Bonus. Yonah Schimmel’s Knish Bakery (1910)
The renowned knishes of Yonah Schimmel‘s date back to before the store itself opened in 1910. 20 years earlier, Yonah, recently immigrated from Romania, began to make the rounds of the Lower East Side selling his handmade knishes from a pushcart. Although the shop’s leadership changed shortly after it moved into the established location on Houston, the Schimmel name stuck.
The bakery has since become a lasting icon of the Lower East Side. It was immortalized in a painting by Hedy Pagremanski that now hangs in the Museum of the City of New York, and was featured in Woody Allen’s film Whatever Works.
The Lower East Side has changed, but Yonah Schimmel’s bakery remains a beloved relic of a past era. The majority of the shop itself hasn’t been renovated since its first opening, and the owners claim the knish recipe has not been altered since the pushcart days. The menu features the same classics of Jewish cuisine — latkes, potato kugel, bagels, and borscht — that first won the heart of New York. The same philosophy applies to the sign above the door, which reads “Shimmel”, an original mistake that was never corrected.
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