My birthday was a few weeks ago. I turned 35. My friends and I really try to make birthdays “a thing” and celebrate each other every year. This year when my birthday rolled around I was pretty indifferent. Usually I am all about it but something about 35 felt “meh”. After my friend forced me to come up with something that would “bring me joy” this year, while perusing Target it came to me. A pilgrimage to Magnolia Market is just what I needed to kick-start my “mid-30’s”. Obvi! If you are planning a trip to Waco, Texas to visit Magnolia Market, here are a few things you should know.
1.There Are Multiple Establishments
Magnolia Market is located in a small college town (Waco). Chip and Jo put Waco on the map! What I thought was one central location, was in fact a few locations spread out in the city of Waco. There’s Magnolia Table, which is their restaurant, and about 5 miles away is what we know as Magnolia Market (the silos, Silos Baking Co.), and at a farther end of Waco there is Little Shop on Bosque which is a sort of scratch and dent/discount store coming from the shop at Magnolia Market. All of these different locations would require you to drive. There is also a trolley that goes around town that you could catch to get from place to place.
2. There Will Be At Least a 2-3 Hour Wait At Magnolia Table
Plan to get there early! They serve food starting at 6 AM and close the kitchen at 3PM. This brunch it worth the sacrifice so make sure you get there in time to get your name on the 3 hour wait list (they do not accept reservations)! If you are planning a trip, start by going to Magnolia Table to get your name on the list. You will give the hostess your number and they will text you when your table is about to be ready. Once your name is on the list then you have a few hours to hop on the trolley or in your car and explore the other locations.
3. The Devil Is In The Details
Chip and Jo, Jo and Chip. Those two. Everything about all of their facilities in Waco is done in excellence. The staff at the restaurant, and bakery, and the market are a direct reflection of their bosses. They are warm, friendly, and hospitable. Going to Magnolia Market is like getting a warm hug from Jo herself. Even as we waited at the take-out area, an employee bought one of my friends a bag of chips! Everything about it is as if you were invited into the Gaines home and they want you to eat well and stay a while. Even at the restaurant when we finished our meal, we were given fresh homemade caramels instead of mints that you would get anywhere else. I never want a poor-man’s mint again after getting an after-meal caramel from Chip and Jo!
4. Dress Comfortably
We just so happened to go out to Waco on the most perfect Spring day. The sun was shining and there was a light breeze. It was seriously the best. From speaking to others who have been there in the summer time, you want to make sure that you dress keeping in mind that you will be spending a lot of time outdoors, walking, and standing. After getting our name on the wait list, my girls and I headed to Magnolia Market/The Silos/The Bakery. Sure enough when we got there there was a line wrapped around the bakery. The line moved very fast and they have a well-oiled system of getting people in and out. In the Market there is a sea of people bumping into each other. The lines to check out once you have all the candles, and tchotchkes that your little heart desires..long. Wear your sneaks and get your mind right to stand in long, yet swiftly moving lines.
5. Spice Village: A Hidden Gem
In Waco, Magnolia Market, and maybe the Dr. Pepper factory get all the shine. Let me tell you about a place called Spice Village (that my laser hair technician told me about) that may have been my unexpected favorite thing of the whole day-trip!
You and your girlfriends will be in heaven going to Spice Village. Think: a bunch of Etsy-type makers having little shops set up in one big place. You can find everything from clothes, jewelry, candles, toys, shoes, bags, and much more. And they are all unique. By the time my friends and I arrived we had just smelled our first couple of candles and hand creams before we were paged that our table was ready at Magnolia Table. We knew that we had to go back because we barely scratched the surface of exploring the place! After our meal we spent a good hour and a half in Spice Village which was a good thing because it allowed us to walk off Jo’s biscuits!
6. Worth The Hype?
Y.E.S. Magnolia Table was worth the 3 hour wait. I would wait for the biscuits and strawberry butter for 5 hours alone! The menu was comfort food-brunch. The staff was friendly and even arranged to send out a birthday cookie for me. Me and my two friends sat at a family-style table with 7 other people. Meeting as strangers we shared the experience of enjoying the meal together and exchanging stories of where we were from and how much we love “Fixer Upper”. People had come to Waco from Australia, New Zealand, and Seattle!
If you love Chip and Jo or Fixer Upper, I would highly recommend taking the trip to Waco! Every dollar spent made me feel as though it was going to a business that really deserved it. They treat people well, they treat people like family. Although we spent just the day there, I think that it could be stretched out to a weekend trip if you were to visit the Dr. Pepper factory and Little Shop on Bosque. This trip to Waco was one of my favorite birthdays!