What a shame. When I first came to town five years ago, this was one of my favorite places to eat and drink. Knowledgable staff, great beer selection, good solid menu of bar food, generous portions, TVs for sports, and reasonable prices. In five years the menu has changed three times--each time shrinking and getting more expensive. The food quality has suffered as well; the knowledgable staff is gone. They have cut back on their cable bill (I guess),; on a recent Saturday they did not have the Baylor game available (other restaurants in town did). The staff now seem befuddled by any beer selection remotely out of the ordinary.
But really the food--its kind of a travesty what they now charge for what you get, both in quality and quantity. My wife and I recently went there only to overpay for what was mediocre food we could have gotten at any place in Waco.
On a side note, I have never had the trouble with crowding mentioned in the other reviews.
I'm fairly new in Waco and really enjoyed Cricket's. I've been three times now and have yet to have a bad experience. I'm a middle of the road beer drinker. I love trying all kinds of beer and know my way around a good brew, but I wouldn't call myself a snob. Most of the reviews so far have been about Cricket's decline, but I've not been around long enough to experience it.
They have a fantastic selection of beer (Over 100 on tap I believe) with a great menu divided into categories to help you navigate the ocean of taps. The bar tenders were very knowledgeable, answered all my questions and even had some fantastic recommendations based on beers I already knew I liked.
The food isn't too bad. I haven't fully explored the menu yet but what I have eaten has been good. (I highly recommend the "Pit Burger" which is a hamburger topped with pulled pork.) The prices are reasonable and they even have daily specials.
I highly recommend Cricket's if you are looking for decent food and the chance to try a new beer.
Good place to drop in for a late lunch or an early beer.
Crickets is the first place I visited in Waco, and I have gone back regularly since. I've only lived in Waco for about a year and a half, so I can't speak to a decline mentioned in the other reviews.
This place is really a bar. Don't go in here with an unrealistic expectations of how good pub grub should be. Stick to the burgers/sandwiches. As far as appetizers check out the loaded cheddar fries. The nachos are also good, as they make real, individual nachos. That is, they don't just pour cheese sauce on a pile of chips like it's a tortilla-chip pie, which seems to pass for nachos around here.
But let's get to the real reason to go to Cricket's: the beer. This place has the best beer selection in town and generally the beers are very fresh. Good smattering of styles and regions with a thoughtful emphasis on central Texas beers.
If only the rest of it was as awesome as the beer list...
All right, just to get it out of the way: the beer list at Cricket's is phenomenal. I, like many others, got my first legally-purchased drink at 21 here and still have the mug I bought shortly thereafter.
I like the food, and during the day it's even calm enough to take your parents to lunch there.
The only problem with Cricket's is that I, like the other reviewers, have noticed prices going up and quality going down. That's not good. Almost every time I've been lately, it seems like they're out of at least one or two of the beers I pick. Either I like really popular beers or the big wall is an illusion. I don't seem to get a good foamy head on beers that should have it on a regular basis, like they're not cleaning the glasses well enough or pouring it right.
I *so* wish I could still like Cricket's, but they've made it hard.
When I first moved here, I was super excited to go to Crickets. The food was pretty affordable. They had interesting choices of beer (and a lot of them), and the service was always very friendly.
Over the last two years, I've been consistently disappointed with all three of these aspects of Cricket's. The menu has changed to become cheap. (Really?! I order 'Nachos' and get six to eight chips with mediocre toppings on them. That's what you call 'Nachos'...in Central Texas...Really?!) The burgers are not as consistent in quality of preparation or ingredients. The beer lines are not cleaned regularly, and the staff often does not have any information about the beers on tap.
Furthermore, I've found the general service to be in decline...That is unless you are a larger group of Baylor dudes or babes who flash your cash. Enough money or good looks, and the server will ALWAYS be there when you need them. If you just go in with your family or a couple friends, prepare to wait or feel like you are infringing on the server's REAL job.