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Hometown Highlights: A Brief Note on Soft Pretzels (No, Seriously)

Everyone knows that both Philadelphia—and Pennsylvania as a whole—are known for their soft pretzels. In fact, The Reader’s Digest recently classified the soft pretzel as Pennsylvania’s favorite snack in their roundup of favorite treats by state.

So why this article?

Well, as a software company based in Philadelphia, we thought we’d contribute some local expertise to any interested out-of-towners attending MBA Annual 2023. So, for those of you curious to get a taste of local flavor while you’re here, here’s a brief note on the Philly way to eat soft pretzels.

Unlike the cheesesteak, the soft pretzel isn’t really the subject of harsh debate as to who makes the best one. Why? Well, because we all know that the best soft pretzel is probably from rural Pennsylvania, not Philly. Soft pretzels are a Pennsylvania Dutch thing, with much older roots in Europe. Which means the best soft pretzel in PA will probably be found in Amish country, say Lancaster. If you want to know—or rather, to taste—what we mean, check out Miller’s Twist in Reading Terminal Market, right across from the Convention Center. They make an AMAZING Amish-style pretzel.

But what about the most Philadelphia pretzel?

Not much debate here, folks. You have two options: Wawa or Pretzel Factory.

Will either of these hallowed establishments yield the best soft pretzel? Not a chance. But the most authentically Philly pretzel? You betcha. Chewy, salty, wrapped in tissue paper or plastic. We recommend topping this classic with mustard, either brown or yellow. Cheese, while delicious on a soft pretzel, is not the way to experience this Philly Classic.