Superior dough made with organic spelt is just the start at Farro Pizzeria. From Thornbury to Windsor to Richmond, Farro Pizza joints are popping up with their organic, free-range ingredients, chilled atmosphere and friendly staff.
Locations: Farro Caulfield North, 67 Kooyong Rd, Caulfield North, VIC 3161 Ph: 0439 165 299 & Farro Fitzroy, 301 Brunswick St, Fitzroy, VIC 3065 Ph: (03) 9416 0953 & Farro Hawthorn, 842 Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn, VIC 3122 Ph: 0499 510 761 & Farro Richmond, 112 Swan St, Richmond, VIC 3121 Ph: 0493 168 125 & Farro Thornbury, 608 High St, Thornbury, VIC 3071 Ph: 0499 116 185 & Farro Windsor, 126 Chapel St, Windsor, VIC 3181 Ph: 0499 291 930
In a town where you only have to walk 50 metres before stumbling into a pizza joint, you have to have a point of difference to become as successful as Farro Pizza.
So what’s their secret? Well, it’s a few things.
Firstly, there’s their devotion to organic produce and free-range meat. Then there’s their incredibly more-ish organic spelt sourdough pizza bases.
It might seem like as hard sell at first glance – nutritionally sound pizza, but that’s what Farro Pizzeria are promoting and we’re here for it. And yes, they taste as good as you might hope.
However, that’s not all. Their pasta is all made fresh, the staff are charming and the drinks are pretty good.
So when’s all said and done, what’s not to like?
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Full disclosure – this review is based on our experience at the Farro Richmond outlet.
Positioned just over the road from hip Vietnamese fusion favourite New Quarter on bustling Swan Street, Farro Richmond is buzzing on a Friday evening. Especially as there’s a footy game at the MCG in 2 hours time. That said, the fun and lively atmosphere that spills out of the open door and the warm welcome that we receive from the staff as soon as we enter makes us suspect that we were wise to book ahead.
Farro Pizzeria has the efficient vibe of a venue that is always busy.
This particular Farro restaurant has a long dining room. To the left, tables front banquettes which hug mural-daubed raw brick walls. Halfway down the right of the space, a bar is lit with beacon-brightness. Along its front are perched a handful of customers, either grabbing a drink whilst they wait for a table or working their way through plates of nibbles.
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Further back from the bar there’s an open kitchen where pizziaolas are spinning dough and sliding ready-to-go-plates onto the pass.
The lighting scheme is bright, rather that intimate. Having said that, it’s not too blinding – which is always as relief.
Pendant lights and greenery soften the overall feel of the room.
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Whilst the Organic Spelt Pizzas are a major drawcard, they are not the only reason to visit a Farro Pizzeria.
Antipasti & Insalate
Watching a Jenga-like plate of golden Polenta Chips ($15) pass by, we almost pop in an order. Similarly, there is some discussion about getting the Pistachio Burrata ($25), because seriously – is there anything more appetising than Fresh Burrata paired with House-Made Pistachio Pesto?
But we aren’t massively hungry (shame on us) and are determined to do the famed Spelt Pizzas justice. As a result, we split the Polpette ($19.5). They come as a hearty serve of 5 Free-Range Lean Pork & Beef Meatballs in a luscious San Marzano D.O.P. Tomato Sauce. On the side sit fragrant hunks of oven-warm Spelt Bread. It’s a simple entree, done really well.
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Organic Spelt Pizza
Firstly, all the pizzas that float into our vision look (and smell) highly appealing.
However, tough decisions have to be made and decide on our pizzas we do.
The Paesan ($28.5) features Organic Tomatoes, Organic Mozzarella, Salami, Roasted Red Pepper, Olives, Basil & EVO Oil on one of those much-hyped Organic Spelt Sourdough Bases. The ratio of toppings is well-balanced and the base is truly delicious – light and chewy with lots of great flavour.
I’m a sucker for a good vegetarian pizza combination and the Ortolan ($28) is exactly that. This time, those rich Organic Tomatoes and creamy Organic Mozzarella are a foil for soft Eggplant, marinated Artichokes, Roasted Red Pepper, G. P. Parmesan and a dusting of Parsley. It’s a brilliant vegie option.
Which brings us to another fabulous thing about Farro Pizzeria. This is an eatery where everyone is catered to – no matter what their dietary preferences might be.
Farro Pizza make a point of stating that their menu has something for ‘all food tribes’. It’s an ethos that we at Eatability applaud and we are happy to tell you that there is a dedicated Vegan Menu here. So if you fancy the Paesan, but follow a plant-based eating plan, no problem. The kitchen will prepare one for you using vegan mozzarella and vegan salami.
And if you are gluten intolerant, that’s fine too. The team can make you gluten-free dishes at a small extra cost.
These are just 2 more reasons why this pizza chain is proving so popular.
Having said that, the gluten-loving carnivores won out with our final choice. The Capricciosa ($28) is a classic pizza for a reason. Organic Tomatoes and Mozzarella with Free Range Smoked Leg Ham, Mushrooms, Olives & Artichokes all sing perfectly against that yummy base.
Organic Spelt Pasta
Although we don’t try the pasta this time around, the family across from us vouch for the rich flavours of the Tagliatelle Lamb Ragu ($30). It’s an appealing tumble of Free Range Lamb Shoulder, braised with Organic Tomatoes, Red Wine, Herbs and the magic of time.
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We are also gifted an enticing waft of the Gnocchi Mushroom Ragu ($30). A chunky bowl of Organic Potato Gnocchi and Wild Mushrooms, with Tomatoes, Garlic, Onion, Chilli, Herbs & Goat Cheese, its aroma makes our mouths water.
Apart from the expected – and good – Tiramisu ($16) and Cheese Cake ($14), there’s a Nutella Calzone ($18). If you still have room for dessert by this point in your meal, give it a go. And make sure you add the Raspberries for an extra $2. You can thank us later.
For amazing tarts – both sweet and savoury – visit Tarts Anon, just down the road from Farro Richmond, in Cremorne.
As mentioned earlier, the luminous bar is a central point at Farro Richmond. So it seems rude not to try a Cocktail.
The Basil Smash ($20) – Beachtree Organic Koala Gin. St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, Lime, Lemon & Syrup proves a refreshing tipple to accompany the savoury notes of pizza. My companions opt for a Peroni Nastro Azzuro ($9.5/12.5) each.
If Cocktails or Beers don’t do it for you, the bar also stocks Wines, Spirits, Digestifs & Soft Drinks.
For stunning cocktails, highly informed bar staff and sophisticated decor, book a seat at Bouvardia Melbourne
Farro Pizzeria is taking over Melbourne for all the right reasons.
This is pizza given a healthy spin, with organic ingredients front and centre. What’s more, Farro actively courts all diners with its inclusive vegan and gluten-free meals.
And everything tastes fresh, authentic and delicious.
Throw in friendly, laidback, but swift, service – never an easy thing to achieve – and a convivial ambience and you’re on to a winner.
We’ll definitely be trying other Farro Pizzerias over the coming months.
Farro Pizzeria has just joined up with the First Table reservations platform.