We rather like to think that with The Pretzel Bakery, Sean Haney is manufacturing DC pretzels, a heretofore unexplored food subgenre. Take that, regional pretzel diaspora!The Pretzel Bakery is no stranger to seasonal offerings. Summertime staples from the tiny Stadium-Armory storefront have previously included basil lemonade and water ice (that's Italian ice to all us non-Philly folk). This time around, The Pretzel Bakery is offering Nutella hot chocolate, a soul-warming, sugar-riddled concoction. When we ask Sean Haney, The Pretzel Bakery's owner, just how much Nutella goes into a batch, he grins and says, "You don't want to know." (Thankfully, it's made with whole milk, and, despite appearances, the Nutella additive is in no way overpowering.) Though it's possible to indulge solely in the aforementioned delectably decadent beverage—it's "hotella" on the menu—you'd miss the absolutely fantastic pretzels Haney and his staff of four serve up daily. Salted and everything pretzels have been on The Pretzel Bakery's menu since it opened last spring, and Haney has recently added a cinnamon sugar option to the mix. There's a zing of salt in the cinnamon-sugar glaze that helps balance the sweetness, and the poppyseed-onion-garlic trifecta is lightly, appropriately balanced. Grab some dipping sauces (we're big fans of the caramel mustard) or eat these pretzels plain. They're that good.
The Pretzel Bakery's goods take their cues from the Philadelphia pretzels Haney grew up obsessed with, which aren't quite as hard on the outside as a New York pretzel. Speaking of which, Haney says he can sniff out a Philly expat in a second: They typically raise their eyebrows at his pretzel's slightly nontraditional chewy, pillowy interior. But we don't think it's a bad thing. In fact, we rather like to think that with The Pretzel Bakery, Haney is manufacturing DC pretzels, a heretofore unexplored food subgenre. Take that, regional pretzel diaspora!
Everything pretzel, $2
Sweet pretzel, $2
A dozen pretzels, $18
Caramel mustard dip, $1
Hotella (Nutella hot chocolate), $2.50
Mocha (1/2 coffee, 1/2 Nutella), $3.50
Wednesday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed Monday & Tuesday