• yonah schimmel’s: vegan knishes in nyc

    November 16th, 2010quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), NYC

    oh, the knish! i can’t believe i went through life for so long before trying one. the popular new york foodstuff was brought to america by jewish immigrants in the 1800s, and consists usually of mashed potatoes and vegetables encased in a thin layer of dough. of all the places to buy a knish in manhattan, yonah schimmel’s is known as the best, and by default their vegetable knishes are vegan.

    we popped by the knishery on our recent trip to NYC, and the food was so good that i know we’ll be back every time we’re in the city. the moment we walked in, i knew we were entering somewhere special…

    the legendary knishery has been around for a hundred years, literally. the business was originally a food cart run by romanian immigrant yonah schimmel and his cousin joseph berger way back in 1890 (nyc is so ahead of us when it comes to the mobile food craze!), and berger took over the business and opened the brick and mortar location in 1910. we were there mid-morning on a weekday, and there was a pretty respectable-sized crowd. after a century in business, they must be doing something right!

    inside, yonah schimmel’s is simple. like many nyc establishments, its walls are covered in newspaper clippings and pictures of the manhattan skyline.

    we’d heard that yonah’s non-cheese knishes were vegan, and when we asked our waiter he confirmed that they are made with “no eggs or dairy products whatsoever.” score! upon hearing that, we settled in and tried to decide what to order. there was so much good stuff to choose from: sweet potato, red cabbage, mixed vegetable…they all sounded incredible.

    mushroom knish. $3.50

    we decided to get 2 knishes and share them: one mushroom and one spinach. we were astonished when they arrived at how frickin’ HUGE they were. dense and about the size of a softball for just $3.50. oh man, a giant ball of mashed potatoes and vegetables wrapped in a stretchy thin pastry shell…i honestly can’t think of anything better.

    spinach knish. $3.50

    both flavors were fantastic. they were soft, warm, and perfectly seasoned…and went down well with a generous helping of mustard. they were so good in fact, that after eating them, we decided to split a 3rd knish! and not because we were hungry (we were actually quite stuffed), but because we just couldn’t resist trying another flavor. next up, we had the broccoli knish, and i’m glad we went for it because it ended up being my favorite one…

    broccoli knish. $3.50

    potatoes are probably my favorite food on earth, so naturally, i am in love with the knish. these massive balls of goodness are just so tasty and so comforting, i’ve never had anything quite like them.

    when visiting nyc, i implore you to pay yonah schimmel’s a visit. the small knish bakery is a lower east side institution, and as a vegan i feel pretty fucking lucky that i can eat there. seriously check them out. you will not be sorry!

    yonah schimmel’s
    The World’s Finest Knishes
    SINCE 1910
    137 East Houston Street New York, NY 10002
    Between 1st & 2nd – The Lower East Side
    (212) 477-2858

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10 responses to “yonah schimmel’s: vegan knishes in nyc” RSS icon

  • Gauri Radha गौरी राधा

    Never tried one of these! They look quite good.

  • Yum! I’m totally going here next time I’m in NYC!

  • Wow, that looks good. Until I can get to New York, is there anywhere that sells vegan knishes in LA?

  • most of the socal whole foods sell knishes in the frozen section and all the varieties are vegan. i forgot the name of the company, but they’re wrapped in clear plastic so it is fairly obvious as to what they are. very delicious too.

  • I particularly enjoyed yonah schimmel’s sweet potato knish…but I’d happily eat a shoe if it were made from sweet potatoes.

  • Grew up in New York and can’t remember ever having this knishes. MUST remedy that next time I’m back for a visit. Yum!

  • Sweet potato with mustard has been a long time favorite, i used to hit that place every week, seems like they were only two bucks like 4 or 5 years ago, not quite the great deal they were, but still not bad at all. thanks for the reminder.

  • They sell vegan knishes at Erewon by the Grove. They used to be in Whole Foods but they slowly disappeared quite a while ago. I’m a freak, I dip them in tahini salad dressing.

    Obviously, these ones look way better.

  • Ah, the food of my people. Meant to stick to your ribs and sit in your stomach like a hockey puck because you never know when you might be suddenly expected to spend 40 years wandering a desert. These photos make me miss home in a bad way. May I recommend, for future knish dining pleasure, you try a kasha knish. Kasha is buckwheat and kasha knishes are very traditional. And most delicious.

  • I used to live 2 blocks from this place and I definitely would get their knishes multiple times a week in the winter. Broccoli was my favorite too!

    Need to go to Erewhon to try to track down some vegan knishes now!

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