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Franco Manca

Restaurants, Pizza Balham
4 out of 5 stars
(24user reviews)

Time Out says

Balham branch of the popular pizza mini-chain, which specialises in sourdough bases and artisanal toppings. Bookings are not taken.



Address: 53 Bedford Hill
SW12 9EZ
Transport: Tube: Balham; Bus: 155; Rail: Balham
Opening hours: No bookings taken
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Users say (24)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:15
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:6
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening

Loved my visit here. You can’t go wrong here, tasty pizza, friendly staff and great value. We had the mezze board to start, followed by chorizo pizza and the butternut squash salad to share. It was perfect!

You can't go wrong with this pizza place - amazing italian quality for budget prices, there is no catch. It is very popular so booking is recommended if you can. The staff are always very welcoming and helpful - they made my friend a tailored pizza without any problems to accommodate her allergies.


This is a very popular pizza parlour in Balham, its a rare evening that there isn't a queue! The pizzas have interestingly different choices for toppings and the bases are slow rising sourdough. The wines are organic. The prices are good and they are definitely doing something right as it is always busy. For me though, the base was a little too thick to be perfect and the toppings weren't loaded enough to cover the bready taste. The dry white that was recommended was okay, but had a slightly unusual flavour that grated after the first glass. However, the service was good and it was a different experience to a usual pizza chain.

Best pizza in Balham hands down - and best value! You might have to line up to get a table but it's definitely worth it.


Absolutely amazing pizza, I think it is safe to say it is one of the best pizza spots I have been to in London. The menu is different from the basic pizza toppings and everything that our table ordered was amazing. The staff was very friendly, even going as far as making us all heart shaped pizzas upon hearing it was one of our birthdays. The waiting time was virtually nonexistent yet everything looked and tasted fresh. I have only been to the Tottentham location, but I hope the rest of the chain lives up to this one.


There is often a queue, but you won't wait for more than 10-ish minutes for a table. Once inside treat yourself to the mozzarella starter - it's seriously the best I have ever tasted. Worth going for that alone. 


As a big fan of Franco Manca when looking for a place to meet friends for dinner in the area this restaurant was the obvious choice.

I love their pizzas, the quality is amazing and the prices even better.

Just prepare yourselves for a bit of a queue but let's be honest - if you have to queue is because it's worth it.


It seems this mini-chain has mixed reviews, and I'm not really sure why. Personally, Franco Manca is my new favourite pizza spot! I headed there on busy Sunday evening but waited only a few minutes for a table, since they don't take bookings. It's quite a casual layout much like Wagamama's with some shared benches and a chatty, social vibe. The open kitchen is a nice feature and you see the chefs hard at work whipping out pizza’s minute by minute. It feels like this is Balham's local pizza joint as streams of people come in and out to collect takeaway orders. Ironically, Pizza Express is directly opposite and was empty! The menu here is so simple (6 pizzas and 2 salads) and specials board which is no bad thing - if anything it makes a change from over generous and confusing menus some restaurants offer. I think quality over quantity comes into full effect here. I’ll mention the garlic bread because it is INSANE and full of fresh garlic, tomato and herbs. Secondly, the basic Margarita with added wild mushrooms for mains was deliciously crispy and stretchy in all the right places. The homemade lemonade was average but nothing to complain about. Two people can eat a satisfying meal for under £20.  In terms of service, again everything was quick and efficient and the staff look like they genuinely enjoy their jobs. If you've never had sourdough pizza, I urge you to try Franco Manca. Authentic, fresh, tasty and seriously cheap! No complaints over here. 


There was a time there was only one branch of Franco manca and it was touted as the best pizza in London. 

The other night after the cinema we popped along for a quick bite. The atmoshere is friendly and staff are very pleasant - I needed to charge my phone and they reseated us to help out which I really appreciated.

The menu is more limited than I remember -we weren't given any info about specials - which we discovered later and when it was too late. The pizzas came so quickly its hard to believe they were cooked to order. There was nothing wrong with anything -equally there was nothing remarkable. The pizzas were quick, tasty - slightly soggy for my tastes and the toppings seemed a little dull.  But it is very inexpensive and more interesting/real than the Pizza Express across the way. I'd go back if i was in the area but i wouldn't make a special trip or rave about my experience if you know what I mean!

Great atmosphere, I enjoyed the choice of unusual green veg toppings & choose the super food kale.  The dough was moist but the pizza texture was a little to floppy for me but still it was a tasty pizza!  Expect to drink your wine in a glass tumbler & sit on a hard stool - very relaxed but I would have preferred a wine glass!


Sooo I am being a bit harsh as I love the pizzas here (doughy bases are amazing) however the service on Saturday night wasn't tip top and myyyy were they stingy on the toppings.

We decided to share the meat special (£7.95 for chorizo, ricotta, mozzarella and watercress - no tom base) and have the buffalo mozzarella and wild boar salami side as a starter (£7 for a whole ball and a lotta salami). We asked for the pizza to have tomato sauce as without doesn't appeal to me and they said that was no problem. However we ended up waiting between starter and main nearly 30 minutes while people who had sat down after we had finished our starter got their pizzas annnnd people queueing outside got slices of pizza on the house! 
We got an apology, our pizza followed soon after annnnnd was yummy however over the whole pizza there was only 4 slices of chorizo and some slices were covered in cheese and some had none on! It irritated me quite a lot but my bf had eaten most of the pizza before I realised how inconsistent the toppings were. Also charged us another £1 for the tomato base!
I mean I am still gonna go back as compared with Italian chains the pizza is yuuuuum and reasonably priced but I do think they need to pay attention to the detail!

People rave so much about Franco Manca - probably ironic hipsters on a rare visit south of the river. 

But let me paint an alternative viewpoint.

Granted, the ingredients are fresh, packed with flavour and various toppings so it is high end stuff for a little wallet and is certainly one of your more healthy pizza options being sourdough baked.

I just find it really dry and I'm sorry, I'm a child of the 90's, give me teenage mutant ninja turtle style cheese dripping, artery choking pizza. If I'm being bad, I wanna be really bad!!!!!! 

If you don't like Pizza, you are pretty much screwed, they really taste their gastro pizza seriously at Franco Manca and don't expect much variety on the menu!

They also charge you extra for a tomato base, which I find bizarre.

Best place in my neighbourhood. Amazing pizza, friendly staff, good value for money.totally recommended

Best - Authentic - Pizza - who knew Sourdough pizza is the best - great friendly service - just be prepared to queue a bit. Always look out for the extra toppings on the specials board. Some of their pizzas come without tomato but if you ask them they are happy to put some extra on. Beware of the chilli oil it is very hot!

BEST, PIZZA, EVER! You cannot beat a Franco Manca sourdough pizza! It's the badgers nadgers. Well worth waiting for and fantastic value for money. My favourite Balham restaurant.

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