A Beginner's Guide To Ordering At Taco Bell - The Daily Meal (2024)

Restaurants Fast Food Taco Bell

A Beginner's Guide To Ordering At Taco Bell - The Daily Meal (1)

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ByBryn Gelbart|

Taco Bell can have an intimidating reputation if you've never been to the fast-food chain. Whether you've heard it called Tex-Mex, Mexican-inspired, or just flat-out fake Mexican food, you probably know the Taco Bell experience is far from authentic. But that doesn't mean it can't be delicious if you are in the right mood and state of mind. If you've never tried the Mexican-inspired (see what we did there) fast-food joint and are finding yourself curious, there are some fast tips that will help you know what to order and how to do it cheaply and efficiently.

For starters, it's best to have a relatively settled stomach before trying the fast-food chain for the first time. Some rumors about Taco Bell can be true from time to time, so just make sure to not go overboard with your first order. Take it easy and go with some experienced buddies who know the drill, like you would for any intense first-time experience. All jokes aside, if you're looking up a guide for Taco Bell newbies you probably want to know two things: What to get, and what is the cheapest way I can get it? We've got answers for you on both of those counts and many more.

This comprehensive beginner's guide will lead you through everything you need to know about ordering at Taco Bell for the first time, including which items are best to try and how to get the best value out of your order.

Don't go for breakfast

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Our first word of advice to anyone trying Taco Bell for the first time is don't go in the morning. While Taco Bell has offerings that other fast-food breakfast places don't, like breakfast burritos and Crunchwraps with eggs, these are far from the best items on the menu. It's not even that the breakfast is bad — there are some great items —but if you are trying Taco Bell for the first time, it's best to do so for lunch, dinner, or the chain's trademark FourthMeal.

Most of the breakfast options disappoint, but one of the best items on the menu can be purchased at any time. The sweet-and-delicious Cinnabon Delights are usually a dessert, but they are a great morning treat as well.

The eggs and breakfast protein options at Taco Bell leave quite a bit to be desired. On the bright side, most of the breakfast offerings include hash browns or potatoes of some sort. As you'll soon realize, potatoes are one of Taco Bell's best ingredients. Considering you can get potatoes in many forms during breakfast, it can be a tasty option. But for a first-time visit, let us stick to the regular menu.

You can ask for anything to be removed or substituted

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This might be the most important thing to know before making the trip to Taco Bell for the first time: Taco Bell lets you customize and modify items in pretty much any way you see fit. It might just be the best fast-food chain in this regard. So don't be scared to ask for no sour cream, extra meat, or even more complex substitutions you may have. Whatever you want, if Taco Bell can do it the restaurant will truly make it your way — and this includes making items vegan and vegetarian when possible, which is to say usually. For the most part, everything can be made vegetarian or vegan-friendly, which gives Taco Bell an additional wide range. (While this wide range of options can get overwhelming, we'll talk more about exactly what to get your first time at Taco Bell in a bit.)

Also, before you stand in line and memorize your complex order before reciting it to the employee working the counter, you should know that there are easier ways to ensure Taco Bell makes your first order just the way you want it. Many locations have kiosks where you can order, modify, and customize your items on a touch screen. Ordering from here is usually quick and eliminates an element of human error. However, there is also one other way to order that is the fastest and will get you the most deals.

The app is the easiest way to customize your items

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Not to evangelize too much for the Taco Bell app but —like many fast food apps — it offers users rewards that you just can't get elsewhere. And like, say for instance the McDonalds app, the Taco Bell mobile app gives you rewards points for the dollars you spend that can be spent in exchange for free items on return visits.

On the Taco Bell app, there are two tiers of loyalty: Hot and Fire. When you first start using the Taco Bell app you begin at Hot Tier, where you will earn 10 points for every $1 spent.Getting to 2,000 points in one year will earn you access to the Fire Tier. This unlocks a whole tier of items you can now redeem your points to purchase, and the value of each order also increases. In the Fire Tier,every dollar spent nets app users11 points.

