The Best Knishes in Brooklyn

Author Laura Silver with knishes

People might associate knishes more with, say, the Lower East Side, but “in fact, knishes are most definitely associated with Brooklyn,” Laura Silver tells us. “There’s a rich history of knishes in Brighton Beach, Coney Island, Flatbush and throughout the borough.” It was the shuttering in 2006 of one  spot, Mrs. Stahl’s Knishes in Brighton Beach, that sent Silver around the world in search of the potato pastry’s history and modern expression. She’ll read tonight from the resulting book, Knish, believed to be the food’s first history, at the Brooklyn Public Library’s Central Library (at Grand Army Plaza) following a “wine and knish” reception. 

We asked Silver for a down and dirty guide on where to find a knish in Brooklyn. She told us this:

At one time knishes covered the borough. From Coney Island to Brighton Beach to Flatbush and Williamsburg, knishes were a de facto snack. Kings County was home to famed knish lineages like Gabila’s (square, friend style), Shatzkin’s, Hirsch’s, Ruby the Knish Man (who sold his wares to school kids in Canarsie) and Mrs. Stahl’s… Just ask an old-timer they’ll tell you about New York City’s rich knish underbelly.

Here is a sampling of where to find a knish in Kings County. These represent a range: round to square, open-faced to intact. Hulking to petite. And importantly, the tradition of selling hot knishes on the Brooklyn boardwalk still lives on.

  1. Brooklyn Bowl, 61 Wythe Avenue, Williamsburg
  2. Gottlieb’s Restaurant, 352 Roebling Street, Williamsburg
  3. Pomegranate Supermarket, 1507 Coney Island Avenue, Midwood
  4. Mill Basin Deli, 5823 Avenue T, Mill Basin
  5. Jerusalem II Pizza, 1312 Avenue J, Midwood
  6. Jay and LLoyd’s Kosher Deli, 2718 Avenue U, Sheepshead Bay
  7. Robin, The Knish Lady of Coney Island, “Most Sundays” on the Boardwalk
  8. Deli n’ Dogz Pastrami Truck, Mobile. (Run by Mohammed Saleem, formerly of Adelman’s Deli on Kings Highway)

“The important thing is that the knish exists in Brooklyn,” she added. “And it’s going strong.”

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  1. I worked at Hirsh’s kinish on the boardwalk in 1966 when I was 16. Loved all the kinishes but couldn’t understand why the old ladies loved the kasha kinish with buttermilk. YUK . the rest were great especially the cherry cheese