Di Marco founded Di Fara in Midwood in 1965, a few years after he emigrated from Caserta County in Italy to New York City. Tell New York times In 2004, “When I got here, I spent three months on Long Island, in Huntington, working on a farm…Then someone put a bug in my head and said there’s a good place on J Street. I know J Street exists.”
Di Fara opened with a business partner whose last name is Farina. “So when the lawyer wrote the paper, he put the two names together: de Vara,” he recalls to The Times. In 1978, DeMarco bought his partner but kept the name.
For most of the past 50 years, DeMarco has been directly involved in creating every pizza pie, importing ingredients from Italy several times a week. All pancakes were topped with fresh basil (cut with scissors by DeMarco) and a drizzle of their signature olive oil. The slides cost just 15 cents when they opened in 1965, but they’re now $5. However, the place was almost always flooded with people trying to sample the food, and visitors can expect an hour-long wait at times.
DeMarco’s attention to detail and passion for all things pizza has transformed Di Fara into a staple pizza in town, often appearing on top menus from the likes of Zagat, Village Voice and The Times, Gothamist and more. No Chef Anthony Bourdain and previously Mayor Bill de Blasio De Vara declared the best slice in town at various points.
Over the years, Di Fara has expanded to more locations, including on the Lower East Side, a now closed venue in Williamsburg and even Las vigas. The original site has also faced some short closures, including in 2011 due to the Ministry of Health violationsAnd in 2019, when captured By the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance on unpaid taxes. At the time, a state spokesperson told Gothamist that the pizzeria owed $167,506.75. de Blasio vow To help get Di Fara making pancakes again, and a few days later, they’ve already reopened, with a state spokesperson say“We have reached a mutual agreement moving forward and are confident that the business will operate in good faith in the future.”
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“If I wear that in public, people will call the police.”