Center City Pretzel Co.

Street Food
One of the best

Bad-tasting water = good-tasting food.

That was the conclusion we reached during a cheese steak-eating expedition through Philadelphia when we took a break to visit Center City Pretzel Company. By this point in the day, we had eaten enough cheese steaks that appetite was becoming only a distant memory. But the aroma, then the taste of big, soft, freshly-made pretzels proved irresistible. There is a certain brackish tang to the flavor of the pretzel, especially to its tan skin, that is like no other – a flavor that some experts attribute to the Philadelphia water in which they are boiled before being baked. Whatever the cause, these pretzels, hot from the bakery, are superb. They are supplied to vendors throughout the city, but by the time they get to where they’re going, in most cases they have lost their freshness and their sparkle.

When you get a pretzel at Center City, it will likely be warm, especially if you arrive early in the day. (It opens at 4am.) It is dense, chewy, and full flavored – a true bread-lover’s pretzel – and it is of course sprinkled with coarse salt. Some connoisseurs like to have a little mustard as a condiment. As far as we’re concerned, one (or a few) of these big softies need nothing to attain street-food perfection.

What to Eat
Center City Pretzel Co., Pretzel
Four fresh soft pretzels, ready to be pulled apart
Directions and Hours
closed now
Monday6am - 10am
Tuesday6am - 10am
Wednesday6am - 10am
Thursday6am - 10am
Friday6am - 10am
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

Other Nearby Restaurants

  • The Little King

    Trenton, New Jersey

    The Little King is the quintessential Central New Jersey sandwich shop, serving grand Italian subs, house-roasted turkey, and iconic pork roll, egg & cheese.

  • Helen’s Sausage House

    Dover, Delaware

    Sausages are great; and Helen’s pork chop sandwich is ridiculously large and memorably delicious. Check out decor in the Elvis Room!

  • De Lorenzo’s Tomato Pies

    Robbinsville, New Jersey

    Some of the best pizza anywhere is made in New Jersey at De Lorenzo’s, where the crust is thin and crisp and the toppings are perfectly balanced.

  • Steve’s Prince of Steaks

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Steve’s just might be the best traditional Philadelphia cheese steak: a classic topped with Whiz and grilled onions, packed into a shaft of quality bread.

  • Yocco’s Hot Dog King

    Allentown, Pennsylvania

    Browned and crusty Hatfield franks are topped with onion, mustard and Yocco’s famous spicy sauce. An irresistible combo in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

  • Pete’s Hot Dog Shop

    Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

    For well under $10, lunch at Pete’s on chili dogs, fried pierogies and a carton of chocolate milk: a soulful taste of Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley.