A Dozen Destination Pretzels in Boston
Soft and salty, or crunchy and chocolate-coated, find the best pretzels at these local restaurants, bars, and bakeries.
Nothing goes quite as well with a cold pint of beer as a warm, Bavarian-style pretzel. But what about a serving of peach bourbon soft serve? A salty sourdough cone will do the trick, too. All of that and then some below, with the 12 must-eat twists (and rods) in Boston.
Somerville Brewing Company American Fresh (Slumbrew)
There’s a buttered-and-salted soft pretzel served with house-made, not-too-spicy mustard and cheddar ale dip, which is always a good choice. But our favorite snack at both the Boynton Yards brewery and the Assembly Row beer garden is the Flagraiser IPA beer cheese soup, garnished with a few pretzel bites.
301 Canal Street, Assembly Row, Somerville, 15 Ward St., Somerville, 1-800-428-1150, slumbrew.com.
Mary Ting Hyatt’s lye-dipped pretzel bagels are a savory match for house-made mustard butter, or honey rosemary cream cheese.
1796 Massachusetts Ave., Porter Square, Cambridge, 857-285-6103, bagelsaurus.com.
For the sweet tooth among us, this crunchy Utz pretzel rod will do the trick. It’s not only hand-dipped in milk chocolate, but also sprinkled with chocolate chips. Need a midnight snack? Remember, Bova’s is open 24 hours a day.
134 Salem St., North End, Boston, 617-523-5601, bovabakeryboston.net.
Served with nostril-clearing horseradish mustard, the haus bretzel is the perfect complement to a mug of Bavarian lager in the beer garden.
255 Washington St., Union Square, Somerville, 617-776-9900, bronwynrestaurant.com.
Buttermilk & Bourbon
Ice cream in a waffle cone? Not here. At Jason Santos’ latest, the chef keeps it offbeat with chewy and salty pretzel cones for house-made soft serves. It’s a perfect complement for rotating flavors like salted caramel, smoked cinnamon, and peach bourbon.
160 Commonwealth Ave., Back Bay, Boston, 617-266-1122, buttermilkbourbon.com.
Clear Flour Bakery
Soft German pretzels with mustard butter are a weekends-only treat at this venerable bakery. Keep an eye out for the delectable pretzel croissants, an oft-occurring special, too.
178 Thorndike St., Brookline, 617-739-0060, clearflourbread.com.
Fat Boyfriend Bakery
Bryna Chalmer didn’t actually set out to be a pretzel maker, initially focusing on whole wheat croissants, chocolate chip cookies, and brownies when she launched her pop-up in spring 2016. But she got to talking with Idle Hands before it opened its taproom in Malden—she bakes out of the nearby commissary kitchen, Stock Pot—and the rest is history. The brewery commissioned her first, puffy pretzels, which are now regularly available at Idle Hands, Bone Up, and Exhibit ‘A’ breweries. She does farmers’ markets, too.
Harpoon Beer Hall
These salty-sweet-pillowy delights are the only food option at Harpoon Seaport beer hall, but we don’t think you’ll mind. The dough is made with Harpoon beer, and each knot is boiled in the flagship IPA and sprinkled with malted barley from the brewhouse. House-made sauces include bacon ranch, UFO Huckleberry compote, peanut butter whip, and more, and two dips come with each order.
306 Northern Ave., Seaport, Boston, 617-456-2322, harpoonbrewery.com.
Of course this Bavarian-style beer hall has an exemplary soft pretzel. Made with House Lager, the knot comes with zippy horseradish mustard and creamy beer cheese for dipping.
100 Clinton St., Framingham, 774-777-5085, jacksabby.com.
Moody’s Delicatessen & Provisions
As long as New England Charcuterie’s Joshua Smith has operated a deli and restaurant to showcase his charcuterie, baker Luke Fetbroth has been there to provide the gluten. His XL Bavarian-style pretzels are as advertised. Available every Friday and Saturday, the knot comes with New England Charcuterie smoked maple bierwurst, and a jalapeño cheese sauce. Fetbroth’s baked goods will take center stage at a forthcoming Moody’s market, too.
468 Moody St., Waltham, 781-216-8732, moodyswaltham.com.
This is not your typical sports bar, and the soft pretzels here are not your typical bar snack. Two warm bowties come per order, dusted in Mexican spices, with a side of craveable salsa con queso.
1 Beacon St., Inman Square, Somerville, 617-576-0231, parlorsportsbar.com.
When Pigs Fly
This New England bakery might be best known for its range of artisan breads, but stop by any of its Boston-area storefronts or its Kittery, Maine, pizzeria for this dense classic. Pro tip: Ask for a gratis cup of yellow mustard for dipping.
378 Highland Ave., Davis Square, Somerville, 617-776-0021, 1378 A Beacon St., Coolidge Corner, Brookline, 617-232-1077, 613 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, 617-522-4948, and other locations, sendbread.com.