Wetzel’s Pretzels VS Auntie Anne’s – Who has the better pretzel?

Competing in our Roseville Galleria Mall, Wetzel’s Pretzels and Auntie Anne’s offer freshly baked soft pretzels that have been a local favorite for years. Wetzel’s Pretzels was founded in 1994 and is based mainly in California, with few stores out-of-state. Auntie Anne’s on the other hand, was founded in 1988 in Pennsylvania, and remains the nationally recognized brand. Regardless of popularity, the question remains— who has the better soft pretzel?

Before I tasted what the pretzel stalls had to offer, I took into consideration the price, appearance and smell of the pretzels. I chose to order a bag of small soft pretzels from both vendors, which Wetzel’s had coined as “Bite-Sized Bitz,” and priced at $6.79. Wetzel’s Bitz were all about 2 inches long and evenly baked. Anne’s named their soft pretzels “Pretzel Nuggets” and charged $7.49. Though Anne’s pretzels were slightly longer, with each Nugget measuring about two and a half to three inches long, there appeared to be roughly the same amount of pretzel in both Anne’s and Wetzel’s orders. All of the pretzels looked similar, and were baked to a golden brown, had a sheen of melted butter and a sprinkling of coarse white pretzel salt. Permeating the air around the vendors’ stalls, the smell of both pretzels were appetizing. Each scent was a combination of freshly baked bread with a buttery undertone. Considering only the cost, look, and scent of the pretzels, each brand seemed to offer an equally delicious experience. It came down to taste, and one brand could not match the other. 

Auntie Anne’s “Pretzel Nuggets.” Photo courtesy of Auntie Anne’s.

Auntie Anne’s pretzels offered a soft exterior and a dense bread. It was slightly doughy, bordering on under-baked, and I had to chew the pretzel a bit more than I expected to. They were buttery and salty, but the dough had a distinct sweetness to it which provided a nice juxtaposition of flavors. The aftertaste was pleasant as well, and left me wanting to eat more. I couldn’t though, as the density of the pretzels made it difficult to eat more than a few at a time. I felt full halfway through my order. 

Wetzel’s Pretzels party size “Bite-Sized Bitz.” Photo Courtesy of Wetzel’s Pretzels.

Wetzel’s Pretzels offered a different experience. As soon as I bit into Wetzel’s soft pretzel, I was met with a pleasantly crisp exterior, which was a surprise considering how soft and squishy the rest of the pretzel was. Both pretzels had similar levels of saltiness, but Wetzel’s dough provided an entirely different flavor than Auntie Anne’s pretzels. Wetzel’s dough was light and airy, but still fulfilling, which was far superior to Auntie Anne’s dense dough. Wetzel’s dough had a more understated sweetness to it, which I thought complimented the saltiness of the pretzel better than Auntie Anne’s had. The pretzel seemed to melt in your mouth and left you with a pleasant bready aftertaste.

While both pretzels were delicious and matched in appearance and scent, considering the lower price and the superior taste, it’s clear that Wetzel’s Pretzel has the better soft pretzel.