25 epic dishes every Baylor Bear knows (or should know)
Every student and alum remembers those snacks, meals, and drinks shared with college friends. They’re the ones that always hit the spot — the ones to which friends instantly agreed, “YES, let’s get that!”
Here are 25 epic dishes — from appetizers to entrees to desserts — every Baylor Bear knows (or needs to know):
- Vitek’s Gut Pack. Fritos, cheddar cheese, beans, pickles, onions, jalapeños, sausage or brisket, and BBQ sauce, all served with a slice of bread. It ain’t for the weak, but there’s a reason it was named America’s top college dish in a national competition.
- Memorial’s Flying Saucer. Like Taco Bell’s Crunchwrap, only way better. (Bears who graduated before fall of 2014 will remember this as Collins’ flying saucer. Don’t worry; the recipe is still the same!) Whenever it’s being cooked up in its new home in Memorial dining hall, the line stretches through the entire cafeteria. But it’s well worth the wait.
- Late Night IHOP. I can’t count the number of late-night study sessions and deep talks I had with friends at “the Baylor IHOP.” The moment I finally bonded with my dorm roommate was over pancakes, bacon, and those delirious 2 a.m. giggles.
- Penland’s Wing Wednesday. Picture mountains of chicken wings — Buffalo, honey mustard, barbecue teriyaki — and as many as you can eat. Needless to say, Penland gets a bit packed on Wednesdays.
- Common Grounds’ Cowboy Coffee. As a Baylor student, you make fast friends with Common Grounds. For your first drink, you have to try their signature Cowboy Coffee. Then, try my own favorite, the Heisman: an ultra-caffeinated mint chocolate chip blend of frozen goodness.
- Ms. Mei’s cookies. If you think your grandma makes the best cookies in the world, sorry, but most Baylor students would agree that you’re just wrong. Ms. Mei, Memorial Dining Hall’s resident cookie baker, makes the world’s most perfect, gooey chocolate chip cookies. Get ‘em while they’re hot — literally — as they’re all snatched up within minutes!
- Katie’s Frozen Custard’s Cyclone. Think of a flavor, and Katie’s will make it for you. Mint, marshmallow, coffee, peaches, pineapple, pecan, butterscotch – the list goes on. Pro tip: Get it with whipped cream.
- Ninfa’s chips and salsa. Red sauce or green, no meal at Ninfa’s is complete without a bowl (or three, or seven) of Ninfa’s beloved appetizer.
- Kitok’s Oriental fries. The very definition of a dive restaurant, Kitok has been a student favorite since 1975. If you only order one thing, make it the Oriental fries.
- Red Wagon BBQ’s brisket. The folks behind this hidden gem (which won’t stay hidden much longer) learned their trade at Austin’s famous Franklin Barbecue, but you won’t have to wait five hours for this meal — yet.
- World Cup Café’s coffee and Texas Toaster. When it comes to breakfast, World Cup doesn’t mess around. It’s a bit of a ways from campus, but the quality, locally sourced ingredients make for one heck of a breakfast sandwich.
- Shorty’s pizza pillow. Picture a soft-crusted calzone. Fill it with as much mozzarella and toppings as you possibly can, and add marinara and ranch dipping sauce. That’s a pizza pillow. Any one you choose will be delicious, filling, and totally worth the $4, but I recommend the BBQ chicken, made with Vitek’s barbecue sauce.
- George’s chicken fried steak. There’s a reason why this has annually been voted “Best in Waco” for more than a decade. One of life’s ultimate comfort foods, done right.
- D’s Mediterranean Grill’s chicken tenders. You wouldn’t think you’d go to a Greek restaurant for chicken tenders, but whether regular or spicy, you don’t want to miss these.
- Health Camp’s burger, fries, onion rings, and vanilla shake. This old-school diner is a favorite among Wacoans and Baylor students. If you can navigate the Circle to get there, then you’ve earned the right to a greasy meal at Health Camp.
- Café Cappuccino’s pancakes. Café Capp, as we call it, is famous for its amazing brunch options and charming interior. I spent many Saturday mornings with a latte, a giant pancake, and friends.
- Terry and Jo’s Food for Thought’s stuffed avocado. Food for Thought is known for its tasty, yet healthy options, and the low-carb stuffed avocado is no exception. (If you’re very pro-carb though, there’s always the chicken nachos.)
- Baris spaghetti. Really, you can’t go wrong with anything at Baris, from the calzones and strombolis to the pizza and salads.
- Lula Jane’s’ baked oatmeal. For a morning person like myself, Lula Jane’s is the best place to go for a solo study session. Coffee paired with the owner’s homemade baked oatmeal is the perfect way to get a jump-start on a sleepy Saturday.
- Czech Stop’s kolaches. You didn’t think we’d leave this one off our list, did you? I can’t name the number of times my friends and I made a mini road trip north to West, Texas, for these little kolache treasures.
- Poppa Rollo’s pepperoni pizza. Go for the homemade pizza; stay for the Three Stooges films playing on the big screen.
- Lolita’s breakfast tacos. You don’t even have to go for breakfast; whether you prefer bacon, chorizo or sausage, these Waco favorites are available all day.
- A burger from Cupp’s Drive Inn or Dubl-R. Cupp’s is located just off campus, while Dubl-R is a little further away. But both are Waco staples for those who like a juicy, non-chain burger.
- Clay Pot’s lemongrass chicken. While Waco isn’t typically known for its Asian cuisine, Clay Pot is a longtime campus favorite, dating back to 1980 (when it was the Ly-Le Restaurant).
- Last but not least, a Dr Pepper float. If you’re on campus on a Tuesday afternoon, hit Dr Pepper Hour in the SUB for a free float; if not, check out the old-fashioned soda fountain at the Dr Pepper Museum downtown.
And then of course, there are the dozens of recently opened restaurants and food trucks that are just waiting to create new memories with Baylor students. Are we missing something from this list? Let us know – click here to submit your point of pride!
Sic ’em, Bears!