Move away from New York and you will quickly realize the absence of many local delicacies. One item that is particularly scarce is that potato-filled pocket of love known as the knish. Popularized by NYC immigrants at the turn of the century, Knishes remain a beloved snack, or even a meal.

The Knish arrived in America courtesy of Eastern European immigrants of Jewish descent. The name is Yiddish, meaning a cake or dumpling. Knishes come in a number of shapes with a wide variety of fillings, but the most popular is the simple rectangle potato knish.

Available primarily at delis, they are also found on hot dog carts and were often sold in schools back in the 70s.


In recent years, a few attempts were made to re-brand knishes as gourmet items, with specialty restaurants opening up in other parts of the country that offer unique fillings such as tofu, spinach and black beans. That’s well and good for some folks, I suppose, but for the Long Island traditionalists out there, just give them a plain ol’ potato knish and maybe a little mustard on the side, and that’s really all you need. Am I right?

Do you have fond memories of eating knishes on Long Island in the 70s. Did you have a favorite from a particular deli? I hope you’ll share all of your knish memories with us in our comments section below.

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9 Responses

  1. Diana says:

    I Love the Traditional Knish, Growing up, I would lay on the beach at Long Beach and the Boys would come around with there Big metal Warmers on there shoulders and sell these Hot Knishes for a great price I love going to the beach just for that It’s to bad it doesn’t happen anymore. DCB from Suffolk

  2. Cyndy says:

    That video isn’t helpful, there’s another one on YouTube by Daniel Delaney that’s more instructive. I believe his Pinterest board is Sloppy Joe.

    OMG….I SO miss NY Knishes….and the 70’s. Found this on Pinterest, and I just had to check it out. Used to go to this great Jewish deli in East Meadow, I think it was on Merrick Rd. They used to heat up the square potato knishes on the rollers (like they use for franks) and they were so good. I could eat a pound of them!!

    I was so jazzed when I found them in the frozen aisle out here in CA a few years ago. They’re not as good as fresh, but they’re good enough to bring back fond memories of old times.

  3. Aliska says:

    I remember eating knishe when I was little my mom used to send us to a little stand around the corner from our house in Brooklyn NY to get knishe I loved it with mustard.

  4. Lydia says:

    I lived in Suffolk county and always went To bens deli in Lake grove they had the best potato kinshes that was the greatest Jewish deli

  5. Debbie says:

    Just bought from my Italian meat market in Florida. They are square and frozen. How do I prepare? Should I defrost then put into a 375 for about 40 min?

  6. Rozzy says:

    Why isn’t there a recipe for the Knish? I want to make them, but none look
    Like this picture. Can you email me with a recipe? Thank you

  7. Jose Perez says:

    I order mine straight from Gabila’s in Brooklyn. They make them and ship them to you to arrive in two days packed with ice packs. Check them out at:

  8. Diane says:

    I miss my Knish! Square potatoe masterpiece with a little of mustard . It was in little Italy, Bronx n.y on Arthur Ave this Jewish deli and fresh Knish. It was love at first bite, I was 7 yrs old. ❤️

  9. Ace says:

    I remember as a kid going to Coney Island and hearing the workers selling them yelling “Hot Knishes, cold Beer”!! Those were the days. I have since made them for my kids and whenever we take winter trip to NYC we always stop at one of the corner food carts and get a hot Knish and a hot bag of chestnuts.

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