After living in Waco, TX for five years and my love for all things local, I have put together this post of my favorite Waco restaurants and go-to spots!! Whether I am traveling or at home, I love trying local restaurants everywhere I go. During my time at Baylor, we constantly ate local any chance we could. Although this mainly consisted Shorty’s pizza pillows, we branched out to these great finds when we could. I know Waco is constantly growing so I would love to hear where your favorite hot spots are in the comments below. Thank you so much for checking out the blog!
Breakfast & Coffee Shops
Cafe Cappuccino– “Cafe Capp”
Literally a MUST if you are in town. The pancakes are incredible. The lattes are scrumptious. The food is fabulous. Basically anything on the menu is good unless you get something boring like toast and cereal. Try not to go on a Sunday after game-days unless you want to wait for a very long time.
Mattison’s picks: Cassie Omelet | Gingerbread Pancake | Breakfast Quesadilla
This is a cute little coffee shop with homemade pastries, breads, and fabulous quiche. It is very quaint and the menu constantly changes. Go to their website for daily specials.
Mattison’s picks: Vanilla Latte and whatever delicious pastry sounds good that day!
Right next to Baylor campus and a great spot to sit and catch up with friends or cozy up and read a book. Common Grounds is a student favorite to study and hang out. They have a select menu of pastries but it is mainly just coffee, tea, and espresso beverages.
Mattison’s picks: No Bull (hot or cold) | Iced Rock N’ Roll
Waco’s only local fresh pressed juice shop. Grab a healthy snack, lunch, or smoothie from OMJ while you are shopping downtown or just for a great afternoon pick me up. They are also at the Waco Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings.
Donuts are obviously not the healthiest but they sure are delicious for the occasional splurge! There are multiple Shipley locations in the Waco area. They have great coffee, donuts, and kolaches.
Mattison’s picks: Ham & Cheese Kolache | Cherry Glazed Donut | Steaming cup of coffee
The only coffee shop in downtown Waco and it is such a cool place. They have an awesome rooftop to meet up with friends for coffee. Also this place doubles as a coffee bar and full spirit bar. Awesome concept right?
Brunch or Lunch
Waco Hippodrome Sunday Brunch Only 10am-2pm
The Hippodrome is such an iconic part of downtown Waco and I am so thrilled that they have started doing a Sunday Brunch. Not many people know about this fab local find and it is a fantastic option for Football weekends after the Baylor games on Saturday nights to meet up with the fam for Sunday Brunch.
Mattison’s picks: Stuffed Pancakes | Three Amigos (tacos) | Sweet Potato Waffle Fries
One of the cutest places in Waco. Definitely a must for a girls lunch with friends or a lunch date with mom! The soup of the day is always something new and always wonderful. It is located within the shops at Sironia which is full of little boutiqes for a fun afternoon of dining and shopping. Restaurant is only open from 11:00-2:30 for lunch. Shops are open until 6 PM. Oh and they have homemade desserts daily. I love this place!
Mattison’s picks: The Sironia Trio w/ Chicken Salad Sandwich, Spinach Salad, and the Soup of the Day | Splurge for some Coconut Cream Cake
This local treasure is located near Baylor campus and a total hidden secret. If you’re wanting a classic diner burger and fries, this is the place to go. The inside is very small, but the food is delicious. They also have a great american breakfast that I get to go sometimes. I highly recommend Cupp’s for breakfast or lunch!
Another Waco Original that has fabulous sandwiches. They are open for lunch only and closed on sundays! Get the “Schmaltz” it’s their signature sandwich and so yummy!
Lunch & Dinner
BEST PIZZA IN WACO!!! I probably go here once a week. I love eating local and this place is a Waco original. Be prepared to be surrounded by college students if you go Thurs-Sat. They have daily specials and a daily slice board where you can order by the slice. Their pizza is great but personally I love their pizza pillows and they have amazing homemade ranch… P.S. It’s so cheap!!!
Mattison’s picks: Spinach & Garlic Pizza Pillow | Wings | Fried Mushrooms | Dos XX Pitcher | Chocolate Knots
This is a Waco Original and a favorite to all in town. George’s has daily food and drink specials that you can find on their website above. It is always packed on the weekend so if you can snag a seat during the week, that is your best bet. EVERYTHING on the menu is good! They have a great variety from chicken fried steak to fajitas to fried catfish.
Manny’s is delicious! I absolutely love mexican food but I really love the environment at Manny’s. They have a HUGE deck that sits on the Brazos River and you can even dock your boat from the river and come eat. Great place to sit outside in the spring and summer and have a marg and some great food on the patio. (P.S. They have a great happy hour)
Mattison’s Picks: House Margarita | #12 on the Lunch Menu (shown in photo) | Draft Dos XX for only $2.75 at Happy Hour
Yall… This place is awesome. SO cheap and SO good! The combination fajitas for one is plenty of food for two people! Their queso is very good and the fajitas are delish!
One of Downtown Waco’s newest additions and it’s AWESOME! It is a two story BBQ and American restaurant and full bar. They have an awesome Happy Hour and incredible food. Upstairs they have some video games and a shuffle board table and TV’s with kind of a bar feel. Their salads are huge and the mac & cheese is amazing.
A Waco original and home of the best bar-b-que in town. They are known for the “gut pack” which is like a frito pie but with a combination of brisket, sausage, pulled pork and bbq sauce over fritos! It’s soooo goood! Enjoy!
Best Italian in Waco. Hands down… Definitely get some garlic bread, it will melt in your mouth. Anything on the menu will be delicious. This place is BYOB also and they will chill and serve your wine or beer for you throughout your meal. Awesome!!
Located right off Interstate 35 next to Gander Mtn. This is a great new addition to Waco! It is a sports bar with a more extensive menu than just burger and wings. It will be a great hit during football season! See my happy hour page for Bubba’s drink specials.
This is one of my favorite spots downtown for lunch or dinner. It is a great spot to meet girlfriends for a glass of wine and healthy dinner, or a great date night. The atmosphere had great city vibes and I love the food and the prices are great!
Mattison’s pick: Roasted Red Pepper & Gouda Soup with a Spinach Salad | Diseno Malbec
I’m sure you have heard of Magnolia Market from the HGTV show “Fixer Upper”. The bakery that they have added to the Silos is such a great addition to Waco. The “Shiplap” cupcake is out of this world!! They are big enough to share, or get a few and try different flavors.
Pokey O’s Food Truck
Ever have the craving for cookies and ice cream at the same time? Pokey O’s has the best Ice Cream Sandwiches stuffed between two warm cookies.
Waco’s newest ice cream shop located right next to Baylor Campus and Common Grounds. Check them out for some fabulous flavors.
The famous Katie’s is a Waco original. I absolutely love their pumpkin pie custard that they have every fall.
Thank you so much for checking out the post. I would love to hear what your favorite Waco restaurants are. If you are just passing through for a weekend trip, or if you’re a local Waco, I hope you found something new you can’t wait to try out for your next meal. I am so thankful for my time living in Waco during my time at Baylor and for my first job out of college. Stick around and check out the rest of the blog while you’re here.
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