REVIEW: Wawa Soft Pretzel

When I was just a mere reader of this intellectual review site, I would always scream, jump up and down and hit my computer like a wild spider monkey at the zoo that children flick pieces of popcorn at. I bet you’re wondering why on Earth I would do this. Well, it’s because I would see food reviews for delicious, mouth-watering and other trite adjectives used to describe fast food items that will leave a tattoo on your arteries from places such as Jack in the Box and Carl’s Jr. Those of us who were represented by The Notorious BIG in the East Coast/West Coast Rap Wars of 1995 are not able to experience a Carl’s Jr. Charbroiled Steak Sandwich or Del Taco Jalapeno Rings. Well, now it’s the Left Coast’s turn to cry tears of pain when they read reviews for items that only us near the Atlantic have the opportunity to devour.

Wawa is a chain of convenience stores that are located in the Mid-Atlantic. To compare it to a 7-Eleven is blasphemy. Here’s an example of a conversation between a Philadelphian and a tourist that has no clue what a Wawa is:

Tourist: “I’ve seen signs for a store called Wawa. Some have gas stations, and some don’t.”

Philly Guy: “Oh yeah, I go to Wawa every morning before work.”

Tourist: “So it’s like a 7-Eleven?”

Philly Guy: “Fuck You.”

How can you compare sandwiches made to order to oddly colored tubes of mystery meat heated by a sun lamp that slowly rotate while a loitering stoner stares for hours thinking that one of the hot dogs looks like a member of Phish? I’m not saying that 7-Eleven is awful; I do love the occasional Slurpee, but compared to Wawa, 7-Eleven is merely that chick from high school that’s popular, because she has a reputation for giving handjobs behind the bleachers.

The iconic Wawa Pretzel comes two to a package, connected in the middle. It’s much softer than a pretzel that you would get at a ballpark or from a street vendor. The doughy and slightly sticky texture makes it easier to eat without needing to have a chaser of water (or in Marvo’s case, a Throwback Pepsi) and the amount of salt on it is just about right. Although, like snowflakes, no Wawa Pretzel is alike. Some may have less salt, others more may have more salt, some could be harder than others (that’s what she said) and some could be softer than a 90-year-old man while watching Dancing With the Stars.

I’m sorry if I put a visual in your head.

Clocking in at 1040 milligrams of sodium for one pretzel doesn’t make this exactly health food, and 58 grams of carbs would probably make Robert Atkins roll in his grave. The pretzel is very heavy; in fact I could barely finish one before I could feel it expand in my stomach. It’s not something I could consume everyday, but for a carb craving it certainly does the trick.

(Nutrition Facts: Serving Size 1 pretzel-310 calories, 5 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 1040 milligrams of sodium, 58 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, 9 grams of protein. 2% calcium and 20% iron.)

Item: Wawa Soft Pretzel
Price: $1.38 plus tax
Size: 7.8 oz
Purchased at: Wawa Food Markets
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Not dry like most soft pretzels. Fills your belly up. Experiencing the wonder known as Wawa. The colorful vernacular of Philadelphians. Laughing at stoners trying to have a vision while they look at the rotating hot dogs at 7-Eleven.
Cons: More sodium than a healthy human should consume. The East Coast/West Coast Rap Wars of 1995. The image of a 90-year-old man’s problems.

54 thoughts to “REVIEW: Wawa Soft Pretzel”

  1. Growing up in NJ, we had a WaWa on almost every corner, but there was only one 7-11 to be had for 30miles. One thing I miss living down here in FL, is no WaWa, no custom shorties, and no pretzels..

  2. Back in Vietnam I was sniper. I was sent out to take out this mayor of some VC villiage, which I never got to. However I did take out his sniper guard who I watched for 2 days. This sniper guard was hiding in a tree 20 feet above the ground eating nothing but …..you quessed it
    PRETZELS….it was a sweet mission

    THAT IS ALL

  3. When I was 18 I worked at a Wawa and I sliced my hand cutting deli meat. There was blood everywhere right at the lunchtime rush. The customers were freaking out. It was real cool.

    Oh, yeah. Their pretzels are good.

  4. Nice way to work in multiple schlong references. My blood pressure does not permit me to try this Blitzkrieg like sodium military offensive on my heart. Also, I’m in North Jersey.. what the hell is a WaWa? Is that like a Krauszers?

  5. As a fellow East Coaster (by way of NY), I understand the Carl’s Jr./Jack in the Box frustration! But seriously, WaWa has the best sammys and coffee ever of all time. I don’t think WaWa’s exist north of New Brunswick, but luckily my parents live in Trenton, so I can get my pretzel fix whenever I want!

  6. I’m the ugly step-kid nicknamed Milkman, since I live in Chicago. No Jack in the Box (still longing for my Sourdough Jack from back in my Texas days), no Carl’s Jr (at least I can live vicariously from the almost-X-rated commercials), and no Wawa. A year ago I would have been able to say…we don’t need Wawa, since we have White Hen Pantry. But the lousy 7/11 Corp went and bought them all up. Although, they all still make hand-made sandwiches…and cheap.

