Eight Great Soft Pretzels in Rochester

0
The best pretzel debate is a heated one. Warm, salty and a perfect pairing with a cold beer; it’s that go to item to order with friends when you are out for drinks. To some, a great soft pretzel is just as important as a great beer list. Over the last few months, our foodie friend Christina of @whatsgoodintheroc has been tasting pretzels all over town and the discussion on her Instagram feed has been a popular debate. A-list is excited to share her findings with you below.
Hello fellow foodie friends! I’ve been hunting for great soft pretzels in Rochester for the last 4 months nowOver that time period, I tried dozens. Some were great, some not so great. I’ve compiled a list of pretzels that I think are excellent based off of different factors like taste and value so that you can check them out. Even though there are many other great soft pretzels in Rochester, here are my top picks rated based on what I think is important in a soft pretzel. As I continue to try pretzels, I’ll be updating the highlight on my Instagram page @whatsgoodintheroc. Follow me on Instagram to stay up to date with the most current #PretzelQuest news!

 

Scale explanation:

Freshness: how fresh the dough actually is, and how fresh the pretzel tastes overall

Salt to pretzel ratio: a perfect 10 is the right amount of salt in each pretzel bite. Not too salty, not too bland.

Presentation: self explanatory, the pretzels appearance and is how it is served

Dipping sauces: how much I personally liked the dipping sauces and if I thought they left something to be desired (or not). Places that only served one dipping sauce received a lower rating.

 

 

Swiftwater Brewing

378 Mt Hope Ave., Rochester, NY 14620

Phone: (585) 530-3471

Photo by @swiftwaterbrewing

Swiftwater Brewing is one of the few places I found that bakes their pretzels from fresh dough. I love that they are hand formed, so each one is unique. The pretzels come with one dipping sauce: a vinegar-y mustard that is thinner and fitting. Swiftwater also serves sides of fruit or pickles with the pretzels – depending on the day. You also get an awesome brewery environment with loads of delicious beers on tap.

Freshness: 10/10

Salt to pretzel ratio: 9/10

Presentation: 10/10

Dipping sauces: 7/10

Price: $8 for two

 

 

MacGregor’s Grill & Tap Room

 2205 Buffalo Rd., Rochester, NY 14624

Phone(585) 471-5609

MacGregor’s Bavarian pretzel sticks are the epitome of classic pretzel sticks. Soft, chewy, and salty. They come with a side of nacho cheese and a delicious wholegrain mustard with the perfect amount of horseradish. Technically, the menu says they come with either or but every time I’ve asked they give both with no extra charge. MacGregor’s also has delicious burgers and a very wide draft selection.

Freshness: 8/10

Salt to pretzel ratio: 10/10

Presentation: 6/10

Dipping sauces: 9/10

Price: $7.99 for 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unter Biergarten

120 East Ave, Rochester, NY 14604

Phone(585) 360-4010

Unter Biergarten gets their pretzels from Amazing Grains, a local bakery based out of Fairport. They fry it in beef fat for a crunchy exterior. They serve it with cheese and a root beer mustard. I didn’t taste any root beer, but the mustard was wholegrain with a nice consistency. Tackle this with a friend, or two! For the best photo op, try enjoying it in their outdoor beer garden during the warmer months.

Freshness: 10/10

Salt to pretzel ratio: 8/10

Presentation: 10/10

Dipping sauces: 8/10

Price: $10

 

 

East End Tavern

37 Charlotte St, Rochester, NY 14607

Phone(585) 262-3988

East End Tavern is a sort of hidden gem for pretzel sticks. I first discovered them on a pedal tour. They came out in a basket piping hot, perfectly crispy on the outside, and soft on the inside. They’re served with cheese and a spicy brown mustard. The dough is almost sweet, and the way they’re fried makes them crave-ably crunchy and soft in all the right ways.

Freshness: 9/10

Salt to pretzel ratio: 8/10

Presentation: 7/10

Dipping sauces: 6/10

Price: $9 for a basket

 

 

The Beer Market

1401 Mt Hope Ave, Rochester, NY 14620

Phone(585) 244-2337

Photo by @harmeetseats

The Beer Market at College Town has a gigantic pretzel that looks like it could serve at least 4 hungry people. It’s fluffy inside, and salted well. It comes with mustard and beer cheese. Though the beer cheese didn’t have a strong beer flavor to it, both dipping sauces played adequate supporting roles to a pretzel they appropriately named “The Barbarian”.

Freshness: 7/10

Salt to pretzel ratio: 9/10

Presentation: 10/10

Dipping sauces: 7/10

Price: $14

 

 

Rochester Beer Park

375 Averill Ave, Rochester, NY 14620

Phone(585) 685-8212

Photo by @hungry_taylor

Rochester Beer Park serves up a great pretzel that comes to them from Syracuse. It’s not overwhelmingly big, and has delicious flaky salt all over. They serve it with a unique 5 cheese dipping sauce that had a hint of blue cheese flavor to it. I couldn’t get enough. Another fun item at the Beer Park is their wine caprisuns. Enjoy one over a game of cornhole on their lawn!

Freshness: 7/10

Salt to pretzel ratio: 10/10

Presentation: 9/10

Dipping sauces: 9/10

Price: $5 – great value!

 

 

 

 

Genesee Brewhouse

25 Cataract St, Rochester, NY 14605

Phone(585) 263-9200

Photo by @ROConnoisseur

The Genesee Brewhouse’s pretzel sticks are browned on the outside and soft on the inside. They give off a satisfying crunch when bitten into, and when hot they are fluffy and almost melt in your mouth. Their menu says they have the option of beer mustard, beer cheese, or maple bacon peanut butter sauce. I tried the cheese and the mustard, and both were tasty. The cheese has more of a nacho flavor and the mustard was very spicy last time I tried it. Their menu says they make it in house, which could explain why the spiciness varies. The brewhouse boasts one of the best views in the city on their rooftop, so don’t sleep on it!

Freshness: 9/10

Salt to pretzel ratio: 8/10

Presentation: 7/10

Dipping sauces: 6/10

Price: $10 for 4

 

 

Perri’s Pub in Brighton

1881 East Ave, Rochester, NY 14610

Phone(585) 244-9090

 

Perri’s pretzel sticks (location specific) came out hot and fresh within minutes. While they didn’t taste fresh baked, they did scratch that itch for a classic soft pretzel with the right amount of salt and softness inside. The cheese they served it with wasn’t bad, just a classic nacho cheese. These pretzels made the list because of how fluffy they were, and the fact that they’re small pretzel sticks that didn’t overwhelm my stomach. Of all of the pretzels on the list, I think this one is the most accessible in terms of getting it to go and being affordable. If you’re up at night craving a soft pretzel to eat in bed, this is it.

Freshness: 7/10

Salt to pretzel ratio: 9/10

Presentation: 8/10

Dipping sauces: 7/10

Price: $5.99 for 6 pretzel sticks

 

*Prices are current as of October 2018, gathered from what was listed on menus online or talking to the actual restaurant.

 

-Christina Kostarellis, @whatsgoodintheroc

Share This