Our 10 favorite Baylor-area coffee spots
For so many people, college is the time of life when they first fall in love with coffee. Early morning classes, various student activities, dozens of new friends, and test after project after test… All can quickly lead to coffee being an absolute necessity. Lucky for us, Waco has no shortage of coffee shops — and special ones at that.
So, whether you’re a new student whose love for the bean is just beginning, or a Waco visitor looking for the best brew, here are our current 10 favorite Baylor-area coffee spots:
1. Common Grounds is probably the best‑known Baylor‑area coffee shop, famous for its quintessential laid‑back, college‑hangout vibe. HGTV fans might recognize the house‑turned‑coffee‑shop from Baylor alumni Chip and Joanna Gaines’ show Fixer Upper, but for students, this little shop is an everyday hangout spot that evokes a sense of home. With a big backyard covered in canopy trees (that doubles as a music venue), this place is a study spot and hangout haven. For your first drink, try anything off their signature Cowboy menu; you won’t be disappointed. (Common Grounds also partners with Baylor Missions to help send BU students abroad to serve and learn; for each purchase of their unique “Baylor Blend,” CG donates $5 to the Baylor Missions fund.)
2. Pinewood officially began in 2015 when Baylor grads roasted their first batch of coffee in a garage. Since then, Pinewood has settled into its very own spot on Austin Avenue. Their shop serves up delicious house lattes made with homemade brown‑sugar syrup and specializes in affordable, delicious drip coffee. At Pinewood, you’ll find a warm, welcoming environment; there’s always a record spinning wonderful tunes, and the mid‑century vibes make you feel like you’re in a different time and place.
3. Dichotomy got its start as a regular booth at the Waco Downtown Farmers Market in 2012, eventually moving to a permanent brick‑and‑mortar location in the heart of downtown. Sourcing and roasting the highest quality coffee, Dichotomy offers sophisticated, top‑notch, craft coffee beverages in a space that feels elegant and big‑city.
4. Lighthouse Coffee, a newer downtown hangout, offers a variety of coffees from Olympia Coffee Roasters. It delivers a small and special space, with a warm feel and a little outside patio where you can take in the Waco skyline — a perfect little getaway.
5. Brû has perhaps the most unique location of all: inside a century‑old elevator in the historic Praetorian Building. Owned by two Baylor alumni, the coffee shop’s name comes from a nickname based on the French word for roastery. If you’re craving a classic European‑style, dark espresso, this is your place. Enjoy your brew (pun intended) that was roasted on a restored 120‑year‑old machine made in the late 1800s.
6. One Day is tucked in a growing area of downtown Waco. Its cozy corners and patio area are sure to cater to your needs with a cup of their speciality coffee in hand. One Day also partners with local food trucks to offer sustenance at any time of day, so be sure to grab a snack, too!
7. Lalo’s Coffee and Pastries, the area’s newest coffee spot, is a locally-owned Mexican coffee shop and panadería. Each menu item is inspired by traditional Mexican recipes, and the store features pieces by artists from the Waco area. Settle into their brightly colored cafe and enjoy some cafecito and pan dulce; may Lalo’s be a little slice of Mexico for you here in Waco.
8. Kurbside Coffee — located inside Waco’s new food court, Union Hall — was started by two couples with a vision of bringing culture to Waco’s community. At Kurbside, you’ll find a variety of options, from bagels to Mexican bread filled with Nutella, and lattes to dirty horchatas. This shop loves to celebrate their culture through their menu!
9. World Cup Café may be a little further from campus, but their 7 a.m. cup of joe will do you wonders. And if you’re hungry, you can’t go wrong with any one of their Texas Toasters. The quality, locally sourced ingredients make for one heck of a breakfast sandwich. A part of Mission Waco, this cafe seeks to bring residents from North Waco together with middle‑income folks to revitalize our community.
10. The Starbucks in the foyer of Moody Library is technically the largest college Starbucks in the nation, thanks to the enormous Allbritton Foyer seating area. But the real reason we love this location? It’s location. This Starbucks is right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of campus. You’ll catch your professors grading or a friend you haven’t seen in a while, all while enjoying Starbucks’ latest seasonal offering.
[BONUS: For those who don’t love coffee, there’s Waco Cha. This neat little spot offers handcrafted, organic bubble tea — and man, is it good. They pride themselves on retaining authentic Taiwanese culture in their product and atmosphere, and fostering their mission of creating diverse community through quality boba tea and Taiwanese food. For your first drink, try their Milkyway Thai Tea with 50% sweetness and Boba; you won’t regret it.]
Sic ’em, coffee aficionados!
You might also like:
* Where to eat if you’re new to Baylor/Waco (and what to order) (Nov. 2019)
* Waco’s coffee scene largely brewed up by Baylor grads (Sept. 2018)