I have visited coffee shops across the United States and some of the best coffee shops that I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting are located in Waco, TX. What makes the coffee shops in Waco unique is that each cafe offers a completely distinct experience.
Each of the coffee shops I’ve visited in Waco (I think I’ve visited all of them at this point…) are destinations that were created by different people with diverse backgrounds and vastly different visions.
Each coffee house in Waco tells a unique story.
None of these Waco coffee shops are just a place to grab a cup of joe; that’s what Starbucks is for. Every coffee shop on this list is locally owned and operated in Waco, TX.
For Keeps Coffee & Bakery is a locally owned and operated coffee house located on Bosque Blvd not far from downtown Waco. It opened up a few weeks after Glory Bell Coffee, which makes it the newest coffee shop in Waco.
Seating Booth at For Keeps Coffee
The theme of For Keeps Coffee House & Bakery is very similar to Glory Bell. Even though For Keeps does not have an indoor playground area for kids, it’s definitely designed with family and friends in mind.
PourSteady Coffee at For Keeps
In fact, unless you specifically request a cup to go – they will serve your coffee in an actual glass. It’s their way of inviting you to sit down and stay for a while.
Table at For Keeps Coffee
For Keeps Coffee House & Bakery also hosts some unique, local coffee events such as their recent “Latte Art Throwdown” where barista’s from around Texas competed against each other for the best Latte Art creations. The winner takes home a cash prize, and runner ups get to take home some locally roasted beans.
Out of all the coffee shops in Waco, For Keeps has one of the most unique drinks called The True Blue Latte which is a butterfly pea powder made as a latte. Not only does it taste delicious, but it’s also a beautiful, deep blue drink! Pair that with a freshly baked bagel and it’s a match made in coffee house heaven.
Soft Opening at For Keeps Coffee
For Keeps Coffee House & Bakery Highlights
Delicious baked goods (made onsite every morning), including Breakfast Bagel Sandwiches
A really cool drink that’s BLUE!
Tons of seating inside and outside, along with outlets and WiFi to get connected
Locally crafted wood furniture including a MASSIVE centerpiece table
Incredible pour-over coffee
MAGNOLIA PRESS COFFEE CO.
If you have ever heard of a family called the “Gaines” family, then you already know that Chip & Joanna Gaines opened a coffee shops in downtown Waco called, “Magnolia Press Coffee Co”.
But their fame is not the reason that this coffee shop is on the list of best coffee shops in Waco.
This coffee shop is on the list because:
Oh, and their coffee is delicious. But it’s not just the drinks – it’s the desserts too!
My favorite coffee drink at Magnolia Coffee Press Co is The 1905. It’s a house latte infused with toasted marshmallow and vanilla. Combine that with their flaky croissant filled with rich dark chocolate, and it’s a dangerously sweet caloric combination of coffee and chocolatey goodness.
Once you’ve had your fill of coffee and sweets, just walk out the back door and you’ll find yourself right in the center of Chip & Joanna’s community hang-out spot known as Magnolia at The Silos.
As of today, you’ll find a food truck park, tons of covered seating areas, a restored historic church, a dozen boutique stores, plenty of green space to lounge and picnic, a historic baseball field that is now a whiffle ball field (one of the many fun things to do in Waco with kids), and much more.
Highlights of Magnolia Coffee Press Co
An extremely spacious area inside, with plenty of seating.
Pergolas, water fountains, covered seating, lounge areas and an outdoor fireplace.
Delicious coffees, pastries, and desserts.
Their flagship latte, The 1905, is…. well, IYKYK.
GLORY BELL COFFEE
One ofthe newest coffee shops in Wacoalso happens to be one of the best coffee shops.
And it’s also the largest coffee shop in Waco – possibly the largest privately owned coffee shop in Texas. It’s 4,000 square feet, which is the same size as the largest Starbucks coffee shop in the state.
Located at the corner of N 6th Street and Columbus Ave in downtown Waco, Glory Bell Coffee House is right in the mix of things. Whether you’re visiting the Waco Farmer’s Market on a Saturday morning, or just touring various historic parts of Waco such as the Alico Building, Washington Ave Bridge, or the Historic Suspension Bridge – Glory Bell is just a short walk away.
Which is great, because during the hot Texas summers, you’ll eventually want a reprieve from the heat.
Delicious lemon, vanilla cookies (1 free w/ a purchase)
A “hidden menu” with all kinds of great stuff!
Beautiful and delicious lemonade drinks
A massive space with plenty of seating including massage chairs, lounge chairs and sofa’s
Lots of outlets to plug in and recharge your phone, or to get connected and work or study
Free WiFi w/ drink purchase
A designated kids space with a kids play room, toys, games and more.
On Wednesday evenings everybody is welcome to stay for worship night at the coffee shop. They also have other special events throughout the month that you can learn all about on the Glory Bell Coffee Instagram account.
