Itineraries, Travel

The Good Ol’ Days are Still to Come – Waco, Texas

Open shelving. Farmhouse style decor.  Shiplap. So. Much. Shiplap.

A couple years ago, I couldn’t figure out why friends and the internet couldn’t stop talking about this show called Fixer Upper. I hadn’t seen it myself, but was curious as to why it was so beloved. One summer afternoon, I caught it on TV. About three episodes later, I was completely caught up in the hype.

While it may sound silly, Chip and Joanna Gaines have a way of making me feel at home just by watching their show. I’ve loved watching Fixer Upper not only to see how the Gaines’ can transform a raggedy house into a beautiful home, but because I love to see the way family and marriage is celebrated through Chip and Joanna’s care for one another. I also love the thought and intentionality put into their projets, especially big ventures like the Silos.

While planning our trip to Texas, Jeremy wanted to make sure that we visited Waco because he knew how much I wanted to go. As we got closer to leaving for Texas, I saw a friend’s IG story of them waiting in line around 6:00 AM to get into Magnolia Table. This sent me into a frenzy looking up tips and tricks to maximize our time in Waco and avoid the crowds/long lines. Based on our visit, I’ve compiled some of the best ones below!

Between everything there is to see in Waco, getting to dine at Magnolia Table was at the top of my wish list. From what I could tell, the biggest factor when considering a visit to Magnolia Table or the Silos is the weekday and time you choose to go. We went on a Tuesday in order to get as close to the middle of the week as we could. Because of the IG story I saw and hearing from another friend that Magnolia Table closed their lines at 12 PM because of crowds, I didn’t want to take any chances. We aimed to leave Austin at 7:00 AM, but because Joanna woke up early, we rolled with it and left at 6:30 AM instead.

After a sweet sunrise drive with Johnnyswim floating through the speakers, we arrived to the restaurant at 8:00 AM and easily found a spot in the parking lot! As a note for anyone planning a visit, I’ve heard that parking can become limited and tricky when the restaurant gets crowded. Once we put our names in, we were told that they’d call us in 25 minutes, but actually waited no more than ten!

The restaurant itself was impeccably designed and felt airy and cozy all at the same time. In many ways, the home-y, nostalgic yet dreamy ambience is adequately described by the restaurant’s sweet motto “ The Good Ol’ Days are Still to Come.” We ordered Jo’s Biscuits with strawberry butter to share and start with. These were probably the best biscuits I’ve ever had, which made lathering on the whipped butter even better.

Jeremy said his latte was the best latte he’s ever had (better than anything he’s tried in Seattle and DC) and got a second after finishing his first! #Vacationmode He ordered the lemon blueberry pancakes, which were a Spring special that came with thick-cut bacon, tater tots, and eggs. I especially appreciated his order because it allowed me to try the bacon and homemade tater tots, which I heard were popular. I went with the Farms Eggs Benedict, which was wonderfully savory with the perfect ratio of egg to bacon to hollandaise sauce all atop another incredible biscuit. Normally, Jeremy and I can demolish whatever is put in front of us, but Magnolia Table humbled us. The portions were huge and the food was so rich, that we only got halfway through before we could not go on. By the time we left, we could see a small crowd starting to gather outside the restaurant, which made it the perfect time to leave.

We took a short drive over to the Silos to meet our sister-in-law, nephews, and niece. The best thing about starting our day early was that the Silos weren’t very crowded at that point. Our nephews had a blast running around the lawn and throwing a frisbee that they found. I enjoyed getting to walk around the “market” with my sister-in-law and seeing so many gorgeous Magnolia products. I picked up the cutest mini milk creamer and Magnolia Market magnet…which I managed to lose…it’s a sore spot. One thing I will say is that I was surprised at how expensive most of the products were (i.e. faux wreaths that were $80.00). It gave me greater appreciation for the Hearth & Hand collection at Target, which is a great option for anyone (like me) who may not want to spend as much at Magnolia Market.

Towards the back of the lawn area, the Silos had food trucks lined up with options ranging from sweet tea (the northeast girl in me will never understand the southern obsession with sweet tea!), grilled cheese, lemonade, and more. I got a blue raspberry shaved ice, but was pretty disappointed with it and wish I had tried something else. After spending time sitting, shopping, eating, and enjoying the lawn, we stopped by the garden to take some photos and look around. We didn’t stop by the bakery, mostly because we were still full from breakfast, but by the time we left there was a line that was already forming outside the door.

Overall, I massively enjoyed our visit to Magnolia Table and the Silos. I think it was exactly what I thought it would be and I was so grateful to get to experience it all with Jeremy and Joanna. Quick fun fact and funny story, we did not name Joanna after Mrs. Gaines, but quickly realized that it was very awkward telling anyone in Waco her name because it made us look like crazy Fixer Upper fans. After one slightly awkward encounter with a Magnolia Table employee, we started calling Joanna by her middle name and decided that would be what she was called whenever we’re in Waco. Whenever we come back, I would especially love to dine at Magnolia Table again and maybe try some goods from the bakery! Until then, I’ll be watching reruns of Fixer Upper with Joanna and browsing through the Magnolia Table cookbook on my couch!

Top Tips When Planning a Visit to Magnolia Table and the Silos:

  1. Go Early: Waking up early and getting there before the crowds is worth it! Your chances of getting to eat at the restaurant are higher and you’re less likely to have to deal with the same intensity of crowds during the middle of the day.
  2. Set Your Expectations: The goal of the Silos is to be a place where families and friends can come spend time together with some shopping and great food options in the surrounding area. If you’re looking to be entertained or to have loads of things to do, you might be disappointed. Come expecting to simply enjoy time with your friends and family.  When bringing kids, it might not be a bad idea to bring your own ball, frisbee, or other outdoor toys.
  3. Plan Accordingly: Between the restaurant, store, bakery, and garden, a visit to Magnolia Table and the Silos can be done in a full day or less. If you’re planning to visit Waco any longer than that, I would do some research on other things to see in the area. For passionate Fixer Upper fans, I’ve heard you can drive around to see some of the houses featured on the show.
  4. Come with an Empty Stomach: There are so many great food options between Magnolia Table and the Silos that you’ll want to make sure you have room to try them all! (Once again, keep in mind that Magnolia Table’s portions are huge)