No introductions are needed, we assume, for the name Franco Manca – over the past year and a half, every critic, blogger and local has had their say about the much-lauded pizzeria in Brixton Market. And now it’s opened a second branch, in leafy Chiswick.
So let’s get a few of those burning questions out of the way first. Yes, this time you can make reservations (goodbye queuing in the winter cold). Meals are served from 11am until at least 10pm, without the market-hours restrictions of the Brixton branch.
And the pizzas? Well, they’re good – but not quite as good as those at the original.
We love a bit of blistering on our cornicione (pizza crust), but some parts were simply just burnt. We plumped for a number 4 (a tomato-based pizza with an ominously salty combination of capers, olives and anchovies) that was truly an as-salt on the palate.
The dough on this one was also a little overcooked – leaning towards the dry side, the natural springiness of the slow-risen sourdough lost to the heat. Perhaps the staff need to get used to the new wood-fired oven?
However, a variation of an old favourite (number 5), with gorgeous Brindisa chorizo (releasing squelches of paprika-heavy flavour), tomato and mozzarella, was the best pizza; a reminder of how great ingredients are central to the Franco Manca experience.
The special of the day was a curious half-calzone, half-pizza concoction: wild boar (surprisingly mild-flavoured), ricotta and salami on one half; tomato, rocket and mozzarella on the other. Very agreeable, if not quite a looker.
Comparisons will inevitably be drawn. Unlike the seating at Brixton, places to sit are plentiful here; they’ve used the familiar wooden benches and tabletops that have accommodated many a pizza worshipper down in south London.
It lacks atmosphere, but we’re positive it will liven up, absence of reggae notwithstanding.
But it’s a good pizzeria, much like the original, just a little more scrubbed up.
|Venue name:||Franco Manca||Contact:|
144 Chiswick High Road
|Opening hours:||Open 11am-10pm daily|
|Transport:||Tube: Turnham Green tube|
|Price:||Meal for two with wine and service: around £30|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
4.2 / 5
- 5 star:6
- 4 star:3
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:2
- 1 star:0
I would like to work with you because you are a very popular chain and of course to enlarge my experiences, and also to give the best of me and be able to give more and more
THE BEST REAL (Napoli style) PIZZA THIS SIDE OF NAPOLI, scrap that, IN THE WORLD! I’ve been to the Chiswick/Turnham Green and Northcote Road branches and they both have the most incredible sourdough bases. The menu is simple, 6-8 choices depending on the specials, I would recommend the anchovies or the wild boar toppings. The toppings are good but the bases ahhhhhh the bases, they are delicious, I could eat the crusts alone with a bit of chilli oil. I proudly took my Italian friend here and he visited three times in two weeks after I had taken him, despite it being a bit of a trek from his place. I think I could end my review there but I will also mention that I think that Chiswick has a better atmosphere than Northcote Road, it is a bit bigger but has been decorated better and has a coherent identity.
I really wasn't impressed by the meal - maybe in part due to the incredible hype. For me the pizza itself seemed nothing special and certainly not on a par with great Italian pizzas I've eaten. I won't dwell on that aspect, since it seems to be one of personal taste. The service was quite a let down. There were times the staff were too busy joking around with each other to notice we (or the table in front of us) were trying to get their attention. When we were asked if we were ready to order we asked for a few minutes to decide, but it was clear he wanted us to get started - so suggested we order starters in the meantime. This we did, and a couple of minutes after these were served we were told "we're going to clear the plates because your pizzas are ready now". We explained that he hadn't taken our order yet! The choice seems quite limited, so it was rather frustrating that the ordering process went: "so what can I get you? there's the specials board too". They don't help themselves by only telling you about 4 additional choices *after* asking what we want! Add to that an error in the amount charged to our card at the end and I would say the food would have to be a lot more special to make it worth a return visit, in view of the chaotic staff.
Eaten a few times at the Brixton store but for some reason the Chiswick one just doesn't do it for me. Pizza seemed lacking - slightly over charred / burnt and the service wasn't great either. Not worth the trip out to west london.
Absolutely amazing place - really friendly service (the waiter swapped by white wine for red without a fuss when I'd misread the menu) and delicious pizzas with quality ingredients at a fantastic price (came to £12 a head including a starter, pizza each and a glass of wine each). Will definitely be going back!
I am from Naples and can certainly recognize a good pizza! At Franco Manca I had the best pizza in London! Plus Luca & all Franco Manca’s staff have the best smile to welcome you and make your evening enjoyable and pleasant. I highly recommend Franco Manca.