Franco Manca | East Dulwich

After what was quite frankly, an emotional roller coaster of a week, I was glad to get back home to London on Saturday. It's always a bit of a revelation when you call somewhere that isn't where your parents live, 'home' isn't it? But I stick by it, it's good to be home.

We pretty much chilled out on Saturday night, and then decided to go for a walk to East Dulwich on Sunday morning. Which ended up being just before midday, but you can't have it all can you?! We don't utilise East Dulwich enough really, we live only a 30 minute walk away, which translates to a 10 minute bus ride...! Such a short amount of time to reach all those lovely restaurants, cafes and bars.

Anyway, we took a stroll down Lordship Lane, meandering (yes, meandering) in and out of charity shops, looking for bargains. We stopped outside Franco Manca, as they always seem to be giving away tasters - even on a day as cold as Sunday, it must have been near freezing. So we sampled some of their lovely sourdough bread (I dipped mine in their chilli oil which consequently burned my mouth) and after a bit more walking, we found ourselves making a beeline for sourdough pizza.
It was lunch time, so unsurprisingly the restaurant was packed, mainly with young families - there was an obscene amount of pushchairs outside - but they managed to squeeze us in on a table at the back of the restaurant, a little further away from the hustle and bustle, which was quite nice.

What is instantly apparent about Franco Manca, is that they run a tight and completely unfussy ship. Their menu is simple with only a few pizza options, small and side plates with a small range of locally produced wine and beer. And this ultimately means that they can keep the prices simple too. With all of their pizzas (apart from the specials) ranging between £6 and £7... you can't really go wrong. But what is really amazing is the quality of food, way out-weighs the expectation of the prices. The sourdough bread pizza base is quite frankly untouchable, it is so moreishly fluffy and light, I thought I might be able to only eat half and be able to take the rest home, but I was wrong, I ate every last morsel. 

Shay and I tried to guess what each other was going to pick before ordering, and it's safe to say we either know each other really well, or are completely predictable, and although I'd like to think it's a mix of the two, it's probably more of the latter. I decided to go with the chorizo pizza and Shay went for the anchovy and olive pizza. Both pizzas were absolutely divine, with a rich tomato sauce and enough toppings to not make the pizzas overcrowded. But I think we were both mostly amazed by what amazing value for money the pizzas were.

We both washed our pizzas down with a Portobello Pale Lager which came in about £3.60 - which is about average for any bottled drink in a restaurant, or even on the better value side. The lunch came to £20 overall which I'm still so pleased about. I just don't know where else in London you could find even just a casual lunch at this quality for the same price - if you know please inform me!

If you get a chance to visit a Franco Manca, as there's a number of them dotted around London, I'd recommend you swing by. The value for money is amazing and for an easy, relaxed and maybe even impromptu lunch like ours was, you won't be disappointed.