The 12 Best Pretzels in Boston
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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, rich milk chocolate, or spicy salsa con queso? Salty sourdough does the trick, too. All of that and then some below, with the 12 must-eat twists on pretzels at bars, bakeries, and breweries around Boston.
Somerville Brewing Company (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.
490 Foley St., 301 Canal Street, Assembly Row, 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 at chef Jason Santos’ New Orleans-inspired boîte. Here, the chef keeps things 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—and so are the delectable pretzel croissants made in-house every Friday-Sunday.
178 Thorndike St., Brookline, 617-739-0060, clearflourbread.com.
Fat Boyfriend Bakery
These Malden-made pretzels—the savory brand of Caldwell Confections—are frequently found at brewery taprooms all around the state, from Idle Hands to Barrel House Z to Gentile Brewing Co., Wormtown, and more. The prolific pop-up also mixes things up with special flavors and creations, like a mac and cheese pretzel melt with bacon salt.
Harpoon Beer Hall
At the Seaport beer hall, salty-sweet-pillowy dough is made with spent brewery grains, and each knot is boiled in the flagship IPA and sprinkled with pretzel salt and malted barley from the brewhouse. House-made sauces include bacon ranch, marinara, peanut butter whip, and more, and two dips come with each order. But that’s not all: Kitchen manager Felicia Ruano has new, pretzel-dough specials every day of the week, like pretzel-dough pizzas, Parmesan-garlic knots, and Sunday pretzel-dough bagels.
306 Northern Ave., Seaport, Boston, 617-456-2322, harpoonbrewery.com.
Like all the other handheld snacks at chef Michael Scelfo’s sophisticated and super-fun cocktail bar, these are not your average soft pretzels. The warm rye pretzel comes with a tangy cheddar schmear, mustard, and house pickles—great foil for a white negroni.
40 Brattle St. #3 (above Alden & Harlow), Harvard Square, Cambridge, 617-864-0001, longfellowharvard.com.
Of course this Bavarian-style beer hall has an exemplary soft pretzel. Found in the “fest fare” section of the menu, it’s made with House Lager and comes with zippy horseradish mustard and creamy beer cheese for dipping.
100 Clinton St., Framingham, 774-777-5085, jacksabby.com.
The menu mainstay Mexican pretzels just got an upgrade with top knot-style rounds from Eastern Standard Provisions Co., a new line of handcrafted snacks from Garrett Harker and master baker Lauren Moran of Eastern Standard. The warm pretzels are still dusted in Mexican spices and served with a side of zesty 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.