User Reviews

The Olive Branch

Reviews (25)

Love the Olive Branch
The wait staff is awesome, quick, and friendly
I love all the food. I have tried the cup cakes, the cake balls-really yummy.
I have eaten breakfast, brunch, and lunch only, all meals were fresh and yummy.
I have eaten the quiche, sandwiches, omelets, full breakfast, soups all variety and all yummy
The wait staff has even been fantastic at all my substitutes and other differs ways I wanted my meal-they are very customer service oriented
I love the atmosphere of this play, free wi-fi, beautiful neighborhood, friendly, inviting, love to go to the restaurant
Love to bring family and friends

Olive Branch- The place I want to love but don't. Yet.
I know a lot of people that like this place. For this reason, I've eaten here on multiple occasions. And every time, I have been disappointed. Whether it's from a soupy pasta dish, a stale cupcake, or an over-priced and barely there quiche- this place just doesn't seem to measure up to what I expect (and what I pay).

It's cute, though. And it has a nice atmosphere. So I'm hopeful that the next time I reluctantly agree to go I'll finally understand what I've been missing.
Owner's reply


As the owners we are disappointed that our service and quality of food have not met your expectations. We take great pride in making sure every customer leaves our restaurant with a great experience. We would like the opportunity to show you why people love this place. We are willing to offer you a $10 dinner gift card to allow us to give you a personal greeting and to make sure you have a great experience at The Olive Branch. Feel free to email me at to coordinate the gift card.


Jonathan Garza


just ok
A few locations (and years) ago I would have given this 5 stars. I'd eat there often and was always impressed the food was fresh and the service was great. After moving out of state and returning recently we were excited to visit their new spot at 2nd and Franklin and I have to say I was really disappointed. We went for lunch and it was really busy so the service was a little slow but that didn't bother me. My issue is that the food seems like it's no longer as homemade as it used to be.

I ordered the chicken pesto sandwich, which is what I used to order all the time. I remember it being a hot fresh breast of chicken with just the right amount of pesto and mayo. This time it tasted like the bagged frozen chicken strips that were nuked in a microwave for 2 minutes too long. The pesto and mayo oozed out of the sandwich. Needless to say I didn't finish the sandwich. To OB's credit I will say their baked goods are still as tasty as I remember but from now on that's all I'll be stopping in for.

Never will return
My husband and I ate there for lunch late Sunday. Not real busy. Watched three waiters look at us and walk by-had to request to be waited on. Both of us ordered the BLT with soup. Soup was mediocre and lukewarm. Wheat bread was stale. Bacon tasted like the pre-cooked bacon you can buy packaged. Had 3 slices of tomato about 1/2 - 1 inch in diameter. No mayonnaise. The mayo was sitting on a counter for us - NOT refrigerated. Our meal was over 24 dollars (with one tea). Normally would have complained but why bother I will never go back there again.

Table Service!
After having gone to Olive Branch for breakfast a handful of times, I was intrigued when I heard about a trial table-service dinner on the WacoFork blog. My husband, two kids, and I all went down on a Wednesday night to see what was going on. I have to say, the table-service option makes me so much more likely to go back for breakfast/brunch/lunch. Instead of having to wait in line and walk my son past the cupcake display, it's a nice change to just come in and get set up at the table. The servers seem to be eager to please and very helpful. I tried the tomato-basil soup and the chicken pesto sandwich. Both were delicious. I hope that the table-service is successful and here to stay, as it seems like a good option for the weekend morning rush.

Southern Baptist Cafe
The Olive Branch; A locally owned and operated (by a Baylor Graduate non-the less) Bakery & Café that specializes in fresh breakfasts, a diverse lunch menu (including home-made soups and freshly made sandwiches), homemade desserts, and specially blended coffees. They are located in the heart of Downtown Waco, in a huge building that they easily fill up with college students and workers there to chill, dine and study.

I have dined here only a couple times; once I dined in, the second time I snagged something to-go. For their lunch menu they have a pretty nice, but select men, that consists of salads, soups/pasta, sandwiches and combos of the aforementioned. The both times I gone by, I went a little early to beat any rush they might have… and man did I time it just right. Only a few minutes after I placed my order and sit down did the rush hit and the place start to fill up (and they are a roomy place.)

