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We Tasted 21 Taco Bell Menu Items And This One Reigns Supreme

layout of Taco Bell food
layout of Taco Bell food - Rachel Murray/Getty Images

Have you ever wanted to try every single thing on the Taco Bell menu? We're happy to report that we lived out your dream. And it was every bit as fantastic as you might imagine. This California-bred taco chain has been satisfying America's late-night cravings since 1962 and now has more than 7,000 locations around the world. Truly, an international delight. However, we needed just one location to get our hands on the best burritos, nachos, and tacos — and put them to the test.

As longtime Taco Bell fans, we were so excited to taste some of the most popular items on the menu. Our ranking system here was based on how well these ingredients fit together in that particular dish — and whether or not the food lived up to its reputation outside Taco Bell. We tried to keep it fair and only based the rankings on what we were eating that day, and not the amazing taco we had there ten years ago. We'll tell you more about that later — but for now, join us as we count down the Taco Bell menu from worst to best. Where does your favorite rank on the list?

Read more: The 101 Best Pizzas In America

21. Mexican Pizza

Mexican Pizza
Mexican Pizza - Emily Kammerlohr / Static Media

You might notice that the photo of the Mexican Pizza isn't that flattering — and that's because it was hard to get a good photo of something that's just not good. Looking nothing like the advertising photos, the disappointing Mexican Pizza is an "expectations vs. reality" moment. The best way we can describe this culinary flop is that it's kind of like a quesadilla with too much melted cheese on the outside and an okay amount on the inside. The diced tomato on top was cold and felt out of place. It was also a bit awkward because we could only actually taste the slightly burned tortilla and nothing else.

All this to say, we don't really know what Taco Bell was trying to achieve with the Mexican Pizza, but we can firmly say it didn't succeed. Due to its lack of flavor, poor presentation, and overall underwhelming nature, it's no wonder that the Mexican Pizza comes dead last on our list.

20. Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes

Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes
Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes - Emily Kammerlohr / Static Media

We love potatoes, so we were excited to try this dish. When we first opened the container, we were happy enough as the spuds looked like homefries — one of our favorite options. They were nicely seasoned and golden brown, so we knew they were cooked nicely. Unfortunately, that's when the nice things about this dish ended. The two types of cheese included in this side were nice in concept, but their texture was awful. They were so gloopy it felt a bit like eating spoonfuls of slime.

Not only that, but even when we mixed the dish together thoroughly, the weird texture never really went away. For some reason, instead of evenly coating the pieces, it kind of seemed like the starch of the potatoes was actively repelling the cheese instead. Because of this textural nightmare, the Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes have to rank near the very bottom of the list.

19. Cheese Quesadilla

Cheese Quesadilla
Cheese Quesadilla - Emily Kammerlohr / Static Media

When we first saw the quesadilla, it looked like it might taste okay. Although a bit squished from the ride home from the drive-thru, the tortilla was still a nice golden brown. Sadly, the first bite was a letdown, as was every single one after it. The layer of cheese inside was way too thin. It felt more like we were eating just a seasoned tortilla instead of one filled with cheesy goodness.

The cheese had a nice kick of spice, but there just wasn't enough of it. The star ingredient of a dish being pretty much missing was disappointing. Yet the reason the Cheese Quesadilla ranks so low is also because of its texture. A good quesadilla should be crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside from all that melted cheese, but Taco Bell's version didn't quite nail it. The cheese layer was too thin, so there wasn't that satisfying gooey factor. Overall, it ended up being a bit dry and underwhelming.

18. Chicken Enchilada Burrito

Chicken Enchilada Burrito
Chicken Enchilada Burrito - Emily Kammerlohr / Static Media

One of the most glaring issues with the Chicken Enchilada Burrito is the overwhelming presence of rice. The rice-to-filling ratio is completely out of balance, with the burrito feeling more like a rice dish than a hearty, protein-packed meal. The excessive amount completely dominated the flavor profile, almost ruining each bite. Plus, there was hardly any chicken inside. The lack of protein was disappointing.

