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18 Essential Waco Restaurants

Where to find barbecue that’s been a local favorite for decades, Chip and Joanna Gaines’s Waco haunts, and so much more

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Start the day off right at Magnolia Table
| Magnolia Table/Facebook

There’s no two ways about it — Waco’s dining scene is thriving. From casual cafes with a focus on local ingredients to quirky food trucks turning out top-notch Cambodian cuisine, the city’s packed with plenty of interesting places to dine. And, of course, there are still plenty of nostalgic favorites that are always worth a revisit.

Whether heading off to college at Baylor University, shopping at Chip and Joanna Gaines’s Magnolia Market, or just passing through, these 18 restaurants are essential Waco dining destinations. Ranging from beloved burger joints to trendy all-day eateries, succulent smoked meats and tacos, there’s so much more here to look forward to than meets the eye.

Is your favorite Waco eatery missing from this map? Shout it out in the comments.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Jasper's BBQ

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105 Clifton St
Waco, TX 76704
(254) 732-0899

This East Waco barbecue joint has been a staple for decades, serving its first diners in 1919. Order smoked brisket and bologna by the pound, or consider the Waco Tornado, a giant pile of corn chips topped with chopped brisket, sausage, pinto beans, and cheese.

2. Lula Jane's

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406 Elm St
Waco, TX
(254) 366-0862
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There’s really no disputing the greatness of a bacon-cheddar scone for breakfast, especially when it’s served in a charming spot like Lula Jane’s. On the sweet side, find treats like buttermilk pie, bread pudding, and mocha iced brownies. If your pooch is along for the ride, score a treat for Fido here, too.

3. Kitok Restaurant

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1815 N 18th St
Waco, TX
(254) 754-1801

This small Korean eatery absolutely isn’t putting on airs, and is perhaps the only place in Waco to find solid bulgogi, kalbi, funky kimchi, and a great double cheeseburger in the same place.

4. D's Mediterranean Grill

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1503 Colcord Ave
Waco, TX
(254) 754-6709
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There’s so much more in Waco than just burgers and barbecue, and spots like D’s Mediterranean are proof. Keep it light with crunchy falafel, beef kebabs, and (of course) plenty of hummus. If greasy diner fare is what you seek, D’s also serves fried catfish, burgers, and chicken fried steak.

5. The Blasian Asian

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202 S University Parks Dr
Waco, TX
(254) 640-2940

This quirky food truck serves up a small menu of Cambodian favorites, like yellow chicken curry, grilled pork sandwiches, and ridiculously crispy egg rolls. Order the lemongrass beef stir fry, and crank the heat level up to five for a seriously spicy lunch.

6. Schmaltz's Sandwich Shoppe

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105 S 5th St
Waco, TX
(254) 753-2332
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A Waco institution since 1975, Schmaltz’s has moved around a few times, but the sandwiches have always been the same. The bread at this no-frills spot is baked in-house, then piled high with pastrami, salami, corned beef, or deli meats.

7. Jake's Texas Tea House

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613 Austin Ave
Waco, TX
(254) 756-2522

During breakfast, this service station-themed eatery serves up Southern breakfast classics a la carte. But when dinner rolls around, the tables at Jake’s become home to epic family-style spreads of chicken fried steak, creamed corn, green beans, rolls, and cornbread. Fortunately, there’s plenty of Texas-brewed beer to help wash it all down.

8. Silos Baking Co.

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601 Webster Ave
Waco, TX

Owned by Fixer Upper’s Chip and Joanna Gaines, this sweet little bakery serves up pastries that are perfect for eating whilst walking around Magnolia Market. Bonus: there’s even a cupcake named after shiplap.

9. Milo All Day

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1020 Franklin Ave
Waco, TX 76701
(254) 235-1243
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Open for brunch, lunch, and dinner, Milo All Day boasts a bright, locally influenced menu with tons of culinary creativity. At lunch, enjoy biscuit sandwiches stuffed with sweet tea brined fried chicken, or swing by for dinner and feast on steak frites or a grilled pork chop served with peaches and Hoppin’ John.

10. Clay Pot Restaurant

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920 S Jack Kultgen Expy
Waco, TX
(254) 756-2721
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This cozy Vietnamese spot serves up pho, vermicelli bowls, and other favorites, but the real star of the menu is the namesake clay pot dishes. Order up chicken curry or Stan’s clay pot, a unique bowl packed with veggies and protein awash in a creamy sauce and topped with cheese. Pair with a bubble tea for the perfect lunch.

11. Cupp's Drive Inn

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1424 Speight Ave
Waco, TX
(254) 753-9364

Open since 1947, Cupp’s is the spot for a classic cheeseburger with a side of tots. Breakfast is also on offer, including a budget-friendly breakfast special of two eggs, toast, and hash browns that will only set you back $6.

