The inspiration for Taco Bell came from a restaurant called the Mitla Cafe in San Bernardino, California. Glen Bell, Taco Bell’s founder, had opened a hot dog stand across from the Mitla Cafe and every day he watched people line up for their ten-cent tacos dorados, mostly ignoring his hot dogs. Being the kind of guy who was hungry not just for a tasty snack but success, Bell tried to reverse engineer his own taco based on what he’d seen. He befriended the staff at the Mitla and in time they shared their recipe with him. The rest, as they say, is taco history.
From Glen Bell’s first Taco Bell location in Downey, California the chain has expanded dramatically. Crunchy tacos dorados gave way to soft tacos, burritos, Mexican pizzas, and even the legendary Naked Chicken Chalupa that swapped out a tortilla for a flat piece of chicken. These days, Taco Bell is known for having a wide and sometimes bizarre menu that can include everything from breakfast to the chocolate-filled Kit Kat Quesadilla. Some are going to be easy to identify but others, maybe not so much. If you’re a true Taco Bell fan, you are up to the challenge! Take the quiz and see just how many Taco Bell menu items you can identify!
The most iconic item on the Taco Bell menu because it’s just a simple taco. The chain sells over 2 billion tacos every single year and when the restaurant first opened a taco was only 19 cents!
Hard-shelled tacos were the original version of the taco that Glen Bell learned to make from the Mitla Cafe. This version has always been a bit more of a daunting item to eat since the shells never hold together very well, which is part of the reason the soft taco became so popular.
The biggest difference between a chalupa and a traditional taco is that gordita shell. It’s a much thicker piece of flatbread that gets fried and gives the chalupa a chewy, crunchy texture. When you Supreme it, that means they just added sour cream and tomato to it.
The Caramel Apple Empanada is the Taco Bell version of the classic McDonalds fried apple pie. The main difference here is that the sauce inside is a caramel sauce because you can never have too much sweet, sticky stuff inside your dessert.
The Grilled Breakfast Burritos were a late addition to the Taco Bell menu and didn’t appear until the chain added breakfast in 2014. They’ve even experimented with a few weird items including the Naked Egg Taco, which just used a fried egg in place of a tortilla.
Packed with refried beans, onions, and cheese, the bean burrito is a popular vegetarian option on the menu. It comes with red sauce, which is slightly different from the regular Taco Bell sauce and which you can get on any menu item if you ask.
The Cheese Quesadilla is one of the simplest items on the Taco Bell menu. It’s just two tortillas sandwiched around nothing but Taco Bell’s three-cheese blend and some creamy jalapeno sauce.
The Cheesy Potato Burrito comes with beef, nacho cheese, potatoes and even reduced fat sour cream, which might make you think it’s a nice, low-fat menu option. It’s worth noting that each one also clocks in at 480 calories, though.
Cinnabon Delights are sold in packs of 4 and 12. You’d probably expect them to come with that classic Cinnabon icing for dipping but they don’t. Instead, the sweet icing is actually inside each one, kind of like a jelly donut.
The Beefy Fritos Burrito is a lot like a regular burrito - it comes with beef, seasoned rice, and nacho cheese sauce. The big difference is that they also stick Fritos corn chips inside for a bit of a crunchy surprise.
Caught somewhere between a tostada and a pizza, the Mexican Pizza has a crunchy tortilla base covered in beans and beef, then another crunchy tortilla that’s covered in cheese, tomato and what they call Mexican pizza sauce.
The Shredded Chicken Mini Quesadilla gets its name because it’s not technically a whole quesadilla. Instead, it’s made by folding a single tortilla in half so it can be stuffed with the cheese, chicken, and sauce and then grilled to make it all melt together.
The partnership between Doritos and Taco Bell that produced the Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco also made the Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco and the Fiery Doritos Locos Taco which comes with an extremely red taco shell.
One of the few dessert items on the Taco Bell menu, Cinnamon Twists are actually twists of a corn dough that puffs up when they get deep fried. Before they’re cooked, they actually look exactly like rotini pasta.
The Cheesy Gordita Crunch features a flour gordita that’s slathered in cheese and wrapped right around a regular crunchy taco shell. The inside is seasoned beef, lettuce, cheese, spicy ranch sauce, and a three-cheese blend. Of course, you could add anything you want to it.
There’s a lot going on in a Crunchwrap Supreme, and it manages to be both crunchy and soft at the same time. It’s basically a tostada, with all those taco toppings on a crunchy shell, but then they wrap the whole thing in a soft tortilla to keep it together and add a soft, chewy texture to it as well.
The Power Menu Bowl offers one of the biggest varieties of ingredients of any menu item at Taco Bell. The bowl is filled with rice, chicken, beans, lettuce, cheese, guacamole, pico de gallo, avocado ranch sauce and sour cream.
The Fiesta Taco Salad is really stretching the definition of a salad by giving you beef, beans, cheese and rice, all in a crunchy tortilla bowl. Factor in the 760 calories and it’s maybe not the healthiest salad ever.
