Day Trips: Cupp's Drive-Inn, Waco
Old-fashioned hamburgers, plain and simple
Cupp's Drive-Inn has possibly sold hamburgers in the same location longer than any other business in Waco.
Obscured from the view of motorists on I-35 by the obnoxious national-chain hamburger stands along the frontage road, the little family-owned restaurant has been at the corner of 15th Street and Speight Avenue since 1929 when it was called Heating's Eatings. Back then, much as it is today, the little diner was a neighborhood joint favored by Baylor University students and families.
The menu of fresh hamburgers, hand-cut french fries and onion rings hasn't changed much since Charlie Cupp and his wife bought the place in 1947, and changed the name. The awning on the side of the building used to shelter carhops who took your order.
In 1988, Betty Johnson bought the diner from her former bosses. Now her children, Freddie Johnson Jr. and Sherry Caughenbaugh carry on the tradition.
The diner isn't much bigger than a small living room, with four booths. Eight stools at the counter look over the grill where Freddie fries the hamburger patties and toasts the thick buns. Two picnic tables outside are a favorite when the weather is nice. The carhops are long gone.
Cupp's Drive-Inn is at 1424 Speight Ave., just north and east of the 17th Street exit off I-35 in Waco. The grill serves a full breakfast menu from 8:30-11am, and old-fashioned hamburgers until 3:30pm, Monday through Saturday. To place an order, call 254/753-9364.
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