Nicko’s: St. Pete’s Newest Pizza Joint May be the Best Yet

Nicko’s: St. Pete’s Newest Pizza Joint May be the Best Yet

Talk around town was that Nicko’s Pizza and Subs was the real deal, so we decided we had to see what the buzz was all about. When we first visited in March, they had to discontinue delivery due to being too busy with take out and in the restaurant itself. Currently, you can now order delivery on their website or through GrubHub, which I am doing today, to get the picture of their famous Steak and Cheese Deluxe that I devoured, before I got the picture, the second time we were there.

This unassuming southside restaurant, which just opened the first of February, definitely stands up to all of the hype and more.

Nicko's Exterior
Nicko’s Exterior

Nicko is a native Floridian from Indian Rocks Beach and he went to Largo High School.

I couldn’t have written this better so this is the about page from their website, “Nicko’s was founded by power couple Erin and Nick Faraone, who have worked tirelessly to bring this magical land of flavors to life. Nick, a man with a passion for the savory and a legacy from his father (also named Nick), who spent his lifetime crafting culinary comfort foods for the community he loved. Starting his apprenticeship at the ripe age of 10, young Nicko spent his childhood playing in seasonings and flour like other kid’s play in sandboxes. Working in his father’s restaurant he cultivated his skill with flavors and the artistry of a crunchy, flakey crust. And while pizza is on the name, don’t miss out on their specialty subs. His father made a legacy on his take of a classic sub… “He turned a Philly cheese steak into a hoagie and then geared it towards Florida” says Nicko. This sub creation has been the foundation of this multi-generational enterprise, the Steak and Cheese Deluxe is a local flair that you can’t afford to miss!”

Nicko's Mural
Interior Mural

Nicko told us this, ” I grew up in the kitchen watching my parents make pizzas. I was the kid laying on the #10 cans under the shelf, coloring in my coloring book, watching cheese and lettuce falling down on my parents’ feet. It’s just natural for me to be in the kitchen. I love it…It’s such a rewarding thing when you have the passion for it. That’s something that can really make or break you. This is a tough business but it can be amazing if you do it right.”

Nicko's Interior

Nicko told us that when they first opened people would come in and get one slice of cheese pizza and then they would come back the next day for the whole pie, because that’s the best way to test it out.

Pizza Oven Nicko's
Pizza Oven

We had to start with the meatballs because why? We love great meatballs! These definitely stand up to that test. They are three jumbo meatballs in marinara sauce, topped with mouth-watering melted mozzarella. You can tell they are housemade and Kevin says when he updates the best meatballs list, these will make the cut for sure. For me, they were a tad oregano forward, but that’s just me.

Nicko's Meatballs

Just look at the inside, you can tell these are not from the freezer.

Nicko's Meatballs Interior
Meatballs Interior

To quote myself, this Classic Cheese Pizza, that, yes, you can get by the slice, is the closest to New York pizza that I have tasted in this town. And we just returned from a New York City pizza tour in November. It is scrumptious.

According to Nicko about his pizza dough, “Everyday I am thinking about the humidity level and the temperature outside. I use cold water and sometimes my water needs to be a little colder. I don’t have an exact recipe. I even measure the salt with my hand…When I was about ten, I started learning how to form it and when I was twelve I started working on the line making pizzas.”

Nicko's Cheese Pizza Slices
Cheese Pizza by the Slice

It even passes the New York pizza fold and orange oil drip test…

Nicko's Cheese Oil Drip
Passes the NY pizza oil drip test

Kevin loves an Italian Sub so that’s what we ordered on our first trip. I forgot to take the picture of that one too so this is from our second trip when we got it again. Absolutely tasty and delicious. It is made with capicola, provolone, salami, lettuce, tomato, onion, oil & vinegar dressing and cherry pepper relish. That cherry pepper relish is Nicko’s signature and let me tell you what, it just pops in your mouth in every way that is good. The bread is soft and toothsome, just the way I like it. We both highly recommend this or any sub you prefer for that matter.

