Nightlife in Waco, Texas | 23 Spots You MUST Know About

Jump to the end to discover the newest rooftop terraces and lounges

two women holding wine glasses

Photo by Inga Seliverstova on

Nightlife in Waco, Texas is a pretty happening despite being such a small city.

When you think about nightlife in Texas, most people think of places like 6th Street in Austin, Washington Ave in Houston, and the Dynamic District in Dallas. Each of those city districts has pretty intense nightlife scenes.

While nightlife in Waco may not be relegated to a designated city district that's well known for being a popular nightlife spot, there are quite a few things for you to do at night in Waco.

In this article, I'm going to tell you about the well known spots for nightlife in Waco, as well as the hidden nightlife spots that nobody really talks about unless you're a local - Waco's best kept nightlife secret spots.

And, of course, I'm saving the best for last - so be sure to read to the end ;)

Or, just click one of the links below to jump to the nightlife kind of place that you're looking for:

Nightclubs in Waco

To get this list started, we're going to lead off with the nightclubs in Waco, TX. This is where you might be a little surprised. Waco actually has a few nightclubs, and they are highly rated experiences despite being located in a city with a population of less than 200,000.


5ive Dayclub & Nightclub is located in the heart of downtown Waco. As the name says, it features both a day club and a nightclub.

Nightlife in Waco is upscale fun at this club.

The nightclub is an upscale experience with bottle service, as well as three different VIP lounge areas you can reserve in advance; one in an exclusive corner space, one underneath the DJ booth, and one overlooking the club dance floor from above.

The party goes until 2 AM, and they do have a dress code that's pretty strictly enforced, so if you're going to 5IVE, make sure you dress to the nines.


The Warehouse Waco is a sports bar that feels more like a nightclub at night. In fact, while they haven't won any awards recently (at least not that I'm aware of), they did win Top Nightclub in 2017, as well as "Best New Bar" the same year.

Generally speaking, the ratings are pretty good, but it definitely has more of a sports bar feel than it does a nightclub. And the experience is much more casual than one might expect at a traditional nightclub.

That being said, there's plenty of alcohol, music, and good times. They're also open until 2 AM so you can live it up well into the morning.


Melody Ranch is open Thursday - Saturday night. They call themselves a "Laid-back nightclub featuring country-western tunes, a large dance floor & live bands".

So, if you're looking for a ranch bar-type experience, then this is a place you'll probably want to check out.

Lately, they haven't been getting such great reviews, and the trend in the reviews tends to focus on some rude bouncers/bartenders.

But, like anything else, if you're looking for a fun spot for nightlife in Waco, sometimes you just don't know until you go check it out for yourself. For every negative experience, there seems to be a positive one as well.


Smiley's is a nightclub located in Waco, TX that leans heavily into the Latino genre. If you enjoy Yo Perreo Sola and Mojitos, then this nightclub is your spot.

Compared to other places for nightlife in Waco, Smiley's is also a pretty big nightclub with plenty of space to drink and dance the night away.

It's also located right off of N Valley Mills Drive, so it's extremely easy to get to. If you're starting the evening off downtown before heading to the nightclub, it's a quick drive down Franklin Ave. from downtown.

Bars & Pubs in Waco

Next up I'll cover some of the most popular bars, lounges and pubs in Waco, TX. Most of these places are open late into the evening - sometimes into the next morning, especially on Friday and Saturday night.

Whether you're looking for an upscale lounge experience, an old school Whiskey drink, or a raucous sports bar covering floor-to-ceiling flatscreens, Waco has a nightlife scene for everybody.


You may not have known this, but Waco is home to the largest whiskey bar in the entire state of Texas.

You'll find the largest whiskey bar in Texas at Barnett's Public House.

In fact, not only is Barnett's Public House the largest whiskey bar in Texas, it's also the 3rd largest whiskey bar in the entire nation.

Barnett's is open until 1 AM on Friday and Saturday evenings, so you'll have plenty of time to check out their vast selection of whiskey. They also serve up some incredible food, so be sure to fill up while you're there.

They even do seasonal crab boils and other seafood delicacies throughout the year, so follow them on Facebook or Instagram to keep up.


The Boiler Room is located inside another business called "The Findery" right near Magnolia at The Silos. It's located inside a building that was originally built in 1908, and restored to its former glory by the current owners.

"The Boiler Room" was actually a room used during Prohibition to make alcohol. So, naturally, it was restored back to being a beer and wine bar!

You can visit this cool piece of history and get a drink at the same time at The Findery. The Findery is also a fantastic home goods store, so you're also welcome to "sip and shop" if you'd like.


When the sign leading down the hall to the restrooms says, "please don't do coke in the bathroom", you know you're in for a good time... In all seriousness, please don't do that, but definitely have a good time at Truelove Bar.

Nightlife in Waco isn't complete without Truelove Bar or the drinks that they make with extreme consistency. If there's one thing you'll discover about this bar, it's that people love the bartenders. If your night starts and ends with a drink - Truelove bar is a solid bet for a good night out in Waco.