The first time I dined in I chose their Specialty Combo: which is ½ of any Branch specialty sandwich served with a cup of soup, &/or a small salad-Caesar, garden or fruit cup. The sandwich I chose was their Santa Fe Sandwich: Guacamole mayo, sliced turkey, chipotle jack cheese, tomato, & lettuce- Served on our homemade wheat bread. I got that sandwich with their small Caesar salad. The sandwich was served on their homemade wheat bread which was pretty tasty… not bland or chewy like you get at some places, with fresh lettuce, and other veggies. It came with a decent amount of turkey & cheese…. But I was a tad disappointed on the guacamole mayo spread. A big part of any Santa Fe sandwich is a nice guac kick, but I didn’t really get that and I was a tad disappointed on the front. Not to say the spread wasn’t good, it was alright. So over all on the sandwich I was decently pleased. The salad was filled with nice fresh & crunchy lettuce, little bit of cheese and a nice homemade Caesar dressing… it was alright as well. It was a filling, nice & light, slightly healthy lunch… which is what I was aiming for that day and I decided I’d come back at least once more to try some other stuff. Oh and did I mention I chowed down on one of their giant homemade cupcakes…. I honestly can’t remember the flavor name of the cupcake. But I do remember strong hints (aroma and flavor) of fresh french vanilla, a nice creamy frosting and a touch of ground cinnamon. That was the best part of the healthy lunch.

The second time around I kept it simple and went with their Traditional Combo: Choose 2 or 3 items; ½ Traditional Sandwich, Small salad: Caesar, fruit cup, or cup of soup. I chose a Ham & Cheese sandwich and a cup of their freshly made Broccoli Cheese soup (also came with a bag o’ potato chips & pickle spear). I ordered my Ham n Cheese sandwich on their freshly bake croissant bread (next time I wanna try their French), topped with lettuce, marinated shredded carrots and mayo. The croissant bread was nice and flaky and good flavor. The sandwich had a nice amount of ham, slice of fresh cheese, nice fresh lettuce and handful of shredded carrots which added nice crunch & slight flavor pop. The soup was the best part. I love Broccoli n Cheese soup. This soup had a nice consistency and creamy texture, had nice fresh chunks of properly cooked broccoli, which still had some nice bite to them, not all soggy like some places. The soup had a great fresh cheesy flavor. I wished I had ordered an extra bowl of it and another hunk of sandwich, as they went very well together… great for dunking. Will definitely be getting that soup again, especially with this cooler weather upon us.

Over all I give this place a pretty good rating. They focus on freshness & quality over quantity & ease. They are always friendly & efficient; they want to make your experience enjoyable. I can’t wait to get up one more and try out their breakfast menu. If you are ever looking for something a little on the lighter, maybe slightly healthier side this is a nice little deli to hit up… and then ruin it all with one of their huge cupcakes and sweet tea… cause that’s how you roll. Look for them on FB and Waco Board, you can win free soups off them.

Slightly overpriced, but always homemade
I know that have gourmet homemade is normally pricy, but I feel like the Olive Branch is more so. I have visited Oliver Branch is all three of its constantly moving locations. But I think its current place is the largest. I have always been impressed with their desserts. I bought a Living Social Deal and splurged on the cupcakes with my friend. Delish! The tiny sugar crystals sparkled on the top of my Pink Champagne Cupcake making it seem more enticing. The food's usually fresh and service isn't too slow considering I was there during the lunch hour. It's very quaint and sometimes I wish it were open for dinner.

Just What You Want...Sometimes
I have a hard time rating coffee-shop/lunch places. I worked at my share in the past, and it's a thankless task in many ways. People want them to be perfect. They want comfortable seating and ambiance but don't want to have to wait behind others and hunt for seats. They want THEIR favorites on the menu done the way THEY like them.

I don't want to be that guy. Personally, OB is not my cup of tea. I have nothing to complain about. The food is good. The service has always been courteous and as efficient as possible. This means that for a luncheonette/breakfast place that caters to serving large quantities of primarily groups, it is perfect. They have fantastic baked goods. Their coffee is always fresh and tasty. My son always eats everything on his plate with aplomb, but...

It's just never felt comfortable, and I can't escape that a place like "The Olive Branch" is just crying out to be comfortable. Or, maybe, I'm one of those people who just wants everything for nothing.

Om nom nom
Everything I've ever ordered at the Olive Branch seems fresh and flavorful, from the orchard salad to the quiche. The items they come up with are always somewhat creative and tasty, such as the Italian queso or the goat cheese penne. Anywhere that uses goat cheese and pesto on a regular basis automatically wins a little approval from me. Yum.

I have to admit that I'm not the biggest fan of the sweet stuff, but they've got tons of cupcakes and other treats if that's up your alley.

It seems a little pricey for a place where you have to order at the counter and get your own drinks, but the food is so good that it doesn't hardly matter. Service can be a little slow when it's packed, so perhaps it's good that you can refill your own glass. Like other local eateries, I don't mind the extra wait when I know the food is going to be awesome.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Good food, good atmosphere, not-so-fast serving...
The Olive Branch is a pretty decent place to take friends to, or have meetings at (and to be honest, it's my favorite lunch place if I'm starving). The only major problem is that if you go during peak lunch hours (11:30-1:30ish), it's super busy, takes a long time to get your food, and they only have one little register. I will continue to go for many reasons (good food, good atmosphere, shout out to cute waiter Eric), but would not recommend going during the peak hours.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful
It's not just about the food
the food is good, most of the time
they've re-used furniture rather than buying new
There is a lot seating

