Pretzel Perfection: Irresistible Soft Pretzels

By: Carolyn Hall | April 10, 2024
Homemade Small Soft Pretzel Bites with Beer Cheese

In the world of snacks, few can rival the simple pleasure of a warm, freshly baked soft pretzel. Its twisted form, golden exterior, and the perfect blend of softness with a slight crunch make it an irresistible treat for many (myself included). Across the culinary landscape, pretzels have been reimagined, reshaped, and reinvigorated by a plethora of establishments, each adding its unique spin to this traditional snack. In this journey through dough and salt, we’ll explore how spots throughout Metro Detroit have taken the soft pretzel beyond being a mall-walking snack. 


226 South Main Street, Ann Arbor

Pretzel Bell serves its pretzels with a side of history. Originally opening in 1934, this spot is a must-visit for gatherings, campus pride, and delicious meals. Aptly named Pretzel Bell, the restaurant has quite a few options. On the shareable menu, there is of course a soft baked pretzel with three dips: warm cheese, honey mustard, and whole grain mustard. From garlic pretzel croutons on the Caesar salad and pretzel-crusted mac and cheese to the Varsity burger on a toasted pretzel bun, fans of this twisted delight have it made. Don’t forget about dessert either, with choices like a salted caramel pretzel with cinnamon sugar and vanilla ice cream or a chocolate brownie sundae topped with candied pretzels. Try one or try them all, but a visit to Pretzel Bell is a must.

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116 West 4th Street, Royal Oak

The Side Bar has a great ‘nibbles’ menu, with pretzel bites getting the attention they deserve. These soft and warm bites are served with stone ground mustard for a tangy touch and house-made queso cheese. Order a few appetizers to share around the table, or have these along with a sandwich or burger. Have these bites with an innovative cocktail based on the classics, like the Maple Manhappy, with apricot bourbon and maple syrup, or Sam’s Tequila Your Sunrise, with pineapple-sage infused tequila and maraschino liqueur.


Different Twist Pretzel Mobile Bakery is a staple at the most vibrant outdoor events across Southeast Michigan. From music festivals and boat races to art fairs and sporting events, they bring the joy of freshly baked pretzels to thousands. The team shares that “…all dough and pretzel products are made on-site” in their custom-designed bakery trailers, boasting, “…the absolute best pretzel products ever created!” From sweet cinnamon sugar and toasted almond crunch to savory garlic parmesan and my favorite, the pepperoni pretzels, you have to try one when it pops up near you. 

different twist pretzel mobile bakery with a line of people ordering soft pretzels
Photo courtesy of Different Twist Pretzel


23410 Greater Mack Avenue, St. Clair Shores

At Shores Inn, the Bavarian pretzel sticks are a must-have. These warm pretzel sticks are baked until golden, topped with kosher salt, and served with beer cheese sauce. Head to Shores Inn during their weekly happy hour from 2 to 5 p.m. for buy-one-get-one free appetizers and drink specials when you buy two. It’s the perfect time to pair the pretzels with the Tex-Mex quesadilla, southwest eggrolls, bang-bang shrimp, or another appetizer option. This spot is laid-back and casual, perfect for a family dinner or an after-work drink and appetizer.


215 East 4th Street, Royal Oak

At The Royal Oak Brewery, pretzels are a perfect pairing for their handcrafted beers. Baked to perfection, the pretzel sticks are baked and tossed in butter and salt and served along with melted Asiago cheese and whole grain mustard. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, you can’t get much better than that. The beers on tap are updated constantly, ranging from dark lagers to golden ales, with barrel-aged beers tapped monthly. Choose to pair the pretzels with a beer, an entree, or a sandwich, or simply enjoy the appetizer.


2010 West Auburn Road, Rochester Hills

CK Diggs is a gastropub with over 40 beers on tap. Offering a cozy and casual vibe, this spot is where the pretzel is a warm welcome (among other appetizers). Here, the soft pretzel bites are fried, tossed in garlic and parmesan butter, and served with creamy house-made cheese sauce. Paired with cajun steak tips, spinach artichoke dip, or potato skins; you can’t go wrong with the appetizers here.