you out to seat the next people but this is more than made up for by the fantastic quality of the food and the incredibly low prices.
Basically it's under £7 for a whole pizza, half the price of chains like Pizza Express and far better quality.
I cannot recommend this place highly enough, long may it last and maintain it's standards!
Delicious! You can definitely tell that this is the place to go to for pizza, as the place was packed. Might be a wait to get seated, but the table turnover is quick as the pizza seems to come out of the oven almost immediately after you order it, so don't worry about the queue.
A friend and I split two different pies - one with wild broccoli, mozzarella and sausage, and the other with ham, mozzarella, wild mushrooms and buffalo ricotta. The ingredients are fresh and organic; the sourdough base is light and each pizza is more than enough food for one person. The buffalo ricotta was my fave. Go get it!
I read (and not only on this website) that this is supposed to be the best pizzas in London. and to be honest I am not sure. The food was great but i had great pizzas in London and I could not say the one I had was ten times better than the others. And even if everything on the menu is great, well the menu is quite limited.
Also as it is quite famous that was really busy, I did not really had a quiet time to fully enjoy the pizza. I guess if you put in the category "quick and really good pizza", sure you cannot get better than this.
I'm not sure how I could only have rated FM with 4 stars when it's my favourite pizza spot in London.
Duly noted and updated.
Of course they deserve 5 stars.
Hands down one of the best pizza places in London. Sounds cliche, but it is 'just like the Pizza in Italy'. We dropped by on Sunday and managed to bag a table moments before they closed the kitchen, pretty lucky the waiter informed us considering we had a minute to spare.
I think they close even earlier on Sunday with last orders about 4pm (for a 4:30pm close) so make sure you don't arrive late, we saw over three groups of four being turned away for arriving at about five past four.
Anyway the pizza is brilliant, just go!
I went here
one Saturday morning to experience some Italian style pizza. And I am so impressed.
It's so flavourful and worth the money that you pay. The ingredients are all
fresh, all the staffs and even the owner are all friendly and alert and they
moved quickly. The pizza has more options on toppings and they served special
combinations to choose daily. The place is slightbusy, but it's all worth it
once you taste their menu. And if you are craving for pizza, it is the best
place for you!
Now we all know that mood and circumstances can entirely change your view of a restaurant. A crap day at work followed by the most minor of altercations with a waitress can lead to the decision that it's got the worst customer service in the world. A joint with mediocre food will still be fantastic if it was the location for a great first date. And if you're suffering from the worst hangover EVER FELT BY MAN OR BEAST and finally break your 12-hour self-induced fast (because to even consider a morsel of food passing your lips is nothing short of torture) with pizza which is - by all other accounts - pretty bloomin lovely, then it's hardly surprising that it lodges in your memory as the Best Pizza Of All Time.
Maybe it's the delightfully light and flavoursome sourdough base. Maybe it's the fresh ingredients, perfectly proportioned into delicious and unusual combinations. Maybe it's the super friendly staff. Maybe it's because it's in Brixton. (I really do love Brixton). Maybe it's the fact that I had been comatose in my friend's flat for the whole day, unable to consume more than the occasional cup of tea, and then announced at 4pm "Food. I need food now" and she showed me the website and we ordered it on the phone and 10 minutes later I collected it in my pyjamas and 10 minutes after that it was in my mouth. Maybe it was all those things. Maybe it's just very good pizza.
I'm pretty sure I've never had pizza this good. Not in Rome, not in 'Neapolitan-style' pizzerias, and definitely not for less than £7. Situated inside Brixton Market, in two store fronts plus pavement seating, this place gets crowded but the staff is super friendly and efficient and tables seem to come available pretty steadily. Regardless, this pizza is worth the wait.
We shared one pizza between two of us plus a beer and a glass of wine with tip for £15. Next time we'll each order our own pizza rather than sharing, not because the size is small (which it isn't) but because one doesn't want to share. Sweet Jesus, I can't wait for next time.
£7 for a more-than-satisfying personal pizza pie fresh out of the oven really isn't a shabby deal. Especially when it's dotted all over with two types of chorizo. (To me, it looked more like one type of chorizo and one type of pepperoni.)
For an ultra-fast in-and-out in under twenty minutes kind of lunch, Franco Manca has it going on. This no-frills joint is both affordable, expedient, and satisfying. And likely only readily visitable during the weekdays, when it's less rammed.
Plus, it appears to be the real deal: the lady sitting next to us who was paying as we arrived spoke with one of the servers in Italian. That seems to indicate a certain level of authenticity, in my book.
... and had I not had even -more- delicious pizza and pasta later on in the same day (yep, Italian twice in under eight hours! I'm a glutton), Franco's would absolutely deserve five glowing stars.
