Brooklyn Pizza Legend 'Dom' DeMarco Passes Away at 85

The iconic trailblazer behind Di Fara’s Pizza leaves behind an important legacy within the NYC pizza community and food world.

Di Fara Pizza owner Domenico “Dom” DeMarco
Di Fara Pizza owner Domenico “Dom” DeMarco | Photo by Cole Saladino for Thrillist
Di Fara Pizza owner Domenico “Dom” DeMarco | Photo by Cole Saladino for Thrillist

A beloved figure in the NYC pizza community and food world, Di Fara Pizza owner Domenico “Dom” DeMarco has passed away at the age of 85, according to a Facebook post by DeMarco’s daughter Maggie DeMarco-Mieles.

DeMarco first opened Di Fara’s doors in 1965 after immigrating to New York in 1959 from the Province of Caserta in Italy. Located in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Midwood, the sublime round and square pies topped with imported Italian ingredients were all overseen by DeMarco’s keen pizzaiolo eye and soon became the gold standard for a classic NYC slice.

Joined by several of his children, for decades DeMarco could be found behind the counter making each pizza with tangible love and care. From his use of exclusively top-tier San Marzano tomatoes, personally hand-torn Bufala mozzarella, and practice of individually snipping basil for each customer's pie, the dedication to his passion was evident.

Since the news of his passing today, there has been an outpouring of love and admiration from the local community for the icon.

“You single-handedly turned the pizza world upside down,” said mentee and close friend, Mark Iacono—owner of famed pizza eatery Lucali and former host of Thrillist video series Really Dough—on Instagram. “You set the standard and trails of success for so many of us.”

From the original stalwart in Brooklyn to the more recently opened second location operating out of a ghost kitchen in the Lower East Side, pay your respects to the legendary DeMarco and his storied legacy by stopping by for a few specialty slices.

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Izzy Baskette is a Staff Writer for Thrillist New York. Find her on Instagram.