Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Sep 23, 2001 10:10 PM

Knishes in the East Bay

  • s

As I recent transplant from NYC, I was wondering if anyone could help me a decent knish, hopefully in the Berkeley/Oakland area. Thanks,


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I don't know where to find knishes, Seth, but welcome to the area! There are many good things to eat in Berkeley, so I trust you will not go hungry while you are searching. Stop by the Cheeseboard's pizza place on Shattuck for a snack. Yummy pizza!

    6 Replies
    1. re: Ann Leneave

      Have you been to Sauls in Berkeley? It is all the way at the end of Shattuck, past Chez Penis and the Cheese Board. Its no 2nd Ave Deli but it is awesome and if you havent been back for a while you could be fooled. Also Oakland Kosher on Lakeshore in Oakland is great! Not quite a real deli (its all take out), but they have some incredible food, including aparently, the only whitefish salad on the west coast. They even have real BOILED bagels on Sun mornings. Personaly Im on a quest for a real slice, or at least a beef patty.

      1. re: Constantine
        Shep aka 2 Cheap Hungry Guys

        Manhattan Bagels go from the boiling vat into the oven and hot to the customer. At the Fourth Street location you can watch them being made. They are good, chewy and nutty, unlike Noah's/Starbuck's "bread doughnuts". Which I believe are baked in LA, and shipped here! Manhattan also has a couple knishes on the rack, potato only, not bad, not Yonah Schimmel's either. I assume they're a chain, so there should be one in the West Bay.

        Manhattan Bagels
        1789 Fourth Street

        1. re: Shep aka 2 Cheap Hungry Guys

          There's a Manhattan Bagels in the Noe Valley on 24th St. (I think it's near Sanchez). There's also one at 1206 Masonic. Their bagels are pretty good -- not as good as the ones I grew up eating in the Catskills -- but MUCH more authentic and chewy (bagels have to have some "pull" to the bite) than Noah's bagel-like substances. They are boiled and baked -- not "steam-baked" like Noah's.

          By the way, according to their website, there are locations in Mill Valley, Rohnert Park, Travis Air Force Base and Sacramento.


          1. re: Nancy Berry
            Janet A. Zimmerman

            Is that the place that used to be called Wholey Bagel? Their bagels were wonderful, and it's nice to know that the new owners have kept up the good work and not switched to the soft, steamed travesties. (Calvin Trillin had a great comment about that sort of false bagel in one of his pieces -- he was quoting his young daughter, who wanted to know why bagels in Kansas City just tasted like "round bread.")

            1. re: Janet A. Zimmerman
              randy salenfriend

              Don't know about that connection (Wholey Bagel, Manhattan Bagel)but there is a Manhattan Bagel near my office in Rohnert Park and we have their product all the time. I.M.O. they are ok but the ones that really do it for me are House of Bagels, especially the one on Geary @ 14th Avenue in the City.

              Sunday morning ritual, hot and fresh, chewy, dense, very close to east coast style. You can get day olds at half price which perk up in the toaster oven and become alive again. Also, you get a Baker's Dozen, (13) for the price of 12. Great sesame, egg, salt, pumpernick, all the classics.

              P.S. I.M.O. Noah's are not bagels. Maybe pillow case stuffing.


              1. re: randy salenfriend

                House of Bagels used to be our bagel bakery of choice, but we stopped going there after we bought a few batches of not-so-good bagels. They were smaller than they had been in the past and tough rather than chewy. I know that House of Bagels expanded quite a bit (mostly into the peninsula and south bay) a while ago and I think their quality control suffered because of this. Perhaps they've gotten better again (I sure hope so because they WERE the closest in quality to the bagels I loved in upstate New York when they were good) -- I'll give them a try and report back.

    2. j

      Ann's right, Seth. SF Bay area is not long on good knishes. We don't have anything close to Katz's or 2nd Avenue or Carnegie's (although check out our latest posts on East Coast West Deli in SF). I asked a friend who moved here from NYC 15 years ago for advice: "First of all the guy just moved out here, tell him to fuhgeddaboutit; his knish life is over. Obviously he can get a knish at Saul's or Noah's. I always satisfy my knish urge in a strange way at Nabalom with the cherry/cheese danishes. Whole Foods has carried some knishes in the frozen foods section that were suprisingly decent. There are a couple of different brands. One was pretty good. He'll have to experiment to see which one he likes."
      Hopefully you didn't move here for our knishes. Check out threads on the SF Board--we've got it all...except NY delis.

      2 Replies
      1. re: jenniferfishwilson

        Thanks a lot for the depressing news. I'll just have to bring back a bunch, along with my bags of H&H bagels, next time I'm back East.


        1. re: Seth Budick

          Great idea, Seth. And if you bring back extras you could sell them and cover the trip expenses! (g)