I’ve been living in the Waco area for just over a year now. I was born and raised in Minnesota and our family was sick of living in the tundra. We visited Waco in December of 2020 and fell in love with the kindness and southern hospitality we experienced. Since visiting, Waco has blown up (even more) and the market continues to grow. As a now-local, I’ve learned a lot about Waco in the last year, and since many of my tech industry friends find themselves “coming through here” I figured why not share the spots I love to visit.
Best Waco Restaurants
My absolute favorite restaurant in Waco—try the spring fried rice, pho, & homemade lemonade.
Barnett’s Irish Pub
Best club sandwich in Waco—bar vibe with a large whiskey selection.
Go-to restaurant for celebrations and anniversaries—best Snitzel I’ve ever had in the US, but you really can’t go wrong with any of their menu items.
Best Italian restaurant in Waco—another great place to celebrate. They have the best (homemade) pasta.
Track them down via the links below as most of them move around
Best Vietnamese food truck in Waco—try the banh mi sandwiches, fried rice, & homemade lemonade
Best chicken sandwich food truck in Waco
Quick or Easy Takeout
Best sandwiches in Waco—delicious homemade bread, sandwich & soup shop
King’s Chicken Wings in Union Hall
Best wings in Waco—I’m a connoisseur of wings, try the dry lemon flavor
Best BBQ in Waco—some folks say that it’s Guess Family BBQ, which is also great, but I love the owners & southern hospitality at R&S and personally think their meat is more flavorful. Try the green beans.
Lots of yummy quick takeout options under one roof. I recommend trying King’s Chicken Wings, Blasian Asian, koko Ramen, & Be Kind Coffee.
Try their Spicy Bourbon wings, or any of their pizzas. I also love their cheesecake.
Best cupcakes in the area—try Wedding Cake flavor, it’s to die for.
Best ice cream in Waco—when I’m really feeling food-naughty I get the cookie sandwich with one of their creative homemade ice cream flavors between two chocolate cookies.
Best donuts in Waco—they are a franchise, but they know donuts and the customer service is great.
I hate to be clique and share too many Magnolia properties, but Magnolia Table is one that you absolutely have to try. Best breakfast I’ve ever had. I recommend the juice flight, deviled eggs, & brunch burger, & chicken salad sandwich. Make reservations early!
Milo’s All Day
Best brunch in Waco—if you enjoy creative dishes with delectable flavors, you’ll love Milo’s. I’d recommend getting there early or making reservations as it’s a fan-fave of many.
Brown House Cafe
Hometown cafe with true southern hospitality. Our realtor brought us here for lunch during our first visit and the staff at Brown House surely solidified our decision to move here.
Best Waco Coffee Shops
Best creative drink selection & coffee overall—I like chai tea so my personal fave order there is a White Fang with almond milk.
Best ambience & environment with a rooftop patio & ample seating. Open late. Located Downtown near the Silos. (Cocktail bar at night too)
Be Kind Coffee
Best experience & culture—who wouldn’t get behind their name and motto, in a world where you can be anything, be kind. I love their lavender lemonade.
Best Waco Cocktails
Best curated cocktails and overall experience, also a coffee shop.
Barnett’s Irish Pub
Largest whiskey selection in Waco
Yummy, very strong margarita. I tried their Purple Margarita and just one had me hung-over something fierce the next day. There’s a reason they limit each guest to only 2. Drive-thru options available.
Best Remote Work Spots in Waco
Fast internet, great staff, ample parking, and a great location for coworking. They offer a single free day pass if you’re only in town for the day. You can also purchase a single day pass for $20, or a punch pass for $10 a day.
Great coworking space with an entrepreneurial vibe. They frequently host startup events and meetups. They offer day passes at $15 per day.
Best Waco Family Activities
Cameron Park Zoo
I’m a zoo member and we try to visit every month. It’s a beautiful, small town zoo with a wide range of animals, especially reptiles. On Saturdays they do scavenger hunts that our kids really enjoy.
Waco Downtown Farmers Market
A great spot to check out on Saturday mornings from 9am to 1pm. Our family tries to go every couple weeks and purchase as much produce & meat from local farmers as possible. Great local, homemade vendors offering all sorts of products, including food trucks & family-ran pop-up restaurants.
Cameron Park runs alongside Brazos river in downtown Waco and connects to the Cameron Park Zoo. It has many playgrounds and points of interest to enjoy. You can hike the trails in the woods (watch out for snakes—we’ve found copperheads and water snakes), as well as see how in shape you are at Jacob’s Ladder. I personally love to visit Circle Point because there’s a quaint little area to the right where many trees surround picnic areas that’s a perfect spot to set up a circle of hammocks. I also love the cliff views of the river.
Tonkawa Falls in Crawford
Beautiful waterfall area that you can hike through.If you enjoy adventures in mother nature, you’ll love this one. I’ve never swam there but it sounds like it's a great place to swim as well. Someone told me that water snakes accompany the water so I’ve never had the guts to dive in.
If you’re a fan of Fixer Upper, this is probably already on your list. It’s definitely something you wanna see at least once in your life, but it’s not the only thing you should focus on in Waco. If you do visit the silos, I strongly recommend you try the chicken salad sandwich at the Magnolia food truck and Chuck’s Popcorn. If you enjoy perfectionism & organization, check out Magnolia Press or any of the shops really—it’s an OCD dream.
Best Waco Shopping
Dylan & Nicole
Really cute clothing for women ages 20’s to 30’s—I always find something I love though and I’m in my late 30’s.
Best baby & childrens boutique—really cute baby & children gifts, supplies, & clothing.
Little Shop on Bosque (Magnolia)
If you’re looking for a Magnolia experience but you’re on a budget, this is the shop for you. I like to stop here frequently to grab the great Magnolia candles and decor at a discounted price.
Best Waco Places to Stay
Disclaimer: I’ve never actually stayed at any of these places, however, I feel they are either in a great area or have something awesome to offer.
Attached to one of my favorite restaurants—bouchée style hotel right next to the Silos
Small community of Airbnb rentals with a shared courtyard designed for gathering. Really great option if you’re doing a team retreat and want private sleeping arrangements but a shared space to engage.
Magnolia House in McGregor
If you’re looking to get a Chip & Joanna Gaines experience, I recommend the Magnolia House located in McGregor. It’s absolutely beautiful and I’m partial to McGregor as that’s the small town my family resides in. Plus, you can experience the rumbles of SpaceX testing rockets. Great option if you have a hefty budget and a large group, or you’re into rockets & SpaceX as the testing facility is just down the road.
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