Franco's is a steward of traditional culinary elegance, offering a refined menu inspired by the regional cuisines of Italy, complimented by a tailor made wine list. Located just outside of Leeds city centre, Franco’s is a destination for families, business people and savvy diners alike. Our clientele is anyone with an appreciation for good food from a family run business.
The pedigree of the man who brought Pizza to Yorkshire is well known. Yorkshire's most dynamic and enduring Italian is still at the helm (yes, he's still working 7 days a week), albeit supported by his son Franco Jnr and their team who's core have been with us for over a decade.
They continue the longstanding tradition of good family friendly service, accommodating anyone and everyone, well, as many as the restaurant will seat.
Rustem our head chef has been with Franco for over 15 years. Along the way learning from some of the region's best chefs. Rustem having designed the menu in his own particular way, is a delectable canvas that bears witness to his passion, talent and experience, paying homage to the patriarch Franco Pardini.
Franco the son of farmers in the Tuscan region of northern Italy, began working at the age of 15 in a local pizzeria. From there he did summers in 5* Hotels in Italy's now famous island and Riviera holiday resorts, whilst travelling to Milan to work in some of the nations best restaurants in the winter.
In 1966 he managed to secure a contract at the Savoy in London. Coming to to England was a key point in the life of Franco, at a time when a food revolution was happening in UK he was now a part of it. From there he went to work for the already established Italian restaurateurs Mario & Franco where he continued to ply his trade, before opening his first restaurant in London shortly after.
Deciding that a change was necessary, and having had a good offer to sell his first solo venture, he was approached by Mario & Franco, his previous employers to conquer the North of England. He was to take their brand to Leeds, introducing Italian food to Yorkshire.
A while after moving to Leeds to help establish Mario and Franco in the north, Franco decided to set up on his own. A traditional family orientated trattoria, The Flying Pizza was born. The notion of traditional, simple Italian food and family friendly service now being the norm nationwide.
Although Franco has since moved on, it still remains as a cornerstone of the Leeds food scene, much like Franco himself.
Franco’s Pescatore and Brio Pizza in the Light were other ventures along the way all of which have contributed to and now culminated in Franco’s at Thorpe Park being established as the new home of Italian food in Leeds.
Now joined full time by his son Franco Jnr the future of Leeds’ favourite Italian here to stay.
Franco and his team look forward to welcoming you.