Directions to Glory Bell Coffee:
FABLED BOOKSHOP & CAFE
The Fabled Bookshop & Cafe is an incredibly unique coffee shop (arguably one of the most unique coffee shops in Waco), thoughtfully crafted and designed to tell a story as well as provide a comfortable space to work, relax, or immerse yourself in a story.
From the private, one person cubby-hole study space built into the wall, to the living-room-style lounge area halfway to the back of the building, this spectacular bookshop and cafe has something for everyone: including kids. That’s something you don’t find in a lot of coffee shops, even at coffee shops in Waco.
Depending on the day of the week that you stop in at this local Waco coffee shop, you may find students quietly sipping on coffee while studying and working on laptops, business partners collaborating on the next grandiose thing, people quietly reading books in the lounge area, or kids spending time together in the specially designed children-themed room.
Grab an enjoyable book, order up a hot or iced coffee, and if you want a quick, healthy snack, you will also find a small fridge filled with salads and sandwiches.
Highlights of the Fabled Bookshop & Cafe
A quiet, peaceful environment; this Waco coffee shop reminds me of a library in some ways.
Their menu features drinks named after well-known references in famous pieces of literature.
Tons of books, including local, Texas-based authors.
This is the only coffee shop in Waco that is a women-owned and operated business.
A kid-specific area with a massive selection of kids’ books broken down by age-group.
“The Spare Room”, a beautiful event space available for rent.
Another one of the local coffee shops in Waco that checks off the “unique” box is Bru Coffee. Bru Coffee is a local coffee shop that serves coffee out of a 100+ year old elevator on the first floor of a historic building (The Praetorian) in Waco. The coffee is roasted using an antique roaster dating back to 1898 and their espresso machine is a one-of-a-kind, custom-made machine by a man named Salvatore from Florence, Italy.
This Waco coffee shop is so unique and full of history that it’s still a wonderful place to visit even for those who aren’t coffee drinkers.
The location in the historic elevator can be found here:
They also now have a second location just a few blocks away from the Praetorian Building.
The second location is on the first floor of the newly restored Stories Building – another historic building in downtown Waco. The restoration process was beautifully done, and it’s a lovely space for a cafe like Bru Coffee.
You can find the second location here:
Highlights of Bru Coffee
Instagram worthy pics.
A piece of history.
Unique in every sense of the word.
DICHOTOMY COFFEE & SPIRITS
There is no other coffee shop in Waco that offers what Dichotomy Coffee & Spirits does: a rooftop lounge area. You can order a cold or iced coffee and walk up the staircase to the top of the building and enjoy your coffee along with a view of part of the city of Waco, including the historic city building across the street.
But that’s not the only thing that makes Dichotomy unique. It’s also one of the very few coffee shops in Waco that also serves up alcohol as suggested by the name “Coffee & Spirits”.
And last but not least… have you ever had a craving for coffee late at night, but all your favorite coffee shops were closed? That’s not the case with Dichotomy. It’s one of the only coffee shops in Waco that is open late into the evening. In fact, Dichotomy Coffee & Spirits is open until midnight for most of the week.
I highly recommend checking out the rooftop space at Dichotomy Coffee at night as well. Sipping on your coffee (or your favorite alcoholic beverage) in downtown Waco while enjoying a cool evening surrounded by the city lights is an incredibly satisfying way to wrap up your day.
Like the name says, you can get your coffee at the curbside at Kurbside Coffee. This Waco coffee shop used to be located inside of a really cool eatery (or dining hall) in downtown Waco called “Union Hall”, but recently they closed down that location, and are currently only available at their coffee wagon (aka coffee truck).
Kurbside Coffee Truck at Waco Farmer’s Market
If you want to get a delicious cup of joe, Kurbside Coffee is by far one of the best coffee shops in Waco to get just that!
Kurbside Coffee routinely updates where their coffee wagon will be located on their Facebook business page. You can usually count on them being at the downtown Waco Farmer’s Market every Saturday from 9am – 1pm.
Kurbside Coffee Highlights
Their coffee wagon is usually at the Waco Farmer’s market every Saturday morning, so you can get your breakfast, lunch, and coffee all in one place while supporting other local businesses!
COMMON GROUNDS WACO
Common Grounds coffee shop is one of the original local coffee spots. This Waco-based coffee shop was started as a result of a Baylor class project. In 1995, a Baylor graduate by the name of Jill Mashburn turned her class project into reality and opened up Common Grounds coffee shop. Common Grounds coffee shop is conveniently located in downtown Waco right off I-35 and next-door to the Baylor University campus.
It’s a popular spot for students, but it’s also just a really great, local coffee shop in Waco that features plenty of seating inside and out, as well as a small, intimate concert space in the back of the building where talented musicians frequently play.
Heritage Creamery is located right next door to Common Grounds (they’re owned by the same person), so if you’re looking for some incredibly delicious ice cream to go with your coffee, then I highly recommend both places! Both the ice cream and coffee shop are both owned and operated locally in Waco, TX, and they recently expanded to a location in Ft. Worth as well.
