Waco, Texas, a city rich in history and culture, is also a haven for food lovers. This vibrant city is home to a diverse culinary scene that caters to a variety of tastes and preferences. From traditional Texas barbecue joints to contemporary fusion restaurants, Waco offers a plethora of dining options that are sure to satisfy your palate. Whether you're a local resident or a visitor exploring the city, finding the best restaurants in Waco can be a delightful culinary adventure. This article will guide you through some of the top-rated dining establishments in Waco, each offering a unique dining experience that reflects the city's charm and hospitality.
Retro eatery with a gas station theme & classic Southern fare, plus homemade desserts & local beers.
Classic American diner fare with a personal touch.We stopped into Jake's for a late lunch with family. From the outside, it's very non-assuming. That is aside from the giant red Pegasus normally spotted in the Dallas skyline. Inside is another world. Americana road signs and car culture at its finest! What's better was we were hosted by Jake, the man himself. Yes, the restaurant's namesake is very much present and accounted for and an absolute delight. The servers were all friendly and helpful. The atmosphere was nostalgic yet comfortable. Old cars are part of the decor and ambiance. We ordered a variety of items off the menu. No complaints, and the food was great. Wait staff was very attentative and we all had a wonderful meal. Highly recommended.
5 / 5
Very good food (burghers, salads, dinners, milkshakes, floats). Service was quick and very pleasant. Atmosphere is eclectic garage. Enjoyed our visit.
5 / 5
Wonderful 50’s ambiance! Did not mind the wait at all because of so much memorabilia to see. Cindy, our server, was very friendly and helpful, getting us the customization of menu items with a smile. Call me old-fashioned, but I was really happy to see long teaspoons in my tea. The veggie quesadilla was very satisfying. Oh! Look for license plate from 1924!
5 / 5
My rating is based on going to Jake's 1 time on a Sunday. There is a different menu for Sundays vs the other days of the week so take this for what it is. The Sunday menu is basically take it or leave it.... No options on salad dressing, no appetizers, no choice on sides. You choose your entrée & you take what else they give you. It was southern sides that were just average in taste. Not bad but not at the level of the atmosphere (which was excellent). The service we had was below par & it took us almost 1 hour and 45 minutes to finish our meal. This included about 25 minutes of waiting for our check that our waitress didn't even bring us. We had to get the hostess to get our check for us. I will say it seemed others were getting better service but our specific experience was below acceptable. It's most likely a completely different experience the rest of the week but I would suggest finding another Sunday lunch place. Again this is a 1 time experience on a Sunday (not regular menu).
3 / 5
We enjoyed this place. Our server was cash and she was awesome. She was very attentive and knowledgeable in all the dishes. One of us ordered the quiche and she got fruit with it. I expected a few bites but a whole fruit salad arrived. The quiche was awesome. I got the turkey Reuben and that was fantastic! Wholesome place. The menu pic I attached is for their Sunday family style. We will most definitely go back to try!
4 / 5
A picture menu featuring classic Mexican & American fare in an easygoing, diner-style setting.
Overall this will definitely be a place I come back to. Staff was very friendly, the food came out pretty quick and it was really good! I had to knock a star off though since the prices on the menu do not actually reflect the price of the food. I thought I was getting a $9 plate but it turned out to be almost $14.
4 / 5
The salsa was tasty, not too hot and great flavor. The Tostadas were a little different from what I'm used to but so delicious . Was seated quickly. This is more of a family friendly place. No alcoholic beverages served here. Staff was super amicable. Price was $ very affordable for a family.
5 / 5
The team here is amazing. Mexican food and atmosphere is great too. I love how you can call ahead and drive thru the drive thru window and pick up your order in seconds. One of our favorite go to Mexican restaurants.
5 / 5
Great service Good food at a fair price Clean place I recommend the Tres Leches Cake
5 / 5
The Mexican food is very good and the prices were good. My friends liked it as well. I believe I had the hard shell tacos meal
4 / 5
Old-school operation offering hearty American fare & drinks in a TV-equipped space.
