Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Accidental Eats: Pizza at Franco Manca in Brixton Market

A shortish post today (but who knows, maybe it could be the first in an Accidental series on city eateries...) on a rather lovely place to eat.  I am, a year on from my move into my first flat, a well-established North London gal.  I feel rather about Hampstead Heath as I once did the Thames when I lived in Putney, and cannot bear the thought of not having it within easy strolling distance whenever I chose.  So I am at a complete loss when I venture into certain South London areas.  Brixton, for example.  Brixton for me for a long time was simply the place one went to for gigs, at the slightly scummy but atmospheric Academy.  You took the tube to Brixton station, nipped through the streets to the Academy, watched a band or two, and hurtled home.  (Occasionally there might be an additional detour in which one repairs to Speedy Noodle for some post-gig take-away, however let me prevent anyone else making the mistake we did and assuming that their service as well as their Noodle was speedy...slowest chips in London.)  

When the Accidental Ex-boyfriend announced he was buying a flat in South London I had a hope that my ignorance of places 'sarf of tha river' was about to be rectified, and so it seems it was.  After a visit to what will become his new local cinema (the Brixton Ritzy, not too shabby but it's no Curzon), the Accidental Ex escorted my starving self to Franco Manca, in Brixton Market.  Whilst the rest of the market was all closed up, metal shutters padlocked down, and shop or stall lights all extinguished, a couple of small restaurants were still doing business as we wandered through the darkened, chilly space.  A tiny pizza place straddled the walkway through the market, with half its serving space and half its seating on either side, and a flurry of waitstaff hurtling between clusters of munching patrons.

We both ordered the special meat pizza of the day, which came loaded with pancetta and aubergines and perfectly salty mozarella.  Franco Manca's legendary sourdough base, which is much raved about among the London pizzeratti, was, I am happy to report, spectacularly tasty.  Service was speedy and efficient, and we were brought a wonderfully fresh and interesting salad to accompany our pizzas - no pre-packaged leaves here.  I ordered a homemade lemonade and was brought a large stoppered glass bottle full of cloudy, citrussy goodness, all to myself.  I was instantly restored by food (I am like a small child when it comes to feeding times - liable to sulk or strop if they do not happen regularly), and very content to sit outside in the eerie, empty market under the gratifyingly cosy heaters.  Franco Manca was the perfect post-cinema pizza place; although its not open every evening so check in advance or swing by for lunch rather than dinner.  If you ever find yourself peckish in Brixton, go!  (I'm afraid I was too hungry to spend time taking a photo of my delicious supper, so you'll just have to go and see what it looks like for yourself...)

Franco Manca
Unit 4, Market Row, Brixton, London, SW9 8LD

Franco Manca on Urbanspoon


  1. I love the Brixton Market but I have to admit that I haven't tried the Pizza @ Franco Manca...Can I just say that if you are ready to have a pizza with the Accidental BF SOUTH of the river, where he has just bough a flat, you might be ready for a bigger commitment? Just saying...That's how it looks to me anyway.

  2. Now now, MuMuGB, I think you're getting carried away...! I shall remain firmly a North London lady for quite some time yet.

  3. I can't imagine not living within walking distance of Clapham Common, Brixton Market and the Victoria Line....maybe I will move North when I can afford more than a one bedroom flat and to eat in the restaurants there - but I think I will stay a loyal south london girl! Great post, thanks

    1. And this is one of the things I like most about London - how each area has its fervent champions who wouldn't live anywhere else!


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