Nicko's Italian Sub
Italian Sub

We had to order another pizza as well, so we ordered a whole Supreme Pizza topped with onion, mushroom, green pepper, pepperoni, sausage, ham, mozzarella and pizza sauce and all of their pizzas can be made gluten free in the 12″ size. It is topped with the freshest of ingredients and was just as delicious when we reheated our leftovers the next day. Anyone who says crust doesn’t make a pizza, is just wrong. However, the sauce and the cheese ratio was also perfection as well as the even disbursement of the tasty toppings.

Nicko's Supreme
Nicko’s Supreme

So on our second visit, as I stated in the beginning, I ordered this Steak and Cheese Deluxe, which Nicko says is so incredibly popular that he didn’t even want me to write about it (he did give me permission of course). It is a totally different take on a cheese steak it is made with shaved rib-eye, grilled onion, mushroom, roasted green peppers, mozzarella, (oven baked) and topped with lettuce, tomato, mayo, oil & vinegar dressing and cherry pepper relish. Sounds a bit weird for the cheese steak fanatics out there, right? Wrong. I am one of those fanatics and this sub changed my world. First, I had to go into it realizing that this was a totally different sub. Wow, I absolutely loved the different textures and flavors that the extra ingredients added, especially the umami from the mayo and the pop of flavor from the cherry pepper relish. Do yourself a favor and get yourself one now.

Nicko's Steak and Cheese Deluxe
Steak and Cheese Deluxe

Nicko’s Pizza and Subs is a true hidden gem and worth the five minute drive south on 4th Street from downtown. Yes, it’s that close. Get yourself there!

A casual southside pizza and sub restaurant.

DISCLAIMER: Kevin, Lori, Abby, Haley, Lindsey & Mahika do not dine anonymously (this would be impossible) and we sometimes get free food (though never expected). However, we dine with the locals and we support our own. You will always get honesty in a respectful manner. We do not include any large national or regional chains in our ratings and reviews. We focus on independent locally owned eateries exclusively.

PLEASE NOTE: Reviews reflect a certain moment in time. Some restaurants stay extremely consistent over many years, and some change for the better or worse. Some things that may change are: chefs, recipes, food suppliers, ingredients, philosophies, ownership, etc. We always hope that you have the same good, or great experience we had.

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5 Responses

  • I’ve eaten pizza in every place in St. Petersburg and Nicko’s is good. It’s not the best in St. Petersburg and it’s not close to NY pizza. The Philly sub I had was below average. Now, the staff were super nice, the vibe in the restaurant was upbeat and the price is fine. It’s also in a pretty bad neighborhood that hopefully gets better with time. I wish Nicko’s the best, but the writer here is exaggerating or just hasn’t eaten a lot of good pizza.

    • It’s too bad you feel that way. I happen to be a certified pizza judge and have eaten tons of pizza. And it is not a Philly Cheesesteak. It’s their version of a steak and cheese sandwich. If you think it’s going to be a Philly Cheesesteak of course you wouldn’t like it. I loved it.

  • I visited slice of the burg on your recommendation and found the pizza to be awful. I’m from New York and there’s no way in hell that that pizza is anything like what you would get no matter what pizza joint you went to in New York City you ought to be ashamed to call themselves New York style pizza I had the everything Pizza it had very little extra toppings and it was just plain awful I left half the slice there

    • You are not commenting on our review of Slice of the Burg, that was written by Kevin Godbee, not by me. This review is of Nicko’s. If you took the time to read the entire review of Slice of the Burg, you would see that we liked some pizza but not all. They do not have an ‘everything’ pizza on their menu and we did not review or endorse that. So that’s on you. Sorry you had a bad experience. The only thing Kevin said was close to NY style was the cheese pizza.

  • I have pizza at Nikko’s at least once a week. Their pizza is unique and delicious. The pizza is tossed NY style and to me the crust has a Chicago style flavor and texture. I love it. You can tell quality ingredients are being used when oil weeps out of the cheese. Theirs does.

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