The pretzel supposedly has religious roots—many believe monks invented the doughy snack—but most of us know it as the ultimate companion to beer, whether at Oktoberfest celebrations, ballparks, or gastropubs, where they’ve been getting gourmet upgrades around the West:
- At the Brave Horse Tavern, in Seattle, hand-twisted rounds with bubbly brown shells, an authentic tang, and a just-right chewy interior are dipped in spreads like smoked PB&B (as in bacon!).
- Denver’s Park & Co. has a salt-speckled pretzel with ideal yeastiness, crunch, and springiness.
- Röckenwagner Bakery, in Los Angeles, offers one of our favorite new carb categories—the pretzel-croissant—as well as regular pretzels in flavors like jalapeño and classic German.
- The new menu at Absinthe, in San Francisco, has a pyramid of super-soft pretzel buns with a healthy rub of garlic and a touch of thyme.