Taco Bell vs. Del Taco


Tex-Mex cuisine is popular in many parts of the United States because it combines traditional Mexican food and modern Texan cooking. We can also say that as a fusion cuisine, it’s always open to innovations – and fast-food chains like Taco Bell and Del Taco are definitely being creative with it!

Both are American fast-food chains that offers Tex-Mex food including nachos, burritos and enchiladas. But while their menus are similar, their branding and other aspects of operations are distinct from each other.

Taco Bell

What McDonald’s is to American fast-food fare, Taco Bell is to Mexican and Tex-Mex fast-food items! Indeed, the first brand that comes to mind when Americans crave for fast-food Tex-Mex fare is Taco Bell and its competitors have strived to topple it. Founded by Glen Bell, it started as a hot dog stand before it offered tacos, quesadillas, burritos and nachos.

The menu can be overwhelming for a first-timer but it’s easy enough to navigate. There’s also the fact that Taco Bell has a habit of adding to its menu so it can be a surprise to see something new.

We recommend starting with the soft tacos made of soft tortillas with a delicious filling of seasoned beef, lettuce and cheese aside from other customization options. These include Tex-Mex and Mexican staples like jalapeno peppers, beans and black beans, and onions as well as seasoned rice and seasoned fries. Did we mention that Taco Bell’s soft tacos are huge?

Mexican pizza seems like an odd thing to have considering that pizzas are an Italian creation and Mexican cuisine doesn’t exactly have an equivalent. But Taco Bell took matters into its own hands and created the Mexican pizza! It isn’t a regular pizza either – it actually has a few layers of crisp pizza shell with Mexican-inspired toppings including seasoned beef, refried beans, tomatoes and a three-cheese blend with Taco Bell’s signature pizza sauce.

 If that’s not enough for the foodie in you, it can be upgraded with even more toppings! There’s guacamole, jalapeno sauce, and nacho cheese sauce, even a surprisingly delicious reduced fat sour cream.  Other add-ons only make the pizza decadent – seasoned fries, lettuce and shredded chicken, among others.

For more variety, look for the Cool Ranch Doritos Taco, the Rolled Chicken Tacos, the Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco Supreme, and Double Decker Taco, to name a few.  You can just point them out, too, since many of these items have long names and you want to conserve your energy for enjoying your meal.

Oh, don’t forget the Value Menu either! If you’re on a tight budget, you will find the Value Menu as your lifesaver – every item is worth $1.

Del Taco

Founded by David Jameson and Ed Hackbarth in 1964, Del Taco is an American fast-food chain that offers a combination of American fast-food fare and Americanized Mexican food. It has 580 restaurants in 15 states (January 2019) including California, Oregon and Washington – and, if you must know, Del Taco restaurants are aplenty in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Customers like Del Taco because it combines the experience of going to, say, McDonald’s and Taco Bell in a single location. On one hand, its menu has American-style Mexican and Tex-Mex fare like soft tacos, burritos, hard shell tacos, nachos, and quesadillas. On the other hand, it also has American fast-food comfort food, such as burgers, cheeseburgers, French fries and shakes.

You can mix and match the items so you get the best of both fast-food cuisines. We like, for example, the combo of Chili Cheddar Fries, burritos and a shake for a carb boost.

Del Taco has also introduced vegetarian and vegan items to its menu. This was made possible through a partnership with Beyond Meat, a supplier of plant-based meat substitutes. The menu includes Beyond Tacos, Beyond Avocado Taco, Beyond 8-layer Burrito and Epic Beyond Cali Burrito.

Yet another thing we love about Del Taco is that it offers a “bold” option. This means that you will get French fries with a secret sauce with your order. You end up with, say, fry-layered burgers, fry-stuffed tacos and fry-laced shakes because, well, it’s America and nearly anything goes here.

Beans being a Mexican staple means that it’s also a star in the Del Taco menu. According to the company, it slow-cooks over 17,000 pounds of beans – without lard, if it matters to you – every single day. Now that’s an impressive number!

If Taco Bell has its Value Menu, Del Taco has its answer the Buck and Under menu! Such is the ultra-cheap price that the items start at just 59 cents! You can, in fact, treat your family or friends for just $15 or so by ordering all the items on the Buck and Under menu.

Again, the question: Which is the better chain between Taco Bell and Del Taco? We have to say that each chain has its own appeal. We love Taco Bell because of its delicious yet affordable menu and we also love Del Taco because it’s an all-in-one fast-food experience.

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