Di Fara Pizza

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90 Excellent

The holy grail of classic New York–style pizza, passionately run by Domenico De Marco for over 50 years.

1424 Ave. J, Brooklyn, NY, 11230



Known For

The lowdown

The place is a dump, the ordering system fraught with peril, and the wait for a slice, let alone a pie, a heroic journey into the unknown. Which isn’t to say a visit to Di Fara in the far reaches of Brooklyn isn’t worth the trip. On the contrary, no serious student of New York pizza has not been to Di Fara. True, both the round New York–Neapolitan hybrid and the Sicilian pies would be better if the crusts weren’t so stiff. But that’s a flaw that’s easily forgiven in light of what is one of the most invigorating tomato sauces in town, combined with a knockout three-cheese combo. It’s pizza that’s big and bold, rough around the edges, and more than a little messy; it’s what New York–style pizza is all about. And yet the real star of the show here is not the pie but the pie man — octogenarian Domenico DeMarco, pretty much a one-man pizza machine who produces every pie himself. This, despite the fact that he’s been on the job for over 50 years, and that his movements behind the counter resemble those of a turtle with an advanced hangover. Although DeMarco works his magic for most of his 14-hour day with his back turned to his audience, like some kind of pizzaiolo Miles Davis in comfortable, flour-caked shoes, he has his own humble way of playing to the crowd. “Whose pizza is this?” he mutters shyly as he cuts through the thing with an old pizza cutter. “That’s mine,” comes a rejuvenated voice from the weary mob. “Okay,” says Dom, lifting his usual downward gaze for the split second it takes to make a maestro-disciple connection, the bubbling pie its own delicious benediction.

Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld

What you need to know

DrinksNo Alcohol

Noise LevelCivilized