Every day there’s something to celebrate here in Milwaukee – and today, it’s the pretzel. After all, it’s National Pretzel Day, a date set aside to honor the deliciousness of a time-honored snack that it’s estimated Americans consume at a rate of about two pounds per year.
Although National Pretzel Day honors pretzels of all spots and stripes, including the crunchy kind, we’re partial to the Bavarian-style soft pretzels that are served (fittingly) at countless places around town. After all, they’re generally large and shareable, so you can enjoy them in the company of friends. Plus, they’re perfect served up with a local beer.
There are plenty of spots around town to find them. But in the spirit of the day, we've curated 10 of the best spots to get your pretzel fix – today or just about any day.
1. Beer gardens
All hail the summer beer garden! Just about all of Milwaukee’s beer gardens offer up some form of soft pretzel, usually served dipping sauce. You can get this one directly from Kegel's Inn, as well at the Lakefront Beer Garden they are operating at the War Memorial starting June 1. Check out our guide to local beer gardens for more information.
700 W. Lexington Blvd., Glendale, (414) 236-7000
There are plenty of pretzel-based options at the Bavarian Bierhaus, including 10-ounce pretzels ($9) which you can pair with spreads like Helles Lager bier cheese, obatzda, or spinach artichoke dip for an additional $3. If you’re a bit hungrier, try the Munich meat and cheese board featuring assorted cold cuts and cheese, gherkin, radishes, a pretzel, rye and sweet mustard ($12).
1041 N. Old World Third St., (414) 271-3377
If you want old school charm, and a pretzel to boot, head to the Knight's Bar at Mader's where you'll find a jumbo pretzel served alongside German-style mustard, as it should be ($16.95). Don’t forget to add a German brew on the side.
1013 N. Old World 3rd St., (414) 273-8709
4022 N. Oakland Ave. (414) 539-5826
Get hungry. Milwaukee Brat House’s Jumbo Bavarian Pretzel is a monster. It’s served with sharp cheddar cheese sauce, house-made beer cheese soup, and spicy beer mustard ($13.95).
8050 N. Granville Woods Rd., (414) 944-0849
There might be no better place to get your pretzel fix than directly from Milwaukee Pretzel Company, the local shop which brought traditional Bavarian style soft pretzels to the Cream City. Head to their website and you’ll find any number of options to fulfill your deepest pretzel desires, from soft pretzels in various sizes to pretzel bites and pretzel buns, Even better, you can get them delivered to your home shipped anywhere in the U.S.
Be sure to check out their brand new World’s Best Beast, a limited edition pretzel with 14 sweet toppings created especially for National Pretzel Day 2021.
1009 N. Old World Third St., (414) 226-2728
Another spot to find a giant shareable pretzel is the Old German Beer Hall, which serves "Groß Brezn," a legendary 10-ounce pretzel that has origins in Munich ($8). Add obatzda and sweet mustard for +$3.
One Brewers Way, (414) 902-4201
You can find pretzels at a variety of stands at American Family Field on game days. But you can also get your pretzel fix any day of the week at Restaurant To Be Named Later, where they serve up the MKE Giant Pretzel with cheddar cheese sauce and ale mustard ($12)
750 N. Jefferson St., (414) 808-1588
Head to SportClub where every day presents an opportunity to celebrate the art of sport. Their Milwaukee Pretzel, served up with both honey mustard and cheese sauce ($7) is also something to celebrate.
9. The Vanguard
2659 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., (414) 539-3593
What’s better than a soft pretzel? A warm soft buttered pretzel from The Vanguard. This beauty is served with cheddar schmear, red miso honey mustard or cheez wiz for just $5.
10. Von Trier
2235 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 272-1775
Another classic spot to enjoy a big, soft delicious pretzel is at Von Trier, which serves a locally made Milwaukee Pretzel Co. soft Bavarian pretzel accompanied by beer cheese, honey mustard and stone ground mustard ($10).
Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club.
When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.