  7. I say “Wawa” whenever someone does something embarrassing or lame…Oh wait, is this a different thing? Crap! I thought I was part of the in-crowd for once! Boo hoo 🙁

  8. I grew up in the Philly area, and now I live in SoCal, so I’ve been on both sides of this one. Sorry, but East Coast wins. In fact, I would say that Kayla is completely out of her mind for not giving the WaWa pretzel 10 stars. I DID, in fact, stop at WaWa for pretzels every day on my way to work. It might actually be the greatest food of all time.

    …and for the record, even though WaWa doesn’t have the area’s BEST sandwiches, they’re better than anything you can get out here anywhere.

  9. my weakness is the filled pretzels…omg how I dream of them when I’m ready to leave a bar and just must have a jalapeno cheese filled pretzel – or on occasion when I need something sweet that sweet cream cheese filled pretzel is devine.

    I didn’t understand the love of Wawa until moving to Philly, and then they started populating down in MD along with Sheetz which is a better place to compare a Wawa to – definitely not your corner gas station 7-11.

  10. GOD I MISS WAWA! I moved out to the midwest, specifically Lafayette IN, and there is nothing like Wawa out here at all. I used to walk to Wawa on work breaks, hang out at the Wawa where my friend worked, they are everywhere and I loved them. I’ll be moving back to PA next year though, so this non-wawa existence is only temporary :).

  11. Boo yet another thing you east coasters get that us west coasters can only dream of..

    No Wa-wa, no white castle and the nearest sonic’s is an 8 hour drive.. 🙁

  12. After reading this I’m sorry I didn’t stop in to a WaWa during my vacation to Atlantic city last year. However, as a west coaster I have to say that WaWa, White Castle and other east coast exclusives in no way make up for the lack of Mexican food back east.

    @bear silber – actually there are 2 Ruby Tuesdays in SoCal and 3 in Nor Cal, and scattered locations in the major cities in Arizona, Nevada and other western states. I realize that depending on where you live this may not be too helpful.

  13. angry bob was going to say something at one point, but then he got all distracted by the vision of a deli section covered in blood and it reminded angry bob of the first time he and mrs. angry bob robbed a gas station and sho–er, nevermind.

    Anyway, angry bob and mrs. angry bob need some alone time. Pass the red lebanese.

    (Thanks, Yum Yucky)

  14. I was born and raised in South Jersey, have been in So Cal since college. When I brought my (L.A. born and bred) wife out there from So Cal for the first time, the first day my father said something along the lines of “I’m going to go get some wooter (Jersey pronunciation of ‘water’) from WaWa”. My wife thought he was speaking a foreign language.

  15. Wawa pretzel, I don’t believe I’ve had the pleasure of ever consuming one of these sodium enriched gut nuggets and that gives me a sad : ( Still I have to give you credit where credit is due, 7-11 is like the chick in high school who gave handjobs behind the bleachers. Win!

  16. I think you are ruining what this site is about. It is not about the east coast. If you don’t like it you should read a site about east coast places. There are many out there. I’m not going to trash east coast places on a east coast site. You are rude and stand for everything people in Hawaii despise.

  17. @Cindy: Whoa, whoa, whoa there. If you’re directing your comment at Kayla, you really have to chill. I don’t mean to be rude, but who are you to say what this blog is or isn’t about. I never said this was a West Coast only blog. The only reason why there weren’t East Coast exclusive reviews was because we didn’t have a writer on the East Coast, but now we do and she is fucking awesome.

    Also, this blog isn’t just read by people on the West Coast. It’s also read by a lot of people on the East Coast and Canada. Not only that, we have regular readers from every continent.

    If you were offended by some of the things she said, you really shouldn’t take it so seriously. Her comments about 7-Eleven weren’t hateful, she just prefers Wawa over it and expressed her feelings in a funny, creative way, which you seem to have not gotten.

    Also, don’t say shit like “You are rude and stand for everything people in Hawaii despise.” I’m from Hawaii and you don’t represent me. I don’t feel the same way that you do. I thought this review was funny and I didn’t take any offense to anything in it.

  18. As a Chicago native, I too lament the loss of WHP. Now that I’m in Southern Illinois, I geuss this WaWa sounds a bit like QuikTrip?

  19. @Cindy Apparently, you don’t get sarcastic humor and that is certainly something that isn’t my fault. I’m simply a comedic writer, I’m not here to write Pulitzer Prize winning essays. Also, commenting on how I represent what people from Hawaii despise? I honestly think our President enjoys the occasional lowbrow joke.

    @Marvo Thanks man for backing me up. 🙂 I never thought a pretzel would cause such a stir! lol

  20. Well, as a Georgia native I’d like to say, Chick-fil-A beats any fast food available. Waffle House beats any diner.

    Now that I live in Alaska I do actually have access to a Carl’s Jr but I haven’t been yet. I can get king crab, salmon and moose sausage a lot fresher than anyone in any other state…and because of that, we win. Also McDonald’s in Alaska carry a McKinley Mac..which is a Big Mac made with 1/4lb patties. Everything is bigger in Alaska, take that Texas.

