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6 Excellent Waco Drinking Destinations

Where to find goblets of beer, whiskey flights, and local brews

a pint of Waco Ale Company beer
Sip perfect pale ales at Waco Ale Company
Waco Ale Company [Official Photo]

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

Spiced Irish coffee at Dichotomy
Dichotomy [Official Photo]

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

whiskey cocktail garnished with mint at Balcones Distillery
The Gold Rush cocktail at Balcones Distillery’s tasting room
Balcones Distillery/Facebook

Balcones Distillery

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

a pint of Waco Ale Company beer
Have an ale (or two)
Waco Ale Company [Official Photo]

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

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