Plus, the texture of the burrito was a bit too doughy for our liking, as the tortilla was so tightly wrapped that if you were not getting rice, it was just a mouthful of tortilla at times. This made eating the dish feel pretty dense, as it was so carb-heavy that it kind of went down like an anvil. Finally, the enchilada sauce falls short of expectations. It lacks the rich, complex flavors typically associated with traditional enchiladas. This resulted in a taste experience that felt disconnected from its namesake. If the sauce was better, we might have ranked this higher, but as it stands the Chicken Enchilada Burrito is a flop.

17. Beefy 5-Layer Burrito

Beefy 5-layer Burrito
Beefy 5-layer Burrito - Emily Kammerlohr / Static Media

There were three main things we didn't like about the Beefy 5-layer Burrito and they were all serious enough that it earned a place toward the bottom of the ranking. First, the cheese inside the burrito is disappointingly overpowering. Instead of complementing the other ingredients, the gloopy cheese is pretty much the only thing you can taste the first few bites. It has a weird, thick texture and left us feeling like this dish was one-dimensional and heavy on the palate.

Next, the burrito could have been better layered. Instead of being spread out evenly, the beef is all packed on one side, making it seem like the burrito is mostly filled with beans and cheese. This not only looks unappealing but also messes with your taste buds. We were a few bites in before we even realized there was even beef inside — we thought there had been a mistake with our order. Last, the way the tortilla was folded meant that many of our bites were very doughy, which didn't taste great.

16. Cheesy Bean And Rice Burrito

Cheesy Bean and Rice Burrito
Cheesy Bean and Rice Burrito - Emily Kammerlohr / Static Media

The rice in the burrito tasted like those pre-packaged ones, à la Uncle Ben's. It tasted stale and old. That said, unlike other options on this list that had entirely too much rice, we have to add that the Cheesy Bean and Rice Burrito had a better ratio.

Unfortunately, it went downhill with the beans, because they were so unevenly spread. Instead of getting some in each bite, we found that they were just clumped together at one end. This made the burrito taste rather unbalanced. Although the Cheesy Bean and Rice Burrito is a cheap and convenient meal option, it falls short of its potential. It's possible the rice we had really was old and this dish was only bad in a one-off, but we don't think so. Although the beans tasted nice, it was too much at once. For this reason, this dish ranks pretty low on our list.

15. Spicy Potato Soft Taco

Spicy Potato Soft Taco
Spicy Potato Soft Taco - Emily Kammerlohr / Static Media

Taco Bell's Spicy Potato Soft Taco is a unique twist on the classic taco experience. Instead of meat or a traditional veg option like beans for protein, this taco has seasoned potatoes nestled within a soft tortilla. It was a bit starchy — but we still liked the potatoes. The spuds were the star of the show. They are the same potatoes as in the Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes, so the seasoning was great. They were also a little crunchy, which was nice against the softness of the tortilla.

However, the Spicy Potato Soft Taco didn't live up to its name. The only ingredient that was spicy was the sauce, but even then, it wasn't that hot. Instead, it had a sweet and smoky flavor with a tangy kick, which added a nice complexity to the taco. Even so, the sauce seemed out of place. It tasted more like a condiment for a burger than a traditional taco sauce. So even though the potatoes were good, the misplaced taste of the sauce means this dish can't rank too high.

14. Cheesy Roll Up

Cheesy Roll Up
Cheesy Roll Up - Emily Kammerlohr / Static Media

The Cheesy Roll-Up is on the dollar menu, offering a quick bite for those on a budget. At first glance, it kind of looks like a miniature cheese quesadilla. It's a warm tortilla wrapped around melted cheese. But when you take a closer look, it's obvious that there's way more tortilla than cheese happening here. The tortilla is nice and soft, but there's so little cheese inside that it kind of tasted like we were just eating bread with nothing else.

The only plus about this snack, and the reason that we've still ranked it this high, is that it still has good value. If you're on a budget and you want to feel full, dropping a dollar plus tax on this cheese and tortilla combo is enough to make the hunger pangs drop a bit. So while it doesn't come through for flavor, it does come through on substance.

