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If pretzels weren't twisted, they'd probably still be delicious, but they just wouldn't have the same appeal. Somehow, the twist confers certain magic that we just can't seem to do without. Thanks to the convenience of pretzel delivery services, we'll never have to.
We searched the internet for the best pretzel delivery services and ranked them based on several factors. Keep reading to see which companies we selected; there's a twist at the end.
Best Overall: Auntie Anne’s
Why We Chose It: With a great lineup of flavors and fresh delivery in 46 states, Auntie Anne's is a shoo-in for the best overall pretzel delivery service.
Lots of flavors
Free delivery on weekdays
No late-night delivery
A massively successful entrepreneur with a ninth-grade education, Anne Beiler has a story that is as remarkable as her pretzels. Founded in 1988, Beiler's company began as a stall in a local farmer's market. Less than three years later, driven mostly by word of mouth, Auntie Anne's Pretzels had expanded to 50 locations in nine states. And that was just the beginning.
In 2010, Beiler sold the company to Focus Brands, the owner of Jamba Juice and Cinnabon. Today, there are Auntie Anne's stores in 46 states (as well as over 600 international locations), many of which offer delivery.
To find out if there's an Auntie Anne's near you, go to the company's website, click "order," and punch in your ZIP code. A list of participating locations will pop up. Find a store that offers delivery, and click "order" once more to see the menu. Choose from items like the sweet almond pretzel, the sour cream and onion pretzel, and the pepperoni pretzel, as well as a full line of drinks and dips. Some locations even deliver Cinnabon. Offerings range in price from around $5 to $20. Delivery minimums may apply.
Best Philly Style: Pennsylvania General Store
Why We Chose It: If you're nostalgic for Philly-style pretzels, you'll love Pennsylvania General Store.
Authentic Philadelphia-style pretzels
Soft and hard pretzels
“Bodegeschmack” is a Pennsylvania Dutch word that roughly translates to "food that tastes of the land." If you've spent much time in the region, its bodegeschmack likely lingers in your memory, from cheesesteaks and cream cheese to the extra-long, oval-shaped pretzels sold everywhere from street carts to sports stadiums.
Pretzels are a big part of Pennsylvania culture thanks to the early establishment in the region of immigrant German communities. Pennsylvania "Dutch" is actually a corruption of "Deutsch." The German cultural influence in the area goes all the way back to the end of the 17th century.
Pennsylvania General Store carries both the famous Philly-style soft pretzels and a variety of crunchy pretzels from Pennsylvania producers. A box of a dozen soft pretzels (with Heinz yellow mustard and salt on the side) sells for about $22. If you like hard pretzels, check out the National Pretzel Day Gift Box Deluxe for about $30. Soft pretzels ship fresh, so depending on where you live, express air shipping may be necessary.
Best Chocolate Covered: Fatty Sundays
Why We Chose It: Fatty Sundays creates modern, chocolate-dipped pretzel rods that deliver the perfect combination of salty and sweet.
A salty-sweet dessert-snack is an extremely potent thing, and one that's very difficult to resist. As a mom, Karen Borowick must have understood this, making her signature chocolate-covered salty pretzel sticks for her family only on Sundays. But children always find a way to test the limits. When they grew up, Karen's daughters, Ali and Lauren Borowick founded Fatty Sundays, undoubtedly so they could produce their mother's treats every single day. (If only all rebellion took the form of entrepreneurship...)
Fatty Sundays makes multiple flavors of chocolate-covered pretzel sticks, including birthday cake, peppermint, sea salt almond, toffee, coconut, cinnamon sugar, sprinkles, and salted caramel. White, dark, and milk chocolates are all represented. Birthday cake pretzels, for example, are dipped in white chocolate and coated with vanilla cookie bits and rainbow sprinkles. Salted caramel pretzels are covered in dark chocolate, caramel bits, and sea salt. (Are you drooling yet?) Pretzel bark and pretzel bites are also available.
An individual box of pretzels contains three sticks and sells for about $4. The company sells assorted boxes as well. Check out the Pretzel Library to try all eight flavors for about $36. Shipping costs extra and varies by location.
Best Crunchy: Unique Snacks
Why We Chose It: Unique's crunchy pretzels really are one of a kind.
No onion or cheesy options
If a bowl of crunchy pretzels is your idea of snack heaven, you've got to check out the goodies from Unique. Based in Reading, Pennsylvania, Unique is a 100-year-old family business going back six generations.
