When you first move away to a new city for college, you’re overwhelmed with new friendships, new living space, and new classes. Sometimes it’s hard to make that transition without missing home too much. Here are some local restaurants that will push you closer to believing Waco is your home.
If you need somewhere to watch Baylor games, George’s is the place to be. The crowd is a mix of local Baylor fanatics and Baylor students, so sometimes it feels like you’re watching the game with a bunch of “friends.” They offer some of the best appetizers ever and drinks that keep you satisfied the whole game. If you’re just going to eat with some friends, I LOVE their famous chicken fried steak.
2. Shorty’s Pizza Shack
Shorty’s is the go-to for so many of us at Baylor. Want some beer and pizza for cheap? Shorty’s. Have a bad day that nothing will solve quite like Sangria? You guessed it, Shorty’s. This is where everyone goes just to have a casual meal with their friends. It’s almost always packed with Baylor students, so it’s definitely an option if you’re looking for a more social atmosphere. They also have specials every day of the week, so you could basically steal your meal if you’re there on the right day. Save your money, it’s cute!
3. La Fiesta
La Fiesta is probably my favorite restaurant in Waco. You can never go wrong with Mexican food! My friends and I have gone so many times over the years and it never gets old. Okay… well maybe the hangover does. They offer their infamous “Purple Margarita” that I usually pair with the Cuban Cigar appetizer. That combination always promises a fun night!
Baris is one of the first local restaurants I tried when I first moved to Waco my freshman year. I was absolutely shocked at how good their food was because the street view isn’t exactly exciting. If you’re big on pasta and bread like I am, this is the place for you, babe. I get their tortellini pink, which is basically tortellini topped with vodka sauce, but it’s definitely in my top 5 pasta dishes ever. What makes it even better is that a lot of their entrees are under 10 dollars AND you get free bread?!
5. William Hoyt Bagel
This one isn’t exactly a restaurant scene like the previous ones, but an absolute MUST. Every time my sister is in town, she won’t leave without one of these bagels. For 5 dollars, you get a homemade bagel and your choice of a “schmear,” which is code for cream cheese. There are different flavor options for both the bagel and the schmear, so you’re bound to find something life-altering because I totally have. They have two different locations, one behind Heritage Creamery and one in the SUB. Both happen to be right next to Common Grounds, so you can grab breakfast and coffee all at once before heading to your next class.
In your first two years, college feels like it will never end, but by the time you’re a senior, you’re wishing you had more time. I encourage you to get out and explore Waco, as it’s growing bigger and better every day. It’s certainly much more of a college town than it was when I arrived back in 2017. Convince your friends to try these places and more with you, and cherish every moment. From a graduating senior, don’t take college too seriously, and remember to get out and make memories.