Food in Mouth


DiFaras is pizza heaven

It was worth it, and you should go. No, I'm not talking about a Miley Cyrus concert. Although her concerts probably ARE worth it... Di Fara's Pizza in Brooklyn is worth all the hype. I love sports and you hear about hyped athletes all the time. Di Fara's is no Andy Roddick. It's more like Roger Federer. Subtle, understated, and the best. If you do research on the pizza blog Slice, you can see that Di Fara's is ranked up there among the best pizzas in the U.S. High praise for sure, but the pizza backs the claims. If you have a chance to get some of this pizza, do yourself a favor and hurry up.

dom-and-the-oven difara-menu

Located in the Midwood neighborhood of Brooklyn, Di Fara's sits on the corner of a nondescript street. The sign outside is worn and faded. You hardly expect the best pizza in the country to be served up here. But maybe that's precisely what you need in order to have great pizza - a shop that's no frills, just about the food. On a Friday afternoon I found myself nearly alone in the place, and ready to plunk down $23 dollars for the most amazing (albeit pricey) sausage pizza that I have ever tasted.

If you are not familiar with the New York prices on premium pizza, then take a moment to suck in some air. Brace yourself. You might be put off by all the hype AND the $20 dollar price tag for a plain pie. This is just the nature of the business, the pizza is not made from Kraft cheese (no offense to y'all, I dig you for my grilled cheese). Usually I'm a huge proponent of fast food and chain restaurants. But I love Di Fara's even though it is different from what I know. Slow, careful, and meticulous, the man behind this extraordinary pizza can win you over without a word.

pizza-dough dom-opens-oven

Dom Demarco is the proprietor of the joint, and he's the guy who makes your pizza. Be glad because he's good at his job. Hurry because the dude is 71. He's looks fragile almost, but he moves around deliberately. He wastes no motion in his pizza making routine. You get drawn in to the grace, and watching him open the oven and turn the pizza is like memorizing. The entire experience leaves you in a trance, until you eat the pizza. Then it's an awakening.

dom-cutting-basil difara-sausage-pie

After he pulls the pizza out of the oven, two more steps are necessary. He grates some extra cheese manually with this crank, then takes the grated cheese and sprinkles it on top of your pizza. And then he scissors some fresh basil on top as well. He does all this in front of you and you see how much care he puts into the preparation. Having witnessed the process, I know the experience skewed my taste buds. My $23 dollars bought a show and a sausage pie.

di-fara-pizza-slice upskirt

The pie was perfect. Piping hot and incredibly fragrant, this pizza practically begs to be eaten. You almost want to wait because the fast you eat it, the less you'll have left. But don't wait too long. Fold that slice and experience heaven. You know sometimes when you eat a slice, you notice a deficiency or two. Maybe the crust is too thick. Maybe the bottom is too crisp. Maybe it's over loaded with cheese. An imperfect pizza has glaring traits. At Di Fara's? You're just happy. The perfect ratio of sauce to cheese to crust. And the sauce has great balance so it's not too acidic or too sweet. The basil on top lends to the mouthwatering fragrance of the pizza. You'll finish three slices before you realize, "Dude. I only have five left. I gotta save this."

Dom ain't getting any younger. Watching him make the pies that afternoon, I can't help but wonder if there are only so many pies left. Can he keep up the pace for 5 more years? 10 more years? Sooner or later, the dude is gonna wanna kick back, relax, and not make pizzas all day. One last note about pizza enjoyment at Di Fara's. I only waited 30 minutes for my pizza. There were only two people in front of me in line and it was not hectic at all. This definitely skewed my experience. If I had to wait an hour to order and then an hour for the pizza... then I would have probably hated the experience.

Was this an amazing pizza? Yes. Could I recommend waiting over an hour for it? Tough to say but I'm not sure any food is worth that kind of wait. If you can do during off hours, give Di Fara's a shot. And is it just me or does he wear that same shirt in almost every single picture of him? Someone get that man a new shirt.

Di Fara Pizzeria
1424 Avenue J.
New York, NY 11230

Map to find Di Fara Pizzeria

Posted by Danny on

(I invite you to follow me on Twitter so you can get more updates.)


Type "dumplings" (minus quotes) in the next box, this is required

  • This makes me feel creepy, but I just read/commented on your thread at SE and now I'm here. What the? Anyway. Great description. It's like... everyone WANTS me to go to Brooklyn. The only one holding me back is, well, me. I don't even like pizza that friggin' much. Sigh. (I do really like good pizza.)

  • Wow...$6 for a slice of pizza? That had better be some good pizza. I think DiFaras would send my midwest sensibilities into sticker shock.

  • Oh Yvo, we're going. It's better than good, it's fantastic. It's the best pizza I've had EVER! I want to take my whole family. I think about it on a regular basis.

  • this is the third time this week that this place has been mentioned. I'm always skeptical when people say anything is 'the best'. But that looks like a damn good pizza. And yes, 9 times out of 10 you can tell by just looking at it. :)

    oh and why weren't you at work?!?!?!

  • I just realized that this guy is now YOUNGER than John McCain!

    'Hurry because the dude is 71.'

  • dude!! Pizza ... mmmmmmm!!! I've grown up in Queens and when i saw you post Di Fara's place i had to read it. NY good ol hand made pizzas, ohhow i miss the big slices with the perfect crunch on the crust when u bite into them.

    Hey if u get a chance stop by this place in Jackson Heights called Pizza Boy. Through my childhood life i would eat there at least 1-2 times a week. I Loved it and i actually saw the place last month onmy visit to NY last month but i didnt have a chance to dine in.

    We must go Pizza hoppin when i come back next time. Mark that on your list of things to eat when i am back in town =)

  • oh man, that makes me really want to go! The pizza was pretty good cold... I can only imagine what it tastes like fresh out of the oven. Did Dom say anything to you about taking his picture?

  • "I can't help but wonder if there are only so many pies left. Can he keep up the pace for 5 more years? 10 more years? Sooner or later, the dude is gonna wanna kick back, relax, and not make pizzas all day."

    I'm not so sure...I bet he'll be around until health permits otherwise. He loves making pies for people. I can't wait to get out to New York and give his a try.

  • Great review! And as always, awesome pics!

    As I am some what adverse to long train rides, and perhaps even longer waits on line, I haven't made it out to DiFara's yet. However, upon reading your review you've convinced me that Dom's pizza lives up to the hype, and I've resolved to make the obligatory pilgrimage soon.

  • YUM!! Another delicious pizza joint to add to the list =D

  • I'm having pizza envy!! It sounds (and looks) amazing. You're so right, sometimes thin crusts (the only way to go) can get too crisp at the bottom and totally lack bite. A good crust is half the pizza already. Hope I get to try that some day!

  • Haha! I have photos of him wearing a very similar shirt. When the weather gets cooler you'll get to see the beret!

    Glad you finally made it!

  • That looks like dry sausage.

  • Wow...can't believe he still churns out pizzas all day at 71. Hopefully he has a team of well-trained people to pass the torch to. Your photos make me miss New York so much!

  • OMG. Memories. Well, memories from last week - I dragged my poor friend all the way there during a rainy day and we had a slice, killed time in a nail parlour, and then went back for another slice. Best slice I've had so far. I want another!

Recent Posts

On becoming human and Mu Ramen

Half way between the seven minute walk from the subway station back to my apartment, uncontrollable tears streamed down my face. I sobbed in broad day... [more]

godiva chocolates ad