person performing coffee art
Photo by Chevanon Photography on

The BEST Coffee Shops in Waco | 2023

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 best coffee shops in Waco unique is that each cafe offers a completely distinct experience.

LIsten to “The Best Coffee Shops in Waco”

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. And each coffee spot tells a unique story.

None of these coffee shops are just a place to grab a cup of joe; that’s what Starbucks is for.

Here are the BEST coffee shops in Waco:


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:

  • a) it’s MASSIVE
  • b) it’s BEAUTIFUL
  • c) it’s UNIQUE

Oh, and the drinks are delicious. But it’s not just the drinks – it’s the desserts too! 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. If you haven’t been there in a while, you may be surprised by how much it’s changed in just the past year.

the front of Magnolia Press Coffee, one of the most famous coffee shops in waco.
Image Source

As of today, you’ll find a food truck park, tons of covered seating areas, a restored historic church, a dozen local boutique stores, plenty of green space to lounge and picnic, a historic baseball field that is now a whiffle ball field, 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.


One of the newest coffee shops in downtown Waco also happens to be one of the best coffee shops in Waco. Zs Brew Coffee & Crepes opened at the end of 2020 and is located on the first floor of a historic building on Washington Ave. It’s kind of a hidden, hole in the wall type of spot, so it’s easy to miss if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

Z's brew coffee & crepes; a local coffee shop in Waco, TX located on Washington Ave.
Z’s Brew Coffee & Crepes + Bar / Wine Lounge

From 8:30 – 5PM, this location is a coffee shop called Zs Brew Coffee & Crepes, but at night, it’s an upscale bar and lounge known as Zs at The Curry where they serve finely crafted cocktails, wine, and ice-cold beers.

Originally built in 1946, the building where this Waco coffee shop is located was used as an office supply store known as the ‘Curry Office Supply’. This historic building has also survived the Waco tornado of 1953, as well as a couple of fires.

Inside Z's Coffee & Brew, a local coffee shop in Waco, TX.
Z’s Coffee & Brew

This local coffee shop has a modern industrial look and feel with adequate seating both inside and out. It’s not necessarily a coffee shop that I’d stop and hang out to work at for any amount of time (the seats aren’t that comfortable). But it’s definitely a good local coffee shop to take a break especially if it’s 100 degrees outside.

The historic Curry building on Washington Ave is home to Z's Brew & Coffee (a local place to get coffee in Waco, TX) and Z's at The Curry (a local upscale cocktail bar).
Z’s Brew & Coffee / Z’s at The Curry (an upscale wine lounge/cocktail bar)

The patio – located on the first floor just outside their front door – is a great place to hang out, especially on a sunny day when it’s covered in shade.

Highlights of Zs Brew Coffee & Crepes

  • Delicious coffee (I got the Iced Caramel Latte!).
  • The covered, second-floor terrace with a splendid view.
  • The spacious, covered patio on the first floor with plenty of available seating.
  • It’s within 10 blocks or less from Magnolia at the Silo’s, the Riverwalk, and more.

Here’s where Z’s is located:


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.

kids books on the shelf at Fabled Bookstore & Cafe, a coffee shop in Waco, TX.
Image Source

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.

The kids room even features a “wardrobe” with a hidden door behind the clothes just like in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe from the Chronicles of Narnia series! My kids make a point of going in it every time we go.

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.

Fabled Bookshop and Cafe store front - one of the fun things to do in waco with kids.
Image Source

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 Waco-based coffee shop 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 local coffee shop 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.

Every Coffee Shop in Waco | The Complete Guide

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.
  • Good coffee!


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.

a view of the Waco city building from the rooftop terrace at Dichotomy Coffee & Spirits.
View from Dichotomy Coffee & Spirits Rooftop Lounge

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.

dichotomy coffee and spirits storefront in downtown Waco TX

Highlights of Dichotomy Coffee & Spirits

  • Coffee and alcohol in one place.
  • Nice study spaces.
  • Rooftop terrace.
  • Delicious coffees.


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).

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!

They routinely update 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 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.

Screenshot of Common Grounds Menu (May 2021)

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.


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 shop 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).

a view from the patio of a cup of coffee from Lighthouse Coffee & Wine of the with the McLennan County Courthouse and Alico buildings in the background.
My Sweet Latte From Lighthouse Coffee & Wine

The covered patio is a nice bonus to the coffee shop, and it 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!).

the wine and coffee bar inside Lighthouse Coffee & Wine in downtown Waco, TX
Inside Lighthouse Coffee & Wine

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.


a light next to a green plant inside THRST coffee shop, a locally owned and operated coffee house in Waco TX.

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.

inside of THRST Coffee, a local coffee shop in Waco, Texas.

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.

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.

Highlights of THRST Coffee Shop

  • Locally Owned & Operated by a Successful Waco Entrepreneur
  • A Consistent Coffee Taste Due to a Consistent Roast
  • Uniquely Designed Interior & an Inviting Ambience


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.