Your Complete Guide To Auntie Anne's Breakfast Menu

Hankering for fast food breakfast with a twist? Auntie Anne's may be a soft pretzel practitioner associated with carbo-loading shopaholics, but the food court staple has more up its sleeve than just salt-addled snacks. The breakfast menu is a recent addition to the Pennsylvania chain's selection of grab-it-and-go fare that propelled them into malls around the globe (via Funding Universe), and in our view, it's long overdue.

The morning menu from Auntie Anne's exudes the junky decadence that makes fast food so appealing on slow mornings. More importantly, it incorporates the signature pretzel to a pleasantly surprising degree. From breakfast sandwiches and Pretzel Nuggets to flavored twists like Sweet Almond and Raisin, the fresh-baked treats toe the line between sweet and savory, and in ways that could comfortably compete with whatever McDonald's or Dunkin' is serving from the drive-thru window. 

That a snack vendor among the likes of Hot Dog on a Stick and Orange Julius could create a somewhat-balanced breakfast sounds unbelievable. But don't write it off. You wouldn't want to sleep on one of the tastiest morning menus born out of the fast food breakfast boom. It's time to wake up and smell the yeast (or so the saying goes), because your complete guide to Auntie Anne's breakfast menu has arrived. 

Breakfast menu development began in 2012

According to, the masterminds at Auntie Anne's began tinkering around with a breakfast menu in 2012. But adding breakfast to Auntie Anne's menu wasn't an instantaneous affair. A trial run had to be conducted to see whether the new products took off, or alternatively, flopped to zero fanfare, which would help the brand decide whether establishing an entirely separate lineup was worth the menu space. 

Nation's Restaurant News writes that Auntie Anne's started off small by testing the morning lineup in just a handful of shops — about a dozen. This is a tiny sampling when you consider that Auntie Anne's had 1,370 locations at the time. However, taking baby steps proved to be the right choice. Once it was clear the chain had a hit on its hands, the breakfast lineup was rolled out to more establishments, bringing the total to 30 stores offering the early-riser fare by July 2013, with the goal being 50 by the end of the year.

But if you believed Auntie Anne's was content to rest on its laurels, its ambitiousness wouldn't allow it. Carl Hornberger, who was the director of menu management at the time, told that the brand was aiming for 100 kiosks to serve the morning specialties, a sign that expansion was the only way forward. "Any new product has to prove itself, and this did pretty quickly," Hornberger said. "Our franchisees are eager to add it."

Increasing profits was the main motivation behind the breakfast menu

Auntie Anne's is proof that soft pretzels are a profitable business — just look at the $559 million the company took home in 2019 (per Restaurant Business). Yet with the recent burst of fast food breakfasts — and the spoils reaped in response (via USA Today), the snack brand found it only wise to compete with an early-bird menu of its own. To make more money, remains a core part of why Auntie Anne's cashed in on the breakfast biz to begin with. 

Before, it would have only been possible to grab a golden-brown twist in the afternoon or evening, writes, because the foods on the menu largely falls within those hours. This makes complete sense. Salty pretzels and lemonade are the kind of snacks you eat in-between meals, not necessarily as the main course to start your day. Therefore, there would be no reason for its stores to open its doors earlier than that. However, establishments like Taco Bell and McDonald's have made a killing offering morning items, and this windfall was noticeably absent in the pretzel-maker's revenue. 

So what did it do? It adapted. Suddenly, Auntie Anne's could be considered a strong competitor in the breakfast game, all the while increasing its bottom line in the process. Between the appeal to customers and a tasty helping of innovation, menu management director Carl Hornberger called breakfast "a win-win" for the chain (via 

You won't find Auntie Anne's breakfast menu at the mall

If most Auntie Anne's are in malls, there's no reason you can't grab breakfast while checking out the sales rack at Banana Republic, right? Quite the contrary. You're not going to find the breakfast menu at shopping center kiosks in the morning. That's by design. Instead, it will be offered at locations in airports and train terminals. This includes major hubs like Dallas Ft. Worth International, St. Louis Airport, and Denver International (via Bake). 

