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Franco Manca (Restaurant)

Picture of Franco Manca in Brixton, London

4 Market Row, Electric Lane, Brixton, London, SW9 8LD
Cuisine: Italian
Tel: 020 7738 3021 | Email to Franco Manca | Transport: Brixton | Write review

Franco Manca Review

Franco Manca is featured in these Guides:

Best for: pizza, pizza, pizza, and erm, pizza.

Great: at being the best pizza joint in Britain.

The overground. The tube. Change. Another tube. A walk. Automatic doors. Fluorescent lights. ‘Heathrow Terminal 4’. Suitcase wheels against linoleum. Queue. Queue. Passport scrutiny. Check in. £9 Burger King meal. 24 hour light. Security. Beep. Remove belt. Beep. Remove watch. Beep. Remove tooth fillings. Beep. Throw hands in exasperation. Remove shoes. Holely sock. Cover foot with other foot. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Shift uncomfortably. Wait. Observe children fighting. Watch backpackers sleeping. Envy those in ‘executive suite’. Bored. Board. Take off. Ears pop. Stretch jaw. Cardboard food. Crappy movie. Crappy seat. Crappy toilet. Travel 1008 miles. Land. Wipe crust from eyes. Queue. Queue. Passport scrutiny. Wait for luggage. Wait. Wait. No luggage. Consider suicide. Re-enter the world. “Taxi!” “Where would you like to go?” “The best pizza joint in Naples, please.”

Overground. Underground. 40 minutes. Brixton. Short walk. Franco Manca.

In retrospect, despite initial moans, the journey from east to south London, for what is unquestionably the best pizza restaurant in London, seems almost breezy. Why go to Italy when there’s such good fare right here on our doorstep. Yes, Italy is blessed with better weather, and yes, perhaps Brixton doesn’t hold the same charm Naples does, but close your eyes as you chow down on one of Franco Manca’s exceptional pizzas, tune out the nearby market trader squawks of ‘half price spuds, get your lovely, jubbley spuds half price’, and you could easily be dining in Italy’s most established and proclaimed pizza eatery. Honestly, there are just not enough superlatives to do Franco Manca justice.

But (given it’s my job) I will try, just as many before me have, as Franco Manca is heralded as the best pizza in London.

With only 6 pizzas on offer (excluding the daily specials) you would think choosing would be a stress free affair. Not the case. I haven’t been so torn since trying to decide who I fancied more: Robbie Williams or Mark Owen (Gary wasn’t even on my radar). Do I opt for the ever popular No. 1 with tomato, mozzarella and basil or the seasonal No. 2, with tomato, mozzarella and basil? No. 6 (tomato, cured organic chorizo and mozzarella) is exceptionally well priced at £6.95 – the most expensive on the menu no less - but No. 5 (tomato, garlic, oregano, capers, olives, anchovies and mozzarella) seems too good to pass up.

All toppings are organic, and sit atop an authentic Neapolitan sourdough base. As I wait for my number 6, I nibble on a simple salad (organic) and sip on lemonade (organic) and observe my lean-bean of a date, Christian (organic).

He’s making sure that I’ve noticed the egg-shaped wood burning oven which cooks the pizzas at 500C in only 40 seconds. I have.

He wants to check I’ve observed Franco Manca occupies both sides of the narrow market walkway, each side sparse in its content bar some simple tables, and that the side opposite boasts open air dining. I have.

He checks I’ve spotted the large wooden paddle and stacks of logs lying in their pyramid formation aside pizza ovens, and wants me to confirm I’ve noted the large silver fridges invading diner territory, the white-tiled walls similar to what you would expect to find in a canteen, and the large fans above our heads which are reminiscent of scenes from movies of Vietnam during the years of 1945 to 54. They almost made you believe the weather is humid. It isn’t. And I have noticed all those things Christian, but thanks for checking.

Such a short conversation before meals arrive is all we’re privileged to; Franco Manca sits you, feeds you, and leaves you. Well technically you need to leave them but I’ve never been fond of technicalities. They make writing that much harder. But this is the way it has to be at Franco as there is often a queue which meanders down the narrow walkway and out into the market. Franco Manca’s reputation is well deserved however, and as I tuck into the pizza before me I recall some advice: never eat anything larger than your head. I decide that my head is exceptionally small for my body so this rule does not apply to me. And I eat all of it, every last delectable mouthful.

On finishing I feel both love and hate for Franco Manca. Love because this exceptional pizzeria is all about the food, the produce, and has no patience for fine dining airs and graces which are neither needed nor desired. Hate because Domino’s will never again satisfy me. I guess this means I’ll be making the journey south with some regularity. Overground. Underground. 40 minutes. Brixton. Short walk. Where am I going? Franco Manca, the best pizza joint in Britain.
...read more

Customer Reviews for Franco Manca

Average (based on 1 votes): 1 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of Franco Manca.

“Best pizza in Brixton. Best pizza in south London. Best pizza in London. Best pizza in the UK. Best pizza in Europe. Best pizza in the world. Pizza doesn't get any better.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Tyler Footen, Lewisham (7 years 5 months 29 days ago)

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Loved

"My Gulascheintopf war perfekt and so was the Weissbier. I was in Kingston Steins. I do have a few suggestions for decor and table. 1. you need a little jar of toothpicks on the table to get meat out from..." Which venue is this?

Hated

"My Gulascheintopf war perfekt and so was the Weissbier. I was in Kingston Steins. I do have a few suggestions for decor and table. 1. you need a little jar of toothpicks on the table to get meat out from..." Which venue is this?

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