Dichotomy Coffee & Spirits was recently renovated and now features a completely new interior. During the early morning hours and the daytime, this coffee shop is just that - a coffee shop. But as the evening approaches, you can find all kinds of other drinks at Dichotomy, including alcohol, wines, and beers.

They specialize in hard-to-find spirits, including specialty whiskies, Amari, and more.

Dichotomy also features a really cool rooftop space that gives you a good view of the Alico and city government buildings.


Pinewood Public House is part of Pinewood Coffee. They're both in the same location and share a building along with outer courtyard space. They offer beer on tap, singles, organic wine (also by the glass), as well as retail beer and wine to go.

My favorite part of Pinewood is definitely the exterior courtyard space. It will make you feel like you're part of a fun, whimsical story that takes place in a wooded space with friends and laughter all around. The ambience encourages community and conversation and they do a really great job of maintaining that vibe throughout your experience at Pinewood Public House.


It's a super small bar, and has extremely limited seating so if you're not up for a potential wait-time, then Sloane's may not be for you. But if a tacky-but-classy 80's vibe is your thing, then the wait might be worth it afterall.

Their slogan is "We're saving you a drink". And that's true from Monday - Thursday from 4-10 PM or Friday + Saturday from 4 PM to midnight.

In fact, they frequently have limited-edition cocktails!

You can check out the Sloane's Instagram here.


Food and beer. That's Waco Ale Co. But not just any food and beer... it's good food and beer! They consistently have a 4-5 star rating on Google Reviews, and they almost always seem to be busy.

They're also an award-winning beer brewing company. And they're locally owned. And they're family-owned.

In their own words, they offer, "Waco-exclusive brews include 7th Day IPA, Bear Bones, Pearly Gates, Sailgate Beer, and Amber Avenue. Each of these brews has been hand-crafted and perfected to give both locals and tourists a great variety of brews. We take great pride in our exclusive brews and invite you to taste them all.".

So, there you have it. If you're a beer drinker, Waco Ale Co is open until 11 PM Friday and Saturday and 10 PM most other nights. You can keep up to date with Waco Ale Co via their Instagram.


If you're looking for a good nightlife place in Waco that's open until 2 AM Thursday - Saturday, and you like bourbon, tequila, craft beer or cocktails, then Hemingway's Watering Hole is probably what you're looking for.

Hemingway's Watering Hole consistently features a 4.5 - 5 star rating on Google Reviews and is definitely one of the favorite places for locals. However, tourists are most definitely welcome!

The interior is nice, but the outdoor patio space is probably my favorite.

The location is not far from the river and all things downtown Waco, so if you're staying in downtown Waco or just prefer to hang out downtown, then Hemingway's is a good place to go!

Sports Bars in Waco

This section features some of the coolest nightlife in Waco. And I genuinely mean that. These nightlife spots listed below are some of the most unique nightlife experiences you'll find not just in Waco, but in the entire state of Texas.

Don't believe me? Keep on reading!


Freight Bar is definitely a younger crowd experience, so if you can keep up with the kids, then Freight Bar might be your place. Also, it's all outdoors and it can be a ton of fun! It's basically a nightlife space that's been built with shipping containers and and wood fencing.

It features outdoor screens, games, and a lit up courtyard with sit down and stand up tables situated around the space, which gives it a unique ambience not found anywhere else in the city.

It definitely fuels a friendly, communal, and conversational experience. Nightlife in Waco simply wouldn't be the same without Freight Bar. In fact, going to Freight Bar to watch a live sports event can be a really fun experience that rivals that of a place like Buffalo Wild Wings.

They do have what some might consider a pretty strict dress code in terms of being too revealing, so just keep that in mind before heading out to the Freight Bar.

The Freight Bar is also located right next door to a BBQ restaurant that many locals might consider one of the best BBQ restaurants in Waco.


Let me start by saying... there's no other nightlife in Waco quite like Putters.

It's an arcade bar with a mini-golf course inside, and it's open until 2 AM pretty much every day of the week.

Yes, you read all of the above correctly. An arcade bar, with a mini-golf course inside open until 2 AM every day of the week.

Putters offers a unique nightlife experience that simply cannot be found anywhere else in Waco, or near Waco at all.

On top of that, they also allow you to order food from several nearby restaurants at no additional cost. So, drinks, food, mini golf, arcade, and TVs with sports on pretty much all day. If this sounds like your kind of place, then I guess I'll see you at Putters!


A massive bar and grill that features a huge outdoor space, live performance stage, fire pits, billiards, and a monster TV screen... am I missing anything?

Ohhh yeah! The regular live performances include some pretty well-known entertainers and musicians!

And they're open until 2 AM every day of the week.

If you're hungry, thirsty, or bored... The Backyard Stage & Grill is a great place to solve all three problems. It's located around the corner from Magnolia at The Silo's, so you'll be near downtown and I-35 for quick and easy access no matter where you're going or coming from.

