With a Twist

Chewy pretzels take Manhattan

The city's meat mania has spawned a carb-based cohort: The chewy pretzel. Ingredients, accompaniments and condiments vary, but there's no contesting that the ballpark staple has moved into fancier digs.

Café Katja This diminutive Austrian outpost serves a warm, squishy, salt-speckled appetizer with spicy mustard, butter or the haunting liptauer spread–a natural match for Katja's menu of house-made sausages and imported ales. 79 Orchard St. (between Broome and Grand sts.); cafe-katja.com

Choptank Newcomer Choptank could hardly represent its Maryland roots without boasting Baltimore-made Ostrowski sausage on the menu. But to complement the New York environs, it's sandwiched in a pretzel bun with sauerkraut and grainy mustard. 308 Bleecker St. (between Grove and Barrow sts.); choptanknyc.com

Cafe Pedlar/Prime Meats Both Cafe Pedlars and brother restaurant Prime Meats serve chewy, house-baked pretzels. Purists can enjoy one at Prime Meats with spicy German mustard, while those craving a heartier snack can opt for a Brie- or ham-and-cheese-stuffed pretzel sandwich at Pedlar.

Cafe Pedlar, 17 Clinton St. (between Stanton and Houston sts.) and 210 Court St. (between Fourth Pl. and Luquer St.), Brooklyn; frankiesspuntino.com. Prime Meats, 465 Court St. (at Luquer Pl.), Brooklyn; frankspm.com

Sigmund Pretzel Hard-core fans should head immediately to Avenue B, where this recently opened pretzel shop (pictured) gives obsessive focus to the chewy dough. Flavors like cheddar-jalapeño and caramel-pecan cavort with dipping sauces such as beet-horseradish mayonnaise and honey mustard. 29 Avenue B (between Second and Third sts.); sigmundnyc.com