Unique produces a full lineup of crispy pretzel munchies. Its signature pretzels are called splits, standard-shaped pretzel twists baked in a special way that results in an abundance of salty crackling crevices and shattering bubbles. The company's bite-sized product is called shells—pretzels that look like pillows but are hollow inside for extra crunch. Its sprouted pretzels are organic, made with sprouted whole grains, and are available as both splits and shells. Unique also makes sourdough pretzels, chocolate pretzels, and a line of mustard dips.
Bags of Unique pretzels are sold by the case, starting around $27 for a half-case of family-sized bags. To try the full lineup, check out the ultimate variety pack, which includes a custom assortment of nine bags of pretzels for around $35. You can add chocolate pretzels and dips to the variety pack for an extra charge. All prices include shipping and handling.
Best Bavarian: Milwaukee Pretzel Co.
Why We Chose It: Milwaukee Pretzel Company's pretzels are hand-rolled, hand-twisted, and dipped in a lye bath, just like the Bavarians do it.
Variety of shapes
No added sugar
During a yearlong stint in Munich, Milwaukee-based married couple Katie and Matt Wessel noticed many similarities between Bavaria's blue-collar beer culture and Milwaukee's middle-class Midwestern market. One difference caught their attention. In Munich, pretzels were everywhere, while back home in Milwaukee, true Bavarian-style pretzels were nowhere to be found. When the Wessels returned to the United States, they decided to fill their hometown's pretzel vacuum, and the Milwaukee Pretzel Company was born.
The company's focus is authenticity. Katie, who handles the baking, consulted with multiple German bakers and tested many formulas to create a pretzel just like the ones they'd enjoyed in Munich. Milwaukee's signature pretzels come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from twists to rolls, buns, bites, and more. The classic round twist is available in three-, five, and 16-ounce versions.
Prices range from around $5 for a six-pack of pretzel hamburger buns to about $65 for the pretzel lovers gift pack, which includes two, one-pound twists, five, five-ounce twists, 100 pretzel bites, and a jar of beer mustard. Shipping is free on orders over $35 ($25 if you live in Wisconsin).
Best Twist: Eastern Standard Provisions
Why We Chose It: It turns out that Bavarian pretzels with a French twist are quite good.
Bavarian outside, brioche inside
Variety of shapes
When a small twist gains momentum, a complete revolution will soon follow. Eastern Standard Provisions was founded by a Boston gang of pretzel purists, who in pursuit of the perfect pretzel, ventured beyond authenticity to create something new.
The paradigm-shifting innovation arranged the marriage of a French-style brioche with a Bavarian-style pretzel. The resulting offspring is soft, slightly sweet, and salty, with an aggressively alkalized crust. The finishing touch is a distinct shape, a ring with a twist at the top like a tied donut.
The company also produces other shapes such as slider buns, soft pretzel sticks, and bites, as well as flavored salts, sugars, and sauces. Pretzel prices range from around $13 for a 12-pack of slider buns to roughly $100 for the "happy everything" holiday gift box (which contains, as you might have guessed, some of everything), and about $10 for a pair of very sharp-looking pretzel socks. Prices do not include shipping.
These pretzel delivery services are all impressive, and no matter what kind of pretzels you prefer, there's a provider prepared to send them to your front porch. After evaluating all the options and comparing across niches, it was clear that most pretzel cravings could be quelled fastest, freshest, and most frugally by ordering from Auntie Anne's. Plus, it’s got Cinnabon.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Pretzel Delivery Service?
Some pretzel delivery services are producers, and some are curators. Either way, most services ship their pretzels via UPS, FedEx, and USPS, but many Auntie Anne's locations deliver locally.
How Are Pretzels Made?
Pretzels can be made from all kinds of yeasted doughs. To give pretzels their distinct brown color and flavor, bakers dip the shaped dough into an alkalized bath just prior to baking.
How Much Do Pretzel Delivery Services Charge?
Pretzels aren't too pricey. A quick back-of-the-envelope calculation reveals that you should expect to spend anywhere from $15–$30 to get a few pretzels delivered to your door.
How We Chose the Best Pretzel Delivery Services
Pretzels are a relatively broad category, and we aimed to represent as many pretzel permutations on our list as possible. We wanted soft pretzels like Auntie Anne's and crunchy pretzels like Unique's. We craved sweet pretzels like those from Fatty Sundays and authentic Bavarian pretzels from Milwaukee Pretzel Company.
Once we identified contenders in their respective niches, we looked at metrics such as cost, variety, website design, and customer reviews. After thorough consideration, we are confident that our picks represent the pinnacle of pretzel delivery.