The first Franco Manca pizzeria, a true pioneer of Neapolitan-style sourdough pizza in the UK, was born in the heart of Brixton Village. Centrally located within the Granville arcade, which feels like a step back in time itself, is where it all began at unit four, Market Row. In its natural home, nestled in between the independent shops, craft boutiques, and quaint cafes underneath the railway arches, the white awning peeps out over the charming wooden outside seating. The restaurant is just around the corner from Brixton tube station, iconic Electric Avenue bars and clubs, and the Prince of Wales for a post-pizza brew.
The founder, Giuseppe Mascoli, bought the premises from the previous pizzeria owner, paying homage to him by aptly borrowing his name for his empire, which translates to ‘Frank’s missing’. While the Franco Manca brand has certainly grown, this pizzeria still holds onto its true origins as a cosy and intimate restaurant. As you peer through the glass windows to see where it all started, the interior is friendly and familiar. It feels like a true Italian experience, with well-used peels proudly hung up on the white tiled walls and the warm aroma of the hot Tufac brick, imported from Naples. Each pizza only takes 40 seconds to bake within the 500 degree wood-fired ovens.
It is well worth the trek and queues to grab a pie from the small pizzeria, you can be guaranteed value for money with quality, organic ingredients and smashing sourdough bases. The produce is either imported from Italian or grown locally, all carefully selected to ensure the food is at its seasonal prime. And the fresh lemonade definitely helps wash it down nicely. This is a must for all Franco Manca fans to experience the original, which is arguably still the best.