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Nicola Pizza

/ Updated on June 15, 2017
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Nick and Joan Caggiano’s colorful eatery has been a Rehoboth Beach staple since that big blue wet thing was installed at the end of Rehoboth Avenue (or at least since ’71…). This is beachy, family dining all the way. The original location on N. First St. is complete with the scarred wooden booths, hour-long waits in the summer, wood floors and the cool electric train chugging around the perimeter.

The big seller at this pizza joint is the Nic-O-Boli. Nicola’s version of the stromboli, it’s basically a pizza, filled with all sorts of stuff and then folded over onto itself, sealed and baked. Though their regular pizza is good, the Nic-O-Boli is certainly the star of the show. Heck, you can even buy them frozen!

I very much respect the Caggiano family for their amazing concept and longevity. But there is one thing about Nicola Pizza that annoys me, and it has nothing to do with the food or the service. For some unexplainable reason they feel it’s necessary to make a major point that THEIR pizza sauce and dough are “fat free.” It’s emblazoned across the menu, their advertising, pizza boxes, etc., etc. Are the dough and sauce “fat free?” Well, quite possibly they are. But most, if not all bread (and pizza) dough–and just about all marinara sauces–are virtually “fat free;” not just theirs. They also make a big deal that their french fry oil is “cholesterol free.” ALL frying oils are cholesterol free. And why do they make a big deal of the fact that “Our products are loaded with lycopene?” ALL foods made with tomatoes are loaded with lycopene. It’s like going to a car dealer who advertises that “all my cars have four wheels!”

Are they lying or misrepresenting anything? No. Everything they claim is true. But it makes me sad to think that these restaurateurs who have so expertly proven themselves over the years, feel the need to suggest that their food is somehow healthier than other food of the same type. With the exception of their low carb items (no dough) and healthy heart items (no beef or cheese), their pizzas and strombolis are no more or less fattening or nutritional than anyone else’s. That bandwagon, especially the gluten-free nonsense (nobody needs to avoid that wheat protein unless they suffer from celiacs disease or the early onset of celiacssee my article, “The Truth about Gluten”), is rapidly becoming passé as people wake up to the fact that it’s all marketing hype. Thank you for slogging through that with me.

All the basics are there at Nicola Pizza, including baked Ziti with good-tasting meatballs, and sandwiches with chicken parm, meatball, tuna, sausage and hot roast beef. Generously portioned, they are guaranteed to fill you up. My favorite is the white pizza with pepperoni. (I’m not a fan of their red sauce, but that’s just me. A lot of people like it.) I ask for the white pizza a little well-done so the top darkens a bit and the crust is a little crisper (what’s better than a little burnt cheese?). I also like the “Red Devil Pizza” made with a spicy hot marinara. It reminds me of the standard sauce at Chicho’s Pizza in Virginia Beach.

Wanna make your guests think you’ve been slavin’ over the stove all day? Pick up Nicola’s meatballs, ziti and ‘bolis in quantity to take home. Transfer to your own pots, turn on the food channel, splatter a little sauce on that big blousy schmata, wave your big spoon, and tell ’em it’s yours. I don’t think Nick and Joan will mind a bit. These are nice people and they will understand.

Regarding their “health” claims, don’t go to Nicola’s because you think you’re going to get skinny on their (or any other pizza parlor’s) food. Go there because of the festive, resort atmosphere, the reasonable prices and the consistent product. They have built an empire here in Rehoboth Beach and don’t need vapid health claims to convince people that it’s good.

The new Rehoboth Ave. Nicola Pizza has been open for a while now. And it is certainly the place to see and be seen. The old one is still there (cool electric train ‘n’ all), but the new installation features a big and inviting slice window right there on the sidewalk in the event you need a slice so badly that you can’t drag yourself inside. If you do make it in, there’s a big friendly bar and lots of seating. It’s noisy (no surprise) and very “beachy.” But that’s why you’re here, right? Order another 16 mile Old Court.

They also have a busy carryout business, so call them at 302-227-6211 to check their hours. They no longer offer delivery service. (Delaware lifeguards, take note: They have a generous 15% year ’round discount for eat-in meals! Just show your lifeguard ID card.)

The original location is at 8 N. First St., next to Lily Thai. The new one is right around the corner on Rehoboth Avenue. Click here for Nicola’s Menu. (L., D.) Price range: Inexpensive -.

Off-season Specials & Hours

Specials & Moods change quickly. Always call a restaurant first.

pp = per person.
BOGO = buy one, get one.
Bloody = bloody mary.
domestics = American-made beers (e.g., Bud).
imports = foreign beers (e.g., Heineken).
Rails = non call-brand alcohol.
Prix Fixe = one set price.
Mains = entrees.
Margs = margaritas.
Chix = chicken.
AYCE = all you can eat.
Lite = Miller Lite
drafts = draught beer.
Early Birds = arrive before a certain time.
Apps = Appetizers.
bottles = beer in a bottle.
à la carte = order off the menu (no prix fixe).
crafts = micro/artisanal brews (e.g., Old Leghumper Lager)

