Pizzeria Francesca is a firm favourite with families, friends, students and Jesmond locals, and has been for many years. From the moment that you step into this pizzeria, you can really see why – everything from the intimate atmosphere, to the gorgeous looking pizzas and pasta dishes, scream Italian authenticity! Francesca’s delivers everything you might expect from a traditional, family-run Italian restaurant, and more.
There is nothing I love more in an Italian restaurant than to see the famous red and white checked tablecloths laid out across the tables. I recently went on holiday to Rome and walking into Francesca’s and seeing Italian trademarks such as these, really made me feel like I was back in a trattoria in Trastevere! The complimentary bread basket (a tradition so many restaurants in this country have started to neglect in recent years) is another little touch that makes a meal at Francesca’s so special. I have been to Francesca’s for both lunch and dinner in the past, and I can honestly say that the pizzeria really comes alive at night. The dim lighting, Italian artwork and decoration and lively buzz all make for a really intimate and enjoyable dining experience.
I absolutely love Italian food, and each time I go to an Italian restaurant to eat, I agonise over what to get! Choosing two starters to share was difficult, but we eventually chose the crowd-pleasing potato skins with BBQ and garlic dips, as well as some crispy calamari. Great portion sizes, meaning you won’t leave feeling hungry!
Choosing a main course is made easy by the owners of Francesca’s, as they have kindly included a half pizza, half pasta option on the menu for £8.40! I’m a big fan of getting the best of both worlds, so I decided to go for this option and ordered half a plate of Penne Amatriciana, and half a Pizza Boschetto (Bolognese Pizza) – delicious! Alex decided to give the house pizza (Pizza Francesca) a whirl and enjoyed every last bit of this crispy pizza covered in tomato, mozzarella, mixed Italian meats, mushrooms, peppers and mixed olives. One to recommend!
Another reason I adore Pizzeria Francesca, aside from its authentic Italian feel and delicious food, is that they serve litre bottles of house wine for only £11.50! Admittedly, the wine we were served was an Italian white which I didn’t recognise, but it tasted nice and we couldn’t really argue for the price of it. Value for money is just another good reason on the long list of good reasons to go to Francesca’s. So if you’re looking for beautiful Italian food that won’t burn a hole in your wallet, as well as a lively yet romantic atmosphere and friendly staff, Francesca’s is for you!
Overall rating: ****
Pro(s): Great neighbourhood restaurant, lovely food at low prices and a warm atmosphere.
Con(s): You can be almost certain that whatever time or day of the week you head to Pizzeria Francesca, you will be met with a queue for tables! I promise it will be worth the wait, so don’t be put off! Booking not available.