My first visit to Franco Manca was last year when I was writing a feature about sourdough pizza. I noticed that a branch had opened up in Stoke Newington so decided to pay a visit and write up a full review. The emphasis for this eatery is very much on their pizza with a couple of starters and a few desserts. It’s a great place to visit if you are looking for pizza in Stoke Newington, restaurants in Stoke Newington and places to eat in North London. Originally founded by Giuseppe Mascoli in Brixton Market during 2008, it is now owned by an investment called Fulham Shore. So you can find plenty of Franco Manca branches throughout London now.
“Easy to digest and super tasty sourdough pizza is the star attraction, topped off with the best ingredients,” Homegirl London
Franco Manca Sourdough Pizza Menu
Pizza is the star attraction here, with the emphasis on the sourdough which is slow rising for at least twenty hours. They use soft wheat flour because after the long fermentation the starch turns to noble sugars. This makes it easier to digest because your stomach doesn’t have to work so hard breaking down gluten or starch. So it’s a night off for your stomach but not your taste buds! The pizzas are baked in a wood burning brick oven. This isn’t any old pizza oven, it’s a Tufea which has been made by artisans from Naples. This really does get hot which is just as well because the blast cooking, combined with the slaw levitation process, makes the crust softer. Because they’ve gone to so much trouble it would be rude to leave your crusts so eat them up!
Sourdough Pizza Crust
The ingredients for your toppings are carefully sourced to deliver the best possible flavours. The mozzarella is from Somerset, soft goats cheese from White Lake Dairy and Stilton from Colston Bassett. Cured chorizo comes from Martinez Somalo, La Rioja and the cured meats are from Scorgiano Organic Estate in Tuscany. Other meats are from the Rare Breed Survival Trust in Gloucestershire. The tomatoes are organic and from Italy, wild capers from Salina and organic Kalamata olives from Greece.
Burrata Pugliese Starter
In terms of the pizzas on offer, they have six on the menu and a couple on the specials blackboard. For something simple try the tomato with garlic and oregano or tomato with mozzarella and basil. Meaty options include the wild broccoli with mozzarella and Gloucester Old Spot hand sliced sausage which doesn’t have any tomatoes on. A variation is the Gloucester Old Spot with mozzarella, buffalo ricotta, wild mushrooms and some tomatoes. Or you could try the cured organic chorizo with tomato and mozzarella. Fish fans can try anchovies with mozzarella, tomato, garlic, oregano, capers and olives.
Vegetarian Pizza Special
When we visited the meat pizza special featured Gloucester Old Spot pancetta, Franco and Lloyd mozzarella, caramelised red onions, fresh spinach, organic Kalamata black olives and Colston Bassett Stilton. We tried the vegetarian special which included all the veggie ingredients above. It was very tasty and a great combination of flavours. As always, the crust was soft and easy to eat which is always handy when eating pizza! The second time we visited we enjoyed another vegetarian special with no tomato. This included Franco and Lloyd mozzarella, green beans, roasted pine kernels, watercress pesto and parmigiano reggiano flakes, again very good. They also have a couple of salads, a few starters on the blackboard and around three desserts. Drinks wise you can try one of the organic wines or lemonade, a few beers and a descent tasting coffee.
Franco Manca Interiors
The interiors are airy and spacious inside with quite a large open plan ground floor level. In the front portion you have the seating and towards the back is the pizza oven. They also have a few seats downstairs in the basement which is opened up when the restaurant gets packed. You’ll also find a few tables on the street outside which is quite busy with traffic and people passing by.
The décor is contemporary with wooden floors and white washed brick walls one side facing natural distressed brick walls on the other. All the air conditioning pipes are exposed for a light industrial appearance. Overall, a pleasant place to relax and enjoy your pizza.
Franco Manca Information
Cuisine: Sourdough pizzas
Price: £4.50-6.95 and extra toppings are 50p-£2
Website: Franco Manca
Address: Various restaurants are located throughout London but I visited the new one at 176 Stoke Newington High Street, London N16 7JL
Near: Stoke Newington Church Street, the closest station is Stoke Newington Overground
Open: Monday to Saturday 12 noon-11pm and Sunday 12 noon – 10.30pm
Décor: Contemporary loft style with bare bricks
Seating: Upstairs for around 70 people plus some additional seating down stairs for 20 and a few tables outside on the pavement
Toilets: Yes, you’ll find these upstairs towards the back
Reservations: No reservations, just turn up, they start getting busy around 12.30
Service Charge: No service charge and all tips go to the staff
Author: Homegirl London. Photographs: Homegirl London. Thanks: Homeboy for eating out with me, again!