Director Carl Hornberger reasons that malls are less suited for the morning rush, as many retailers tend to open after the time of day when visitors would seek out breakfast (per If your typical Auntie Anne's begins business at 11 a.m., then it would be pointless to offer egg sandwiches when Pretzel Dogs and Pepperoni Pretzel Nuggets could be sold in their place instead. 

On the flip side, airports and train stations are open around the clock and attract loads of visitors who are coming and going, sometimes even before the crack of dawn. This climate will be infinitely more hospitable to a breakfast menu, since the circumstances are already built around early hours and the large crowds. Catching a 5 a.m. flight out of LaGuardia is a prime opportunity for pretzel breakfast sandwiches, compared to a sleepy suburban mall that doesn't even open until lunchtime.

Auntie Anne's breakfast menu uses the same pretzel recipe

Auntie Anne's is unwaveringly protective over its soft pretzel recipe (via The Washington Post). That being said, the chain doesn't hide that the breakfast menu utilizes the same dough. That's right — whether it's a towering egg sandwich or battered sausage link, you'll sink your teeth into a roll that's pretty much identical to one of its famously buttery twists. A tasty treat as out of the blue as the Pretzel Waffle, for instance, incorporates the brand's exclusive flour mix (per Nation's Restaurant News). 

Looking at the instructions from an Auntie Anne's home baking kit provides some insight into the brand's process, including the specific ingredients. Although the chain's not likely to give everything away — it's secret components, as The Washington Post points out, lead to its success — soft pretzels are fairly straightforward to make, and to no surprise, the ingredients aren't unique to the food court giant either. The base consists of three simple ingredients: flour, water, and yeast. 

Calling the pretzel "our unique differentiator," menu director Carl Hornberger emphasized that whatever iteration the breakfast menu arrived in, the signature dough would stand front and center. "We knew we'd stick close to our brand, with a freshly baked style, made on premise, from scratch," he told in 2013. 

Auntie Anne's designed its breakfast menu for busy lifestyles

Having breakfast options that can be eaten without utensils or plateware is certainly appealing, isn't it? Knowing that customers' dining habits are driven by the bustle of daily life (via QSR magazine), Auntie Anne's created a breakfast menu that's capable of keeping up with this speed — as in, snacks that can be devoured on the run without having to stop what you're doing. 

Any of the breakfast sandwiches fit the bill, since all of the ingredients that would normally be served separate are combined into one easy-to-eat roll. The Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Nuggets, whose convenient size have earned them top-seller status (per Focus Brands), offer the same deal. If they aren't hand-held, then they're compact to the point that diners can simply tuck them in their backpack or purse to save for later. 

Everything here can be gobbled down in a hurry, but the Breakfast Sausage Stix have reason to be the best case study. Essentially the brand's twist on the classic wiener wrap, these pretzel-coated links can be nibbled on plain or after being dipped into maple syrup. As a press release from shows, the paper sleeve helps the breaded franks stay portable while the maple syrup comes in a handy little container. All of which is to say that if you're commuting in your car, breakfast from your neighborhood Auntie Anne's would work in a pinch.

The Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Breakfast Sandwich is a bestseller

Auntie Anne's Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Breakfast Sandwich sells more than any other product on the breakfast menu, according to To anybody who's been in a drive-thru over the last decade, this news could be seen coming from a mile away. Americans can't get enough of breakfast sausage. Along with bacon, the flavorful meat patty is basically a necessity at every greasy spoon around the nation. 

But whereas these griddle favorites often integrate a biscuit or croissant to anchor the fillings down, Auntie Anne's incorporates — what else? — a golden-brown pretzel. Pretzels are perfectly capable of serving the duty of the bun if need be, and a protein-pumped breakfast offers yet another vehicle for this yeasty bread to shine. 

