When it comes to pizza, Mano a Bocca offers an authentic experience like nowhere else in the North.
Based in Sale, just a short tram journey from Manchester city centre, this pizzeria brings the spirit and flavours of Rome to a beautiful waterside plaza in South Manchester.
Mano a Bocca translates as hand to mouth, and that’s precisely how these wonderful thin-crust Romana pizzas should be eaten. Romana-style means a wide range of eye-catching and tastebud-tingling toppings – undeniably more exciting than the basic ingredients found on simple Neapolitan-style pizzas.
But first, the starters. The bruschetta pomodoro is an ideal opening course: crunchy sourdough bread, toasted and topped with a heap of chopped cherry tomatoes, coated in garlic, extra virgin olive oil and fresh oregano.
It’s a light summer dish that immediately demonstrates the high quality of the ingredients used at Mano a Bocca. The plump shell-on tiger prawns are just as moreish, particularly when dipped into the fantastic garlic and paprika mayonnaise.
When it comes to pizza, the Calabria is a must-try for meat-lovers.
The perfectly-proportioned chunks of ‘nduja sausage and Calabrian piccante chillis deliver a spicy kick, balanced out with creamy mozzarella and tangy goat’s cheese, and topped off with decadent chunks of crushed potato and red onion.
It’s delicious, memorable, and a great introduction to the world of Romana pizza.
The carciofo pizza is another triumph, featuring thick chunks of artichoke, cured ham, black olives and anchovies on a mozzarella and tomato base.
The range of flavours are what stand out the most – going from salty anchovies and olives to the fresh gentle aromas of chargrilled artichoke in a single mouthful. It’s a whole world of textures and tastes, all working perfectly together.
And pizza aficionados will undoubtedly be impressed by the dough. Created with imported Italian flour only, it is proved for no less than 24 hours, resulting in a light and beautifully textured pizza base, sturdy enough to hold all kinds of toppings without ever feeling heavy or stodgy.
The vegan broccoli pizza is an ideal showcase for the versatility of the dough, offering up tenderstem broccoli, red onion, chickpeas, garlic, chilli oil and vegan mozzarella on a butternut base.
This inspired combination of ingredients fit together like an Armani glove, packed full of sustainable flavours and innovative ideas you won’t find anywhere else.
But it’s not just the food that makes Mano a Bocca a must-visit destination.
They have a huge outdoor dining area that soaks up the sun throughout the day – ideal for al fresco dining and lazy summer drinks. The cocktail menu features Italian classics such as the Negroni and Aperol Spritz, alongside a wide-ranging list of Italian beers and wines.
It’s ideal for a family visit, with a special Bocca Juniors food menu for bambinos, as well as mocktails for those who want to enjoy a well-made drink without the alcohol.
For those worried about post-lockdown safety, this open-air space, combined with safety measures such as masks and temperature checks, means a trip to Mano a Bocca is as risk-free as it gets.
The staff are a delight: friendly, charming and with a thorough knowledge of all things Italian.
Alongside the fantastic food, Mano a Bocca stands out from other pizzerias due to the sheer attention to detail.
The owners make regular trips to Rome, returning with a wealth of ideas and inspiration to use throughout the venue (the bathroom signs based on the Rome Metro are a particularly smart touch).
For an authentic slice of Rome, right here in Manchester, look no further than Mano a Bocca.