The pretzel isn’t a new thing by any means, but it certainly has started making more appearances throughout L.A., often in the shape of a bun, a re-worked crust, or a new thing to dip into a delicious sauce. We’ve scoured this great city in search of pretzels and its many iterations and below are some favorites, regardless of form.
Establishments appear in alphabetical order instead of in order of preference.
The original west Pasadena cafe from Christine Moore, partner Pam Perkins and head baker Cecilia Leung continue to keep food fun at Little Flower Candy Co., which has been in business since late 2007. Pretzel Dog ($7) is a salted, pretzel-coiled hot dog with good chew, open at either end, co-starring whole grain mustard. -JL
Chef David LeFevre encourages diners to “Pass the Bread,” and while M.B. Post is best known for their addictive bacon cheddar buttermilk biscuits, don’t sleep on the Everything Spiced Soft Pretzel ($8). This twisted, shimmering lye-poached beauty comes with “David’s nuclear horseradish mustard” at dinner and appears with smoked salmon shmeer, cucumber and red onion at brunch. -TM
At Röckenwager, their pastries are seasonal, staff is helpful, and breakfast is ample. And, for any West-LA-er, Röckenwager is the go-to place for pretzels. Röckenwager also has their pastries and pretzels at Whole Foods. Röckenwager has twists, rolls, sweet pretzels, and savory pretzels. And, more than just having variations, each one is a spectacular pretzel specimen. If a sweeter pretzel is what you prefer, their Mar Vista location has a raisin pretzel on weekends. -TM
This is an unexpected pandemic venture from actor Adam Shapiro, a regular on the TV show “Never Have I Ever” and Philadelphia native. He started selling soft salted pretzels in late 2020 and got an unexpected boost from wife Katie Lowes (“Scandal”), who fills in for Kelly Ripa on “Live with Kelly and Ryan.” When Ryan Seacrest asked about her pregnancy cravings, she mentioned her husband’s pretzels. Shappy got Seacrest his pretzels and he endorsed them as “fluffy, puffy, and doughy in the middle,” creating instant demand for a product that wasn’t available to the public at that point. Shappy reluctantly started baking pretzels professionally and the operation soon grew so big he had to move out of the Studio City home kitchen while his wife was nesting with their newborn. Shappy trained bakers at BREADBAR in El Segundo and bought a delivery van that sports Shappy’s logo. His excellent pretzels are available at designated locations across L.A. -JL
Sharon Wang is a Thomas Keller Restaurant Group veteran who launched Sugarbloom in 2012 and initially created progressive pastries for Taza, a “social coffee house” in Arcadia that’s no longer in business. She later partnered with Eric Ng on a wholesale bakery in Glassell Park. Her scintillating Pretzel Croissant ($3.50) is available on a regular basis at local Blue Bottle Coffee bars and at other select wholesale accounts. -JL
Longtime Warner Bros. executive Kevin Bricklin started baking terrific “East Coast inspired soft pretzels with a West Coast twist” from his Studio City kitchen and now runs a full-fledged Sun Valley shop. He now offers vegan soft pretzels with chewy coats true to Philadelphia traditions with toppings ranging from everything spices to jalapeño and a blend of Jack and Cheddar cheese. Bricklin has expanded the menu to include pretzel dogs, pretzel pizzas and pretzel nuggets served with dippable nacho cheese. West Coast Pretzels are also available wholesale and at the Hollywood Bowl.-JL