A pizzeria set in a bustling and vibrant but down at heel Market hall is the unlikely setting for great pizzas! Well made crusty doughs with simple but sparse toppings makes for a great lunch. I've eaten various pizzas from aubergine to spicy chorizo. A small green salad balances out the salty and sometimes fattiness of the pizza.
Unlike others, I thought the lemonade was vile as I've drunk better in Italy. I would suggest that they bring in San Pellingino range of drinks which are far better. The house red or White is pretty drinkable.
I went to FM on a sunny Saturday afternoon, after band practice.
It was very much one of those how-the-hell-have-I-or-anyone-else-I-know-for-that-matter-not-been-here-yet moments.
Franco Manca is split in half across the market thoroughfare. It's cramped next to a fish stall, spilling out all over the pavement. If you need space, peace and time on your side, then it's not for you.
However, it serves the best pizza I've had this side of the channel, anywhere. It's embarrassingly good. You see the whole production process infront of you (since you're right next to the chef), and out they pop from the wood ovens, straight infront of you. Fresh, hot, doughy joy.
There's only 5 or 6 pizzas on the menu, they're all about a fiver each and ten inches across. You can have a salad, an organic beer and an espresso for a pound. It's perfect. Utterly perfect.
The queue moves fast. The manager is hilarious. It's the anti-Pizza Express, and I wish it was in central London so I could go more often.
I came, I ate, I was conquered. Franco Manca's pizza really is the best in London.
The base is where it all starts. Millimetre-thin, chewy, sourdough goodness, cooked to 260 degrees of perfection in a wood-fired kiln. Then it's one of just six (a simplicity that Gordon Ramsey would approve of) appetising toppings. I went for the margerita, composed of tomato sauce, good quality and (THANK YOU) sparingly applied mozzarella cheese. All for a standing-ovation-worthy price of £6. Woohoo!
There are a couple of small things I'd change if I was being reallllllly fussy. The tomato sauce for one, which I'd infuse with slightly sweeter cherry tomatoes. Plus the sourdough base seemed a little salty. But in truth, that seems like ungrateful pickiness considering just how awe-thumm and far ahead of their competition in London Franco Manca's pizzas are.
An essential stop for pizza lovers and foodies alike!
Amazing Neapolitan-style wood-fired pizza with ridiculously fresh-tasting toppings. At the risk of sounding repetitive, what makes a good pizza is getting the basics perfect, and Franco Manca certainly does that. Fresh cheese, perfectly charred doughy crusts, interesting topping combinations. *mwah*
So flavourful, my taste buds were beside themselves with joy. I ate my entire pizza by myself, which is really saying something for me.
Top this off with delish organic beer from Sam Smith's (I'm not generally a lager lady, but I'd convert for this stuff) and the charming seating arrangement that let's you people-watch all the interesting folk who frequent Brixton Market. (Though, I imagine it's a bit tricky finding a spot in the colder months as a lot of the seating seems to be unsheltered.)
And, oh my god, all so reasonably priced. You'd be hard-pressed to spend more than a tenner of a lunchtime. Winner.
I ONLY ever go to this place at unsociable times as that queue eeeek!
Only ever been to the Brixton site so this review is based on that.
Really like the communal dining tables where if theres a space you take it even if your sitting next to a total stranger.
Been to Franco Manca 4 or 5 times in total and always start with the salad. Its O.K but nothing special. I think its a touch on the pricey side considering what your getting.
Having been to Italy a few times I'm in agreement with the Italians that there are only a couple of official pizza toppings. For me the fewer the better and what better than a basic Margarita?
At its best FM can tango with the best of them. The 'sloppy' intensely tomato'y taste and texture of the topping combined with the wonderful mozzarella and chewy in the centre crisp on the outside sourdough base is just wonderful.
I've had the Organic Lemonade a couple of times which is O.K but overly small and overly expensive.
Pizza as it really should be.
My only reservations are that on 2 occasions the pizza was over cooked leaving small areas of burnt bits which tasted acrid. Both times were busy so I now avoid at busy times.
Also not sure if its just me or I've been unlucky or theres something more sinister going on but every time I've been (a part from once) I've been over charged i.e. an item that I didn't have had been added to my final bill i.e. an expresso.
After everyone saying how good the pizzas of this place are, we decided to give it a try. Honestly, not that good for me...
I really like Brixton market but in winter is not the best place to go as the restaurants are too small and it's too cold to seat outside.
We got a table inside but still too cold for me. We got our pizzas really fast and we decided to share them (to get a better taste) but I wasn't crazy about the base. Ok pizza but that was it.
