If you have ever been to Waco, you know that students and families alike are always looking for the next great food or coffee adventure- obviously right up our alley. (When they say coffee, we go running) But, for those of you that haven’t, Waco is a small city in Texas, roughly three hours from Houston and an hour-and-a-half from Dallas. Home to one of the greatest Universities in the world (bias intended), Waco is full of small town charm, but it is quickly making a name for itself. The growth has been absolutely unbelievable, and it is only continuing. One of the latest additions to this wonderful city is Tesla’s Cafe and Coffee Pub. Our new neighbors opened for business in late December, and have been rockin’ and rollin’ ever since. Keep on scrolling for more details
Atmosphere: (5 out of 5)
Tesla’s Cafe and Coffee Pub takes residence in a historic two-story home in Uptown Waco. At first glance you might think that you are walking up to someone’s actual home, but have no fear because the Tesla family wants you there! As you explore the inside, you will encounter many unique patents and prototypes as they help accessorize the walls and tables. Next, be sure to take note of the stairs because the party is not contained to one floor. As you enter the room to the left of the front door, you will see quaintly decorated tables, a fireplace, and beautiful windows. (Pro tip: these window tables make for great pictures.) Also in this room is a place to see the action inside the kitchen, and if you are anything like me, you will love it because it is like watching Food Network, but without the yelling of Chef Ramsey. The first floor tour continues as you walk through the rest of the downstairs area. Behind the stairs is a coffee and drink bar, along with another great eating and study space. Now, what I just said is one of several keys to the puzzle. Not only does this place have a great feel for hanging out with people, but it is also a productivity-inspiring place, which is an advantage for any student.
Parking/Location: (4 out of 5)
Because this is a historic home, there isn’t a whole lot of on-site parking, and it fills up quickly. There is a decent sized parking lot on the side of the house that is paved, and accessible from two entrances- one on Washington and the other one 14th street. Everyone wants to try this new Waco gem, so be prepared for limited parking, If you can’t find anything on the side, there are plenty of additional parking lots and street parking available nearby. It is located on Washington Avenue between 13th and 14th, just about 2 minutes from the heart of downtown Waco and less than 10 minutes from the Baylor campus. Especially for studying, it is the perfect balance of being close enough so it’s not an effort to drive there, yet it’s far enough to really feel like you’re off campus.
Drip Coffee: (4 out of 5)
At Tesla’s, they offer two methods for coffee brewing, french press and pour over. When served, the coffee comes in a ceramic Magnolia campfire mug, and always carries with it the sweet aroma of craft coffee. If you are not someone that likes to drink coffee black, they do offer cream and sugar, but we would encourage you to take a sip first. Who knows, maybe you are a purist.
Scope of Menu: (4 out of 5)
Coffee-wise, Tesla’s has an impressive variety, especially for opening so recently. When you order coffee (which, let’s be honest, we always do), you’re given a front and back menu detailing all of the different origins of the coffees they serve with a short description of each. As we mentioned earlier, you can choose to have it made either in a french press or as a pour over. They also have a unique food menu, with all made-from-scratch breakfast/brunch/lunch options like homemade liege waffles (slightly thicker than the traditional waffles you’re probably used to, and without the perfect edges, but still a great treat!), pita, sandwiches, salads, and soups.
Pro Tip: since it is a limited kitchen and they do make everything fresh, they often run out of menu items later in the day. If you’re wanting to try something specific, we recommend you visit for breakfast or an early lunch!
Pricing: (4 out of 5)
Both french press and pour over coffee are $4 dollars, which is slightly higher than your average drip. However, Tesla’s coffee is also higher quality, and it requires a more involved process to make happen. If you are looking to try one of their famous stuffed pitas, you will be looking at paying anywhere from $8-$11 depending on if you go with BBQ or not. Each stuffed pita comes with either a soup of the day, or a salad with a dressing of your choice. So, if you are here to refuel on food and caffeinate your soul, it will be roughly $14…seems pretty worth it to us.
Staff Interaction: (4 out of 5)
Every staff member we’ve encountered has been friendly and helpful. They’re always busy trying to get all of the kinks worked out at the new restaurant, but rest assured that they will try to give you the best experience they can!
Want the SparkNotes Version? Check out our highlights:
Unique, vintage-steampunk style
Wide variety of coffees available
Full homemade breakfast/lunch menu