As of late 2017, Magnolia Market at the Silos, Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Waco store and popular tourist destination, was averaging more than 30,000 visitors a week. To put that in context, it’s “Bigger than the Alamo,” said the Waco Tribune. Those weekly numbers convert to “about 1.6 million people” yearly, according to the Waco Convention and Visitors bureau. Those include four chartered buses that have carried tourists from New York to Waco over the past year.”
Judging by the crush of people at the retail destination on this Friday afternoon, those numbers will reach even higher this year. And that’s not including all those folks who are waiting nearly an hour and a half to eat at the couple’s popular nearby restaurant, Magnolia Table.
If you’re considering heading for Magnolia, you should know that’s it’s highly unlikely you’ll run into Chip or Jojo. The couple rarely makes a public appearance here, but you’ll definitely feel their flavor, design sense, and influence throughout. Here are five reasons to bear the crowd and make the trip to Waco for the full Gaines experience.
For the design ideas
Design inspiration is everywhere at Magnolia Market and Magnolia Table. Who would have thought paint brushes could create such an eye-catching display or that layering a bunch of different clocks could be the answer to your wall décor? Look beyond the products and you’ll get all kinds of ideas for how to Gainesify your space.
For the family fun
You may not equate shopping with family fun, and, yes, the inside of the store itself is a major “Don’t’ touch that!” zone, but the grounds are surprisingly kid-friendly. Beside the store there is a large faux grass lawn with balls, hula hoops, cornhole games, and bean bag chairs. There are also swings and a huge covered area to escape the sun.
For the food
There are food trucks that park along the perimeter of Magnolia Market every day, so before or after your shopping, you can grab a meal or snack. And you’ll definitely want to hit Silos Baking Co. for cupcakes.
But, Magnolia Table, the Gaines’ restaurant that opened in March, is a must-visit. Yes, the wait was long. But it was worth every minute (and those minutes were spent on the generous covered patio sipping tea, BTW). Having previously eaten at the historic Elite Café (the restaurant that previously stood on this site and which “can trace its founding back 97 years,” and which famously served “a young soldier named Elvis Presley…while stationed at Fort Hood,” according to the Waco Tribune), we didn’t know what to expect. Frankly, it would have been enough to just gaze at the completely renovated space, the result of which is a farmhouse chic bonanza.
But, the food was actually…delicious. The shared Bacon & Eggs (deviled eggs, brown sugar bacon, and jalapeno jam) was outstanding, as was everything else we ordered. One guest remarked that the Gaines Brothers Burger was the “best hamburger she’s ever had in her life,” and another ordered the Simple Salad, which is anything but. It was so large and so packed with goodies that she still hasn’t finished it. Breakfast is served here all day long, so do yourself a favor and order Jo’s Buttermilk Biscuits with strawberry butter and the crispy, Housemade Tater Tots with anything else you get.
For the gifts
You’ll be the best daughter, niece, cousin, neighbor, or friend ever if you return from your jaunt with a gift in hand for your fellow Fixer Upper lover. While the store is packed with options, we’re partial to a few of the logo-emblazoned items.
If you’re hitting Magnolia Table, be sure to pop in to the takeaway store, and head straight for the caramels. If you eat in the restaurant, they bring these goodies with your check. Buttery, gooey, salty, savory and sweet, they’re a fitting end to a fantastic meal, and, despite how full you are from your Tater Tots/Avocado Toast/Burger/Bacon & Eggs, you’ll likely find yourself eating every bite and then licking the wrapper (or maybe that was just us). You won’t find these caramels anywhere else, including at the Silos, so buy a bunch before you leave. Just don’t tell any of your friends about them. That way, when you eat all of them on the plane/in the car on the way home, they won’t know they’re missing anything.
For the pictures
Just think of what a trip to the Silos will do for your Instagram! There’s a whole lot to shoot here, and they also have their own Instagram spot and hashtag (#milestomagnolia). Tip: Magnolia Market is not open on Sundays, but if you happen to be in town, it’s a great day to get some pics sans the crowd.