Here’s Every Vegan Option at Wetzel’s Pretzels (2021)

I remember as a new vegan, I read online that pretzels are made using animal urine as a browning agent… Yuck! Luckily, it turns out that wasn’t really true (details below). So today, we’re looking at the vegan options at one of the most popular chains, Wetzel’s Pretzels!

Vegan options at Wetzel’s Pretzels:

  • Original Pretzel (No Butter)
  • Sinful Cinnamon Pretzel (No Butter)
  • Sour Cream and Onion Pretzel (No Butter)
  • Wetzel Bits (No Butter)
  • Sour Cream and Onion Bits (No Butter)
  • Pizza Sauce
  • Lemonade, Frozen Granitas, and More Beverages

Below, I’ll share the menu options you might assume would be vegan but they’re actually not! I’ll also address the question of whether there are any whole-food plant-based (WFPB) options at Wetzel’s. And I’ll share more about the “animal pee in pretzels” question, too!

Wetzel’s Pretzels Vegan Menu

The following vegan menu was created with an allergen information sheet and other online resources. I also followed up with Wetzel’s Pretzels over email, and I will update this post if I hear back from them.

Restaurant menus frequently change and vary by location, so I recommend double-checking information in this post with staff at your Wetzel’s Pretzels location.

1. Pretzels (No Butter)

You’ve got a few options for vegan pretzels if you hold the butter:

  • Original Pretzel (No Butter)
  • Sinful Cinnamon Pretzel (No Butter)
  • Sour Cream and Onion Pretzel (No Butter)

Yes, surprisingly, the sour cream and onion pretzels supposedly don’t contain any actual sour cream or other dairy products.

Note: The Almond Crunch Pretzel may be vegan, but I found an allergen information sheet that says it contains fish. I have no idea what fish ingredient it could be. I emailed the company to ask—I’ll update this post if I figure out the mystery.

2. Pretzel Bits (No Butter)

Wetzel’s Pretzel Bits are pretty cute and convenient—you get a bag full of pretzel pieces. Two of these options can be made vegan if you order without butter:

  • Wetzel Bits (No Butter)
  • Sour Cream and Onion Bits (No Butter)

3. Dips

There’s unfortunately only one vegan dip currently:

  • Pizza Sauce

4.Beverages

Lots of vegan drink options. Wetzel’s has a variety of lemonades and frozen drinks, along with a typical selection of Pepsi soft drinks, tea, and more:

  • Fresh Lemonade
  • Frozen Lemonade
  • Frozen Granitas
  • Blue Raspberry
  • Kiwi Strawberry
  • Strawberry
  • Wild Cherry
  • Pepsi
  • Diet Pepsi
  • Mountain Dew
  • Sierra Mist
  • Mug Root Beer
  • Tropicana Fruit Punch
  • Tropicana Twister Orange Soda
  • Brisk Raspberry Tea
  • Dr. Pepper

But What About…

You may think that the following items would be vegan as well, but unfortunately they appear not to be:

  • The Almond Crunch Pretzels contain fish according to the allergen information I was able to find.
  • The Almond Crunch Bitz contain fish according to the allergen information I was able to find.
  • The Cinnamon Bitz contain milk, even though the Sinful Cinnamon Pretzels do not (when you get them with No Butter).

Whole-Food Plant-Based Options

I like to include a section in my vegan restaurant guides that also specify any whole-food plant-based (WFPB) options at the restaurant in question, for those of you not only avoiding animal products but also processed foods.

So, what are the WFPB options at Wetzel’s Pretzels? None, to my knowledge. All the pretzels and Bitz are made with processed white flour, and they’re likely made with oil and/or sugar, as well.

There are no salads, no steamed veggies, no fruit sides, and no whole starches like baked potatoes or brown rice… So yeah, simply put: Wetzel’s is not the place to eat WFPB!

Do Pretzels Contain Animal Urine?

Okay, so before I go, I just wanted to address this question of animal pee being used to make pretzels—because I actually heard this when I first went vegan. Where does this idea come from, and is it true?

Well, have you heard of this compound called urea? It’s found in urine, and actually it’s used in many biological processes in our bodies and in animals’ bodies.

Well, apparently, urea can be used as a browning agent for factory-made pretzels (source).

However, this doesn’t mean urea is a common ingredient used for this purpose. To this day, I’ve still never seen “urea” (or anything like it) listed in the ingredients for pretzels—so I’m kinda doubting that it is even commonly used for this purpose.

That said, even if urea is used for browning pretzels… Urea production today is an industrial process that does not involve animals. You can find the details here, but the starting materials are ammonia and carbon dioxide.

So while it may be theoretically possible to use animal pee to derive urea that you use to brown pretzels… that’s not what is happening commercially. Any pretzels you find at the store, or at restaurants like Wetzel’s, are going to be pee-free.

So, yes, check for dairy and other animal products—but urine should not be a concern!

Two More Recommendations for Your Vegan Journey

1. This is the best vegan multivitamin I’ve found in 13 years of being vegan. It has vitamin B12, vitamin D, omega-3—and nothing else. Translation: It only has the nutrients vegans are actually low in. Read my full review of Future Kind’s multivitamin here (with 10% discount).

2. This is the best vegan starter kit I know of. It’s a bundle of 9 beautiful e-books that help you transition to a healthy plant-based diet—the right way. The advice is spot-on, and it has print-outs and checklists that make it easy to implement. Read my full review of Nutriciously here.