New York

One of NYC's Best Pizza Shops Was Just Shuttered by the State

Cole Saladino/Thrillist
Cole Saladino/Thrillist
Cole Saladino/Thrillist

For the second time this year, beloved Brooklyn pizza institution Di Fara has been shut down for running afoul of government agencies — though the Di Fara family says they should have the pizzeria open again within days.

On Tuesday, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance slapped a blazing orange sticker on Di Fara’s facade. “This property has been seized for nonpayment of taxes, and is now in the possession of the state of New York,” it barks in all caps. Department spokesperson James Gazzale says the business owes $167,506.75 dating back to 2015. And all this after the Midwood staple was temporarily shuttered in May by health inspectors when an inspection revealed vermin and other offenses amounting to 45 violation points. (Di Fara rebounded to earn an ‘A’ rating.) The department does not comment on specific cases, but Gazzale could not rule out the possibility that Di Fara could be slinging pies again soon. “We continue to have an open dialogue with the business in order for them to resolve the debt and re-open,” Gazzale said. “In general, we just want to have the confidence that the business is going to be operating in good faith moving forward.”

The Di Fara family expects that very outcome. When reached by phone Tuesday evening, owner Domenico DeMarco’s daughter Margaret Mieles said that Di Fara’s doors were locked while the ovens were on. “I had to call the fire department because the ovens were blaring,” she said. “They found a way to get in without breaking anything.” 

Mieles attributed the whole situation to a misunderstanding that could have been resolved today were it not for the Department of Taxation and Finance’s hours. “There’s nothing you can do after 4pm, that’s the problem with these agencies,” she said. 

“We’re on a payment plan with them,” she said. “We have a six year plan. We made our monthly payment with them. We think that we mailed the payment, we do things the old school way. There’s a blip in the system somewhere.”
Mieles is hopeful that Di Fara will be back open by the end of the week.

Reached by phone on Tuesday, an employee at the Williamsburg outpost who sometimes picks up shifts at the Midwood location said that everything at the now locked-down pie purveyor was business as usual as recently as Saturday, and that employees were not notified in advance of the closure. “Everything seemed nice, pretty normal.”
 
“I hope [Di Fara re-opens],” the employee said. “A lot of people rely on that job.”

Cole Saladino/Thrillist
Cole Saladino/Thrillist
Cole Saladino/Thrillist

Established in 1965 by Italian immigrant Domenico DeMarco, Di Fara’s pies are consistently ranked among the best in New York City.

Scott Wiener, pizza expert and host of Thrillist’s Really Dough? recently sang the iconic shop’s praises in a definitive guide to NYC’s best pizza places. “It’s just one of those special places trapped in time,’ Wiener said. Legend is so important, like going to the Great Wall of China, you need to go as a lover of the cuisine. Di Fara is just such a special place. If you’re there when Dom is there, you feel it.””I just wanted to make pizza that tasted good,” DeMarco told Thrillist in 2018. “That means good ingredients. That’s why people like it, plain and simple. While I’m still standing, that’s not going to change.”

The Williamsburg location remained open on Tuesday.

Update: Di Fara reopened on August 22.Sign up here for our daily NYC email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun New York has to offer.

Amber Sutherland-Namako is Thrillist’s New York editor.

New York

Scavenge for Peeps Cookies and More Fun Treats in NYC This Easter

The best Easter desserts in NYC this spring include Easter Bunny Churros and Carrot Cake Macarons.

Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery

As spring makes its way through New York City, not only do we get to enjoy beautiful weather, stunning cherry blossoms, and cool activities priced at $Free.99, but it’s also the perfect time for some limited-edition desserts.

With Easter fast approaching, bakeries are filling their shops with tons of chocolate eggs, carrot cake-flavoured everything and all types of flavours that offer both nostalgia and innovation within the city’s dessert landscape. After you’ve picked up a cake from the city’s best new bakeries, from Easter Bunny Churros to Carrot Cake Macarons, here are 8 Easter desserts to try in NYC right now.

Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery

Magnolia Bakery

Throughout April
Various locations
There’s great news for devotees of Magnolia Bakery’s Classic Banana Pudding: For Easter, the spot is mixing up the iconic dessert’s vanilla pudding with some carrot cake. The Carrot Cake Pudding is filled with freshly grated carrots, coconuts, pineapples, raisins, and walnuts. And if both bananas and carrots aren’t your thing, they’ll be offering their Classic Vanilla Cupcakes in pastel colours with a Cadbury chocolate egg hidden inside.

Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery

Funny Face Bakery

Through Easter Sunday
NoHo and Seaport
Known for their celebrity face and meme-worthy decorated cookies, fans of Funny Face Bakery know that a new fun design is always just around the corner. For Easter, they’ve created the adorable Hoppy Easter decorated cookie that resembles a classic box of marshmallow Peeps. Along with that, they also have the return of their fan-favourite Caramel Pretzel Chip cookie flavour, plus a set of three mini-decorated cookies perfect for gifting.

The Doughnut Project

Friday, April 7 through Easter Sunday
West Village
With the ever-changing flavours at The Doughnut Project, it’s super easy to miss out on trying out a new debut. But this Easter weekend, there will be two new flavours available. One is of course, a carrot cake doughnut topped with a cream cheese glaze, and the other is known as the Doughnut Nest-a French cruller “nest” with a cream-filled doughnut hole “egg” in the centre.

Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour
Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour
Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour

The Fragile Flour

Wednesday, April 5 through Easter Sunday
East Village
For stellar vegan desserts this holiday, head to The Fragile Flour, a plant-based bakery and dessert wine bar. They’re known for going all out for each holiday with a variety of new pastry options that you can pair perfectly with a glass of wine. This Easter, they’ll have a whole dessert menu that’s both delicious and gorgeous for posting on IG. The menu includes Stuffed Carrot Cake Cookies, a Lemon Cake (whole or by the slice), some festive cupcakes, and specialty macarons.

Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate
Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate
Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate

Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate

Through mid April
Midtown
For a luxurious take on Easter chocolates, browse the selections available at Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate. You can even pick the Easter Signature Chef’s Selection for a special box curated by award-winning chefs. For something other than chocolate, choose between the Carrot Cake Macarons or the cake flavored Easter Marshmallow Trio, both of which are almost too cute to eat.

La Churreria

Throughout April
Nolita
This churro-centric spot is putting the cutest Easter spin on their crispy cinnamon churros by twisting them up into bunnies and bunny ears. At Churreria, choose from a Bunny Churro Lollipop topped with your choice of chocolate or dulce de leche and sprinkles, or the bunny ear churros in the Ube and Matcha ice cream sundae or the Ube Milkshake, both of which are made with ice cream from il laboratorio del gelato.

Photo by Briana Balducci
Photo by Briana Balducci
Photo by Briana Balducci

Lafayette

Throughout April
NoHo
You’ve surely seen this croissant tons of times while scrolling through IG or TikTok, whether it’s the Pain au Chocolat one or the latest of the month. Known as Supr√™mes, these filled croissants went viral and continue to live up to the hype each time a new flavour comes out. April’s flavour-sour cherry amaretto with a Luxardo custard and toasted almonds. While you’ll have to be super early and wait in line during one of their three drops of the day to get a taste, we promise you it’ll be worth it.

Photo courtesy of Levain
Photo courtesy of Levain
Photo courtesy of Levain

Levain

Seasonal
Various locations
We all know the iconic cookies from Levain-they’re gigantic, perfectly crispy and chewy, and well worth the long lines. For spring, the shop is launching a new flavour: Caramel Coconut Chocolate Chip. Filled with gooey caramel chips, fresh shredded coconut, and melty dark chocolate, it’s one you’ve got to try while it’s still around. To further celebrate the new season, all of Levain’s storefronts will be decked out in spring floral displays, serving as the perfect backdrop for pictures.

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Alaina Cintron is an Editorial Assistant at Thrillist. Her work can also be found in Westchester Magazine, Girls’ Life, and Spoon University. When she’s not at her desk typing away, you can find her exploring a local coffee shop or baking a new recipe.

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