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Dec 23, 2010 06:10 PM

Potato Knish's in or around Chicago

I lived in lower Manhatten NY back in 1981-1983. While waiting for the Staten Island Ferry my friends and I would venture over to a small indoor hotdog stand which served potato knishes. The cook would wrap a square potato knish in wax paper, squeeze/bust open the top like a just-cooked baked potato and with tongs layer the knish with golden carmelized onions and then add some yellow mustard. I was a little skeptical at first but after the first bite I was hooked. I ate three of them that night and went there any chance I could when I was down by Battery Park.

Now that it is 2010, I am still trying to find a deli/restaurant around Chicago that serves these knish's the same way.

Where can I find one like the old times? Thanks.

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  1. I don't know of any place that serves them the same way. FWIW the ones I've had in New York were not served that way either, but I have not gotten them from street vendors there (only from storefront Jewish delis) and I'm not doubting your description. I'm sure you're aware that Chicago has not allowed street vendors who cook food until just a few months ago, and we don't have anything like the prevalence of street vendors you can find in New York.

    My favorite potato knishes in Chicago are the ones from Steve's Deli in River North. They're hot and flavorful and full of filling, with only a very thin outer crust. I prefer them to the ones from Kaufman's, which have a very thick crust, almost like a pie crust, and seem more crust than filling.


    1 Reply
    1. re: nsxtasy

      knishes, like pizza, are regional - the knish nsxtasy describe from Kaufman's is one the one I have seen most frequently here in Chicago round with a thicker dough than those in NYC - there use to be in Skokie a Kosher deli on Dempster by the swift that made excellent knishes but alas is no more - the other two spots I enjoy are Srulies deli and The Sandwich Club on Oakton - both of these are kosher and their knishes are more like the Kaufman's Chicago style than what you are looking for but are good none the less

      Srulies Essen Delicatessen
      8170 McCormick Blvd Ste 101, Skokie, IL 60076

      Sandwich Club
      4507 Oakton St, Skokie, IL 60076

    2. You can find Gabila's frozen knishes, which are pretty much the style you're describing. For fresh made, Srulie's are great.

      3 Replies
      1. re: ferret

        Quick question, do they have seating or is it counter service? thanks

        1. re: als2554

          Srulies? -it is counter service but there are seats available -

          1. re: als2554

            In addition to the knish Srulie's has a variety of knish-y items. He does a mini deli roll which has cold cuts and dijon mustard in a pastry puff, a Romanian hot dog in a pastry roll, a Romanian Italian sausage in an egg roll wrapper and a pastrami/sauerkraut egg roll. Try one of each and then find a good corner to nap in.