For me, if you want to go for a great pizza in Brixton, Agile rabbit it's your place (but bring your jacket in winter because it's an open space...)
Franco Manca doesn't seem like it should exist. It is much too affordable for the absolutely amazing pizza pie you get. Around 5 pounds for easily the best pizza in all London. I must have come here close to 10 times in my short 3 month stay in London and I lived in Kensington, not that close to Brixton. It is that good.
Alan's 5 Slices Review System
I've had many but I'll review my favorite. Tomato, Cured Organic Chorizo (Dry & Semi-Dry) and Mozzarella
+1 (1/1) Crust- One of the best crusts of ANY pizza place I've been to, Italy and New York included. They use a very unique sourdough crust that is so soft and a bit doughie. Tastes like perfectly baked bread.
+.9 (1.9/2) Sauce- Very simple sauce of what tastes of fresh tomatoes turned into sauce and a sprig of basil. What makes it great is how fresh it is how the flavor that comes from such simple ingredients.
+1 (2.9/3) Cheese- Love the cheese. Nice and flavorful buffalo mozzarella. Always tastes so fresh. Not the weepy, waterykind, this kind keeps its flavor intact and lets the sauce do its own thing.
+.8 (3.7/4) Toppings- Two very nice types of chorizo. One a flatter and one thicker. They flatter one looked a bit like salami or pepperoni, but had a classic chroizo taste. The thicker one was even more flavorful and juicy. Both extremely flavorful and authentic.
+.9 (4.6/5) Atmosphere/Service/Price- This location is just a stones through from the main street of Brixton market. Not a place where you would think of an amazing pizza place, but that gives it some of its charm. It is an astoundingly good deal for any of the pizzas, but the classic Margarita is only 5.50. If you can find a better deal in the ridiculously overpriced city of London, please let me know.
Service is always great, even though they are usually quite busy. Good for sit down and take away. They have the tables split across both sides of the path, but it works. They have a great Samuel Smith's organic lager that goes nicely with the pizzas.
Franco Manca - 4.6 slices out of 5
Best pizza place in London, probably the UK and in my top 10 of all time.
As many have already said, the best pizzas in possibly Britain, rivalling even the yummiest ones I've gobbled in Naples...
Super cheap- the more-than-half decent margheritas at £5.50 and you'd have to really try to get something pricier than a tenner.
they're also generous with their tap water which helps us students :p
i won't explain every single dish because they're all great and you can't go wrong since in any case it's the base that makes these pizzas so lovely
and as for you silly people queuing on Saturdays, they're open and pretty empty on Thursday nights! That's when us brixtoners go.
I went all out and treated myself to the veggie special. Fun, comfy and the sourdough base was beautiful.
Franco Manca is always busy in Brixton, guaranteed! But we never have to wait for more than 5 mins to be seated.
Sour dough pizza... just taste like normal pizza but a bit lighter. The menu is small and not a lot of choices, but enough for any pizza lover plus they have their specials on the board. Their homemade lemonade has a hint of mix spice to give it a kick.
A recommendation if you love pizza.
Most first-timers just want to know one thing: Does Franco Manca live up to the hype? (or rave reviews, for the less cynical). Between TimeOut's twitterpated tone and the coos of pleasure from the mag's faithful legions, this Brixton pizza hideaway has developed a reputation for greatness.
Franco Manca is a Brixton market hole-in-the-wall serving up smallish pies baked in a visible wood-fired oven. Rumor has it the proprietors slaved for months (or was it years?) to master the perfect sourdough crust. The place is busy, and packed, and impressively efficient. The food menu is sparse but enticing, drinks few but high-quality, prices refreshingly fair. A margherita pizza was 4.90 on my visit.
We had the ricotta & sausage and chorizo pizzas, paired with organic beer and a 2 pound glass of house red. And we were impressed. The time dedicated to finding the perfect crust recipe was well spent; I've never eaten a tastier one: thin, slightly sour, massive bubbles galore. And that's important with Franco Manca's pizzas because, as some reviewers complain, toppings are light and somewhat patchy. Plops of pillowy ricotta dotted my pizza; nubs of spicy chorizo sparsely adorned my companion's.
Great food aside, the place rings with personality. The manager was everywhere at once, never missing a beat, his presence hovering in that paternal Italian way. Seating is minimal, you might share a table with strangers, and you won't linger too long thanks to the line of hungry patrons waiting for their turn.
And there's a post-feast bonus. Once you've paid the (amazingly reasonable) bill, you can saunter a few market stalls down to the small Italian shop, supplier to Franco Manca and owned by the same folks, to pick up some of that fresh ricotta and a slice of homemade polenta cake. Perfetto.
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