A savory, salty New York invention

City Bakery’s pretzel croissants marry Munich and Paris. City Bakery’s pretzel croissants marry Munich and Paris. (City Bakery)
March 20, 2011

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NEW YORK — Remember that old television commercial in which a boy strutting down the street with a chocolate bar collides with a girl walking with a jar of peanut butter? Together, they discover the great taste of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

I’m always reminded of that ad when I bite into one of the City Bakery’s delectable pretzel croissants. I’ve eaten more than my fair share of stale hotel croissants and fossilized street vendor pretzels that could double as doggie chew toys. The City Bakery’s creation, however, is like the love child of a Parisian boulangerie and a Munich beer hall, an ingenious Frankensteinian combination of savory and salty.

This carb lover’s dream is shaped like a croissant, but it’s bathed in the golden brown glaze of a pretzel and sprinkled with sesame seeds. On the outside, the pretzel croissant is crispy and crunchy. On the inside, the layers of tender, buttery dough are flaky and fluffy. Not surprisingly, the pretzel croissants are best when hot from the oven, and the airy, loft-style interior of the City Bakery offers a welcoming haven from the hustle and bustle of Union Square in which to enjoy them — perhaps with a cup of the cafe’s famous hot chocolate.

The pretzel croissant has such a fanatical following that there is even a website that pays homage to it. Perhaps a television commercial should be next.

City Bakery, 3 West 18th St., 212-366-1414,, CHRISTOPHER KLEIN