Franco Pizza Bar
The NSW South Coast is a sprawling goldmine of beachside cafes, iconic doughnut vans, dog-friendly breweries, and of course, wineries. For any major foodie, it’s a no-brainer when it comes to filling up your weekend with delicious local produce, which is why its latest addition—Franco Pizza Bar—has to be on your next road trip hit list.
Nestled into the charming village of Thirroul, this new pizza joint hails in with a whole lot more than its name suggests. As the brainchild of chef Matt Taylor (Wine Library, Monopole, Bentley, Tetsuya’s), chef Sam Jones (Wine Library), and chef Johannah Talor (Glass, Flying Fish), Franco Pizza Bar plates up twists on iconic Italian feasts, while championing local produce and wines from the South Coast.
The idea at Franco Pizza Bar is that you go ready to share all the dishes, so you’ll want to kick off with some antipasti goldies like the yellowfin tuna with cucumber and ginger lime and the chargrill octopus loaded with Calabrian chilli. You also can’t go past the house-made focaccia, anchovies with preserved lemon and olive oil, and the burrata and basil pesto.
Pizza reigns supreme here, with pizzas taking inspiration from the classic Roman style. These bad boys get made with a dough technique that involves a 72-hour fermentation, allowing the dough to soak up all the flavour while weakening its gluten content. Your go-to here has to be the signature “Franco”, which is a glorious combination of tomato, pork fennel sausage, ‘nduja, pecorino, fior di latte, mushrooms, and olives. Also on the pizza line-up is a roast garlic and potato beauty, mortadella with piparra pepper and a Formaggio with oregano and truffle honey.
Save your pizza crust for one of three saucy crust dippers, which look like roast garlic, hot sauce, and pesto.
To top things off with all the sweetness, the dessert repertoire here hits really hard. While the tiramisu is one of the best in the biz (and features dark chocolate), you’ll want to make sure you order both the bomboloni ice cream sanga made with a brioche doughnut, vanilla gelato, and Campari, and strawberry and cream semifreddo with white chocolate and meringue.
In true South Coast form, the wine menu can’t be ignored and there are over 80 epic bottles worthy of your attention. The drops here have been sourced both locally and globally and there’s a big focus on natural and minimal intervention wines—but traditionalists will appreciate the few old school classics peppered throughout too.
At just about 90-minutes from Sydney, we reckon Franco Pizza Bar is the perfect way to kick off your Saturday or Sunday.
Image credit: Franco Pizza Bar