The Cheesy Roll Up is a play on the classic taquito, just a tortilla rolled up around a filling. In this case, it’s literally just Taco Bell’s 3-cheese blend and nothing else inside. Some people just really like cheese.
The Meximelt is very much like an al fresco soft taco in that it has the beef and cheese filling along with some pico de gallo. The difference here is that they melt the cheese quesadilla-style and flatten it a bit because who doesn’t like melted cheese?
The Quesarito is a melding of a burrito and a quesadilla. The inside is a traditional burrito made with rice, beef, cheese, and sauce. But instead of a typical soft shell for a wrap, this one gets rolled up inside a cheesy quesadilla.
The Beefy 5-Layer Burrito is made with beef, beans, regular cheese, nacho cheese sauce, and sour cream. Most of the ingredients are wrapped up in a soft tortilla to start, then the second tortilla with nacho cheese sauce gets wrapped around it, just to keep it safe and cheesy.
The Cheesy Potato Griller is filled with sour cream, cheese sauce and chunks of potatoes and then, true to its name, it’s grilled. It’s different than the Cheesy Potato Burrito because that one also has beef inside and isn’t really grilled unless you ask for it.
The 7-Layer Burrito has, you guessed it, seven different layers of stuff packed inside. That includes beans, rice, tomatoes, lettuce, guacamole, three-cheese blend, and sour cream. If you wanted to, you could always get them to add things like chicken or pico de gallo and make as many layers as you feel like.
The Fiery Doritos Locos Taco was made for people who like Doritos but also wanted something with a little more kick than the regular nacho cheese flavor. The shell is basically one giant Fiery Dorito chip with all the taco fixings inside.
The Grilled Steak Soft Taco is the same basic recipe as a regular soft taco, only the swapped out the seasoned beef filling for some strips of grilled steak. They do add the avocado ranch sauce to this taco as well, which is something you have to request on a normal soft taco.
The Double Decker Taco is what happens when you take a regular Crunchy Taco and sort of wedge it into a burrito. The inside is a typical taco, and the outside is a soft tortilla covered in refried beans that holds it all together and probably stops you from losing a lot of crunchy pieces when you eat.
Nachos Supreme is what happens when you make a beef burrito and a bowl of nachos come together. There are refried beans, seasoned beef, nacho cheese, tomatoes, and sour cream all over them. It’s pretty hard to eat without making a mess of your fingers.
The Spicy Potato Soft Taco swaps the meat out of a normal taco and instead puts in some seasoned potatoes. The spicy part gets added in with some chipotle pepper sauce, for people who like to live on the edge but don’t want to have to get to the edge by adding hot sauce themselves.
Triple Layer Nachos are a bit different from the Nachos Supreme in that they don’t include beef, tomatoes or sour cream. They do have the red sauce made famous by Taco bell burritos though, and work as a vegetarian option if you’re looking for some meatless nachos sometime.
The Spicy Tostadas has beans, cheese, tomato, lettuce, and red sauce all on a crunchy base. There’s some added chipotle sauce as well to give it that spice that the name mentions.
Mountain Dew Baja Blast is a tropical lime flavor of Mountain Dew that was made especially for Taco Bell back in 2004. In 2012, they introduced the Baja Blast Freeze, which uses the same Mountain dew flavor only in an icy mixture like a slushie.
Taco Bell Fire Sauce is the hottest variety of sauce packets you can get from the chain which goes from Mild to Hot to Fire. Each packet has a funny phrase written on it but inside it’s a spicy sauce that clocks in at around 500 Scoville heat units.
The Grande Scrambler off the Taco Bell breakfast menu is a pretty hefty item that racks up 650 calories all by itself. It’s full of eggs, bacon, potatoes, and cheese, as well as pico de gallo, sour cream and nacho cheese sauce.
The Breakfast Quesadilla uses the cheese you’d expect to find in a quesadilla but also adds in eggs and bacon because if we’re being honest, bacon can be added to almost any food item to make it better. It does have 65% of your recommended daily intake of saturated fat though, so watch out for that.
The Mini Skillet Bowl is a quick breakfast item for people who don’t want tortillas. It’s potatoes, eggs, pico de gallo and nacho cheese sauce and it only costs $1!
The Sausage Flatbread Quesadilla swaps out a traditional flour tortilla for a thicker gordita flatbread. That makes the whole thing a little chewier than your typical quesadilla but it holds up better to the sausage crumble that they put inside. There’s some science in these menus, you know.
Taco Bell added hash browns to its breakfast menu because everyone adds hash browns to their breakfast menu. People love potatoes and, according to the Idaho Potato Council, the per capita potato consumption in America is an incredible 117 pounds per year.
Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes are just potatoes with sour cream and nacho cheese on them. An actual fiesta is usually a big party or festival, so if you serve these potatoes at a fiesta you’d be doubling down on the fiesta fun.