Local Vibes

Local Vibes

Local Vibes


I grew up eating knishes, of various styles and an assortment of fillings. The King of them all is the classic Coney Island potato knish, with its soft potato filling with a hint of onion flavor, and crisp pastry exterior, these are the knishes I enjoyed as a child while visiting my grandparents in Brooklyn.

Talk about comfort food. Think of that classic Coney Island potato knish as a hand pie filled with comfort and goodness.
Jewish immigrants brought knishes to the United States in the early 1900s, which is when the knish made its first appearance on New York’s Lower East Side.

I found a book online called: Knish: In Search of the Jewish Soul Food, by Laura Silver that I must read. The author took a tour across 3 continents to seek out the origins and modern-day manifestations of knishes.

According to the Goldbelly online blog: Knishes are traditionally a Ukrainian, Swedish, and Polish street food. They were brought to New York City’s Lower East Side by Ashkenazic Jewish immigrants in the early 20th century. The name for these delightful potato pockets is Yiddish and comes from the Polish word knysz (knish).

In modern times you can find several different variations of the humble knish.
There are savory fillings such as: Kasha, broccoli, mushroom, sweet potato, cabbage, spinach, caramelized onion, and hundreds of others. Then there are the sweet fillings such as: cherry cheesecake, blueberry, chocolate, and a variety of other sweet choices.
There are also a few different shapes of knishes, round, square, and rectangular. There are different pastry crusts that enclose the filling of your chosen knish.

I saw an episode of “Girl Meets Farm”on the Food Network where host Molly Yeh made sweet potato knishes with pecans and brown sugar. Oh my goodness, they looked beautiful and delicious. I would try them in a heartbeat. As good as that recipe sounds, the Coney Island knish remains my favorite knish of all time, but I’ll eat just about any knish I come across in my travels.

I asked a bunch of folks online where they go in the Garden State for a really good knish. I appreciate all the folks who chimed in with their recommendations.

  • The Kibitz Room - 100 Springdale Rd, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003

    It’s trip down to South Jersey for this Toms River girl thanks to the South Jersey foodies constant praise of this great restaurant where you’ll find knishes along with other Jewish deli classics.


    View this post on Instagram


    A post shared by The Kibitz Room (@thekibitzroom)

  • Irv & Karen's Hot Pastrami Deli & Restaurant - 2114 NJ-88, Brick Township, NJ 08724

    Good sandwiches and a soothing bowl of chicken matzoh ball soup can be found here along with a hot knish with a side of mustard.

  • NY Style Delicatessen: Located at Cooks Landing 363 N County Line Rd, Jackson Township, NJ 08527

    Grab a hot pastrami sandwich and a real Coney Island style knish. Thanks to Lisa for the heads up.

    Restaurants - Delivery & Takeout - Order Online - Menufy

    Order online for carryout or delivery from restaurants near you and conveniently pay by Credit Card, Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, Venmo, Bitcoin, and more. Menufy is fast and easy!




  • Grossman's Deli & Grill - 2005 NJ-35, Oakhurst, NJ 07755

    Dirk Grossman and the crew will be happy to feed you until you’re full. Grab a knish with melted cheese. I prefer Munster.

  • The Pickled Herring - 96 U.S. 9 & Rt 520 Marlboro Plaza, Englishtown, NJ 07726

    If a place is called “The Pickled Herring”, I just know they have good knishes. Jerry M. says, “You Can’t Go Wrong Eating Here!” Big portions for big appetites, plus darn good knishes. They used to own the now closed, “Lox, Stock, & Deli in Milltown. I loved that place, but now I know where to go for great Jewish deli food. The big plus for me, they have homemade potato, spinach, and kasha knishes.

  • Irv's Deli & Restaurant - 2040 NJ-33, Neptune City, NJ 07753

    You’ll find Irv’s across from Jersey Shore Medical Center. It’s really a good diner with great breakfast offerings and a solid lunch menu. Yes, they serve knishes.

    Local Deli, Local Restaurant | Neptune City, NJ

    Contact our local deli and local restaurant at (732) 775-4300 in Neptune City, NJ, to place an order for a freshly made meal.




  • Hobby's Delicatessen - 32 Branford Pl #2723, Newark, NJ 07102

    A Newark tradition since before you were born! Food & Wine Magazine declared this place “A Top 10 Delicatessen.”  They’ve been featured in the documentary film, “Deli Man,” in the book “The Mom & Pop Store: True Stories from the Heart of America,” and WNET’s “A Walk Through Newark” with David Hartman and Barry Lewis. This iconic place is on my bucket list for not just a good knish, but everything else that a legendary Jewish deli is known for.


    View this post on Instagram


    A post shared by Hobby’s Delicatessen (@hobbysdeli)

  • Heart of Europe Polish Deli - 1020 NJ-18, East Brunswick, NJ 08816

    This place does some amazing homemade food. The pierogis are a knockout, no matter what filling you choose. They’ll even make custom pierogies if you ask.  All the soups, salads, sides, and entrees are made in house. And of course the knishes, the very thing I’m stopping for are available in a few different varieties.  Spinach, Kasha or Potato Knishes.

    Polski Sklep i Restauracja New Brunswick, NJ

    Polski Sklep i Restauracja New Brunswick, NJ


  • Alen's Deli and Catering - 246 Mountain Ave, Springfield, NJ 07081

    Aside from the great assortment of  knishes, I was told that I should order Alen’s soups. Fresh homemade bowls or to go containers ready for you to enjoy. The pastrami, corned beef, and brisket are juicy, lean, and delicious and reasonably priced.

  • Kosher Nosh Deli - : 894 Prospect St, Glen Rock, NJ 07452

    Highly recommended by several folks for great knishes, and gigantic overstuffed deli sandwiches.

  • Mikki and Al's Noshery - 179 Glenridge Ave, Montclair, NJ 07042

    According to many people this is fantastic place to grab a good knish and all of your favorite staples one would find at a Jewish deli. Alexis’s review: “If you are a pastrami connoisseur, this hidden gem is a must try spot! I can’t say enough good things about this spot. The pastrami is cut right in front of you. The place is spotless.. staff are friendly and the pastrami is the best you will ever have.” The homemade potato knish with caramelized onion is the best.

  • Meatheadz Cheesesteaks - : 2495 Brunswick Pike #39, Lawrence Township, NJ 08648

    Ok, not exactly a place known for knishes, but a place where you can get a knish stuffed with their famous cheese steak. I’m all in boyz!!

Sign me up for the WRAT email newsletter!

Join ClubRAT for access to all the perks delivered right to your inbox from Jersey's Concert Connection! Get exclusive presale codes for upcoming shows, the latest updates with your favorite rockers, contest info, and more.

By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.