8 N.First St.
(302) 227-6211

71 Rehoboth Ave.
(302) 226-2654

Listed specials are dine in only and good from October 4th thru May 2018

Sunday
PRO FOOTBALL SPECIALS $2.50 select drafts / $5 Captain Morgan mixes / $4 Fireball Shots
$10 Large Cheese Pizza
$6 Hot Wings
$5 Hot Chicken Tenders
$5 2 Hot Dogs
$5 Corn Fritters
Drink of the Day --- $5 Orange/Mango Crush or Bloody Mary
Monday
Rehoboth Avenue location Happy Hour 3-6
$2.50 select drafts, 1/2 Price House Wines, $4 Fireball Shots, $5 Cheese Stix, $5 Zucchini Bites
Drink of the Day -- $5 Mango Bango (all day)
Tuesday
1st Street Location 1/2 Price Pasta Dishes

Rehoboth Avenue location Happy Hour 3-6
$2.50 select drafts, 1/2 Price House Wines, $4 Fireball Shots, $5 Cheese Stix, $5 Zucchini Bites
Drink of the Day -- $5 Caramel Apple (all day)
Wednesday
Rehoboth Avenue location 1/2 Price Regular size Pizza
Happy Hour 3-6: $2.50 select drafts, 1/2 Price House Wines, $4 Fireball Shots, $5 Cheese Stix, $5 Zucchini Bites
Drink of the Day --- $5 Sangria (all day)
Thursday
Both locations 1/2 Price Nic-O-bolis! **1 per person **

Rehoboth Avenue location Happy Hour 3-6: $2.50 select drafts, 1/2 Price House Wines, $4 Fireball Shots, $5 Cheese Stix, $5 Zucchini Bites
Drink of the Day --- $5 Martini (all day)





Reho. Ave.:
Open 11
Happy Hour
specials from
4-7
and drink special.

Nic-O-Bolis 50% off! 1 p/p,
eat-in only.
Friday
Rehoboth Avenue location Happy Hour 3-6: $2.50 select drafts, 1/2 Price House Wines, $4 Fireball Shots, $5 Cheese Stix, $5 Zucchini Bites
Drink of the Day -- $5 Hurricanes all day!
Saturday
COLLEGE FOOTBALL SPECIALS: $2.50 Bud/Light/Lime bottles or bucket of 5 for $11!
$5 Mini personal cheese pizza **toppings extra
$5 Meatball Sandwich
$5 Cheese Stix or Zucchini Bites
Drink of the Day --- $5 Orange/Mango Crush or Bloody Mary
The Rehoboth Foodie

About the Author

"My goal is to promote Rehoboth Beach dining while remaining honest and impartial. I don’t gush unless a place deserves it, and I don’t pull punches, either. With so many good places to eat around here, it just doesn’t make sense to waste the calories — or the money — on anything less." View all articles written by The Rehoboth Foodie

Add Your Comment
  1. Doug says:

    I was wondering if the NicOBoli’s being gluten free contributes to their crust being as crispy as they are. I don’t have an issue with gluten but do like crispy crust and would love to be able to make a crust that crispy when I am out of my case of NicOBolis (I live 150 miles away).

  2. John Davis says:

    This Author knows nothing about Gluten sensitivity. My entire family are gluten sensitive. My nephew has celiac. Gluten sensitivity is far more prevalent and damaging then this guy lets on. I am grateful that paces are starting to offer options. As the data comes in, it leads more and more to gluten issues especially since wheat was modified in the fifties.

    • The Rehoboth Foodie The Rehoboth Foodie says:

      Thanks for your note, John. I assume you are making reference to my article The Truth about Gluten. Had you actually read the article all the way through, you would have known that the article expresses great concern for those who ACTUALLY suffer from celiacs, or early-onset celiacs, aka, “gluten sensitivity.” The point of the article is that there are so many poseurs out there who have chosen to be gluten free for no other reason than to hear themselves say it. This has resulted in many restaurateurs and chefs relaxing the stringent gluten-free food-prep requirements that must be followed to keep celiac sufferers from getting sick. As far as my “knowing nothing” about celiacs, all of the information in my article comes from actual and current scientific studies; not hearsay, popular magazines or “studies” (and there are many) conducted by big food manufacturers that have millions invested in their gluten free products.

  3. Stacy W. says:

    I am planning a trip soon to Rehoboth and looked at your review of Nicola Pizza. I do not appreciate you being so rude and crass about them having a gluten free option on their menu. Unfortunately, I do have celiac disease and I appreciate it when a restaurant goes out of their way to provide SOMETHING for me to eat. So many places do nothing to accommodate those of us that suffer with allergies and diseases and I usually can find nothing to eat. I enjoy going out from time to time and if nasty people like you make ignorant comments like you did, establishments might actually listen to your foolishness and stop providing the one item on their menu that does not harm me. Please do not speak about food items that do not concern you and focus on the items that do.

    • The Rehoboth Foodie The Rehoboth Foodie says:

      Stacy…
      It was not my intention to be rude and crass. As a food writer, I do however share most chefs’ attitudes that people who are NOT celiacs should not be making a big deal about ordering gluten free.
      It is unfair to celiac sufferers such as yourself, because there is no scientific evidence whatsoever that eating gluten free is more healthy – UNLESS you suffer from celiac disease.
      Sadly, this trend of ordering gluten free for no reason has created problems for celiacs such as yourself, because many kitchens will hype the fact that they use “gluten free ingredients,” but will not prepare the foods in areas that are gluten free. So the food is contaminated with gluten and TRUE celiacs who are sensitive to that wheat protein can be made sick or at least uncomfortable. By the way, I have no idea if Nicola’s does that or not, so please don’t read that into my statements.
      I’m on your side: Let’s provide TRUE gluten free items, made at certified gluten free prep stations, for the people who ACTUALLY suffer from celiacs, and not just the poseurs who cheapen the issue for everyone.

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