If you like food, walking around, taking photos, and exploring the cute home decor of Chip and Joanna Gaines, then the Magnolia Silos are for you. We took a little day trip from Austin up to the Silos to check it all out. Chip and Joanna Gaines have created an EMPIRE out in Waco, from their “Fixer Upper” HGTV show to their “Magnolia” home goods line, bakery, and restaurant. And now they’re going to have their own television network? It’s impressive no matter how you define success.
The first place we went to was actually Magnolia Table – their restaurant. It’s a few miles from the silos, so you have to drive there. We arrived around 11:30am and the wait time was about 3 hours. We left our name and number, then went off to explore the Silos. This ended up working out really well since you don’t have to stay at the restaurant and wait (no buzzers, just a text message). Plus, there was absolutely NO parking at 11am. So after checking in at the restaurant, we went to the Silos.
You could definitely park on the street and walk a little bit, but if it’s super hot (hello, Waco summer!) or you have people in your group that can’t walk far, you can park in a free trolley lot. The trolley runs every 15-20 minutes and takes you through downtown Waco and around to the Silos. If you’d rather do it yourself, you can try your luck at the free lot, or there’s a close lot where you can pay $10 to park.
Come hungry! There are about 12 food trucks around the border of the silos. The Alabama Sweet Tea truck was the most popular, and BOY was it tasty. You can get a half sweet, half unsweet mix and it’s perfect! It’s not cheap, but you get to keep the nice glass mason jar glass. We also stopped at The H.O.T. Dog House to get a hot dog. You know I can’t pass up a good hot dog. The bakery and restaurant also have their own trailers! If you’re not able to wait to visit either of those, you could at least get a sample from the trailers.
Besides browsing the Magnolia Market (a warehouse of Chip and Joanna Gaines’ home goods) and visiting the food trucks, there’s not a ton to DO. Like I said, it’s mostly walking around, taking pictures, and eating food. The last place to visit is the Silos Baking Co. It’s super cute (obviously) and has some delicious treats. When we got there, the line was around the corner and just hit the silos. Apparently, that’s a pretty short line compared to what it can be! We waited less than 15 minutes in line.
Inside the bakery, they have a variety of cupcakes and baked goods. You can also get coffee here. I ordered three items – the lemon lavender cupcake, the chocolatier cupcake, and the cranberry orange biscuit. All three were delicious! I’d recommend sharing the cupcakes though. The intense amount of sugary frosting made my stomach upset (but made my heart SO HAPPY). They have a cute little patio just outside the bakery as well.
After about 2 hours at the Silos, we’d seen it all and went back to the restaurant. It was around 1:30pm and the parking at the restaurant had significantly opened up. By that time (since they close at three) the only people there were people who were already on the list. We were able to be seated by 2pm – 30 minutes earlier than our original quoted time.
Inside, the restaurant is black and white farmhouse-chic. I’d recommend walking around because there are some awesome iron wall art pieces and tile floor mosaics to see. The service was great and we were greeted and taken care of right away.
Since we’d eaten at the food trucks already, we weren’t super hungry! My parents went for dessert (since they didn’t eat at the bakery) and I opted for their avocado toast. The toast was delicious and just what my body was craving after 10 pounds of frosting. My parents each ordered a slice of carrot cake (since our waitress said they were “pretty small”). Turns out, the carrot cake is MASSIVE. I’m talking three layers high and like, a quarter of the cake around. It easily could have fed 4 people. My parents looked at their slices and laughed. I mean, they were only $5.50! We totally believed the waitress when she said they were small!
To summarize, here are some things I’d tell people visiting for the first time:
- If you want to go to the restaurant, check in early. They close at 3pm, but at 11:30am, our dining time was already 2:30pm. I know they probably didn’t take many people for the wait list after us. If you have to wait, you can leave and visit the silos.
- The bakery line might look long, but it moves very fast!
- Waco gets super HOT during the summer. I’m talking over 100 degrees hot. I cannot imagine trying to walk around the Magnolia silos in the middle of the summer. I’m sure there are plenty of out of town tourists that make this mistake… If you must visit during the summer, you have to be an early riser and bring your hats and water bottles!
- On a similar note, wear sunscreen, no matter what. I actually burned my arms and it was a 75-degree day in the middle of March.
- Don’t worry about parking. Just have your $10 ready or ride the free trolley. I’m a worry-wart when it comes to parking, so I like knowing exactly what my options are.
- Bring a blanket! There’s a really nice turf lawn at the silos. If it’s too crowded to get a table (it was when we were there), then you can sit out on the lawn.
- Come hungry – indulge in the food trucks.
- The bathrooms situation is really nice, so don’t worry about that.
Have you been to the Magnolia Silos? What tips would you add?