Franco Pizza Bar Announced Second Best Pizza In NSW

Eat, Restaurants, Travel / 6 November 2023

The humble team from Franco Pizza Bar in Thirroul can’t believe they’ve taken out second place, but we certainly can with crust like that!

If you’re heading down south on a sunny weekend, we couldn’t recommend Thirroul enough as your final destination. This coastal town is a mere 1.5-hour drive from Sydney and has become an iconic holiday spot with widespread beaches, great local banter and in more recent years, a plethora of top-notch dining experiences.

Franco Pizza Bar is one of them, located right on the main drag. The restaurant received a Hat in the 2023 Good Food Guide Awards and has also taken the title of the 2nd Best Pizza Restaurant In NSW, as voted by Delicious and the public. That’s no mean feat for a humble family-owned eatery on the Coal Coast.

Owner Sam Jones honed his hospitality skills in Sydney, first working with The Bentley Group and then taking over the iconic watering hole, The Wine Library. He brings that same expertise to service at Franco Pizza Bar and his wine knowledge has transferred seamlessly into a 250+ bottle wine list that reads more similarly to a bible.

Franco has a chic yet charming aesthetic, with neutral tones and pops of green, a marble bar top, hanging foliage, local Picasso-esque artwork, and quaint furniture like bentwood chairs. The enclosed alfresco area allows ample light for daytime dining while inside is a more romantic choice for date night.

The menu is inspired by Italian cuisine and is designed to be shared in that style. Start your night with a selection of antipasti from freshly cut Proscuitto de Parma and Pork & Native Pepperberry Salami to Buffalo Mozzarella Ortiz Anchovies. It would be criminal to not order their Rosemary & Garlic Focaccia which is baked fresh each day with a 48-hour fermentation process.

The real kicker however is their pizza list that takes you everywhere from the classic Margherita and Pepperoni, to the signature ‘Franco’ with pork fennel sausage, ‘nduja, fior di latte, oregano, and the Zucchini which features the ingredient three ways – freshly sliced, picked and the whole blossoms with basil pesto, fior di latte and pepitas. If you’re one to disregard the vegetarian options, that would be a real mistake at Franco. The team works closely with local suppliers to top the pizzas with seasonal produce, with all pickling and slicing done in-house to keep things fresh.

Franco’s top ranking in the pizza category is no surprise once you taste the dough. It’s a labour of love with a hands-on 72-hour fermentation process and a strict rule that each base must be stretched to order. This results in a crust that is riddled with air pockets, providing a lighter vehicle to take on the flavours of the toppings. Each slice has a crispy yet chewy texture and that tangy yet slightly nutty flavour you get from sourdough.

With that easy-to-digest base, you’ll always have room for Franco’s famous Tiramisu. Don’t expect the traditional slopping serving, but a well-assembled quenelle of savoiardi biscuits soaked in fresh espresso, mascarpone cream and whipped chocolate ganache giving each spoonful a luxurious and creamy texture.

Franco Pizza Bar hosts a bottomless lunch every Saturday and Sunday, including a set menu of antipasti and pizza, and unlimited drinks for 1.45 hours for just $79 per person. More recently, they launched an aperitivo hour available every Thursday to Sunday from 4pm – 5:30pm with antipasti snacks and drinks for $10 or under. Both are ideal ways to refresh after a day spent at the local beaches.

Book your table here.