13. Steak Quesadilla

Steak Quesadilla
Steak Quesadilla - Emily Kammerlohr / Static Media

Taco Bell's Steak Quesadilla is supposed to be the chain's take on a classic Tex-Mex favorite, but it didn't impress us much. At first glance, the dish looks promising enough. After all, who doesn't like a tortilla with melted cheese? But after we took our first bite, we realized the layer of dairy was pretty thin. Plus, the meat was concentrated in the middle of the quesadilla. The first few bites were mostly just cheese.

We think if the restaurant had been a bit more generous with the portions of protein, this could have easily ranked higher. The small bits of steak we managed to nibble on were quite good. However, because of how thin the quesadilla is and how easy it would be to make a better one at home, we just can't recommend it too much. For this reason, being "just okay," it earns a spot in the middle of our rankings.

12. Nachos Bellgrande

Nachos Bellgrande
Nachos Bellgrande - Emily Kammerlohr / Static Media

We were excited to try the Nachos Bellgrande, which promised a bold explosion of flavors, with crispy chips smothered in cheese and topped with savory meat. Unfortunately, only about half of these things came true. First, the cheese in the Nachos Bellgrande provided a welcome kick of spiciness, adding a pleasant warmth to each bite. However, its texture was a bit strange and kind of tasted like a cheap, knockoff Velveeta.

On a more positive note, the chips were nice and crispy. Their sturdy texture held up well under the weight of all the toppings, so nothing broke off mid-scoop. But even though the chips had a nice crunch, the Nachos Bellgrande still fell short overall. It just didn't feel as complete as nachos without other toppings like lettuce and jalapenos to add a pop of color and fresh taste. So we liked this dish okay, but it could have been better — leaving it in the middle of the pack.

11. Bean Burrito

 Bean Burrito
Bean Burrito - Emily Kammerlohr / Static Media

Taco Bell's Bean Burrito is a great option for vegetarians. It was filled to the brim with refried beans and unlike some of the other burritos, had a good bean to tortilla ratio going on. This meant that every bite wasn't just a mouthful of dry tortilla and had a lot of nice flavor to it. There was also rice and melted cheese inside, but they were not overpowering.

The only real downside to the Bean Burrito might be the texture of the cheese. It seemed to be shredded cheese that was melted instead of the queso Taco Bell is known for. Plus, in some places, the cheese tasted just a little bit burned. It wasn't too big of a deal, but the charred flavor was just enough to pull this simple yet delicious option out of the front running. However, for those looking for a meatless yet still satisfying snack, this might be the way to go.

10. Steak Grilled Cheese Burrito

Steak Grilled Cheese Burrito
Steak Grilled Cheese Burrito - Emily Kammerlohr / Static Media

The Steak Grilled Cheese Burrito delivers on its promise of substance. Each bite felt very rich and filling thanks to the generous portions of steak, rice, cheese, and tortilla chips stuffed inside. However, the burrito did manage to strike a delicate balance of flavors in such a small space. The steak was cooked well and tasted great when covered in the melted cheese. The crunch of the tortilla chips was also nice, texture-wise. The burrito has a little bit of spice, but not too much, so even people who aren't really fans of spicy food might still enjoy it.

The only downside to this dish was its weight. We felt very full after eating this and still can't decide if the bloating was a side effect of a great meal or just too many rich ingredients together. We also feel like, as with some of the other burritos, there could have been a few more ingredients so the tortilla didn't feature so prominently in each bite. For that reason, this dish ranks solidly in the middle.

9. Beef Chalupa Supreme

Beef Chalupa Supreme
Beef Chalupa Supreme - Emily Kammerlohr / Static Media

In all our years of eating at Taco Bell, we had never tried the Beef Chalupa Supreme, so it was a welcome change of pace. It's a unique twist on the classic taco, with its distinctive shell setting it apart. It's kind of like a soft taco, but with a thicker shell that adds a satisfying crunch to each bite. This "crunchy soft taco" texture tasted great.