    Good first review, sorry I had nothing to comment on it as I’ve never been to a WaWa and don’t frequent any gas station marts.

  21. WAWA!!!! My favorite. And it’s hoagies…not subs! You know I never realized that the East Coast was never represented and I’ve been reading for over a year. I’m excited to see what will be next – water ice??

  22. I believe you forgot something from the list of pros. And I quote: “because she has a reputation for giving handjobs behind the bleachers.”

    By the way, Cindy, wipe the sand out of you know where.

  23. That was a trip! Great review Kayla…I thought it was Marvo’s until I got to the comments. Just the kind of stuff we like to read here.
    Anyways, West Side represent! 😉

  24. @Natalie – Waffle house beats any diner? Them is fightin words here in Jersey!

    @Cindy – Now now, lets not get into a Biggie/Tupac like fake internet war.

    @Dana – Yes, they are Hoagies. Not subs, heros or grinders.

    @willrun4food – Where is the passion Cindy had shown, you need to demand more Central/Midwest coverage from Marvo, that left coast bastard.

  25. I was so excited to read an east coast-specific review here for once! Please continue reviewing Wawa’s products! (Side note – I am from the Philly area and went to college in Lancaster County, where Wawas are scarce, but you start getting into Sheetz territory. Maybe you could make a trip out there and do a review of Shmuffins or Shmiscuits.)

  26. Yea I am in Canada.. I have to drive an hour south to get any of the good artery clogging food 🙂

    Way to go Marvo!

    Ken – and we have Dre and Tupac… lol

  27. angry bob thought dry and soft were generally mutually exclusive in pretzeldom. angry bob doesn’t have a wawa’s, though.

  28. Don’t jump down my throat here, but when it comes to Pennsylvania gas station pretzels, nothing beats the soft ones at Rutters! Wawa ones are good too, but don’t try the ones at Sheetz, theyre just the frozen kind you can get at any grocery store.

  29. well you are all lucky cause in South Carolina we have no WaWa no 7-11 no Sheetz no good nothing. (How’s that for grammar?) we DO have Gazba gas stations and BP’s! oh wait, that is nothing to be excited about.

  30. *gasp* you-you mean TUrkey Hill is a store also? NO WAY! I <3 Turkey hill ice cream and drinks.

    I’m so thrilled to get an East Coast reviewer on TIB!!!!!!!

    Yay wawa pretzels!….since joining Weight watchers I cannot eat them as much as I used to…but I used to go there before the movies, grab an ice tea or soda and a two pack of those pretzels and sneak em in my purse into the theater.! Good times…..oh btw, when you eat em at home…ranch dip is a fab accompaniment.

    Wawa sides and soups are TO DIE FOR(check out sausage escarole…new flavor and the turkey cranberry sauce mash potatoe stuffing bowl)!!!! Subs are pretty fab too! I don’t know if they make the biscuit and sausage gravy bowl anymore, but that was awesome.

  31. Most of the Turkey Hill stores are in Chester and Lancaster counties. They are a lot like 7-11, in my experience. But they do carry just about every turkey hill drink and ice cream, which is cool. They also carry some Kroger stuff since Kroger owns them.

    Next you need to review some Tastykakes!

  32. Yay, any mention of Wawa makes me happy. I go to school up north, and whenever I say how much I miss Wawa and Rita’s, people get confused. And it’s hard to explain in words the beauty of Wawa (though cheap, customizable mint chocolate chip milkshakes and $3 hoagies helps) and heavenliness of Rita’s. “Like Italian ice, but softer” isn’t the most appealing description.

    Wawa has 5-packs of peanut chews for a quarter. That alone makes me love them. And I can completely relate to the indignation when someone compares Wawa to that bastion of hopelessness, 7-11. Though I tend to go to street vendors for soft pretzels, since you can get them for like 30 cents there.

  33. @DHL, Crayon, and slurm: I think we should probably put together some sort of mid-atlantic gas station potluck. I recommend Sheetz MTO sandwiches and Royal Farms fried chicken to go with the Wawa, Turkey Hill, and Rutters stuff. Oh yeah and Tastykakes and Maple Donuts

  34. ANGRY BOB you are the bomb – funny posts and to that Hawaiian lady that dissed this topic — get a life and if you do not like what you read, why are you here?

    I was so hungry for a Wawa pretzel after reading the review, I toasted a everything bagel which was as close to a pretzel that I had.

    Incidentally, Philadelphians eat their soft pretzels with lots of mustard.

    We just got back from three weeks at the NJ shore and just this year discovered the wonderfulness of the Wawa two pack pretzel. It is terrific. I cannot have it now as we in Western PA do not have Wawa’s only Sheetz and 7-11, the closest to a Wawa.

    When my parents were alive they lived in the northern burbs of Philly and Wawa was known as a milk store in the beginning, many years ago.

    My daughter who lives in No. VA tells me she has a Wawa not too far from her so you better believe that I’ll be seeking it out when we go to visit her there. Love Wawa.

    Oh, and I did have a butterscotch Tastykake Krimpet with my coffee after dinner tonight, and brought back a pound roll of Taylor pork roll from NJ, another Philadelphia favorite.

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