When I think about being a kid at the mall, I think of three things: begging my mom to buy me Limited Too pink cargo pants, sneaking into PG-13 movies at the theater, and Auntie Anne’s pretzels. Auntie Anne’s is the ultimate mall food. Growing up, it was a must-stop shop for me and my mom -- a treat we looked forward to every time we had errands to run or sales to dig through.
For my mom, it’s always been about Auntie Anne’s signature almond pretzel, indulgently dunked in a tub of thick caramel sauce. It’s my favorite, too -- though as a kid, I bounced around the menu. Some days are sour cream and onion type of days, while others call for raisin pretzel with icing, depending on my mood.
In the past few years, Auntie Anne’s menu has grown and expanded. Pizza pretzels are available now (which makes sense because Auntie Anne’s began as a pizza and pretzel stand), as are pretzel dogs. Auntie Anne’s can be found in the freezer aisle of your local grocery store, serving up frozen pretzel sandwiches and baking kits. You can buy buckets of Auntie Anne’s pretzel nuggets for parties (or just for yourself, I’m definitely not judging). With eight pretzel flavors on the menu, three different dogs, and nuggets galore, I figured it was time to rank them.
While it might not sound like it, it’s extremely hard to rank pretzels. Different flavors are for different moods. Sometimes, after dinner when your sweet tooth hits, a cinnamon sugar pretzel is what you really need. At a baseball game, a classic salted pretzel with cheese tastes like summer. So to properly rank these pretzels, I judged them based on their overall flavor, their versatility (especially with the accompanied dips), and how messy they were to eat.