However, nothing is perfect. We also noticed one thing we thought the dish could do better: The portions of its toppings. While there was more than enough lettuce and tomato, there was just a thin sprinkling of beef at the bottom of the Chalupa. So while the toppings make each bite feel extra fresh and crispy, there's just not enough beef to really satisfy and fill you up. Despite this small downside, the shell of the Beef Chalupa Supreme is what stands out. It's thick and crispy, which adds an awesome contrast to the soft and tasty toppings.

8. Black Bean Crunchwrap Supreme

Black Bean Crunchwrap Supreme
Black Bean Crunchwrap Supreme - Emily Kammerlohr / Static Media

Taco Bell's Black Bean Crunchwrap Supreme offers a vegetarian twist on a classic favorite. It promises the same satisfying crunch and bold flavors in a meat-free package. In a way, this dish does deliver that with the crispy tortilla shell and the mix of ingredients inside. But without the beef, it was missing something. The black beans were an okay substitute, but they didn't have that same satisfying bite as seasoned ground beef. They were too soft, so the mouthfuls were a bit mushy.

There was also a slightly disappointing lack of black beans in the black bean crunchwrap. Those that were there tasted alright overall, but there just weren't enough of them to make their flavor stand out. However, the rest of the wrap was delicious enough to help it rank higher. The crunch of the tortilla, the creamy cheese, the tangy sauce, and the crisp lettuce all came together to create a delicious mix of flavors that we enjoyed.

7. Cinnamon Twists

Cinnamon Twists
Cinnamon Twists - Emily Kammerlohr / Static Media

Weirdly enough, we thought that the Cinnamon Twists resembled miniature pork crackling because of their puffy texture and golden color. Which for us, is a positive because we love pork crackling. Of course, these twists are covered in cinnamon sugar and not salt, but are just as delicious. Their crunch is light and airy, so it was easy to eat a lot of them in one go because they didn't feel too rich or heavy.

Even though the twists have a crunchy outside, they're smooth enough that they won't scratch the top of your mouth — which is a must when eating anything crunchy. The only downside is that they can leave a powdery residue on your fingers, which can be a little messy to deal with. But it wasn't too big of a deal and we enjoyed the snack overall, which is why these rank so high on our list.

6. Cinnabon Delights (2-Pack)

 Cinnabon Delights (2-pack)
Cinnabon Delights (2-pack) - Emily Kammerlohr / Static Media

When you bite into the Cinnabon Delights, they might seem a bit dry like bread, but don't worry. Once you start to chew, you'll be pleasantly surprised by the moist and delicious interior that contrasts with the slightly drier outside. This mix of textures makes every following bite pretty good.

The thing we liked the best about Cinnabon Delights has to be the yummy cinnamon sugar coating. The coating adds a nice crunch and makes every bite sweet, just the way Cinnabon is known for. There's a melted icing inside, too that's nice and tangy. Even though they're small, these treats are packed with flavor. But a word of warning — they're so rich that you can't eat too many at once. The small size is actually perfect because it lets you enjoy each bite without getting overwhelmed. If we had ordered any more, we likely would have been sick.

5. Cheesy Gordita Crunch

Cheesy Gordita Crunch
Cheesy Gordita Crunch - Emily Kammerlohr / Static Media

The Cheesy Gordita Crunch is a cool hybrid creation. It was unique enough that we'd never tried it before. It has what looks and feels like a fluffy piece of flatbread wrapped around a crunchy taco shell. This creates a distinct contrast of textures, which we enjoyed — sending this option towards the top. The flatbread adds a pillowy softness to each bite, which was a counterpoint to the crunch of the hard taco shell. Yet despite its softness, the flatbread holds up well to the filling of the taco. It provided a sturdy base that prevented the taco from becoming too messy to eat.

There was a little bit too much cheese for our personal taste, but as it is a Cheesy Gordita Crunch, we can't hold this against the dish too much. Overall, this was a welcome addition to our Taco Bell order, which is why it is towards the top.

4. Chicken Power Menu Bowl

Chicken Power Menu Bowl
Chicken Power Menu Bowl - Emily Kammerlohr / Static Media

The Chicken Power Menu Bowl is an awesome option for people who want a delicious and filling meal on the go. We enjoyed it because it had a good mix of ingredients and tasted satisfying. One of the best things about it is the variety of ingredients inside. It reminded us of a burrito bowl from Chipotle — just less expensive. It had seasoned chicken, rice, beans, veggies, and guacamole. Even though it's a little smaller than bowls from other restaurants, you get guacamole at no extra cost, which is a nice bonus.

