As an undergraduate at NYU I rotated through many good pizza options in the Village, but whenever friends at Columbia invited me to their parties uptown, my thoughts turned to that huge Koronet slice I knew I would have at the end of the night.
Koronet doesn’t need to be good. Drunk people ― and those seeking value ― will happily spend $3.75 for this meal-size conglomeration of dough, sauce, and cheese. (One time I ate two, but don’t be impressed. My friend R., a cyclist who consumed massive amounts of carbs, could eat three. And (I’m not sure I believe this) when I visited Koronet back in December, the on-duty pizzaman told me he’s seen someone eat six at a time. Just not possible.)
It so happens that Koronet transcends schtick and serves a formidable triangle of classic New York pie (though I wish it they would cook it a minute or two longer). The cheese alone weighs about a quarter-pound per slice, but spread out across such massive real estate it neither overwhelms nor becomes rubbery. The sauce, spiked with oregano and black pepper, asserts itself (and the owners' Greek origins) through every bite. The crunchy and chewy crust folds well despite its size ― but do use two hands.
Over the years, I’ve seen many pizzerias decline in quality or close down. I recently visited one old favorite on University Place and had to throw away my slice: the crust was mush and it tasted of gas oven. I nearly cried. But against many odds, Koronet has remained consistent through the years.
I asked co-owner Peter Manikis to share his philosophy on Koronet’s longevity. His answer: “It always stays the same. We haven’t changed or dropped the quality.” Cliché words from many a restauranteur, but in the case of Koronet it's a boast that rings true.
So, message of the day to good pizzerias: please don’t change the formula ― we like things as they are.
Map Koronet. Koronet is open Sunday - Wednesday 10 am - 2 am; Thursday - Saturday 10 am - 4 am. Tel. 212-222-1566.