Budget Eats: Franco Manca

Getting used to being on a student budget is not so fun.

Particularly if that means I can't eat out anymore.

If you haven't guessed already, going for meals is my favourite thing to do and I'm not quite ready to sacrifice my beloved restaurants for pot noodles. 

This is especially the case now I'm living in central London and there are so many delicious places to eat every time you turn the corner.

While sitting around pondering this dilemma, I decided to start a new 'series' on the blog: "Budget Eats". 

This way I can still visit new places and try new food without breaking the bank. 

Well, someone has to do the research for us students, don't they?

First up: Franco Manca!

Recommended to me by someone at uni, Franco Manca is a small pizza chain with venues dotted around London.

On a particularly drizzly Monday afternoon, I met with my lovely friend (and fellow student) Kristen for some Italian goodness and a good ol' catch up.

 Note to all restaurants: serve chilled tap water.

It's the little things that count and there is nothing worse than a lukewarm drink in a still-warm-from-the-dishwasher glass.

The menu is short, sweet and full of fresh ingredients: six pizzas, a couple of salads and a few daily specials.

 Kristen opted for the number 3: Courgettes, basil, mozzarella, buffalo ricotta and pecorino cheese. 

Normally it's served sans-tomato sauce but they made an exception.

 This caused a discussion. To courgette or not to courgette?

As far as I'm concerned they're the vegetable of the devil but Kristen thinks that they're misunderstood and underrated.

...I'm not buying it.

 I kept things simple with the basil margherita. 

All of the pizzas are served on a sourdough base, meaning that they have a super fluffy and puffy crust but a wafer thin base.

Unfortunately we were defeated but the friendly waitress boxed up our leftovers for us to take home.

See? Two meals for the price of one- how student-friendly is that?!

The best part? My pizza was £5.90, Kristen's £6.75.

A margherita at Pizza Express comes in at £7.80 and their pizzas do not even compare to this.

I would highly recommend Franco Manca. There's no bookings and apparently it gets very busy at supper and weekends so my advice is to avoid peak times. The same goes for most restaurants in Central, unfortunately.

(Although, I'd be more than happy to queue if I knew that pizza was waiting for me on the other side of the door.)