Food and Drink

Coffee and Tea

Image of Common Grounds, Waco. The building is green with a wooden porch where several people are gathered. It is surrounded by trees and has hanging lights. The backyard has several picnic tables, and a sign saying Waco is red metal letters hangs from the eaves.

As a university town, Waco might have more coffee shops per capita than Seattle. We exaggerate, but there are several excellent options for local coffee shops, all within either walking distance of the Hilton or a short drive.

  • Fabled Bookshop & Cafe –  Come here to find a book, a nook, and some coffee, tea, or a snack. Walking distance from the Hilton, just down the road on the corner of S. 4th St. and Franklin.
  • Pinewood Coffee Bar – Serves some of the best coffee in town. Locals come here to study, read, and gather with friends. Located down Austin Ave., about two miles from the Hilton Waco.
  • Common Grounds – The university haunt. Quirky/trendy. Located just off Baylor’s campus on S. 8th St., about a mile from the Hilton Waco.
  • BRU Artisan Coffee Works – Walking distance from the Hilton down Franklin a few blocks. Small and dainty but tasty.
  • Waco Cha – Hand-crafted organic Boba milk tea. Located just one mile down on Franklin
  • Lalo’s Coffee and Pastries – specializes in Mexican drinks. Located about two miles from the Hilton on 15th and Colcord Ave.
  • Lighthouse Coffee and Wine – ethically sourced coffee, tea, hand-crafted cocktails, and curated wines. Located within walking distance, about half a mile down Washington Ave.
  • Magnolia Press Coffee Co. – Located at the Silos, it offers comfortable outdoor seating, sweet treats and a vintage aesthetic.  If the inside looks crowded, you can order at the walk-up window located in the back patio. Just a mile from the Hilton on S 8th St. and Webster. 

Bars, Pubs, and Tastings

Image of Balcones Distillery. It is a brick building with a metal fire escape. The name appears on the roof in large white lettering.

  • Balcones Distilling – Balcones is a whiskey distillery that started under a bridge in Waco in 2008. In 2016, they opened their 65,000 sq.ft. distillery on the corner of 11th St. and Franklin Ave. and started hosting tours of the facility and tastings of their award-winning craft whiskeys. Located approximately one mile from the Hilton Waco.
  • Dichotomy Coffee & Spirits – Half coffee bar and half cocktail bar, Dichotomy is a popular Waco spot for studying during the day and for music and drinks during the evening and night. Check out the rooftop for a view of downtown Waco at sunset. Walking distance from the Hilton, half a mile down Austin.
  • One Day – favorite classic cocktails, coffee, beer and wine with indoor and outdoor seating just half a mile down between 6th and 7th on Columbus Ave.
  • The Dancing Bear Pub – Best place in Waco for craft beer. Small and cozy but with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating. Located on Speight Ave. not far from Baylor’s campus and about two miles from the Hilton Waco.
  • Pinewood Public House – Connected to the Pinewood Coffee Bar, Pinewood Pub has rapidly become a favorite of locals for its rotating menu of local and distinctive beers and ciders. It also offers a small selection of wines. The courtyard under a large tree hung with exposed lightbulbs is a particular draw. They offer a 20% discount for students (with IDs) and clergy (with clerical collar) on Wednesdays.
  • Wine Shoppe – Offers delicious and unique wine options with both bar seating inside and an outdoor patio. About a mile and a half from the Hilton Waco down Austin Ave.
  • Waco Winery Tasting Room/Rooftop – Wine served from a local vineyard in a delightful rooftop space overlooking Austin Ave., the main street through downtown. Within walking distance of the hotel just half a mile away.
  • Waco Ale Brewing Company – Local craft beer and taproom. Located on Austin Ave. a few blocks down from the Hilton.
  • Brotherwell Brewery – More local craft beer. Taproom open on weekends. Food trucks set up shop at the Brewery on the weekend, and there’s plenty of outdoor seating. Located on E. Bridge St. across the river from the Hilton Waco, about half a mile away.

Restaurants

Image of the restaurant Revival Eastside Eatery in Waco, TX. There is a colorful mural on the side of the building that says "Welcome to the Eastside"

Waco is currently experiencing a boom in new and exciting restaurants.  From farm-to-table, to fusion cuisine food trucks to community eateries, Waco has something for you!

Restaurants Next to the Hilton

Across Franklin Ave from the Hilton, you can easily find Tex-Mex (Ninfa’s – $$-$$$), Thai (Bangkok Royal – $$), burgers (Billy Bob’s Burgers and Grill – $) and a steakhouse (DiamondBack’s – $$$$).  There is also a place for smoothies and fruit bowls (Mameka’s Bowls – $). Next to the Hilton, on University Parks, is one of Waco’s food truck locations, where you can often find Krab Kingz ($$) and La-Tex Burger ($$).