Service can be very slow if there is any kind of a crowd
So much of their dinnerware is disposable (cutlery, cups, cheapy napkins)
The mod, higher end atmosphere does not mesh well with disposable materials and wall mounted napkin dispensers
huge groups of customers are permitted to move tables around and block the entrance and restrooms

Just my opinion:
Disposable should be for take out. Set up a large seating area out of the way to discourage large groups from being in the way and creating a safety hazard (or tell them to not move all of the tables into the entryway). Only serve tomatoes when ripe. Clean the tables every time they are used. Replace broken canisters and furniture. I really enjoy the food here but have left irritated several times due to having to ask someone to please move their chair so that I could get to the door, especially on Sunday mornings when the entrance to Spice is locked so the front door is the only way out.

Absolutely Amazing!
The Olive Branch is by far one of the best restaurants in Waco. They never seem to disappoint on any of the occasions I have been there. The quality of food is great and the wide variety of options on the menu makes it a place anyone can enjoy. Every time I come back to visit in Waco I am sure to make a stop at The Olive Branch. Props to the owner for making it such a wonderful place. You have done an amazing job! I definitely recommend it to would be CRAZY not to like this place!

Chicken. Pesto. Sandwich.
I love The Olive Branch! Always friendly service, always delicious food. I HIGHLY recommend the chicken pesto sandwich. Like heaven wrapped in bread. When I do adventure around to other items on the menu I am never disappointed. Such a great breakfast/lunch spot, I'm glad they found a nice home at the River Square Center.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Great lunch date experiences!
I adore the Olive Branch! It's a great place to meet up with friends for a delicious lunch after church or get work done over a cup of coffee and pancakes. My roommate and I are sure to share lunch there every Friday for the (best!) soup of the day and sandwiches. The owner and staff are always polite and attentive, and the food is always delicious!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Made My Wedding Delicious!
Olive Branch took care of the catering for my wedding reception and wedding cake (Mexican Vanilla!) and did a great job. I gave Leah, the owner, full creative license for decorating my wedding cake because I knew she had great taste...and it was beautiful! The meal Olive Branch prepared for our reception was perfect...I loved every part. I would definitely recommend this establishment for not only your every-day meals but for any special event you may host. You won't be disappointed in Leah and her staff.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Have you tried OB's Cinnamon Walnut Pancakes? It's a must.
Olive Branch has the best coffee of any restaurant in town. Pair that with their cinnamon walnut pancakes, and I am a very happy eater. Staff is always friendly. This is definitely the restaurant my husband and I choose to eat at the most.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful
One of my favorite places!
This is a great locally owned restaurant. The food is reasonably priced with huge portions. I love to come here for breakfast, drink too many cups of coffee and enjoy the fresh baked bread with my meal. Definitely recommend the Olive Branch!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Not a fan
I'm not sure I ever really liked this place. Food was alright. Sweet stuffs are pretty good but the service and regular lunch items never impressed me. Each time they close down I think "it's about time!" but all 3 times i've been let down to find they just opened in a new location.

Crank out desserts only and I might like it more, but as a whole, it's not for me.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Wonderful place for lunch downtown. Very Tasty!
Just had a fantastic lunch here! They are running an unlimited soup and salad special in June for $7.95 and everything I tried was fantastic.

French Onion Soup- Rich and full bodied, but not overly salty which is often the case with French Onion. Good balance of onions to broth to bread to melted cheese--everything tasted great.

Caesar Salad- Wow! I'm glad I changed my mind at the last minute and opted for the Caesar over the Garden salad. This is a great salad. The housemade Caesar vinaigrette is tangy, garlicky, vinegary and rich all at the same time. Since it's a vinaigrette it wasn't overly heavy (very nice). It was so good I soaked the leftover dressing up with my bread.

Cream of Potato Soup- Yum! Again, well seasoned and hearty. I did add a little salt to bring out the flavors better. Still, it was very good.

I'm also a fan of Olive Branch's Tomato Basil soup, breakfast options and cake pops. It's an all around good choice for lunch or brunch whether you have a small or large group. The atmosphere is nice and it isn't overly loud (though the room is large).

The owner Leah is very friendly and in my opinion a small business genius.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Lite Breakfast
The "Lite Breakfast" from Olive Branch makes for a great Sunday afternoon brunch. The LB comes with one egg, bacon or sausage, and your choice of french bread, a croissant or wheat toast. I ordered it with sausage, french bread and my egg over-medium. The egg was perfectly cooked with a yolk that was still runny without getting all over the plate. The sausage patty was a good size and had great flavor. I chose to have it with french bread. The bread was crunchy and flaky on the outside without being hard and the inside was soft enough to mop up some of the excess yolk. Overall everything was really delicious and in my opinion it was just the right amount of food for a late morning breakfast.

The only complaint I can come up with is that I had to remind them that I ordered milk, but a glass was promptly brought out to me.

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