Highlights of Common Grounds Waco
There is no list of coffee shops in Waco that is complete without Common Grounds.
Conveniently located by Baylor University and the museum district.
Cool interior and exterior spaces to hang out.
You can buy savory drinks named things like “No Bull” or “The Rodeo Clown”.
It’s one of the few coffee shops that is “famous” or well-known in Waco.
LIGHTHOUSE COFFEE & WINE
This is one of the newest coffee shops on the Waco scene, in fact, I am sitting here on their covered, outdoor patio as I type this. It’s my first time visiting, and I have to say; this coffee shop is a pleasant surprise!
In addition to being a coffee house that’s open from 7AM – 10PM every day, they also have a full-service bar, and bottles of wine. I’ll have to come back and check it out in the evening sometime soon.
I have one of their latte’s and I asked them to make me their sweetest latte treat that they’ve got. It’s got a tiny bit of spice, but it’s oh-so-very-nice! It’s soooo smooth and while it’s definitely sweet, you can tell the spice is lingering in the background with each sip (they added a splash of oat milk, too).
The covered patio is a nice bonus to the coffee shop, andit definitely has a unique view that sets it apart from the other coffee shops that I’ve visited in Waco so far. It has views of the historic McLennan County Courthouse, the Alico building, and it’s a hop, skip and a jump away from two locally owned and operated businesses; Pretty In Pink Flamingo Boutique and Z’s at the Curry.
Lighthouse Coffee & Wine is also located just a block away from two other fantastic coffee shops; Cafe Cappuccino and THRST Coffee (I plan to visit both coffee houses tomorrow, and depending on how those visits go, they may also make it onto this list!).
Lighthouse Coffee & Wine is located right on Washington Ave in downtown Waco, which is a quickly changing street offering everything from coffee shops to boutiques, bars, historic buildings, as well as a weekend Farmer’s Market every Saturday and an Escape Room location.
It’s also just a short walk down to the riverside and plenty of other places of interest in downtown Waco.
Highlights of Lighthouse Coffee & Wine
Covered patio seating area w/ a view of the Alico Building
Pet Friendly; people always have dogs at Lighthouse Coffee & Wine!
My new favorite at this Waco coffee shop is an iced Oat Milk Latte w/ Maple Brown Sugar (I also buy their Maple Brown Sugar syrup bottle to bring home and make my own latte’s)
THRST COFFEE SHOP
If you were to ask me which cafe is the most unique coffee shop in Waco, I think that THRST would be one of the first to come to mind.
There simply is no other coffee shop like THRST in Waco.
It’s a coffee shop with locally roasted beans (the owner has a coffee bean roasting business, too). It’s also the only black-owned coffee shop in Waco that I’m aware of.
The guy who owns this local coffee shop is also a local entrepreneur who has been involved in the startup scene in Waco for quite some time, so you really can’t get any closer to being truly “locally-owned and operated” than THRST Coffee.
Not to mention, THRST Coffee is also where a lot of Waco entrepreneurs, creatives and other visionaries from around the Waco area tend to hang out.
If the locally owned coffee shop scene is your thing, and you want to taste some incredible coffee where the roasting process is uniquely controlled and adjusted to match their brands coffee profile each and every time…. then stop by THRST Coffee Shop.
My new favorite drink here is the Hot Café De Olla Latte which is the perfect blend of espresso, piloncillo, cinnamon and your choice of milk (I usually opt for oat milk which tends to give the latte a thicker, creamier texture and taste).
Highlights of THRST Coffee Shop
Locally Owned & Operated
A Consistent Coffee Taste Due to a Consistent Roast
Uniquely Designed Interior & an Inviting Ambience
NIGHTLIGHT DONUTS & COFFEE
Wow… Last, but NOT least on the list is Nightlight Donuts & Coffee.
I cannot say enough good things about this place. Even though this is on my list of coffee shops in Waco (and they do serve great coffee), it’s actually on the list because of their DONUTS! This locally owned and operated Waco coffee shop serves up Parisian inspired croissant-style donuts that I just simply do not have the words to describe how delicious they are.
You will not experience a donut like this anywhere else in the state of Texas, let alone Waco – I guarantee it.
They are airy, crispy, soft, melt-in-your-mouth donuts that really elevate the donut/coffee experience to an entirely different level. I’m not even sure that the coffee is really “out of this world” per se, but when you combine the coffee with the donuts, watch out! You may not be able to stop yourself from devouring the entire box in one sitting.
What started out as a humble little food truck serving coffee and donuts (and selling out pretty much every day) recently became a permanent location in Waco. And I’m not even kidding. If you’re in Waco, a stop at Nightlight Donuts & Coffee is a MUST!
Highlights of Nightlight Donuts & Coffee
Their open business hours are fantastic for all times you may randomly be craving donuts or coffee.
Their donuts are out-of-this-world (or in Europe).
Their coffee is fantastic, especially when paired with… the donuts.