New and Now: Dining in Waco

June 27, 2023
Plates of Food and Image of Waco Street Collage

One question is universal to everyone visiting Waco, whether they are exploring the city for the first-time or they are a seasoned visitor making their pilgrimage back to a beloved town: “Where are we going to eat?”

For visitors both old and new to the area, many of the landmark eateries remain (more on that in the links below). But, beyond those well-established places, the growth of the Waco area has made room for plenty of new endeavors, broadening the menu to new options for food and drink in the area. Waco’s dining scene is a constantly changing landscape, and the city and its many visitors welcome the change.

More Tex-Mex Options

Waco has been home to a number of landmark Tex-Mex dining establishments for many years, with names that all Baylor alumni know by heart. Whether it’s Ninfas, Taco Zacatecas (Taco Z for those in the know), El Crucero or the infamous #9 (Taqueria El Mexicano Grill #9), the traditional Tex-Mex offerings are still going strong.

But, in the evolving culinary landscape of Waco, a few new takes have emerged, putting their own spin on the tried-and-true formula that has given Wacoans so many options for chips, salsa, fajitas, quesadillas and the like. Call it “Fresh-Mex” to differentiate it from the norm, but these new restaurants have added brighter, fresher flavors to the mix by adding more raw ingredients, more plant-based offerings, and from scratch, made to order dishes. These new options provide a bright new perspective on a fixture of the Waco dining scene.

Cultura Mia

Maria Mezcalaria

Huaco Eatery

The Coffee Capital of Texas

One of the things college students come to know and love, almost universally, is coffee. At Baylor, that means getting cozy at Common Grounds, late nights at the Moody or BSB Starbucks, posting up with a latte at Dichotomy, or getting to Pinewood early enough to grab a booth. In the past few years, however, the coffee options have more than doubled, and Baylor students and alumni, alike, can be defined not only by their coffee order (dirty chai latte, breve), but by where they choose to get their coffee.

Many of these new coffeehouses offer food as well as caffeination, establishing that a good bagel or a choccy-chunk cookie can be part of your power-up routine.

For Keeps

Be Kind

Peet’s Coffee - Coming soon to the Hurd Welcome Center

Watch this Space

With all of the new businesses popping up in Waco, thanks to sustained visitors, a complete (for now) I-35, and a sustained innovation, there is still much more to come. The city’s emergence as a vacation destination, combined with an ever-growing demand for more and different options from a still-increasing population, has given rise to a number of businesses that will change the food and drink landscape of Waco by year’s end.

Whether it is a raw bar in a boutique hotel, a Texas barbecue legacy, a Brazilian steakhouse or a dedicated brunch spot, the future of the Waco dining scene shows a lot of promise.

Hotel Herringbone - Coming soon to 319 South 4th St

Terry Black’s BBQ - Coming soon to 228 S. 8th St

Casa Do Brazil - Coming soon to 801 S. 2nd St.

Toasted Yolk - Coming soon to 1725 Washington Ave.

For more Waco dining options, check out old and new Waco classics or discover 25 epic dishes every Baylor Bear knows (or should know).