Since it opened in 2018, Waco eatery Magnolia Table has been a wildly popular destination for people from all over the country who consider themselves fans of reality TV stars Chip and Joanna Gaines. Known for their time on HGTV’s Fixer Upper and now the moguls behind a massive lifestyle empire, the Gaines have transformed Waco into a tourist destination, and stop number one on the Gaines train is this trendy, shiplap-covered restaurant just off I-35.
Thanks to Gaines-a-mania and the fact that the restaurant doesn’t accept reservations, dining at Magnolia Table can seem kind of daunting. It’s known for giant crowds and lengthy waits for a table, but it is possible to dine as Chip and Joanna do without encountering tons of stress.
Without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about dining at Magnolia Table.
What to Know Before You Go
- Magnolia Table is not at the Silos. It’s a little confusing, but Magnolia Table is located a full two and a half miles away, about a 10 minute drive, from Magnolia Market’s location in the Silo District near Downtown Waco. Fortunately, though, it’s easily accessible (and visible) from I-35.
- Get there early. It’s not uncommon for Magnolia Table, the breakfast-and-lunch restaurant operated by the Gainses, to operate on at least a two-hour wait. Upon arrival, get in line to put your party’s name down on the host’s list, and you’ll receive a text message when a table is ready.
- Do not go on a Saturday. It’s the restaurant’s busiest day of the week, and will be absolutely packed with Gaines superfans. Four-hour waits are not uncommon on the weekend.
- Use your wait wisely. Diners are allowed to leave the restaurant if the wait is really long, but don’t go too far. Seven minutes after that “your table is ready” text arrives, you lose your spot on the list. Magnolia employees suggest being back near the restaurant and ready to go inside at least 30 minutes ahead of the quoted time. Frequently, the line moves faster than projected.
- Listen to the employees. There’s a bizarre efficiency to the busy dining situation at Magnolia Table, with its orderly lines and quick counter service, and this spot runs like a well-oiled machine. Pay attention to the employees — they frequently provide updates on wait times, and offer help with directions and any Gaines-related questions, like how often Chip and Joanna can be found at the restaurant.
- Be flexible. If traveling alone, tell the host that you’re willing to take an individual seat at one of the restaurant’s counter-height barstools, or a spot at one of the communal tables inside the space to get to a table faster.
- Get a coffee. During the wait, warm up with a lavender latte from the outdoor stand just steps away from the host stand, and enjoy it in the heated outdoor lounge (with seating!) adjacent to the restaurant.
- Be aware of your timing. All of the Gaines-affiliated establishments, including Magnolia Table, Magnolia Market, and Silos Baking Company, are closed on Sundays. Magnolia Table also closes at 3 p.m., which means it won’t work for dinner.
Opened by the Gaineses in 2018, Magnolia Table is the duo’s only full-service restaurant. Open from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day but Sunday, the restaurant is decked out in Joanna Gaines’s signature modern farmhouse aesthetic.
On the menu, find breakfast tacos stuffed with hash browns, egg, and bacon alongside Jo’s famed buttermilk biscuits, which are served with whipped strawberry butter or sausage gravy. Be sure to check the check presenter when the server brings the bill — there’s typically a couple of soft, salty caramels waiting inside.
Magnolia Table Take Away and Market
Can’t stomach the two-hour line for a sit-down lunch? Score a taste of the restaurant without any wait at the Take Away and Market, located right next to the dining room. Inside, you’ll find cooler cases stocked with salads, sandwiches, and other grab-and-go eats, including the restaurant’s popular pecan pie.
At the counter, find lattes and other coffee drinks, tea and lemonade, pastries from Silos Baking Company, and a small selection of Magnolia-branded souvenirs like t-shirts, the restaurant’s iconic coffee mugs, and wooden recipe cards emblazoned with instructions on how to make dishes from the restaurant.
Magnolia Table’s Best Edible Souvenirs
- Elite Coffee — Served in all the Gaines-owned establishments, Austin-roasted Elite Coffee is the duo’s own beverage brand. It’s available in three varieties — house blend, decaf, and Texas pecan. Definitely bring home a bag of the pecan.
- Strawberry butter — Sold in plastic tubs at the Take Away and Market, the strawberry butter served at Magnolia Table is both extremely popular and worth the five bucks.
- Pimento cheese — Joanna’s recipe for this southern classic is solid, and seriously popular among her most devoted fans. It’s available in two different sizes in the Take Away area that are perfect for snacking on with some crackers in the car on the way back to Dallas.
- Pastries — More pastries await at Silos Baking Co, the Gaineses’ bakery in Downtown Waco, but folks who just aren’t up for braving the crowds can score cinnamon rolls, biscuits, croissants, and more baked treats from the Take Away counter without leaving Magnolia Table.