What everyone knows: good food, good service, better drinks, extremely busy! Can't go wrong with any of the menu items. Adults drinks are tasty and on the larger volume for longer enjoyment. Expect to wait to be seated even though the place is huge inside. Parking can be challenging depending on which of their lots you can get into.
4 / 5
We always put our names on the list, but you can still get beer or something at the bar while waiting and they seem like having a lot of tables and spaces, so you won't wait that long, actually. We always start with Bio O draft beer (it's huge and heavy!) and I love their Bio O cocktails, too. Their the most famous and popular chicken fried steak is absolutely amazing as well as their appetizers such as samplers, nachos, onion rings and cheese fries! Price is very reasonable, each dish has big portion, we always take the most of the food to go after all. Can't wait to go back again!
5 / 5
We were in Waco and got a recommendation from a friend to go to George's. What an incredible restaurant! The parking lots (yes... thereare several) were packed. They were so organized that there eas almost no wait for a table. The menu had a lot of selections, and the food was AMAZING! The service was GREAT, all 4 times we ate there. It's no wonder you have so many people eating there and the parking lots were so full! This is a "Do not miss while in Waco, TX place!" We HIGHLY recommend it! We'll be back the next time we're in Waco!
5 / 5
Made a trip out to Waco to celebrate the in-laws and 50th wedding anniversary. They chose George’s to meet at since they came down from Grand Prairie and We were coming up from RR. We arrived at 11:00 AM and had about 15 people in our group and the wait staff was very attentive and had our food orders and drinks in check. Half the party ordered the chicken fried steak with 2 sides. My wife ordered the grilled fish with rice and I had the Philly steak with fries which was good and a pretty healthy serving. We also shared some of their famous onion rings and fried mushrooms as appetizers. The onion rings had a delicious crispy batter and the ranch dressing was also good but the mushrooms weren’t crispy like the onion rings, they were kinda soggy. The vibe I got from our group is that everyone enjoyed their meals. I was really happy with the choice of my in-laws of meeting at George’s. We will have to stop in again when we are in the area as we had a great experience at this location.
4 / 5
Jose R. Alviar
The green beans are sooooo good! Love the bacon and cheddar fries. They put a big bowl of ranch and love the queso on it. The elite chicken fried steak pay extra for the better one and oh split it, it is huge!!!! I saw some table next to us get the fajitas big o style, I will do that next time. Onion rings were sizzling with queso and fajita meat stacked, do it!!!!
5 / 5
Quaint Italian eatery dishing up traditional pasta plates & pizza in an easygoing, BYOB setup.
Stopped by while traveling through Waco. Saw some of the reviews and thought we would give it a shot. Well, we were impressed. The food was delicious and very hot when it arrived. (Had to let it cool a bit, but that was a testament to the freshness). They also bring you this huge loaf of bread as an appetizer, I wished I would have saved some for the meal but it all worked out. I had the shrimp Florentine and my wife had the shrimp aristocrat. Both were delicious and we barely finished half, so, we will have some for later. Just FYI parking is tragic here, and their drive through service I hear can be a second thought to the inside service.
5 / 5
A really nice place to eat in Waco. I ordered the calamari, Eggplant forentine and ravioli. All of them were good. The calamari was good, but definitely need the sauce. You also get a small discount if you pay by cash. There’s very limited parking which is the only downside. Will definitely come back whenever traveling.
4 / 5
I love this place!!!!! Perfect to have a good family dinner… food is great, very reasonable prices, cecilia was our server, she was very patient and kind to us!!! Thank You, definitely coming back!!!! And They let me bring my own bottle of wine!