You might not know if you like Taco Bell the first time around, but it is worth downloading the app anyway for the online exclusive deals that may decrease the price of your meal. Some items and combo specials can only be purchased online, so make you'll want to make sure you aren't missing out on the best deals you can get at Taco Bell.

If it's your first time, you have to try Baja Blast

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While you can find this specialty flavor of Mountain Dew at grocery stores and gas stations nowadays, there was a long period of time when Baja Blast was a Taco Bell-exclusive beverage. The tropical and fruity Mountain Dew flavor can still mostly only be found at Taco Bell. Known for its distinct turquoise color and how it pairs like a magic trick with literally every item on the menu, Baja Blast is a key part of the Taco Bell experience.

Now, don't you worry, there are a couple of different ways you can get your Baja Blast fix on. All Taco Bell locations offer regular and Diet Baja Blast as a fountain beverage option. However, if you don't want to replace your favorite Pepsi product with what is ultimately still a flavored Mountain Dew, you can also try the special flavor in the form of a Baja Blast Freeze. This icy frozen drink is a refreshing accompaniment to your Taco Bell on a summer's day and a great way to upgrade your beverage order.

Limited time and online exclusive combos are the most bang for your buck

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We can't speak to the quality of all of Taco Bell's exclusive items. Like most fast food places, whatever hot new item the chain is promoting can be hit or miss and it just depends a lot of the time on the quality of ingredients at your location. That being said, many of these items come included in some of the best boxes and combo deals Taco Bell has to offer.

Limited-time deals and combos are often a fantastic way to get a lot of food for a price that is much more friendly than usual. Sometimes these will come with one specialty item, a drink, and a couple of smaller items or regular tacos on the side, usually all for under $10 depending on your Taco Bell location. There are almost always multiple rotating promotions going on at the chain.

Some of these deals are online exclusive. This means you can only get them if you order online via the Taco Bell website, app, or through a third-party delivery service like Grubhub. Certain items are only available online, while others have been given a digital discount. One of the best deals at Taco Bell is the online exclusive Build Your Own Cravings Box, which includes one classic item, one specialty item, a drink, and a side of chips and queso, Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes, or Cinnamon Twists.

The Crunchwrap Supreme is a Taco Bell specialty

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The Crunchwrap might just be the most famous Taco Bell creation. The standard Crunchwrap Supreme contains many of the same ingredients as so many other Taco Bell items: beef, sour cream, nacho cheese, tomatoes, and a flour tortilla. it is the construction and form factor of the Crunchwrap that makes it so popular ... and so tasty. There is a reason it has been so widely imitated both by internet chefs and even at other fast-casual Mexican joints like Moe's.

For those not yet initiated, the Crunchwrap Supreme is a wrap inside a flour tortilla consisting of two layers separated by a hard corn tortilla shell. On the bottom, there is a layer of beef and cheese, while the top holds all your veggies and sour cream. Housed in the flour tortilla, the creation is then grilled like a quesadilla, giving it an extra crust on the outside. The result is handheld heaven for Taco Bell fans. The balance of tortilla, veggies, and meat is pretty much perfect — although we do sometimes admit we wish there was a little more beef — and the Crunchwrap is one of the most filling signature items on the menu. Plus, you can hold it in your hand so it's great for the car ride home as well if you just can't help yourself. FYI, it's best dipped in Taco Bell's Hot and Fire sauces.

Quesadillas are a great option for first timers

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While there are actually a surprising number of healthy options on the Taco Bell menu, the quesadilla feels like a safe compromise for first-timers. It's not the healthiest option —it doesn't even have veggies technically — but it's relatively low calorie for how filling it is. Plus you still get a taste of that Taco Bell magic with any of the quesadillas.

A plus side of the quesadilla options is you don't have to venture into eating the beans or ground beef if those products have been scaring you away.The Cheese Quesadilla is a good basic option for vegetarians, but the Chicken and Steak Quesadillas rank among fans' favorite Taco Bell items. No matter which of the three regular quesadillas you get, each comes with the special ingredient that sends Taco Bell's quesadillas over the edge — the Creamy Jalapeño sauce. This truly brings everything together in this relatively simple menu item.Be sure to keep your eye on the special menu for quesadilla specials too. You won't want to miss out on the next time the brand brings back the Double Steak Quesadilla.

