Packed with restaurants, shopping destinations, and even a park full of fossilized mammoths, there’s plenty of ways to work up a thirst in Waco. If in town to check out Chip and Joanna Gaineses’ Magnolia Market or Magnolia Table, take note that you’ll have to head elsewhere for a drink — there isn’t a drop of booze to be found at any of the Gaines-owned establishments.
Whether in search of a local brew, whiskey flights, or a giant, ice-cold goblet of something cheap and boozy, these five excellent Waco drinking destinations will get the job done.
Barnett’s Public House
Everybody feels like a regular at this ridiculously charming Downtown Waco pub, especially whiskey and beer enthusiasts. Barnett’s boasts a truly extensive list of whiskeys, including tons of bottles from Texas, Ireland, Japan, Scotland, and beyond. There’s also plenty of wine and a lengthy beer list packed with Texas brews.
420 Franklin Avenue, Waco
Dichotomy Coffee and Spirits
Drink literally all day at this coffee and booze bar, which opens at 6 a.m. daily. Start out the morning with a well-made cortado or cookie butter latte, then when 3 p.m. rolls around and the bar opens, sip a classic Sazerac or coffee-infused mint julep.
508 Austin Avenue, Waco
Open Tuesday through Sunday, the tasting room at this Waco distillery is a solid spot to learn about Texas whiskeys. After touring the distillery and seeing how the whiskey is made, then visit the tasting room for a flight that will help whiskey novices taste the subtle differences between, say, Balcones’s Baby Blue and True Blue corn whiskeys. After that, head to the gift shop for take-home bottles of everything on the menu.
225 South 11th Street, Waco
Bare Arms Brewing
Right near the Gainses’ Magnolia Table restaurant find Bare Arms Brewing, a spot that bills itself as Waco’s first brewpub. Sip the Creekside, a super drinkable American lager, or perhaps the Nebulous Tart, a cherry-flavored Berliner Weisse. Be on the lookout for seasonal brews, too, like the Umbra, a brand new black lager.
2515 La Salle Avenue, Waco
Waco Ale Company
This independently owned brewery in Downtown Waco boasts five different beers, including the crisp and lemony Sailgate kolsch, and Pearly Gates, a pale ale with notes of “guava, passionfruit, mango, blueberry, and pine.”
806 Austin Avenue, Waco
A favorite of Baylor students and beer drinkers alike, “The Big O” at George’s is an essential Waco staple. Gigantic goblets of ice-cold, budget-friendly beer flow like water here, along with plenty of frozen drinks and margaritas. Soak up the booze with nachos, chicken wings, tacos, and more.
1925 Speight Avenue, Waco