Wineries, Lounges, and Upscale Bars in Waco

This section of businesses features the upscale nightlife scene in Waco. These are places that you dress up for, and you probably plan to stay a while, too.

Their classy, upscale experiences will leave you impressed and satisfied after a beautiful evening out with friends or family.

Just make sure you follow the rules - these businesses are classy and sassy and if you don't live by their rules, you won't get to have your share of the fun.


Hotel 1928 is one of the most recent projects that the Gaines have added to their empire. It's a beautiful hotel with a lovely rooftop terrace overlooking downtown Waco and the Alico building. The rooftop bar keeps your glass filled, while the nearby outdoor propane fireplaces keep you warm on chilly Texas nights as you relax in the white chaise lounge chairs and sofas under the stars.

Bertie's on the rooftop during the day

Photo by ExpertTexan: Bertie's on The Rooftop during the day


The latest addition to the rooftop terrace scene in Waco can be found at Lucky Bucks. It's a rooftop bar located atop Hotel Herringbone, just a few blocks away from Magnolia Market at the Silos. There are only a handful of publicly accessible rooftop terraces in Waco, and this one is probably one of the best yet.

The only downside (in my humble opinion) is the lack of super comfy seating options like the ones you'll find on the Hotel 1928 rooftop terrace. Lucky Bucks has a lot of seating, but it's primarily solid-surface-seating options with wood tables and chairs placed throughout.

But the view...


Valley Mills Vineyard is the place where you start the night. It's open from 12 PM and closes at 6 PM, and it's a beautiful place to start your evening fun with a beautiful and relaxing experience on a sprawling wine vineyard located on the hillside overlooking the valley in Valley Mills, TX.

If you are a member of their wine club, sometimes you can arrive after 6 PM for their special events.

They offer award-winning wines, exclusive member-only dinner clubs, and special events with nationally recognized chefs and entertainers that you won't find anywhere else near Waco.

If 6 PM is too early for you, keep reading... there are plenty of other upscale options that are open much later.


Waco is becoming something of an incubator for new, upscale lounge concepts. Lounge 93 is one of the newest upscale lounges in Waco and should not be missed.

The ambiance is fantastic.

The interior decor is incredible and fosters an environment that is conducive for conversation to take place since there's not a single TV to be seen in the entire space.

This is a place I'd highly recommend for a date night or even as a starting point for the rest of the evening.

They're open from 11 AM - 10 PM every day except Sunday.


Undercroft Social Club is open until 11 PM, but you have to be a member. If you're not ready to be in a committed relationship with Undercroft, then a day pass will suffice.

At least temporarily.

If you want to break down the barriers and engage in deeper conversations, then you'll need to be decisive and make the choice to become a member.

Only those who say yes at Undercroft receive exclusive invitations to member-only events, lectures, courses, personal lockers, community discounts and partnerships, and special access to the space outside of general public access hours.

Does that sound like a cult? ...Nah - it's a club! And it can make nightlife in Waco a lot more interesting when you're an exclusive member of Undercroft.


One Day Bar is both a coffee shop and an upscale bar. How they manage to pull that one off, I'm not entirely sure, but they do - and they do it well!

It also features a covered outdoor space where they sometimes have local food trucks prepare food for lunch or dinner for their guests.

It's open until 12 AM pretty much every night of the week, and it's open until 1 AM on Friday and Saturday.

It's red, black, velvet, suede, leather, and has huge windows strategically located throughout the space. It's basically Elvis, but in the form of a bar... and coffee shop.


Stay Classy Waco defines themselves as a place that offers, "Eclectic dishes served with wines by the glass, bottle & flight in a cozy spot with live music."

It's located in downtown Waco right on Austin Ave - a stone's throw away from the Alico building, the river, Magnolia at The Silos, and much more.

If you're looking for nightlife in Waco that's open late, Stay Classy Waco is one of those places. They're open until 11 PM most nights and 12 AM on Fridays and Saturdays.

At night, the interior ambiance is somewhat dim but well-lit and cozy, with a touch of elegance here and there. It's a lovely place to stop and grab a bite to eat and stay a while while you sip on a drink... or two.


Z'S At The Curry is probably one of the most controversial Nightlife spots in Waco because of their extremely strict dress-code and behavior policies. They are extremely serious about their upscale experience, and they maintain it with an iron fist.

So, make sure you read the rules thoroughly before going. And when you arrive, be on your best behavior.

In all sincerity, it's not that bad - but a lot of people don't seem to be able to read these days and/or follow rules of any kind, so in their iron-fist ways, they often receive negative reviews for their strict enforcement of ALL their policies.

But, as with many other things in life... if you follow the rules, it's a lot of fun and a great experience in what is quite possibly the most upscale bar and lounge in Waco, located in a historic building dating back to 1946.

It's survived tornados and fires and is conveniently located downtown Waco with a great view of the city courthouse and the Alico Building.

If you're looking for upscale nightlife in Waco... then Z's at The Curry is where you'll find it.

Helpful Information About Waco Nightlife