Mimi’s Pizza has opened its second Manhattan location at 2393 Broadway (between 87th and 88th streets) in the former home of Sforno Pizza, which closed in June 2023. The space had previously been occupied by a Hot & Crusty.
Mimi’s specializes in a sort of hybrid between Roman-style and traditional New York-style pizza. Roman-style pizza is made from dough with a higher hydration level than NY-style, and it’s typically fermented anywhere between 48 and 72 hours. John Nikolla, who is part of the ownership group at Mimi’s, told ILTUWS that the result is a lighter, crispier pizza that’s meant to be easier on the stomach.
“I eat pizza a lot,” admitted Nikolla. “So I try to make it a little bit healthier.”
The Denso Pepperoni pie – which features thick-cut (otherwise known as cup & char) pepperoni – is among the pizzeria’s best sellers. Nikolla likened the pie to the popular pepperoni pizza at Nolita’s Prince Street Pizza, which often has lines around the block. “Denso” means “thick” in Italian.
Originally from Michigan but a New Yorker since 1997, Nikolla has long been a mainstay in the NYC pizza scene. His experience dates back 20 years and includes stints with Rocky’s Pizza in Midtown East and Famous Famiglia, among other establishments. Nikolla took Roman-style pizza classes from a Sicilian pizza expert in Florida with the goal of bringing the thin, crispy style to New York City. His love for pizza and the NY pizza scene in general was clearly evident in a phone interview with ILTUWS, where Nikolla apologized for “nerding out” over his passion.
“We’re all in this together,” said Nikolla in reference to other pizzeria owners in NYC. “We want to elevate everyone’s culinary skills when it comes to pizza.”
The first Mimi’s storefront opened in late 2020 on the Upper East Side at 217 E. 86th St. (between 2nd and 3rd avenues). Inspiration for the name came from Nikolla’s sister-in-law, whose name is Mimosa.
Among other menu highlights are the Spinach Artichoke pizza, Burrata pizza, Chicken Bacon Ranch pizza, and the Biana e Pepe pizza (ricotta, mozzarella, romano, garlic and cracked pepper). The plain pie is also a bestseller and is inspired by Joe’s Pizza, which Nikolla says is his favorite in NYC.
We tried the Denso Pepperoni, Spinach Artichoke and Chicken Bacon Ranch – all of which were light and crispy, a pleasant surprise given the often thick and dense appearance of square slices. The garlic knots were the perfect compliment: soft, chewy and not too garlicky.
Mimi’s also offers pastas, appetizers and salads, with the goal of eventually making their own bread for heroes and pastries. For more info, visit ordermimispizza.com or follow @mimispizza.nyc on Instagram.