While the Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Breakfast Sandwich is a hit, not all of Auntie Anne's breakfast bites are considered winners. The Pretzel Waffle is an appealing concept theoretically speaking, as pretzels and waffles have a lot of potential for crossover, being toasted and relatively fluffy. That said, Auntie Anne's doesn't sell many of them, which is probably because the textures are fairly different. Carl Hornberger is convinced, however, that it's a sleeper hit that will get its due (via  

When breakfast is served will depend on the location

Delicious pretzels are a time-honored guarantee at Auntie Anne's, bringing them fresh out of the oven every 30 minutes or less (via Northtown Mall). To be able to meet this lofty promise, it's going to be on the locations, not corporate, to decide when the breakfast menu will grace its presence. 

Having just touched on the travel-heavy environment where the morning menu thrives, it's also true that Auntie Anne's employees will be churning out its core products at the same time as its griddle fare. "Some sell it all day, and many sell the traditional items during breakfast, which makes sense at an airport," Carl Hornberger said (per 

With no uniform schedule in place, ordering your Auntie Anne's breakfast will very much depend on when the shop in question unlocks its doors. A shop located near Penn State opens its doors at 9 in the morning, where it remains in business for the late-night college crowd until 3 a.m. on select days (via Daily Collegian). In Dewey Beach, Delaware, a location also stays up until the wee hours after opening at 8 a.m. (per Cape Gazette).

If these start times aren't sufficiently early enough, airport locations have the earliest start times out of all of them. Those traveling out of Philadelphia International will begin catching whiffs of breakfast sausage and bacon at 4:15 a.m., while the Minneapolis Airport opens for business at a more reasonable time of 6 a.m. 

New product launches aren't off the table

As the breakfast menu rises in popularity, so do fresh launches become likelier over time. Auntie Anne's has hinted at releasing new products in the future, and while the chain didn't elaborate on what those products could be, the ideas laid out on the table included ingredients that hadn't yet made an appearance (via Potential additions that were floated by the chain are fairly common in the fast food circuit at this point: cured meats like ham and Canadian bacon, as well as egg whites, a healthy option that's increasingly become the default "lean" pick on fast food menus. 

These ideas were teased in 2013 (Carl Hornberger revealed to that a trial period was then underway), but a decade has passed since they were discussed. So far, no dice. The breakfast menu at Auntie Anne's is as pretzel-tastic as it was when it first hit the scene, but there's essentially been radio silence on up-to-date concoctions. The chain, to be fair, made no promises regarding if or when there would be novel innovations coming down the pike. We don't expect that Auntie Anne's follows through with each idea that comes to mind. 

So, where does that leave us? All we can urge is patience. As long as the breakfast menu is sailing the seas of success, you can never say never on new goodies. Pretzel Eggs Benedict, anyone?

Auntie Anne's rolled out an exclusive breakfast sandwich with Hardee's and Carl's Jr.

When two popular chains surprise us with a partnership, it's nothing short of magic. Take when Carl's Jr. or Hardee's, depending on your neck of the woods, unveiled a tasty wake-up treat with the help of Auntie Anne's. In case you were out of the loop in 2016, the Pretzel Breakfast Sandwich was a joint project by the two brands, but was sold exclusively through the fast food restaurant. Heaped with scrambled egg, sausage, and two slices of cheese — American on top, Swiss on the bottom (via Chew Boom) — the major selling point was the golden-brown pretzel bun holding everything in place. 

Technically, this breakfast sandwich was less of an Auntie Anne's original feature and more of a supporting role to the star (get it?) of the show. And while this particular launch wasn't sold under the pretzel chain's roof, there's no reason to think it wouldn't fit in with the rest of the official breakfast lineup. If you think about it, it's essentially the Sausage, Egg, and Cheese but with a slightly fancier edge owing to the velvety Swiss. 

Auntie Anne's President Heather Neary, in a press release announcing the collaboration, described the sandwich as "deliciously satisfying, yet unexpected." And wouldn't you know it? This description also perfectly encapsulates the brand's breakfast menu to a T.