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It’s a debate as old as time: New York- versus Chicago-style pizza. (Just ask Jon Stewart what he thinks.) But despite our steadfast love of the foldable slice, a little cheating never hurts.

For the occasional deep-dish treat, you must hit up Emmett’s.

Tucked away on lower MacDougal Street, it’s a relaxed hole-in-the-wall, holding only a handful of tables and bar stools. As soon as you sit down, the waiter urges you to select a pie, as it takes about 45 minutes to make one. (Hope you needed a Pinot or three.) But trust us: That piping-hot goodness is worth the wait. The crust is crispy yet substantial, the sauce is clearly homemade and the cheese...oh my God, the cheese...is stringy and gooey and perfect.

Because of the small square footage (and the fact that it’s the first real Chicago-style spot in NYC’s recent memory), Emmett’s is unsurprisingly packed. We heeded the advice of friends and arrived a little before 6:00 p.m. on a Wednesday (it opens at 5:30). There were a few open tables at that time, but by 6:30 the wait was already an hour.

Go early, order quickly and maybe loosen your belt in advance.

Emmett’s, 50 MacDougal St. (between Houston and Prince sts.); 917-639-3571

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