Iconic Philly Soft Pretzel Locations

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Sure, you've visited the Liberty Bell, the Rocky steps, and that mind-blowing skyline. You may have even had the best cheesesteaks this city has to offer, but you still can’t say you really know Philadelphia. 

To truly understand a city, you need to experience all of its bests and every morsel of its defining foods. In Philadelphia, it’s not just about cheesesteaks, hot dogs, and snow — it’s also about hand-twisted soft pretzels. 

You haven’t really tasted the essence of Philadelphia until you've sunk your teeth into a warm, salty, perfectly twisted soft pretzel. It’s nothing like the generic versions you’ve had wandering your local mall, and you’re missing out if you haven’t experienced it. 

To help get your life back on track, because seriously, we're taking you on a tour of Philly's most iconic soft pretzel locales, each one promising a unique twist on this beloved snack.

The Legacy of the Philly Soft Pretzel

No ordinary bread, but a twist of magic — golden, salty, and with a distinctively firm chew, it's the quintessential Philly treat. Not sure what the deal is with Philadelphia’s pretzel scene? Let’s dig into what makes these perfectly golden-brown wonders so special and quintessential to the city. 

Its history weaves back to the 19th century, brought by German immigrants, and has since rooted itself firmly into the city's gastronomic fabric. It’s one of those local specialties that’s come to be so iconic due to the diverse makeup of Philadelphia, which is the best kind of local cuisine. 

Plus, since its history goes back so far, you can trust they’ve had enough time to make every bite that good.

Philly Pretzel Factory

Our first stop — Philly Pretzel Factory. Born and bred in Philadelphia, the Philly Pretzel Factory Locations have grown from a single storefront into an empire, spreading the joy of authentic Philly soft pretzels far and wide. 

With the dough mixed, twisted, and baked right on-site at the soft pretzel bakery, you're guaranteed a fresh and hot pretzel, perfectly embodying the essence of this city. 

As a little tidbit, did you know they once twisted an impressive 853 pretzels in just one hour, setting a world record? Now that's Philly pretzel dedication!

Center City Pretzel Co.

Nestled in the heart of the city, the Center City Pretzel Co. opens its doors at the crack of dawn, filling the air with the mouthwatering scent of fresh-baked pretzels. Founded in 1981, this family-owned gem keeps things traditional with a simple menu, but don't mistake simplicity for a lack of taste. 

Each pretzel is a testament to decades of perfected craftsmanship and insider details that make their pretzels stand out. For instance, they bake their pretzels upside-down for the perfect color and texture. It sounds as topsy-turvy as the twists in these iconic snacks, but with decades of experience, you can trust they have good reason to bend the rules.

Miller's Twist

You haven’t truly visited Philadelphia’s food scene until you’ve explored the Reading Terminal Market, one of America's largest and oldest public markets. There are many food vendors to choose from when you visit, but amidst the bustle, you'll find Miller's Twist, serving up pretzels with a twist — literally! 

Carving out its niche by twisting the traditional pretzel into a new shape, this spot has redefined the Philly soft pretzel experience. And they've kept things in the family, with the business still run by the original Miller family members. 

A curious note about this place — they use Amish dairy in their pretzels. It's a delightfully Pennsylvania twist on tradition that keeps us coming back for more.

Federal Pretzel

We're circling back to tradition with Federal Pretzel, a stalwart of the Philly pretzel scene. Since 1922, this bakery has remained loyal to its original pretzel recipe, twisting up mouthwatering morsels that continue to capture hearts (and stomachs). 

Federal Pretzel has stood the test of time, not just because of its tasty pretzels but also because of the unforgettable experience it offers. With pretzels made fresh before your eyes and the intoxicating aroma of baking dough filling the air, it's not just a bakery — it's a Philly institution.

Brauhaus Schmitz

Serving up a taste of Oktoberfest year-round, Brauhaus Schmitz brings a deliciously German spin to the Philly pretzel scene while at the same time paying homage to the origins of soft pretzels. Within this charmingly rustic beer hall, pretzels hold a place of honor. 