12. Guess Family Barbecue

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2803 Franklin Ave
Waco, TX 76710
(254) 313-3436
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This top-rated barbecue joint slings barky brisket, smoked turkey, and chipotle-cheddar sausage by the pound, and a slew of stellar sides (think cheesy grits and elote-style corn topped with Hot Cheetos) are worthy of setting aside a little stomach space.

13. Vitek's

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1600 Speight Ave
Waco, TX
(254) 752-7591
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A favorite of locals and tourists alike, Vitek’s is a Waco institution. If the infamous Gut Pak, a massive pile of smoked meat, Fritos, cheese, beans, pickles, and barbecue sauce, is a little too overwhelming, a simple brisket sandwich will totally hit the spot.

14. George's Restaurant & Catering

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1925 Speight Ave
Waco, TX
(254) 753-1421
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A popular haunt for Baylor students, George’s serves up giant, 18-ounce margaritas (or beers) alongside Southern comfort food. Dig into burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, and an equally large brownie sundae served in one of its “Big O” glasses.

15. Franklin Avenue Mac House

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3428 Franklin Ave
Waco, TX 76710
(254) 224-8081
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The world absolutely needed a restaurant devoted to macaroni and cheese, and Franklin Avenue Mac House rises to the challenge with aplomb. The mac and cheese here is loaded withe everything from brisket and horseradish-pecan cheddar to bacon and gouda. If that sounds a little too rich, go (slightly) lighter with a roasted corn and avocado salad spiked with grilled cheese croutons.

16. Health Camp

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2601 Circle Rd
Waco, TX
(254) 752-2081
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It might be a bit of a misnomer, but at least Health Camp’s burgers are good for the soul. This old-school spot serves up a perfectly greasy burger, tots, and fries, and the super-thick milkshakes are substantial enough to almost qualify as a meal.

17. Magnolia Table

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2132 S Valley Mills Dr
Waco, TX 76706
(254) 235-6111
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Chip and Joanna Gaines’s Magnolia Table is always packed full of fans of all things Magnolia. Expect a wait, but stick around to enjoy a pre-lunch latte or pastry until a table is ready. When it’s time to sit down, dig into fluffy buttermilk pancakes or avocado toast on bread from Waco’s own Heritage Bakery.

18. Taqueria El Crucero

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2525 Robinson Dr
Waco, TX
(254) 662-3359

Open for breakfast and lunch, Taqueria el Crucero is a solid stop for tacos, breakfast burritos, migas, and so much more, including options for vegetarians. Definitely try the queso, and order a jamaica (hibiscus) agua fresca.

1. Jasper's BBQ

105 Clifton St, Waco, TX 76704

This East Waco barbecue joint has been a staple for decades, serving its first diners in 1919. Order smoked brisket and bologna by the pound, or consider the Waco Tornado, a giant pile of corn chips topped with chopped brisket, sausage, pinto beans, and cheese.

105 Clifton St
Waco, TX 76704

2. Lula Jane's

406 Elm St, Waco, TX

There’s really no disputing the greatness of a bacon-cheddar scone for breakfast, especially when it’s served in a charming spot like Lula Jane’s. On the sweet side, find treats like buttermilk pie, bread pudding, and mocha iced brownies. If your pooch is along for the ride, score a treat for Fido here, too.

406 Elm St
Waco, TX

3. Kitok Restaurant

1815 N 18th St, Waco, TX

This small Korean eatery absolutely isn’t putting on airs, and is perhaps the only place in Waco to find solid bulgogi, kalbi, funky kimchi, and a great double cheeseburger in the same place.

1815 N 18th St
Waco, TX

4. D's Mediterranean Grill

1503 Colcord Ave, Waco, TX

There’s so much more in Waco than just burgers and barbecue, and spots like D’s Mediterranean are proof. Keep it light with crunchy falafel, beef kebabs, and (of course) plenty of hummus. If greasy diner fare is what you seek, D’s also serves fried catfish, burgers, and chicken fried steak.

1503 Colcord Ave
Waco, TX

5. The Blasian Asian

202 S University Parks Dr, Waco, TX

This quirky food truck serves up a small menu of Cambodian favorites, like yellow chicken curry, grilled pork sandwiches, and ridiculously crispy egg rolls. Order the lemongrass beef stir fry, and crank the heat level up to five for a seriously spicy lunch.

202 S University Parks Dr
Waco, TX

6. Schmaltz's Sandwich Shoppe

105 S 5th St, Waco, TX

A Waco institution since 1975, Schmaltz’s has moved around a few times, but the sandwiches have always been the same. The bread at this no-frills spot is baked in-house, then piled high with pastrami, salami, corned beef, or deli meats.

