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Discover NYC – Your Guide to Indie Businesses

Discover the local, independent businesses that are the heart and soul of NYC in Shoot New York City’s guide to the best of indie New York!

Discover the real NYC in Shoot New York City’s Discover Guide

I love the independent businesses in New York, they are the heart and soul of the city! In this section you will find bookstores, cafés, restaurants, arts & crafts markets and more. This is an ongoing project to list the best of indie New York so visit often to discover the real New York City. Experience the hidden gems and places that New Yorkers frequent. For more information on many of NYC’s vibrant neighborhoods, have a read of my Neighborhood Guides. I am not compensated for writing these reviews and I'm only writing about the places that I like.

Sadly, far too many of these unique, independent businesses close every year. When I learn of one closing I will move it to the category Vanishing NYC. They may be gone but they’ll never be forgotten!


Yonah Shimmel Knish Bakery, Lower East Side, Manhattan

I finally managed to try out Yonah Shimmel's Knish Bakery. Fabulous! I had a sweet potato knish and a cherry knish. They are large and filling. I didn't eat them both at once. Really good. Yonah Shimmel's has been there since 1910! They are a bakery and a restaurant. 

Yonah Shimmel started selling his knishes from a pushcart in 1890. He was a Russian Jewish immigrant and the business remains in the family of his cousin's family after all these years. As well as knishes they have a number of Eastern European dishes. 

"Yonah Schimmel’s was so integral to the Lower East Side that “No New York politician in the last fifty years has been elected to public office without having at least one photograph taken showing him on the Lower East Side with a knish in his face,” according to Milton Glaser and Jerome Snyder’s 1968 column in New York Magazine “Underground Eats.”"

Yonah Shimmel Knish Bakery, 137 East Houston Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues

Yonah Shimmel Knish Bakery