A Guide to Waco Coffee Shops
Over the last twenty years, this hallmark among Waco coffee shops has established itself as a welcoming destination for students, professionals, and families alike to connect, study, and hangout, all while enjoying fantastic java and a variety of live music performances, the former of which includes tempting signature beverages such as the secret sauce enriched Cowboy Coffee and no-frills, quad espresso-infused Nervous Breakdown.
Whether you’d like to sink into a couch or armchair and appreciate the company of loved ones over a steamy cup of joe, groove to the tunes of a local musician jamming out on stage, or silently work amidst the old world, fairytale charm of a cozy neighborhood gathering space, whatever the case may be, Common Grounds has got you covered.
Pinewood’s gorgeous coffee bar sits center stage and is surrounded by plenty of crafty wooden furnishings and trendy light fixtures that hang from a unique plank ceiling above. The warm vintage vibes serve as an accomplice to rewardingly delicious java that’s been thoughtfully roasted in-house, fine teas, chai, kombucha, and breakfast options.
As the day winds to a close, feel free to meander on over to the adjacent Pinewood Public House, which carries a similar atmosphere as well as beer on tap, singles, organic wine by the glass, and retail beer and wine bottles to go.
Magnolia Press draws you in with a timeless aura, a blend of Gatsby-era elegance and modern industrial cool. Once inside, the neat nautical tones, exceptional coffee, and perhaps even a slice of rich chocolate cake are sure to keep you there. That’s not to mention, the dazzling outdoor patio with romantically lit light bulbs strung overhead, well-manicured verdure along the edges, and artisan furnishings dappled throughout.
Waco’s premier third-wave coffee shop, Dichotomy puts an aesthetic emphasis on customer experience – there’s the checkered honeycomb tile flooring, elegant metallic ceiling panels, and narrow stairway leading to a rooftop terrace with gorgeous downtown views that include the McLennan County Courthouse building. Rest assured, the folks here take their java roasting and brewing methods as seriously as they do their picturesque elements, moreover, drinks are crafted with house-made vanilla syrup and local milk. Did we mention the specialty cocktails and rare spirits?
A recent addition to the blossoming index of Waco coffee shops, Bru is a cafe taking up residence within downtown’s historic Praetorian Building and slinging java from an antique elevator that’s been locked in place and preserved to show all the original fabric and architectural elements. The team here diligently sources organic fair-trade beans before roasting them locally and serving them in soul-stirring mugs of morning delight.
Another swanky gem among downtown Waco coffee shops, Lighthouse features skyline views as well as a calming, natural light-flooded atmosphere complemented by communal tables that are perfect for group get-togethers or meetings with colleagues. From gourmet coffees to a well-curated wine selection to caffeinated handcrafted cocktails like the classic Espresso Martini and signature bourbon-emboldened The Road Less Traveled, there’s a little something for every palette and occasion here.
A wonderful setting for words with friends, long study sessions, or just a good old-fashioned java break, Bitty & Beaus serves a variety of hot and cold coffee beverages, along with cafe bites.
Amy and Ben Wright, the founders of this human rights movement disguised as a coffee shop, are the proud parents of four children – Lillie, Emma Grace, Beau and Bitty. Lillie was born with autism, and Bitty & Beau were born with Down syndrome.
With over 80% of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities unemployed nationwide, the Wrights believe that Bitty & Beau’s Coffee creates a path for people with disabilities to become more valued, accepted, and included in every community.
The original shop opened in January 2016 in Wilmington, NC, and employed 19 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, since then, they’ve grown to over 23 shops across 12 states with over 200 employees.
What is probably one of the most flavorfully adventurous coffee shops in Waco, Lalo’s was founded in 2020 by Mexican immigrants whose aim is to deliver authentic Hispanic cultured drinks to the surrounding community. That being said, while you’re sure to encounter delicious takes on your usual favorites, don’t miss out on the diverse range of truly one-of-a-kind signature beverages like the cinnamon-sweetened Cafe de Olla Latte, Mazapan Frappuccino, and iced Horchata coffee.
Part bookshop, part cafe, Fabled projects an alluring balance of sophistication and ease, with its sleek furnishings, artisan bookshelves, well-manicured reading nooks, occasional touches of plant life, and secret wardrobe entrance into the children’s section.
Don’t hesitate to indulge in their literary-inspired coffee menu either, which includes a Honey Pot Latte, Muggle Mocha, and the Sleeping Beauty, a chamomile tea latte with house-made lavender brown sugar syrup.
Founded in Southern Oregon in 1992 by dairy farmer brothers Dane and Travis Boersma, Dutch Bros Coffee is the country’s largest privately held, drive-thru coffee company. For those java purists bewildered that I could include as large a chain as Dutch on this list of Waco coffee shops, please remember, they’re not very common elsewhere in the United States, so for visitors or newcomers, this energy-rich oasis in the sun will undoubtedly prove a sweet treat.
From early mornings to late nights, some heavenly beverages you may spot being served out of their pull-up window include specialty coffee drinks, smoothies, freezes, teas, and Blue Rebel energy drinks that customers can infuse with their favorite flavors.
Every cup of Dutch Bros. coffee is handcrafted – roasted by hand in the Pacific Northwest, blended by hand, and then ground and pulled by hand, ristretto-style. One more observation worth noting, their employees are relentlessly kind, attentive, and cheerful, at all times, never failing to look like they’re having the moment of their lives while on shift; super fun vibes!
If you enjoyed this guide to the best Waco coffee shops, be sure to check out our list of the Top 25 Coffee Shops in Dallas!