Franco’s Pizzeria

Franco’s Pizzeria
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R82 avg main meal
Groups, Kids, Quick meals
Italian, Pizzas
Mastercard, Visa
For tables of less than eight people one bottle is free then R65 per bottle; tables of 8 and up, no BYO

Critic's review

Steve Steinfeld

Forty years after opening its doors, Franco’s has become somewhat of an institution for old-school classic Italian cuisine in Joburg. Comfort food at its best, the menu offers up an array of traditional, home-style dishes.

For starters try the caprese – beautiful slices of mozzarella, tomato and onion with a light drizzle of balsamic and topped with fresh basil. Or the carpaccio of fillet with a generous sprinkling of olive oil, lemon juice and parmesan. If you’re caught between the two options, have the mezza luna, a full portion caprese with half a portion of carpaccio. The pizzas, cooked in the wood-fired oven, are thin crust and available with a great selection of traditional topping combinations, from the alla siciliana with its deliciously salty anchovies, olives and capers, to the salsiccia – Italian sausage, spinach and chilli.

If pasta is what you’re after, the panserotti cremolati stuffed with a creamy, spinach and ricotta filling is a sure winner, as are the classics such as the puttanesca and carbonara served atop perfectly al dente spaghetti or linguine.

While pizzas and pastas are clearly the star attractions, the small carne, pollo and pesce (meat, chicken and fish) section includes steaks, spatchcock chicken and the catch of the day all prepared using traditional Italian recipes.

Finish the meal with a fabulous tiramisu or homemade semi freddo with a decadent Bar One sauce.

The wine selection is small but does include a nice selection of local and Italian wines. The corkage policy allows for 1 bottle of wine per booking corkage-free (for tables not exceeding 6 people), but anything more should be ordered off the list. End your meal with a traditional espresso or a grappa.

Warm, welcoming and attentive staff are well versed on everything on offer. The fact that it’s family-owned and run means at some point Franco or one of his sons will stop past your table to take your order, explain specials or follow up on your meal. While a bit slow to start, service picked up and the food arrived timeously and piping hot.

There aren’t many restaurants that can pull off both red walls and tablecloths but Franco’s, with its vintage posters and framed pictures, somehow manages to make it work. The restaurant is constantly busy so bookings are advised and well worth the effort.

Be sure to check out the specials board for the ever-changing list of exciting and interesting dishes prepared daily.

(October 2017)

Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our full editorial policy here.

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User reviews

  • Easily my favourite Italian restaurant. Try anything and you're sure to enjoy it. The seafood risotto is amazing. Full of flavour and so well priced. The pastas are delicious and are bound to make you feel happy. Overall, the service is friendly. The restaurant is family owed and you definitely get that vibe, which is good. Last time I was there, I ordered a Salmon special . Unfortunately the salmon was finished. So the owner made a prawn pasta just for me that was not on the menu! I love this place. Give it a go.
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  • I’ve been eating at Franco’s for about 35 years. Still family run and still the best pizzas on the block! Consistent and delicious, great for a night out with the family
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  • Franco’s is our absolute favourite go-to place on a cold winter’s evening or a balmy summer’s night. Their pizzas and pastas are amazing and it’s always on the same, high standard. Do try their specials of the day too - you’ll find wonderfully different kinds of pastas on the specials board. Franco himself is on the floor every night and makes all his guests feel like kings and queens. The rest of his staff are super friendly and professional. And you are allowed one bottle of wine with no corkage payable. It’s an absolute gem!
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  • Accepts credit cards
  • Alfresco
  • Booking required
  • Child friendly
  • Dinner
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Takeaways
  • Vegetarian
  • Wheelchair
  • WiFi

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