The Cheesy Gordita Crunch is the best taco on the menu

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Sure, you can just get a taco at Taco Bell. It's a little uninspired but regular tacos are certainly a selection that many people still opt for. If you step up your game a little, you can make it a Doritos Locos Taco with the now-iconic Dorito hard taco shell. Or if you are a soft taco fan, you might want to try the Spicy Potato Soft Taco. However, if you truly want the best taco experience T-Bell has to offer, look no further than the Cheesy Gordita Crunch. Combining all the best aspects of both hard- and soft-shell tacos, this Taco Bell specialty item is a favorite for a reason.

The magic starts by taking a regular hard-shell beef taco and adding just a bit of Taco Bell's specialty Spicy Ranch sauce. Take our word for it,the Spicy Ranch is the most underrated ingredient and the one that truly brings the Cheesy Gordita Crunch together. This taco is then surrounded by a warm flour flatbread-style tortilla and a layer of three-cheese blend between the two. The result is savory, crunchy, and creamy. And unlike the Crunchwrap Supreme, you could eat more than one of these in a sitting.

The Quesarito is the solution to choice paralysis (and an empty stomach)

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Taco Bell

The Quesarito is the prime example of the type of indulgent, inauthentic, and beloved creations that have been coming out of the Taco Bell kitchen for years. This incredulous combination of a burrito and quesadilla is the perfect option for those newcomers who can't quite make up their minds about what to order. Just remember if you order the Quesarito you are committing to the largest, most-filling item on the Taco Bell menu, so you might not have the room to try anything else.

This behemoth is a burritostuffed withseasoned ground beef, lots of melted cheese, rice, chipotle sauce, and sour cream all housed inside a quesadilla. The fillings arelayeredbetween two warm tortillas filled with cheese and Taco Bell's Creamy Jalapeño sauce. The result is a goopy, delicious mess that is as emblematic of the spirit of Taco Bell as any other item that has ever graced the menu.

Keep in mind that as of the time of this writing, the Quesarito is only an exclusive, meaning you can only purchase it by placing your order online through the app or through a delivery service.

The potatoes are the best vegetarian option

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Like we said, you can add beans instead of meat to a majority of Taco Bell menu items in order to make said item vegetarian. However, we've also found the best vegetarian options at Taco Bell to be already right there on the menu for you. Even if you love the meatier burrito options, you won't want to skip over Taco Bell's secret best main filling — the potatoes.

They may be basic on their own, but even throwing a few other basic Taco Bell ingredients together with those potatoes of theirs results in fast-food magic. Technically you can add potatoes to whatever Taco Bell item you like, but we've found that two top-tier potato options are already on the menu — despite having been taken off for a short timein 2020.

The Spicy Potato Taco and the Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes are simple, delicious items. The Chipotle sauce on the taco adds an extra dimension that elevates the crispy bites of potato. If you just want a bowl of potatoes and cheese (sour cream optional) then set your sights on the Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes. Plus, both tasty options are cheap. These Craving Menu options ensure it won't break the bank to load up on multiple potato dishes.

Don't skip out on dessert

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While it might seem controversial to say so, you actually can't go wrong with the desserts at Taco Bell. While you're already indulging taking a gander here is totally worth the calories. So make sure to leave room, if only just a tiny bit.

Both of the sweet options currently on the menu have their fans, but we have to admit that one clearly wins out over the other. The old-fashioned Cinnamon Twists are iconic. Older fans of the fast-food franchise might even call them a Taco Bell staple. Still, while these crunchy cinnamon-sugar desserts have good texture and flavor, they don't quite satisfy a sweet-tooth craving the way the Cinnabon Delights do. If you want a warm dessert this is where it's at.

Coming in packs of two or 12, the Cinnabon Delights are essentially fried donut balls filled with sugary Cinnabon icing.Usually coming hot out of the fryer, at their best these little nuggets of sweetness are warm, moist, and filled with deliciousness. The small size is a perfect little cherry on top of your first Taco Bell order.

A Beginner's Guide To Ordering At Taco Bell - The Daily Meal (2024)

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