5 / 5
I was craving some Italian today and I’ve heard good things about Baris. We’re told Baris is a Waco staple and one of the better Italian food places in Waco. We walked in on a Saturday night at 7:30 pm with no wait. It was busy but there were a few empty tables. There was a smoke in the whole dining area which was unpleasant and it was pretty hot in there but I wondered if this was because of the pizza ovens. Our service wasn’t bad but it wasn’t really great either. Our server was, what I noticed to be - inefficient. We knew what we wanted to drink and what appetizer we wanted but she would come to our table, drop off the menus then leave away quick. Then come back with silverware and then said she would be right back. Then came back for our drinks. She brought out two drinks and said she will be back with the other two. She brought out the other two and said she will be back. Brought out our bread and then again said she will be back to get our orders. Finally after she came back she and we ordered our food completely forgetting we wanted an appetizer. Then she brought us one plate of food at a time from the kitchen. She was nice and helpful but like I said— inefficient. I feel like with proper training she could have maximized our service and the table check thus making the restaurant more money and increasing her tip. My calzone was good but dry. The cheese was gritty and not cheesy. My girlfriends Dee’s special was amazing though. I really enjoyed that. The French bread was amazing but I feel using real butter, not the little packets of margarine, would have been better. I will go back for sure! This place is definitely due a second visit.
4 / 5
I heard this place was worth a visit but unfortunately I wouldn’t go back. I had the chicken Marsala and as you can see in the picture the sauce was super watery. I told the server about it and she said “that’s how we do it”. She didn’t apologize or said she would talk with the kitchen. I had chicken Marsala at so many places before and the one from Baris was definitely the worst I’ve had, no taste at all. Another comment is that the restroom was not clean and smelly.
1 / 5
Relaxed restaurant featuring Cajun classics such as crawfish & fried chicken, plus patio seating.
Pulled up to a rustic looking roof building that does not look like its in a great place to stop. Most of the buildings around have bars in windows. There was just one car in the parking lot, but we are sure glad we gave it a try. The food, staff and service was great. The inside of the building was very nice and as my wife said cute. I highly recommend trying it. The price for food was well worth it.
5 / 5
Ordered the fried catfish! So good! I grew up eating in New Orleans and this place is legit. Wife had the trio and the crawfish etouffe, red beans and rice, and jambalaya... all three were outstanding and authentic Louisiana food. I was amazed by the attention to detail as most Texas Cajun misses some of the traditional ingredients in Cajun food. WE WILL BE BACK! I Highly recommend if you want authentic Cajun eat here.
5 / 5
My dad and I were traveling though Waco and I saw the great Google reviews… Cajun Craft did not disappoint! The food was wonderful. Staff was friendly and helpful… All while being in their last hour or so being open on the Fourth of July. Awesome experience. Go check it out!
5 / 5
Great food! It is cooked to order, not fast food, so keep that in mind. Locally owned and off the beaten path. Staff had great energy and made some good recommendations.
5 / 5
Kim, the owner was amazing helping with information of the area and food choices. Fried catfish basket and fries portions big, flavor yum. Cat fish on white rice with crawfish entoufee, a new favorite Small business but big bump act work service and food
5 / 5
Easygoing counter-serve eatery serving up Texas-style BBQ meats & sandwiches plus all the fixings.
While passing through Waco, I happened to stumble on this small and family owned BBQ Restruant. The meat is high quality and decent for the price. Their sausages were what stuck out to me as the most flavorful and highest quality when compared to the others. If you're a fan of meat or BBQ in general, then come here! The employees are very friendly and funny too! However, the place takes the rustic look to a whole new level since it was pretty dirty.
4 / 5
Old school feel and the the great service that comes with it. Got a taste of Jaspers to try what they had. Was the perfect size for the two of us. The gentleman giving us sides was so kind and made sure we had what we needed to enjoy our meal. I keep thinking of the sausage and brisket weeks later. Wish I didn’t live states away otherwise would go again, and again. We also went to a hyped up place in Dallas and the food was not the same caliber especially for the price. Highly recommend eating here.
5 / 5
Rachel Kimball (LovSindarie)
Good little BBQ shop that sells standard items one would expect. Service is quick, seating is minimal, but available. Decor is nothing special, but, if you’re there for the BBQ, does wallpaper really matter? Of course not.
