A Taste of New York: Knish

Have you ever had a knish? I certainly hadn’t before I went exploring New York’s Lower Eastside with Walks of New York.

A Taste of New York: Knish


As the poster at Yonah Schimmel’s Knish Bakery says ‘a knish consists of a filling covered with dough that is baked never fried’. 

The fillings can be sweet or savoury. The traditional filling is mashed potato. Schimmels also mention cabbage, onions, kasha (buckwheat) and cheese as traditional fillings too. Today anything goes…spinach, mushroom, sweet potato…even fruit.

A Taste of New York: Knish

The Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe bought knishes to New York in the 1890s along with many other traditional foods.

Yonah Schimmel started selling knishes from a cart in the 1890s. He opened a shop in East Houston St in 1937 and since then this family run business has operated from here. The knishes are made by hand below the shop and sent upstairs in an old lift. There’s no short cuts here!

A Taste of New York: Knish


A Taste of New York: Knish


We tried one with spinach and cheese and another with a potato filling…very tasty! What a great way to start the day!

A Taste of New York: Knish

Knish and eggnog!


 Have you ever tried a knish?


Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery
137 E Houston St 


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26 Responses to A Taste of New York: Knish

  1. Rhonda Albom February 20, 2015 at 4:08 am #

    My hubby grew up in New York, and Knish is one of the first things he looked for when we went to New York last year.

    • Jenny Freedman February 22, 2015 at 6:25 am #

      Interesting Rhonda. Do you make them for him? it’s fun to relive memories through food!

  2. Krista February 20, 2015 at 8:22 am #

    I’ve heard of them, but never had one. They sound fantastic! 🙂

    • Jenny Freedman February 22, 2015 at 6:27 am #

      I hadn’t even heard of them Krista! They certainly were delicious though I don’t think you could eat too many…the calories!!

  3. Cornelia February 20, 2015 at 12:28 pm #

    I love, love your post. End of June I will flying to N.Y. City again, hopefully discovering that place. I am curious how to make knish. Any ideas to share?

  4. Debra Kolkka February 20, 2015 at 2:56 pm #

    I discovered knish on my first trip to New York…I love them! I have eaten many on my travels. I would love one right now.

    • Jenny Freedman February 22, 2015 at 6:30 am #

      I can see myself heading here next time I’m back in New York. I’ll have to start and look for them on my travels too! have you had any in OZ?

  5. travelFREAK February 20, 2015 at 5:48 pm #

    They look delicious! Does anyone know how to make these at home? A recipe, something…?

  6. Red Nomad OZ February 21, 2015 at 12:23 pm #

    I’ve read about knish before, but never tried one! With any luck, I’ll find them in a Jewish/Aussie Bakery one day??!! Have a great weekend!

    • Jenny Freedman February 22, 2015 at 6:33 am #

      If you find any, let me know Red! I wonder of they do make them here. I’m heading to Melbourne this weekend so I should check the Jewish bakeries there to see if they make them!

  7. Corinne February 22, 2015 at 7:30 pm #

    I love a knish…especially potato smothered in butter!

    • Jenny Freedman February 26, 2015 at 10:46 am #

      I must see if anyone’s making them in Australia….you’ve got me wanting one again!

  8. Rahman @ Iran Travle Blog February 23, 2015 at 6:38 am #

    What a healthy food. It must be very yummy! I’m reading this post at a wrong time. I think I must run to the kitchen!

    • Jenny Freedman February 26, 2015 at 10:45 am #

      I’m not sure they’re healthy Rahman but they were certainly very tasty. I hope you found something just as delicious in your kitchen!

  9. budget jan February 23, 2015 at 3:11 pm #

    I’ve not heard of them but I fancy with with cheese and chives in it. They sort of look Eastern European.

    • Jenny Freedman February 26, 2015 at 10:44 am #

      Cheese and chives would be great Jan. They actually originated in Eastern Europe and were bought to New York by the early Jewish immigrants.

  10. Charles McCool February 27, 2015 at 9:26 pm #

    Wow, these knishes look great. I usually get bagels in the mornings I am in NYC but will get a knish next visit.

    • Jenny Freedman March 9, 2015 at 6:47 pm #

      They’re definitely worth a try Charles though you may become addicted to them!

  11. Jackie Smith March 6, 2015 at 10:03 am #

    Never have tried them but they certainly look and sound tempting!

    • Jenny Freedman March 9, 2015 at 6:46 pm #

      They are quite delicious Jackie!

  12. Turkey's For Life March 13, 2015 at 5:15 pm #

    Mmmm, never had knish before but this sort of food is my downfall. Just can’t get enough of it and, as you said, it looks like a great way to start the day. I guess they’re not too different to Turkish poğaça – which I also love, especially with savoury fillings like potato and spinach or cheese. 🙂

    • Jenny Freedman March 18, 2015 at 7:12 pm #

      They’re similar to what I remember pogaça to be Julia. They’re all fabulous comfort food!

  13. April Yap December 17, 2015 at 7:01 am #

    I remember how my mother cooked Knish and it was certainly delicious but I think NY Knish is more delicious. 😀 sorry mom, but we have to taste this kind if knish!

    • Jenny Freedman December 26, 2015 at 1:44 pm #

      Hi April. What fabulous memories. I had never heard of knish until this visit so how lucky are you to have grown up with it. It would be great to do a taste test and compare both. I’m sure they are as delicious as each other!

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