The only downside for us is that we wish there was a bit more chicken for those who want plenty of protein. However, you can pay a bit more when ordering on a kiosk to add a double portion. But overall, the Chicken Power Menu Bowl lives up to its name because it tastes great and leaves us feeling full — but not bloated and overstuffed like after other menu items. It's also a good gluten-free option for people with dietary restrictions. For this reason, it's nearly at the top.

3. Double Stacked Taco

Double Stacked Taco
Double Stacked Taco - Emily Kammerlohr / Static Media

We liked the different textures of the Double Stacked Taco. We might even consider this menu item a bit of a game-changer when it comes to tacos. Basically, it's a crispy taco tucked inside a soft tortilla. If you can never decide between a soft or crunchy taco, now you don't have to. You get the best of both worlds in one delicious bite. No matter your preferences, this taco has you covered. Plus, the combination of taco types makes it really fun to eat as it's crunchy and chewy at the same time.

If you're a fan of Taco Bell, you'll recognize the familiar tastes of this dish. It has all the classic flavors and seasonings that we love — but doubled up. While we can't think of many things wrong with this dish, a couple of other menu items were just slightly better, which is why it's not our number one.

2. Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Tacos

Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Tacos
Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Tacos - Emily Kammerlohr / Static Media

There are many reasons we had to rank this taco at the top. To start with, the shell was a giant Nacho Cheese Dorito. Can things get any better? The shell had a super crunchy and addictive texture, giving a satisfying cheesy crunch with every bite. The tangy Dorito seasoning really took things to another level of deliciousness. It was also the perfect match for the savory beef filling. Speaking of the filling, Taco Bell's seasoned beef seems to taste its best in this taco when compared to other options on the menu. We felt like the cheese in the shell must have been the boost beef needed to shine.

Finally, unlike eating regular Doritos, the Locos Tacos' shell never seems to stain our fingers like the regular chips do — but maybe that's because we practically inhaled it. Either way, this dish is delicious and should be everyone's go-to.

1. Ground Beef Crunchwrap Supreme

Ground Beef Crunchwrap Supreme
Ground Beef Crunchwrap Supreme - Emily Kammerlohr / Static Media

The Crunchwrap Supreme reigns supreme. It is an easy shoo-in for the number one spot on our list. The dish scores a perfect 10/10 in every area — portion, taste, value for money, and ease of eating. The portion is large, so you can fill up on just one menu item. We felt very full and satisfied, but not bloated when we finished sampling it.

The ingredients inside are diverse, like sour cream, queso, ground beef, tomato, lettuce, and more — but they're spread evenly throughout the perfectly-seared tortilla so no bite is overwhelmed by just one flavor. It also holds its shape incredibly well while eating. Sometimes something stuffed so full might disintegrate, but not the Crunchwrap Supreme. We noticed that we hardly even needed to use a napkin while enjoying it because it wasn't spilling out onto our hands as other dishes had. We will definitely be ordering this again.

How We Ranked The Items

box of taco bell food
box of taco bell food - PrincePrinn/Shutterstock

During our taste test, the first thing that stood out to us was the lack of variety in the ingredients. While the haters might think this is a negative, we were honestly impressed with all the different ways Taco Bell has discovered to combine refried beans, ground beef, tortillas, and queso. As with any sampling, the ranking system might seem a bit subjective — but that's because it definitely is. However, in the interest of fairness, here is how we determined each food's spot. We actually ranked the foods by how well the ingredients worked together in that dish. Did the sauce go well with the other flavors? Was the cheese nice and smooth?

We also thought about whether the food matched what people think it should taste like outside Taco Bell. So the enchilada had to taste like a proper enchilada, and we considered whether we could actually make better quesadillas at home. We also tried to be fair and only based the rankings on what we ate that day, not some incredible taco we had ages ago.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.