Waco has many different things to see and do. And, many places to shop, eat and drink. Here is a list of over 25 ways to entertain yourself in Waco.
Waco is a lovely place to visit and an even lovelier place to call home. She is in the middle of DFW and Austin and often gets passed over (or driven by) like a middle child, but she now stands her own. Over the past few years, Waco has evolved from a city in the middle, to a destination site. Magnolia Market and Baylor University have helped make Waco become more than just a place to stop for gas.
With the growth of the city, Waco is now home to many delicious eateries, bars, and great places to shop. We have art galleries, museums, and sites worth seeing. You can find a lot of nature in Waco, as well as plenty of sidewalks for exploring.
Whatever your taste or style, however you wish to explore, Waco has much to eat and drink, see and do, shop and sip, and buy! Enjoy!
Milo All Day
At Milo All Day, the décor is light and airy and today-modern. Your eyes and tastebuds will both enjoy and feast at Milo’s. I’ve never had anything I didn’t love at here; in fact, I am adventurous when I dine with Chef Corey. I can now say I like Brussels sprouts! Start with the homemade pimento cheese dip and crackers. Trust me. The burger is melt-in-your-mouth, the chicken sandwich is fire-in-your-mouth, and the biscuits are a joy. Pure joy.
Moroso Wood-Fired Pizzeria
When I write about Waco, I always recommend Moroso’s. Moroso’s serves a lot more than just their wood-fired pizza—it is an authentic Italian gem. But if you love pizza–not every day cheese and pepperoni pizza-but pizza that is a masterpiece, you will love Moroso’s. You must truly appreciate the unique blends of the ingredients, carefully thought out, for each variety served.
This adorable restaurant has stolen my heart and my stomach. If you like Cajun food, you need to try Cajun Craft. Waco dining has a short list of Cajun, and I am putting this one at the top. You can get everything from po boys, jambalaya, shrimp, catfish, chicken and pickles—perfectly fried, to étouffée. They have indoor dining, as well as outside patio dining, which I recommend — also, Insta-worthy décor.
Waco-famous and far beyond, Balcones Distilling not only makes their award-winning spirits at the distillery, but it also houses a tastefully decorated tasting room. A great place to have a flight of Texas-made whiskey, this neighborhood-like bar is always cozy, but sometimes noisy with pleased sippers.
Copper and leather and the smell of whiskey, the distillery was once a fire safe storage and still has many of the original safe doors. The barkeeps can also handcraft a signature cocktail or pour a full shot using their Texas-made products while teaching you about their spirits.
There is also is a gift shop, with whiskey and t-shirts, and more.
The Hightop at the Hippodrome
New-ish to Waco, The Hightop is housed high on top of the Hippodrome. Along with your drink and appetizer, you are served up a picturesque view of the iconic Austin Avenue and The Alico Building, of course.
The Backyard bar Stage and Grill
The Backyard is a great place to have a drink outside. The backyard area has picnic tables, a smoke house pizza pit, and a margarita hut, along with outdoor restrooms. Inside, there is the grill and a full bar. The walk-up Patio Grill offers everything from salads and fish to burgers and tacos. Located beside The Findery, on South 8th St., The Backyard is also family-friendly.
Barnett’s Public House
I love a pub. Barnett’s is a neighborhood bar that feels friendly when you walk in. This pub is full of atmosphere and Irish charm, with all the and pubby-feels. The bar has an extensive liquor choice, craft beer on tap, and wine, as well. And like most pubs, Barnett’s is an incredible place to eat. There are also games available (Jenga, Connect 4, Operation, and other board games) to take to your table and enjoy. They even have trivia night.
The Wine Shoppe, located near the beautiful Castle Heights neighborhood on Austin Avenue, is a lovely place to end the day. It’s not your average wine bar. It is a quaint tasting room that offers imported wines directly from small, family-owned vineyards in Spain, Uruguay, and Italy, as well as other countries. You will not find your average labels here, and that makes this wine bar special.
Dichotomy is where you go in Waco to experience a crafted cocktail. Everyone in Waco knows that Dichotomy serves up a mean cup of coffee, but at 3:00 p.m., the coffee bar also becomes a bar-bar.
My favorite places to grab a cup of joe, in Waco, are Pinewood Coffee Bar, BRÛ Artisan Coffee Works, and Dichotomy, as mentioned above. These are coffee bars, not coffee shops or restaurants. You might be able to get a pastry at these places, but you can’t sit down and get a full meal.
What you can get is atmosphere and a really great cup of coffee. I like to write in all these spots. And all are insta-worthy, and all have made it into my squares.
Common Grounds is another Waco-famous hangout and a great place for a great cup. Many Baylor students (practically) call this place home on South 8th Street. (While there, go next door to Heritage Creamery and indulge in some delicious ice cream.)
Linen and Cake
Linen and Cake is an antique shop meets Anthropologie meets pillows and rugs. I die. I die every time I go in this Austin Avenue store. They even hand-pour their own signature candle. You have to see the shop itself to understand the lure. It is not just another Magnolia-like place to buy do-dads. And you must meet the personable shop-girl!
