Franco Manca – Balham


Holding the title of ‘best pizza in London’ by many people is probably quite daunting for some. However, Franco Manca absolutely deliver every single time I have visited (and I have visited it a lot), consistently producing amazing pizzas. The menu is very small, only 6 regular pizzas with one meat special and one veg special a day. I pretty much go for the same pizza every time because it is so divine!

The Balham restaurant has been around for about 6 months, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t queues out the door most nights. Don’t let the queues put you off though, the restaurant has a pretty quick turnaround so you wont be waiting too long. If you really don’t do queuing then there is a pizza express exactly opposite, but do you really want to turn down visiting the best pizza in London for a chain restaurant?!

Luckily the last time we went it was pretty late so we were seated straight away. Tap water arrived and pizzas were ordered. I went for my usual no.6 which is topped with both dry & semi-dry chorizo. I am an absolute sucker for anything containing chorizo so this naturally is my choice most of the time. The sourdough pizza is blast cooked in a wood-burning “Tuff” brick oven that is actually made in Naples, and so it arrives at our table very quickly indeed! I’m sure I have never had to wait longer than 5 minutes max. between ordering and eating. You will notice (and hopefully you can see from the picture) that the pizza isn’t quite like your normal pizza. Many people have likened it to a naan bread due to it’s soft and doughy texture, even the crusts are lovely and soft so please do not discard these if you usually do that! It is very easy to eat and usually has disappeared within about 5 minutes, leaving me one full and happy girly. The no.6 has a tomato base, some come with only a little bit of tomato and others none at all. I found the ones with only a little tomato (no.4) were less easy to eat because it is more dry due to having less sauce. It does have ricotta but it just personally isn’t enough. If ever I decide to venture away from my usual I always make sure to add extra tomato sauce to it (at an extra cost though, boo…). However I will always keep coming back to Franco Manca because it has a special place in my heart, and just looking at the above picture makes me drool.

The Balham restaurant is relatively small but feels like a real restaurant. For this reason I prefer the Brixton branch – It has bigger queues but it has a great atmosphere and a rustic feel. Franco Manca also has a branch in Chiswick, Tottenham court road, Northcote road, Stratford’s Westfield and Broadway market.

The Bill? A bank-breaking £6.95 for the ‘best pizza in London’… Bloody bargain!

53 Bedford Hill, London, SW12 9EZ

Franco Manca on Urbanspoon