Before the invention of pretzels, people fed their cravings for coiled comestibles with honey-glazed wood shavings and liberally salted slinkies. Appease hankerings for curly eats with today's Groupon: for $5, you get $10 worth of hand-rolled pretzels at Auntie Anne's in Chapel Hill.
The top-brass twisters at Auntie Anne's, one of the world's largest hand-rolled soft-pretzel franchises, create enough twirly treats every year to wrap the earth in deliciously salted dough three times. Pretzel professionals prepare a wide array of sweet-and-salty snacks, spiraling them into ornate knots with the delicacy of a grandmotherly sailor, and baking them to golden brown in full view of customers. A plain pretzel ($2.75) offers a satisfyingly simple snack, and sacchariferous ingredients—such as cinnamon sugar and toasted-almond toffee—make tongues sweat with anticipation before biting into premium-pretzel varieties ($3.30). Mouths will mambo to the Mediterranean flavors of the garlic pretzel, a perfect treat to submerge into a dunk tank of marinara or one of the other available dips ($0.75+). Or, sample slender tubewiches in the form of a Nathan's Famous hot dog swathed in the warm embrace of pretzel dough with signature pretzel dogs ($3.30).
Auntie Anne’s can cater to a variety of dietary needs with a select number of pretzel products; its baking mix doesn't contain any animal or dairy ingredients and can be ordered without butter. However, Auntie Anne's advises people with nut or gluten allergies to abstain from consuming its products or catapulting them into a neighbor’s pool.
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Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shop
From its quiet perch on Franklin Street, Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shop slings premium fair-trade ice cream right alongside warm hand-rolled soft-pretzels from Auntie Anne's Pretzel. Friendly staffers fill cups with famous flavors such as Cherry Garcia, a smooth blend of cherry ice cream speckled with cherries and flakes of chocolate fudge. Phish Food infuses chocolate ice cream with marshmallow and caramel swirls, paying homage to the mellow tunes of the jam band Phish with fish-shaped fudge pieces that play eight-minute guitar solos. The shop was recently renovated to include an Auntie Anne's, whose pretzel professionals prepare a wide array of sweet and salty snacks, spiraling them into ornate knots with the delicacy of a grandmotherly sailor, and baking them to golden brown in full view of customers.
Downtown Chapel Hill
102 W Franklin St.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27516