This booming fast-food chain fixed the biggest limitation of pizza

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Definitely not as messy as a slice.
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Hollis Johnson

Pizza isn’t just food; it’s a revered culinary institution.

Yet tackling a pizza slice can be a cumbersome task – melting hot cheese, dripping sauce, and toppings precariously perched on top threaten to stain untold amounts of clean shirts every day.

But Kono Pizza is eschewing the traditional slice and embracing a more unorthodox approach to the beloved pizza: cones.

The company, which started in Singapore, recently inked a deal with Walmart to open up franchises in the company’s retail locations.

But is a pizza cone really the way to go? I decided to try out this heretical pizza method to see for myself.


Kono Pizza currently has a handful of kiosks in malls across the country, with 48 new locations opening soon or planned. I stopped by the kiosk in the Newport Centre Mall across the Hudson River in Jersey City, NJ. The menu is pretty simple: classic cones, deli cones, breakfast cones, and dessert cones.

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Hollis Johnson

Source: Kono Pizza


The kiosk was out of the deli cones when I got there, so I chose three classic cones and a dessert cone to try. The cones are freshly prepared to order.

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Hollis Johnson

Once they’re properly constructed, they take a ride through the special oven apparatus to be cooked. The wait is negligible — maybe three to five minutes.

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Hollis Johnson

I ordered four cones to try: the “vegetariano”, Margherita, pepperoni, and the tiramisu. Each classic cone was $3.99 — a bit stiff when compared to the price of a slice. The dessert cones are less at $2.99, but they’re also substantially smaller.

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Hollis Johnson

Each cone comes in a little cardboard stand for convenience; while the cones are clearly meant to be handheld, you can set them down all the same.

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Hollis Johnson

Right away, I notice the huge advantage of a cone. Holding a cone in one hand is a game changer when you’re used to awkwardly maneuvering a floppy pizza slice. It’s a fairly decent size, too — I would say equivalent to a generously-sized slice.

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Hollis Johnson

The pepperoni version — the de rigueur topping — is decent. I wouldn’t heap glowing praise upon it, but it’s decent.

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Hollis Johnson

The main issue I take with it is the dearth of actual pepperoni. There are maybe three pieces scattered through out, and they’re smaller than usual. The saltiness is there, but it’s not as satisfying as I would have hoped.

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Hollis Johnson

The vegetable cone looks promising, with big hunks of peppers, broccoli, and tomato sitting on top. I even spy an olive.

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Hollis Johnson

And amazingly, the look of it matches the taste. It’s delicious — the sauce tastes fresh and vibrant, as though it’s made with real and crisp tomatoes. There’s a generous amount of veggies throughout the cone, and the crust is doughy yet light.

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Hollis Johnson

The crusts could be a tad bit thinner, perhaps, but that isn’t a do-or-die issue. The Margherita one is, however, disappointing: there was no basil in it. It was essentially a cheese pizza cone. A forgivable mistake to omit the basil during the prep, but it is worth mentioning.

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Hollis Johnson

The sauce in the Margherita is different than the pepperoni sauce; it’s more vivid and flavorful without relying on salt as a crutch. All three cones stayed hot for over 20 minutes, resplendent with melty cheese pulls. The cone shape keeps the inside a melty, delicious core — miles ahead of a rapidly cooling flat slice.

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Hollis Johnson

Of course, like any pizza slice, there’s always the crust at the end. The cone crust is decidedly doughy without as much crunch as one might hope, but it keeps the soggy, cheesy insides at bay, making the pizza cone an easy snack on the go.

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Hollis Johnson

The dessert cones — in this instance, the tiramisu flavor — are woefully small.

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Hollis Johnson

But in terms in taste, it is fairly accurate. The crust tastes slightly sweet, and adds an interesting crunch to the soft and creamy, coffee syrup-laden inside. Sure, it’s not gourmet tiramisu with feather light mascarpone, but hey, for $2.99, one shouldn’t expect that.

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Hollis Johnson

Pizza as a cone: an interesting experiment. It wins big in terms of ease, and while it doesn’t reach mind-blowing levels of flavor and satisfaction, it’s still decent pizza. And you know what they say: even bad pizza is good pizza. But will the cone overtake the slice? Despite the convenience, I’m thinking not.

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Hollis Johnson