Brauhaus Schmitz prides itself on its traditional German soft pretzels, as deliciously dense and chewy as the ones you'd find on the streets of Munich. If you weren’t already aware, pretzels were originally created as the ideal beer snack — and now that you know, you’ll never unsee it. They’re hearty but still light and easy to eat, savory and salty, perfect for refueling after a long day in the Biergarten.

Because of this, enjoying your soft pretzel in Brauhaus Schmitz is a match made in pretzel heaven because you can pair your soft, bready snack with a delicious beer. And if you’re after events, darlings, it’s also important to note that Brauhaus Schmitz hosts Philadelphia's largest Oktoberfest celebration, where they roll out a giant tub of mustard and an equally giant pretzel to kick off the festivities. 

It's a true pretzel spectacle that any pretzel enthusiast wouldn't want to miss!

Frankford Hall

Take a stroll down Frankford Avenue, and you might just find yourself in a slice of Bavaria right here in Philly. At Frankford Hall, it's all about the "Gemütlichkeit," the German concept of good cheer and relaxation. 

This spacious beer garden offers ample seating, a convivial atmosphere, and of course, plenty of pretzels. With their classic Bavarian pretzels, pretzel rolls, and pretzel bun sandwiches, pretzel lovers are spoilt for choice.

If you’re the sort of person who likes to have some activities included in your night or day out, Frankford Hall is a great place to bookmark for your next group excursion. Frankford Hall features an outdoor fire pit, ping pong tables, and Jenga games, ensuring that a pretzel in one hand and a game paddle in the other is not an uncommon sight. 

The Kettle Black

The Kettle Black was born out of two brothers' desire to re-invent the classic pub fare. Their hard work paid off, and now this gastropub has become a go-to spot for all those adventurous eaters out there craving to try a different spin on the classic Philly pretzel.

After all, who said pretzels are just bread and salt? The Kettle Black, an innovative gastropub, is shattering this perception with its unique and creative take on pretzels. Pushing the boundaries of what a pretzel can be, The Kettle Black has won over locals and visitors alike with its impressive selection of uniquely flavored soft pretzels.


Wawa is no ordinary store. If you've ever met a single person from Philadelphia, you’ve probably had this iconic chain mentioned a time or two thousand. 

Wawa started as an iron foundry in New Jersey, morphed into a dairy processing plant, then a dairy store, before finally evolving into the convenience store we know and love today. Throughout all these changes, one thing remains constant — its soft pretzels have always been a hit with Philadelphians!

This Philly-based chain has long been a local favorite, winning hearts with its surprisingly versatile and lengthy menu of delicious, fast, affordable eats in addition to selling just about anything else you could want from a convenience store. But as we said, the soft pretzels deserve the limelight for hitting the spot every single time.

Visiting Wawa for your soft pretzel is a pro-move if you’re passing through Philadelphia. Because not only are you eating one of Philly’s most iconic foods, but you’re stopping into its most beloved chain. Next time you meet someone from Philly, and they start waxing poetic about Wawa — you’ll be able to join in.

Honorable Mentions

  • Bernie’s Pretzel
  • Rowhome Coffee

That’s a Wrap (or a Twist)

So there you have it, darling — a veritable pretzel tour that whisks us through the twisting, turning, salty streets of Philadelphia's pretzel scene. It's been a deliciously doughy journey, from traditional stalwarts like Federal Pretzel keeping the age-old recipes alive to the iconic Wawa giving us pretzels on the go.

Each place we've explored adds a unique flavor to the mix, from the German authenticity of Brauhaus Schmitz and Frankford Hall to the modern twists found at The Kettle Black. Philly's soft pretzel scene is as diverse as it is delicious. 

No matter what corner of the city you find yourself in, a soft, chewy pretzel is never too far away. It's a testament to Philadelphia's enduring love affair with this simple yet satisfying snack.

As you navigate the city, don't be afraid to follow your nose — and your taste buds — to discover your own favorite pretzel spot. You might just find your next gastronomic obsession wrapped in a twist of golden dough. 



The Kettle Black

Frankford Hall

Brauhaus Schmitz

Federal Pretzel

Miller's Twist

Center City Pretzel Co.

Philly Pretzel Factory

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