105 S 5th St
Waco, TX

7. Jake's Texas Tea House

613 Austin Ave, Waco, TX

During breakfast, this service station-themed eatery serves up Southern breakfast classics a la carte. But when dinner rolls around, the tables at Jake’s become home to epic family-style spreads of chicken fried steak, creamed corn, green beans, rolls, and cornbread. Fortunately, there’s plenty of Texas-brewed beer to help wash it all down.

613 Austin Ave
Waco, TX

8. Silos Baking Co.

601 Webster Ave, Waco, TX

Owned by Fixer Upper’s Chip and Joanna Gaines, this sweet little bakery serves up pastries that are perfect for eating whilst walking around Magnolia Market. Bonus: there’s even a cupcake named after shiplap.

601 Webster Ave
Waco, TX

9. Milo All Day

1020 Franklin Ave, Waco, TX 76701

Open for brunch, lunch, and dinner, Milo All Day boasts a bright, locally influenced menu with tons of culinary creativity. At lunch, enjoy biscuit sandwiches stuffed with sweet tea brined fried chicken, or swing by for dinner and feast on steak frites or a grilled pork chop served with peaches and Hoppin’ John.

1020 Franklin Ave
Waco, TX 76701

10. Clay Pot Restaurant

920 S Jack Kultgen Expy, Waco, TX

This cozy Vietnamese spot serves up pho, vermicelli bowls, and other favorites, but the real star of the menu is the namesake clay pot dishes. Order up chicken curry or Stan’s clay pot, a unique bowl packed with veggies and protein awash in a creamy sauce and topped with cheese. Pair with a bubble tea for the perfect lunch.

920 S Jack Kultgen Expy
Waco, TX

11. Cupp's Drive Inn

1424 Speight Ave, Waco, TX

Open since 1947, Cupp’s is the spot for a classic cheeseburger with a side of tots. Breakfast is also on offer, including a budget-friendly breakfast special of two eggs, toast, and hash browns that will only set you back $6.

1424 Speight Ave
Waco, TX

12. Guess Family Barbecue

2803 Franklin Ave, Waco, TX 76710

This top-rated barbecue joint slings barky brisket, smoked turkey, and chipotle-cheddar sausage by the pound, and a slew of stellar sides (think cheesy grits and elote-style corn topped with Hot Cheetos) are worthy of setting aside a little stomach space.

2803 Franklin Ave
Waco, TX 76710

13. Vitek's

1600 Speight Ave, Waco, TX

A favorite of locals and tourists alike, Vitek’s is a Waco institution. If the infamous Gut Pak, a massive pile of smoked meat, Fritos, cheese, beans, pickles, and barbecue sauce, is a little too overwhelming, a simple brisket sandwich will totally hit the spot.

1600 Speight Ave
Waco, TX

14. George's Restaurant & Catering

1925 Speight Ave, Waco, TX

A popular haunt for Baylor students, George’s serves up giant, 18-ounce margaritas (or beers) alongside Southern comfort food. Dig into burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, and an equally large brownie sundae served in one of its “Big O” glasses.

1925 Speight Ave
Waco, TX

15. Franklin Avenue Mac House

3428 Franklin Ave, Waco, TX 76710

The world absolutely needed a restaurant devoted to macaroni and cheese, and Franklin Avenue Mac House rises to the challenge with aplomb. The mac and cheese here is loaded withe everything from brisket and horseradish-pecan cheddar to bacon and gouda. If that sounds a little too rich, go (slightly) lighter with a roasted corn and avocado salad spiked with grilled cheese croutons.

3428 Franklin Ave
Waco, TX 76710

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16. Health Camp

2601 Circle Rd, Waco, TX

It might be a bit of a misnomer, but at least Health Camp’s burgers are good for the soul. This old-school spot serves up a perfectly greasy burger, tots, and fries, and the super-thick milkshakes are substantial enough to almost qualify as a meal.

2601 Circle Rd
Waco, TX

17. Magnolia Table

2132 S Valley Mills Dr, Waco, TX 76706

Chip and Joanna Gaines’s Magnolia Table is always packed full of fans of all things Magnolia. Expect a wait, but stick around to enjoy a pre-lunch latte or pastry until a table is ready. When it’s time to sit down, dig into fluffy buttermilk pancakes or avocado toast on bread from Waco’s own Heritage Bakery.

2132 S Valley Mills Dr
Waco, TX 76706

18. Taqueria El Crucero

2525 Robinson Dr, Waco, TX

Open for breakfast and lunch, Taqueria el Crucero is a solid stop for tacos, breakfast burritos, migas, and so much more, including options for vegetarians. Definitely try the queso, and order a jamaica (hibiscus) agua fresca.

2525 Robinson Dr
Waco, TX

Related Maps