Gather, The Art of Hospitality, located on Washington Avenue, has a beautiful store front window, with a gathering table, always immaculately dressed. You find yourself wanting to have a seat, you find yourself at home. Gather is the perfect place to shop if you enjoy entertaining.
Waco Downtown Farmers Market
If you happen to be in Waco on a Saturday, one of the best places to shop and eat is the Waco Downtown Farmers Market. You will find live music, fresh vegetables and fruits, as well as artisanal cheeses, flowers and plants, and fresh juice. You will also discover some interesting places to have brunch or perhaps lunch. And, there is a fantastic view of the Alico Building.
Harp Design Co
So, you watched Fixer-Upper, you fell in love with Clint and all his farmhouse tables, now you must go to his shop on 15th Street. Yes, you must! You can buy all the bread boards, woodwork goodies, home décor, and even order your very own farmhouse table.
Magnolia Market at the Silos
I don’t even need to mention the silos, but because they are so huge in Waco and the largest draw, I mention. Eat, Sip, Buy, See, and Do-the silos (almost!) has it all!
While in the silo district, walk to The Findery. Because of its popularity, The Findery is no longer a secret, but it is a must-stop. What is a tucked away secret? The Findery’s Warehouse, located next door to the original store, on 8th Street. More furniture, more sales items.
If you are looking for one-of-a-kind Waco t-shirts, head to Bolt. Here you will also find jewelry, clothing–men’s and women’s, gifts, party-ware, and so much more. This boutique has heart and style and a must-go!
SEE and DO
Well, if you know me, or Waco, you know this building. It causes me to smile. The 22-story structure has considerable character. The construction began in 1910 and completion was precisely 12 months later in 1911. It is the tallest building and can be seen for miles and miles. And smiles.
My favorite street in Waco is Austin Avenue. You will fall in love with this quaint, tree-lined street. Here you will find many shops, restaurants, an art gallery, and the historical Waco Hippodrome. You can see a movie, have lunch, enjoy a spirit, or better yet-all three at the same time at the theater.
Keep traveling further down Austin Avenue, and you will discover excellent shopping at Lane’s, Christi’s, Sironia, and many other home and antique shops. A little further down Austin Avenue is Wine Shoppe. This is also where the Castle Heights residential area begins; historical homes that will delight your eyes.
Did you know Waco has the second largest urban park? (Central Park is the largest, duh?)
Cameron Park, a large urban park located in Waco, is one of those places to escape to nature. I enjoy taking the long, slow way home, driving through Cameron Park–again more smiles. The park spans over 416-acres and was dedicated on May 27, 1910. Named in memory of Waco philanthropists and lumber baron, William Cameron. The park has playgrounds, bike trails, hiking, and a beautiful zoo, Cameron Park Zoo.
A favorite place is inside Cameron Park, called Brazos Park East. I love to walk my dogs in this park along the Brazos River. The park is located at MLK and Herring Avenue and features boat ramps, a pavilion, horse shoe pits, Frisbee-golf, and of course many scenic and peaceful views for walking, running or just sitting. The view across the river is one to see.
Cameron Park Zoo
Built in 1993 and housed within Cameron Park, Waco’s zoo is a beautiful place to spend the day. The zoo is a 52-acre natural habitat full of lush Texas vegetation, and of course, lots of wild animals.
The river is lined with many historic bridges, but my favorite is the Washington Avenue Bridge, otherwise known as the Waco Steele Bridge. Built in 1901, it has a massive 450-foot Pennsylvania truss main span and is among the most historic bridges in Texas. When the sun peeks through the trusses, it is a beautiful sight and gets me every time. You can also see The Alico Building peering through it.
The Brazos River is not only beautiful and scenic but also historical. You can walk or jog on the trails. You can even paddle at Pure Vida Paddle and Waco Paddle Company. Talk about a scenic, outdoor activity—standup paddle boards, canoes and kayak rentals down the Brazos River and Lake Waco.
There are also boat rentals and scenic river cruise adventures through Waco Tours and Waco River Safari.
Waco Pedal Tours
If water isn’t your thing, check out Waco Pedal Tours and “let the good times roll!” The pedal party is a bike that holds 16-people and has a U-shaped bar top. You can join a tour or book a private tour.
Waco Wine Tours
If you would rather not work at your party, you can tour Waco-area wineries in the comfort of an air-conditioned van. Waco Wine Tours will pick you up!
Or if touring Waco is on your agenda, I suggest Waco Tours. This tour company takes you to all the hot-spots Waco has to offer (many are mentioned here).
Waco has an adventure for everyone, no matter your age or interest, taste, or style. These are only the highlights and my must-sees when in Waco, but there is far more than twenty-five.
Waco is full of nature. You can escape the concrete and find peace. Or, stay on the concrete and eat and drink, see and do shop and sip, and buy.