Ordering from Death By Pizza in Delray Beach, once a lottery, now as easy as pie

The pizza handoff.

This pop-up pizzeria from the folks at Two Fat Cookies Bakery has brought Detroit-style square pizza with its crispy outside, fluffy inside crust to downtown Delray Beach, You’ll have to order online and pay in advance for a pie that you won’t be able to pick up for several days.


Snagging a pie at Death by Pizza in Delray Beach seems to have gotten easier.

Launched early last September during the throes of the pandemic by Koby Wexler and his family, the owners of Two Fat Cookies Bakery in downtown Delray Beach, it seemed that trying to order a pizza at this pop-up pizzeria was akin to landing tickets for the upcoming Jimmy Buffet concert.

I remember signing in online at Death by Pizza’s ordering page on just at noon on a Monday last fall to reserve a pie for pick up the following Sunday, but almost instantaneously my screen flashed a message that every slot between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. was filled. Wexler, a few months later, added Wednesday pickups (ordered on the preceding Friday).

More recently though, on a whim, I signed into the Tock website on a Friday morning and, to my surprise, I was able to snag a pick-up slot for just two days later. In fact, there were several spots open for one of Wexler’s Detroit-style pies, which start at $20 (enough to feed two or three people).

The Enemy pie, just sauce and cheese.

You must order an entire pie and pay for it in advance. Death by Pizza’s tagline is “No slices. No amendments. No walkups.” The short menu only is found online and there is no published phone number for the pizzeria. Once you’ve successfully placed your order through Tock (, you’ll receive text confirmations and annoying text reminders about your order.

Death By Pizza’s quirkily named pies are thick, square-edged, Motor City-style pizzas akin to focaccia, but with toppings layered in inverse order atop a thick crust. The edges are crispy, reminding me of frico, the lacy, extra-savory crunchy browned Italian cheese crisps. The interior is chewy, the result of a sourdough that Wexler spent months perfecting.  Alongside the pie in the box was a gratis, roasted long green hot pepper. It got tossed.

Death by Pizza logo

Wexler offers eight “square” combo pies, most of them topped with what’s described as an “underground” cheese blend. The basic pie, “The Enemy,” is simply mozzarella and a garlic-inflected sweet tomato sauce made with San Marzano tomatoes. Others are more complicated. “The Bozo,” for example is topped with Bolognese sauce, ricotta, basil and cheese. Pepperoni cups, pickled jalapeños, cheese, tomato sauce and honey are found on a pie called “The Redrum.” Another option, “The Prey,” is topped with cheese, organic chicken, chives, red onion, house-pickled long hot peppers and buttermilk ranch. If you want wild mushrooms and cheese order “The Edward.” Another twist, a pie topped with vodka sauce, basil and cheese is known as “Cryptonite.”

Recently, Wexler introduced round, thin and crispy crust pizzas, priced at $17–$23 per pie and made with the same sourdough. Also added were wings, dips and salads. We didn’t get to try them.

Alas, with the arrival of off-season, Death by Pizza has cut back to taking orders only for Sundays.

Death by Pizza’s pick-up window.

To be sure, there are other South Florida pizzerias now selling Detroit-style pies minus the ordering lottery and mystery. (These include Rara’s Pizza & Wings in Boca Raton, Detroit Eats in Boynton Beach and Motor City Pizza  & Coney in Boynton Beach among others.) For those unfamiliar with Detroit pizza, it’s different from other pies with focaccia crust and heavier toppings. You might think of Detroit pizza as a Sicilian or square pie, but with a crust that’s fluffier inside and crustier outside.

Detroit pizza often is baked in rectangular steel trays designed for use as automotive drip pans or pans used to hold small industrial parts in factories. The iconic-Detroit style was developed during the mid-20th Century in Detroit, but only in the last decade has it spread to other parts of the country.

Back to Death by Pizza. There’s a no parking zone in front the shop’s takeout window where you can peer in and observe the staff busy at work. The parking prohibition doesn’t prevent people from stopping to run in for their pies.  On the day that I picked up my pie, those taboo spaces were occupied, and I ended up parking around the corner. Throw in the walking time and the time to drive home and my pie, encased in a heavy cardboard box, arrived at my table, sadly, less than piping hot.  But a few minutes in an oven at 400 degrees fixed things. I enjoyed my “The Enemy” pizza, but my less-adventurous dining companions inclined to traditional New York-style pizza, found it wanting. That’s okay. More leftovers for me. And those leftover slices – after reheating – were as good or better the next day.

Death By Pizza

32 SE 2nd Ave., Suite B, Delray Beach, FL 33444

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