{stories and snapshots from my new york city life.}


Jenn and Vin's Lower East Side Food Crawl

One of my very favorite things to do is torture my boyfriend by dragging him around the city for long walks through different neighborhoods. He calls them "aimless"; I call them "exploratory". On this particular venture, I made him happy by being specific about where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do. I wanted to go to the Lower East Side and I wanted to eat.

First stop...Yonah Schimmel's!

I'd never been here before (actually, I've lived in NYC and never eaten a knish before!), but Vin took my mother here about two years ago and I needed to see what all the hub-bub was about. This place is classic NYC and has been serving up fresh, tasty potato-y knishes since 1910. They can open all the new trendy eateries they want, but any business that's lasted 100 years must be doing something right.

We ordered one savory and one sweet. Vin paired his cherry knish with a chocolate egg cream, while I tried the special fried onion and garlic knish with a cherry-lime rickey. The drinks were outrageously good!

So, here's the thing. Add it to the list of foods I'm just not that into, but I guess I'm not a knish person. They're just a bit too heavy for me. Yonah's has the best knishes I'm ever going to eat, and I didn't go nutsy-bonkers for them. But don't worry Yonah! It's not you--it's me. I'll be back...and next time I'll order some latkes. Then I know we'll be lifelong friends.

They had journals at each table where people could leave their reviews of the fare. 

    Yonah Schimmel's
137 E. Houston Street/ knishery.com

Then it was off to another NY institution--Economy Candy--
an old-fashioned mom & pop candy store that's been serving up sweets since 1937.

We didn't end up buying anything because we visited on the day before Halloween (wanna talk scary--go to a famous candy store on Oct. 30), but we had a lot of fun petting the gummy bears and cracking teeth on candy dots. And if you're looking for some old-school, hard-to-find treats, this is the place to go. They sell online too.
Economy Candy
108 Rivington Street

Then I dragged the poor boy to Essex Street Market, which is a public market with 20 individual merchants selling everything from fine cheeses, fresh fish, meats and just regular old groceries. There's even a barber shop in there!

If you've never been to a grocery store in New York City before, bring your elbow guards. The aisles are usually very narrow. I get very excited to visit grocery stores in other towns because I can finally use a cart!
I was considering buying some corn husks from Batista Grocery to make homemade tamales, but let's face it. I'm never gonna make homemade tamales. I can buy them down the street for $1.50. 

I think Vin started getting a little bored with all the food. So he started juggling it. I can't take that kid anywhere.

Essex Street Market
120 Essex Street/ essexstreetmarket.com

En route to our final destination, we passed a place I'd like to try later...Pizza a Casa Pizza School, where they give workshops on making authentic New York City pizza at home. How fun would this be on your next trip to NY?
Pizza a Casa
371 Grand Street/ pizzaacasa.com

And then it was off to visit our old friend, The Doughnut Plant. We're no strangers to this ridiculously delicious doughnut haven, but we had only been to the newer Chelsea location. We thought it time to check out the original and see where the magic began.

We ordered the seasonal pumpkin and apple-cinnamon donuts, both of which were very good. But we also ordered the perennial favorite--coconut glazed with coconut creme and I'm now convinced that nothing will ever top it. 

The Doughnut Plant
379 Grand Street/ doughnutplant.com

Then we walked around aimlessly for 45 minutes, but that had a purpose too. We needed to walk off the day's eats!


  1. Yuu-hum!! What a delicious food crawl! :)

  2. Love this and glad to hear I'm not the only one dragging my poor boyfriend all over the city ;) I have been dying to go to the Doughnut Plant and might just have to this weekend. I've been to Dylan's candy shop, but thought it was a bit too touristy and glamorous, so I'd love to hit up Economy Candy instead!

  3. thank you! these look like great places to check out! I love exploring the city too, but sometimes I get so overwhelmed by all the option paralysis I feel. I've been wanting to check out economy candy! sounds fun!

  4. I love this post! us touritsts when we come to nyc we dont get to see this side! I cant wait to go and try a knish. Ive never ever heard of that before but it looked yummy! hehe

    Happy Wednesday!
    Come by and enter the GIVEAWAY!! <3

  5. I love reading about little places like these, when we tourists come to your fab city we rarely get to see all these little treats! Thanks for sharing! I just stumbled upon your blog - Great read!

  6. I think I've done this exact LES food rampage before. I <3 doughnut planet. Great photos!

  7. You and Vin sound like me in Joe. Except, he always wants to wander and I always want details and a plan. He takes me on these (as I like to call them) "forced marches." I think I would be more amenable if he came up with a day like what you featured here!

  8. *me AND Joe. I'm sorry my typo became x-rated.

  9. i have been dying to try the knish place, but now that i know of more fun food around there i should plan a food crawl of my own. i wish bao haus was still on rivington- best steamed buns ever!!

  10. Hey! I was at the Doughnut Plant on Sunday! I got the Coconut Cream and the Creme Brulee. The Coconut was my favorite too. I think the Creme Brulee one was good, but it was so freaking small--I thought he handed me the wrong size doughnut at first...

  11. I feel like I would love a knish. Extra-doughy things appeal to me. Add in the choice to have them with cherries or garlic and I'm bound to get pretty excited.

    Are those doughnuts extra huge or do they just appear that way in pictures? Either way, me want.

    Also, random memory. I remember reading Babysitter Club books when I was little and Stacey would talk about her days in NYC and having egg creams and I thought they sounded so disgusting. Oh how wrong I was.

  12. I seriously enjoyed this post along with the doodles... but the doughnut shot... that got me drooling alright!

    Thanks for my b'day wishes girl.

  13. I love food crawls! Maybe I need to do one this weekend to cheer me up! :) And I love that donut...anything the size of my head is a good choice.

  14. Dang, if I walk around New York eating all this yummy stuff, will I look this good?

    Just kidding. But not really.

  15. Such a fun day!! wow those aisles are really really narrow, lol. thanks for letting us tag along!

  16. That food looks amazing, I’m drooling all over the screen here, I want that doughnut and I bet you had a great time. Your blog is awesome by the way and I am a new follower! Hope you will like my blog and follow back!

    Pop Culture&Fashion Magic

  17. I just came across your blog and love it!

    your newest follower,

  18. lovely pictures :) it looks like you had a lot of fun :)

    follow me :)


  19. That's a fun day! Yonah Shimmel and Doughnut Plant are two of our all-time favorites! I can eat either at any time of the day.