Restaurants within Walking Distance

  • Lula Jane’s — In-house bakery that uses locally sourced ingredients, Lula Jane’s is the perfect spot to grab breakfast, the daily lunch special, or something sweet.  Located half a mile from the Hilton, across the river.
  • Alpha Omega — Fresh mediterranean grill and bakery ($), located a little over one mile from the Hilton.
  • Cafe Cappuccino — Local brunch spot ($); Located half a mile from the Hilton
  • Hecho en Waco — Authentic fine Mexican cuisine ($$-$$$); Half a mile from the Hilton
  • J-Petal & Poke — Japanese crȇpes, poke bowls, and Thai ice cream ($$); Approximately half a mile from the Hilton
  • Milo — Seasonal, farm-to-table Southern cuisine ($$-$$$).  Happy Hour from 3-5 pm, featuring many local favorites such as the Mad Burger and the Crispy Brussel Sprouts.  Located next to Splendid Oaks Chocolates.  Approximately one mile from the Hilton Waco.
  • Revival Eastside Eatery — Farm-to table burgers, sandwiches and salads ($$).  Brunch and lunch only during the week, but open 11 am-8 pm Friday and Saturday.  Located across the bridge, less than a mile from the Hilton.
  • Silos Food Trucks — Located at the Silos, one mile from the Hilton, you can find a variety of food trucks featuring Texas BBQ, Asian fusion sandwiches, artisan grilled cheese, and even favorites from Chip & Jo’s Magnolia Table; Half a mile from the Hilton
  • Torchy’s Tacos — Craft fast-casual tacos that often put new twists on classic flavors ($).  Located one mile from the Hilton. 
  • Tru Jamaica — Authentic family-owned Jamaican restaurant; Located across the river, a little over a mile from the Hilton ($$)
  • Union Hall A community dining experience with both indoor and outdoor seating that features over 20 eateries ($-$$).  For a caffeine break, enjoy KurbSide Coffee or Zuke’s loose-leaf tea.  Local favorite dining options include Wacoal Tacos & Tamales, KoKo Ramen and Whizzbang’s Hamburgers.  For dessert, grab a milkshake at Unshakeable or an international pastry at Around the World.  Approximately half a mile from the Hilton Waco.
  • Various Fast Food Restaurants — If you are looking for a quick meal, head to “The Grease Pit” as it is affectionately called by the locals.  Located between 5th and 12th and Jack Kutigen, these restaurants are approximately one mile from the Hilton.

Restaurants a Short Drive Away

  • Cafe Homestead — Located outside Waco, everything in this farm-to-table restaurant is locally sourced—from the food to the dishes to the furniture.  After eating at the Cafe, you can stroll through the Craft Village, farm and gardens.
  • Cajun Craft — Scratch made, Cajun food ($$-$$$)
  • Harvest on 25th — Farm-to-table breakfast and lunch, featuring several excellent vegan and gluten-free options ($$-$$$)
  • Magnolia Table — Chip and Joanna Gaines’ popular farm-to-table restaurant is located in a historical Waco landmark ($$).  Although walk-ins are possible, if you are interested in eating at Magnolia Table, you might consider making a reservation in advance.  You can also sample some of the Table favorites at a food truck located at the Silos.  
  • Moroso’s Wood Fire Pizza — Family-owned authentic Italian cuisine; Brunch, lunch and dinner options ($$)
  • Saffron — Authentic Pakistani/Indian food ($$)
  • Sascee’s Southern Style Eatery — Buffet-style authentic Southern food ($$)
  • The Mix Cafe — Located next to Baylor’s campus, the Mix features soup, salad and sandwiches ($$)
  • Vitek’s — Texas BBQ ($); Try the Gut Pack, a local favorite
  • Waffle Chic — Fried chicken and waffles; Sweet and savory options as well as gluten-free options; Food truck located next to Pinewood Coffee ($)
  • World Cup Cafe — Breakfast and lunch diner that partners with Mission Waco, supporting those in need in North Waco ($).  After your meal, visit the Fair Trade Market next door.  You can also cross the street and visit Urban Reap, learning about sustainable food and energy.

Image of the restaurant Lula Jane's in Waco, TX. The name of the restaurant is painted in blue on the side of a building, and there are two mugs and a cinnamon roll underneath.

Desserts

  • Heritage Creamery — Hand-crafted ice cream
  • Lula Jane’s — In-house bakery that uses locally sourced ingredients, Lula Jane’s is the perfect spot to grab breakfast or something sweet.  Located half a mile from the Hilton, across the river.
  • Silos Baking Co. — Sweet & savory baked goods, including gluten-free options.  Primarily known for their cupcakes.  Located half a mile from the Hilton.
  • Splendid Oaks Chocolates Handmade chocolates and ice cream.  Located approximately one mile from the Hilton, next to Milo.
  • The Sweet Station — Candy and soda shop with a vintage aesthetic.  Located next to the Silos, approximately one mile from the Hilton.