Words by Gemma Higgins, Staff Writer

Falling back into university life not only means organising the TV licence, joining societies and counting the number of 9 am lectures you have in the hope there are as few as possible; it also means catching up with friends you haven’t seen since before summer, and what better place to do just that than at Fatto a Mano, an Italian restaurant that specialises in pizza and calzones, nestled in the heart of the North Laines.  

The restaurant itself is one of three situated in the Brighton and Hove area, the other Brighton restaurant located only a ten-minute walk away from the North Laines on London Road. Fatto a Mano is the perfect stop off for lunch or dinner, situated among the array of independent shops and stalls, as well as being only a stone throw away from the train station, Pavillion and Theatre Royal Brighton, the last of which happened to be our next stop after finishing our pizzas that night. If you’re unable to experience their dine-in option, to which you can sit either inside watching the chefs prepare your authentic Italian meal, or outside, relaxing and soaking up the hustle and bustle of Brighton, Fatto does also offer a take-away option, ideal for those late-night study sessions or as the perfect hangover cure!

Having sat down and handed the menus, we were taken aback by how reasonably priced the food was. With starters ranging from approximately £3 for olives or Campania fries, up to £10.50 for an antipasto platter, perfect for sharing with the entire table, there’s certainly an appetiser suitable for everyone’s student budget. The mains too, were not only generous in their selection, but cheap and cheerful too, commencing at £6.50 for a Margarita pizza and increasing up to £11.50 for the Calzone Piccante which includes spicy minced pork, salami, Neapolitan broccoli, gorgonzola, mozzarella, parmesan and basil. We were also given a special menu that had an array of further meals to choose from; the selection differing on the time and day you wish to visit. 

As evident from the picture, the Neapolitan pizzas not only looked delicious, but were also

remarkably generous in their size, arriving piping hot and tasting so light but filling – quite simply, they were delicious! I personally chose a classic Margarita, whilst my friend chose the Diavlo (perfect for spice lovers), both of which we highly recommend! Also notable were the alternatives for those with dietary needs, with vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options all available, ensuring no one in the house misses out! To accompany our meal, we chose a bottle of Rosé. There were a range of soft and alcoholic drinks, all of which were also suitably priced alongside the food, although the cocktail list was slightly disappointing with there only being four to choose from, hence opting for wine as our alternative.

The service we received whilst there from beginning to end was so highly commendable. With zero wait time despite Fatto not taking bookings (walk-ins only), to the heart-shaped pizzas we were presented with (see picture), the staff’s attentiveness and friendly personalities only elevated the experience, making Fatto a Mano a must-visit restaurant whilst you study here in Brighton.

You may not be able to travel to Italy at present, but I can assure you this restaurant is the next best option! Overall, Fatto a Mano is certainly somewhere I, as well as the hundreds of people online, would recommend visiting, whether that be with course-mates or house-mates for a relaxed, cheap and cheerful evening. Having been listed number 4 out of 33 restaurants in Brighton, the Neapolitan restaurant situated in the heart of Brighton is a slice of Italy you do not want to miss out on!

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