Hold the cheese
Pizza is a treat not often on offer to vegans. Most mainstream, mass-produced pizzas are heaped with dairy cheese and/or contain animal fats within their dough bases. Vegans have for a long time been excluded from this common snack, but there are more than a few places on the planet where you can get a nice slice free from non-human animal content.
One of my favourite restaurants in the world is the gorgeous and quaint Threeworlds Organic Cafe on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. This low key location sells the most delicious and nutritious pizzas I have tasted. Cruzer Pizza in Los Angeles has mastered the art of copying firm favourites such as meat lovers without hurting anyone. The Grove Cafe in Leeds, UK offers up a selection of pizzas topped with Vegerella vegan cheese. All of these restaurants have the good stuff, but I have always struggled to locate a pizza without cruelty in London. That was until Franco Manca came into my life.
Franco Manca is an expanding chain of pizza restaurants with locations currently in Brixton and Chiswick. Word in the community is the company is negotiating openings of three additional London locations during the coming months.
The Brixton store is a one minute walk from the vegan haven known as Ms. Cupcake. This pizza palace isn’t a vegan venue, but they can hold the cheese to create vegan-friendly options.
The staff of Franco Manca are extremely friendly and knowledgeable about what makes a vegan pizza vegan. They are forthcoming with assistance and advice, informing me I could enjoy any combination of toppings as long as I didn’t ask for cheese (the store currently does not serve a vegan cheese). With olives, oregano, wild mushroom and garlics on offer, I didn’t miss cheese at all.
Josh and I were in need of a savoury hit after going hard at the Ms. Cupcake vegan bakery and Franco Manca filled the role perfectly.
Our sourdough crusts were baked to perfection in the purpose-built brick oven. The staff were just the right mix of friendly, helpful and discreet. Brixton is an incredibly vibrant area and we enjoyed our outside table that afforded us a terrific view of the passing crowds.
If pizza isn’t enough of a treat, Franco Manca in Brixton also sell Samuel Smith organic vegan lager by the bottle. Do I need to actually say I cradled one throughout my meal? You know me so well!
Visit the Franco Manca website for opening times and locations… and please inform me if you spot any other vegan pizza in London. A FGV can never enjoy too much pizza.