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Five Small Restaurants in Waco You Need To Try ASAP

     The grease pit may include some of Baylor students favorite fast food chains, but sometimes it is a good idea to change up the menu. Whether you are looking for yourself, a group, or for date night, it is always a good idea to venture out and try something new. Below is a short list of small restaurants whose menus do not disappoint: 


1. Clay Pot

​     Located downtown, the Clay Pot is a family owned authentic Vietnamese restaurant. Their menu offers a variety of Vietnamese fare, my personal favorite being their pho bowls and bubble tea. I have always been impressed with how fresh the food tastes, and it is a great value for the price. For COVID regulation, masks are required, and they also take each customers’ temperature before seating. They also accept carry out orders, and delivery can be found through Favor.


2. Portofino’s

     You can never go wrong with Italian, and Portofino’s does it just right! They have large selections of pasta, veal, chicken, shrimp, pizza, sandwiches, and dessert. As well as beer and wine to pair with their meals. This can be considered one of the nicer restaurants on the list, making it the perfect date night spot with reasonable pricing. 


3. Jake’s Texas Tea House

     Advertised as “Home cooking worth leaving home for!”, Jake’s Tea house offers American comfort-style cuisine. Although their menu changes quite frequently because it is made from scratch, it never disappoints. Sides are served family-style for sharing with the table, and they also offer bottled soda, old-fashioned floats, and shakes/malts. This is definitely the best way to get a home-cooked meal away from home! 


4. Barnett’s Public House

     Barnett’s Public House offers a classy Irish Pub feeling, with a wide variety of drinks as well as appetizers, salads, and burgers. Although the majority of their customers most likely come for their handcrafted drinks, ranging from mimosas and irish coffee to whiskey and cocktails, their food is not to be overlooked. Their Barnett’s burger is my personal favorite, and their brunch menu offers even more delectable eats, including eggs benedict!  


5. Mac House

     Located in a parking lot, Mac House is a trendy drive through/outdoor seating only venue. Like the name implies, it specializes in all things cheese, from macaroni to grilled cheese. My personal favorite is the “Uncle Rico”, a 12oz cup crammed full of noodles, brisket, jalapenos, and horseradish-pecan cheddar. They offer a wide variety, as well as a small selection of soups/salads for the less cheese oriented. 


     The next time you are looking for somewhere to eat, I highly recommend picking a place from this list. It will be hard to pick a favorite between these local restaurants once you’ve tried them all! Of course, each establishment may have changing regulations due to the virus, so make sure to check online or call ahead before planning your meal. Happy eating!

Hannah Cotton is a sophomore Neuroscience major on the Pre-Medical track at Baylor University. She is from Wentzville, Missouri which is just west of St. Louis. When she is not at the library she can most likely be found out with friends or getting coffee. In her down time she enjoys binging Criminal Minds and reading murder mysteries.
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