4 / 5
Ordered Jaspers for my wedding reception, they did no disappoint! If I could give 10 stars I would. The food was beyond delicious (I recommend the chicken) everyone was impressed. Fed 25 people with leftovers to spare.
5 / 5
Place looks old but don’t let that fool you. This place has super good BBQ! Staff was friendly and helpful. Waitress was checking in with me and provided me with extras including drippings. Got brisket and ribs and boy were they tasty! Beans and potato salad complimented the meal. Super enjoyed the meal and the look and feel of this old place. 👍
5 / 5
Comfortable choice with a warm interior turning out classic Mexican fare with daily specials.
This is one of my all time favorite Mexican restaurants in Texas. I do not live near Waco but when around the area I make sure to stop. Food is absolutely amazing! Breakfast, lunch, and dinner have never disappointed! The location is a little rough but don’t let that deter you at all!
5 / 5
Just ordered this. I live 2 blocks up the road doesn't even take 2 minutes to get to my house. Not only did they give me the wrong meat but it was ice cold. As if this order had been sitting there and they just didn't feel like making what I ordered so they threw rice and beans in and gave it to me. Not to mention the women at the window was rude rushed me off the speaker before order was complete. I had to finish my order at the window. I should known this wasn't gonna be good when it came out as fast as it did. Since the prices increased over the years it would be nice to get a hot meal. Been coming here for years and this last year's been the worst.
2 / 5
Alex “Popi” Garza
My hubby loves the micheladas. We get them to go and they fix them up so pretty. The taco plate with asada is good.
5 / 5
Update 1/25/23- So we’ve been here a handful of times and we usually love the service and food but tonight was different. We’ve been dieting since the new year but decided to go out to dinner since it was my mother in laws Birthday. She wanted Mexican and we all thought of Ranchito at the same time. This was our first cheat meal in over 3 weeks and it honestly couldn’t have been more disappointing. Ratings are as below- The service 2/5: Our waitress had a large table to serve all night along with our table. Understandably she spent more time with her larger group that us with our table of food. She got our orders and drinks and then we didn’t see her again until our food came out. She would just hover and wait around until someone in her larger group needed something. We wanted new chips (the majority of the ones we had left were literally soggy and flimsy due to being drenched in oil), refills, and possibly order some queso but she never showed up. We finally had to ask a different waitress about our chips, salsa, and refills. The food 1/5: If I could do 0 stars I would for this. First time eating out in 3 weeks and I really wanted some Chicken Flautas. So I ordered those and had high hopes. Then our chips and salsa came out. The chips were stale, soggy, and cooked in old oil (you can taste and smell it when it’s old). So this made me worry my flautas would taste similarly. When they arrived, not only did they taste like that old oil, they were completely over fried, oily, and dry with ZERO flavor. I could only taste the oil. My beans were dry. The rice was dry and old tasting. The best thing I ate was the avocado and sour cream. Everyone else at the table wasn’t too impressed with their food but it was edible. Cleanliness: 3/5: Not bad but the tables were sticky and gross when we got there. My menu had left over dried up food on it. Overall the food and service made me had to rate this a 1 tonight. Please do better. We may try y’all again but this hurt your reputation in our eyes and could be hard to recover from. We have a lot of other Mexican food places around that we can go instead of here. Old review- This place is awesome for Mexican food. Super friendly staff, cold beer, and really tasty salsa and chips. Their tall beer arrives in a chilled metal mug which helps keep you beer cold. The chips are thicker than most tortilla chips so it dips really well. And the salsa is chunky but not too chunky. I ordered the chipotle chicken. It was delicious. Fresh avocado, some jalapeños, cheese, a hefty sized chicken breast, and covered with cheese with rice and beans on the side. The chipotle seasoning and sauce was delicious. I wish it were more spicy but I added some extra jalapeños which helped me with that spice craving. The taco salad was good too. The taco was more like a puffy taco which was pretty cool. Fresh ingredients and a nice gob of cool sour cream. I recommend this place to get your Mexican food craving satisfied.
1 / 5
Always a great meal. We love to come for the full menu breakfast.
5 / 5