Sometimes you really want a pizza. It would be easy to just swing by a branch of [link2post id=”1264″]La Porchetta[/link2post], London’s best pizza chain, but we decided to try somewhere new. We were happy we did as Franco Manca provided top Neapolitan pizza for almost no money.
If you head into the slightly scary Brixton market you’ll find Franco Manca occupying two facing premises and spilling out into the market street. Most of the tables are outside, and when there are queues you may find yourself sharing a table. This is not really a place for dallying, you arrive, have your pizza, then get on with the afternoon’s larks.
There are only six main choices of pizza on offer, with a few additional toppings if you like and a couple of daily specials. The brief menu also tells you of their pride in making proper sour-dough pizza bases (matured for at least twenty hours) and their ethical sourcing of ingredients. We particularly liked that their buffalo mozzarella was sourced from Somerset, as we are told mozzarella should be as fresh as possible for pizzas. Even their homemade lemonade was organic (and really very tasty).
Our pizzas came quickly and we dived in to eat them before the cold London winter weather cooled them down. The crusts were indeed characterful, lovely and crispy with a few hints of char from their 500 Celsius baking in a brick, wood-fired oven. The tomato sauce was very fresh and bursting with flavour and the mozzarella had a lovely stringy texture, certainly living up to the press. The cured old spot ham on one of ours was really delicious, and they didn’t skimp on quantities. Our other pizza, with fresh and dried chorizo, had a bit less topping but we didn’t feel hard done by. These were great examples of Neapolitan pizzas.
Some people have complained that Franco Manca is only open from 12-5pm Monday to Saturday, but this is clearly a fast lunch establishment. One or two knuckle-dragging morons have moaned about the pizzas; how wrong they are. Since the most expensive pizza on the menu is £6.80 and a glass of wine is less than two quid I do not think you are going to be too dissatisfied. We loved it.
Contact details: Franco Manca, 4 Market Row, Electric Lane, Brixton SW9 8LD. Telephone: 020 7738 3021