The perfect lover is one who turns into a pizza at 4am.
Until I can do that to all of my dates, there is only one solution – Brixton Village has the real deal and here I am today in search of better company. This is a true story of one woman’s struggle to find love.
Often exhaled as London’s best pizzeria second to the grandmasters in Naples, Franco Manca’s success lies in their beautifully formed sourdough pizzas for less than £7. Less than a tenner for the equivalent of a three course meal? That’s right, you won’t even need to think about desserts because 1. they don’t serve them 2. the pizzas are big and they are filling. However that’s not to say I’ll stop you from walking past the frozen yogurt shop on the way back.
Locating Franco’s was the easier task of the two, if at any point you find yourself standing in the longest queue by a mile of the others, you are certainly in the right one. Waiting takes a bit more patience though, never-ending as it may seem don’t worry about turning to find a parking ticket stuck to your back because the turnover is efficient and you’ll be moving along in 20 mins max. Your patience shall be rewarded.
Once seated and orders taken, gaze in amazement as the giant saucers are rolled out from the stone ovens and straight onto the plates of hungry diners, cheese still bubbling! It doesn’t get any fresher than that oh yeah.
Pizzas on the menu begin from 3 simple toppings building its way up to the fully loaded, Pizza Hut burger pizza need not apply – CLICK.
Lemonade and (no that’s not Ribena) Red Wine
Gloucester Old Spot Ham (home cured), Mozzarella, Buffalo Ricotta, Wild Mushrooms (little tomato) £6.85
Tomato, Garlic, Oregano, Capers, Olives, Anchovies & Mozzarella £6.70
My reaction after the first bite of No. 4 was a mixture of thoughts, words and physical movements… Layered onto the sourdough base was the gushiest and creamiest Mozzarella and buffalo ricotta to be ever created sinking into a bed of sweet tomatoes, mushrooms and delicately smoked ham. Along the edges where the tomatoes didn’t reach, the reservoir of melted cheese made sure the dough was kept moist and intensely rich. The sourdough itself, similar to ciabatta, was puffy along the edges and thin in the centre just enough to hold the toppings in place and soak up the flavours.
Pinch it, slice it or roll it, there really is no right way to manoeuvre each floppy cheese loaded piece just as long as you’re using both hands and getting dirty in it.
The final seal of approval came from my friend who recently came back from Naples ‘mmm’ she says. The universal sound of deliciousness.
How the beautiful sourdough pizzas are still so cheap remains a mystery, so if you are not heading to Naples, let Naples come to you.
Chains of Franco Manca around London:
Brixton, Chiswick, Northcote, Westfield and Balham