Our Favorite Philadelphia Soft Pretzels

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Pretzels at Alla Spina | Photo by Arthur Etchells

Pretzels at Alla Spina | Photo by Arthur Etchells

As a lifetime Philadelphian I’ve consumed more than my fare share of pretzels. Even with the knowledge that Philadelphians eat more than 12 times as many pretzels as the average American, I feel I consume more than all but the most zealous Philadelphia pretzel eaters. And it has been that way for a long time. In Catholic grade school, the soft pretzel was as much a part of any school day as prayer. I’ve had a pretzel with mustard for breakfast more often than any bowl of cereal. I still don’t blink at the thought of ordering a pretzel from any street vendor, though I’ve become suspicious of the watered-down mustard coming out of the squirt bottles (that’s why there are always mustard packets in my desk drawer). And I believe a certain amount of Philadelphia’s culture vanished when Herb Denenberg aired his hidden camera report on pretzel vendors[1], but that was disgusting.

So for this National Pretzel Day, here are our favorite Philadelphia area soft pretzels.

Mart Pretzel[2]
Cinnaminson, NJ
The best soft pretzel is baked in New Jersey? Yep, what can I tell you, it’s true. The crackly crust, dense dough, the steamy warmth. This pretzel makes up for the sin that is the Wawa pretzel.

Center City Pretzel[3]
East Passyunk
After midnight, the pretzel bakery starts pumping out the morning’s pretzel run. Stop by the South Philadelphia storefront for a hot pretzel at night or hit it up before work to be an office hero with a dozen hot pretzels delivered to the break room.

Alla Spina[4]
Fairmount
Alla Spina’s pretzel bites are made the old school way and the attention to detail shows. Marry the pretzels with the best beer-and-cheese sauce ever and you’re really talking.

Miller’s Twist[5]
Reading Terminal, Market East
The big, buttery, brown, salty soft pretzels are still a must-eat treat everytime I go to the Terminal.

Brauhaus Schmitz[6]
Bella Vista
This house-made pretzel is great with the German mustard Brauhaus serves, but pro tip, dip it in the parsley-chive-and-dill-flecked butter that normally comes with the bread.

Metropolitan Bakery[7]
Multiple locations
The crunch at the ends of a Metropolitan Bakery soft pretzel is a sensation that makes you wish a pretzel had more than two ends. The fennel and anise flavor gives this pretzel a non-traditional flavor that’s no less craveable than a regular Philadelphia soft pretzel.

Endnotes:
  1. Herb Denenberg aired his hidden camera report on pretzel vendors: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1iOZ3YqwA8
  2. Mart Pretzel: https://www.phillymag.com/restaurant/mart-pretzel/
  3. Center City Pretzel: http://www.centercitypretzel.com/
  4. Alla Spina: http://phillymag.com/restaurant/alla-spina/
  5. Miller’s Twist: https://www.phillymag.com/restaurant/millers-twist/
  6. Brauhaus Schmitz: https://www.phillymag.com/restaurant/brauhaus-schmitz/
  7. Metropolitan Bakery: http://www.metropolitanbakery.com/

Source URL: https://www.phillymag.com/foobooz/2016/04/26/best-philadelphia-soft-pretzels/