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Taco Bell is a restaurant you’ve probably seen in almost every decent-sized city, and you have most likely tried their fast food Mexican dishes in the past.
But do you know how it came to be in almost every city in urban and suburban America?
Taco Bell was started in Irvine, California by a man named Glen Bell in 1962. Glenn Bell started as a humble hot dog salesman, who shifted his focus into fast food Mexican fare.
The idea took off and by 1970 Taco Bell had 325 restaurants all over the country. It has now become a staple in most areas of the U.S. and boasts a very cost-efficient fast food menu.
College students and families alike have populated the chain as a quick and convenient option for their Mexican-American food cravings.
When trying to decide whether to eat at Taco Bell you might wonder if it’s worth the price.
Taco Bell has a lot of different fast food choices at reasonable prices so if you want cheap food then it’s worth eating there. Although their food isn’t the highest quality out there they also aren’t very expensive.
Taco Bell is certainly not the foodie paradise that other restaurants are, but it does check the boxes on price and convenience options that many people enjoy. Although the food isn’t the best health wise, seventy-five percent of Taco Bell’s menu is actually under the five-hundred calorie mark.
When you stack Taco Bell against other fast food places like Mcdonalds or Burger King, it does tend to lean towards more healthy menu items. Taco Bell also has a great “value menu” with many items costing one dollar and up.
If you are a busy college student, or a speedy parent on their way to the third practice of the day, Taco Bell is most likely “worth it” to you!
What Is On The Taco Bell Value Menu?
Taco Bell’s value menu is jam packed with quick options to feed that hunger monster who’s been rearing his ugly head.
Senior Vice President of Brand Marketing and Consumer Insights Melissa Friebe said in a statement, “It’s more important than ever before that we give fans the craveable food they not only want, but can afford, and we’ve built our menu with some of our most innovative items from $1 to $5 to ensure there is something for everyone. Committing to the $1 is a priority for us.”
But what items are on the value menu at Taco Bell?
There are over 20 items on Taco Bell’s value menu currently , with everything ranging from tacos and burritos to drinks and desserts.
Taco Bell’s value menu boasts many craveable options for each of their hungry clients. What is on the value menu does change regularly but right now, the options include
- Double Stacked Taco – Nacho Crunch
- Double Stacked Taco – Chipotle Cheddar
- Double Stacked Taco – Reaper Ranch
- Beefy Fritos Burrito
- Cheesy Bean and Rice Burrito
- Mini Skillet Bowl
- Shredded Chicken Quesadilla Melt
- Cheesy Roll Up
- Sausage Flatbread Quesadilla
- Cinnamon Twists
- Spicy Potato Soft Taco
- Mountain Dew Kickstart
- Spicy Tostada
- Triple Layer Nachos
- Cinnabon Delights – 2 pack
- Grilled Breakfast Burrito – Bacon, Sausage, and Fiesta Potato
- Breakfast Soft Taco – Sausage and Bacon
- Hash Brown
This extensive list just shows what’s on their value menu, so think about how many other options they boast for your fast food needs! With just a few dollars, you can have yourself a three course meal with an appetizer, main course, and dessert.
Is Taco Bell Healthy?
In recent years, Taco Bell has also been expanding it’s area of expertise in healthy choices on its menu. This can be attributed partly to their new dietitian and product developer, Missy Nelson.
Not only have Missy and others expanded healthy choices across the board, there has also been a fifteen percent sodium reduction across all items on the menu. There are also more focused menu options like “fresco” for less calories, and “cantina” for higher protein choices.
Although Taco Bell has been working on lowering sodium and calories for many menu items it still isn’t considered “healthy” food. Although it might be better for you than other fast food restaurants, that doesn’t mean eating there is truly healthy.
Taco Bell has been making strides in recent years to provide healthier options on their menu. In comparison to other fast food chains, Taco Bell has definitely moved up the ranks in healthiness with lower calorie items as well as reduced sodium content.
These healthy options are made easy by customizable menu items in the app, as well separate sections demarcated on the restaurant’s drive through and in-store menus.
Instead of claiming that they have become a health minded fast food chain, Taco Bell has focused in a more subtle way, by allowing diners to choose a healthier option if they want. Taco Bell lovers can still get all the high calorie options as well that they have come to enjoy, with most of the main menu items staying.
What Are The Best Items At Taco Bell?
Even though I have spent a lot of time on the healthy items Taco Bell has to offer, there are several staples on the menu that can’t be forgotten. Some of the classics over the years have been the Crunchwrap Supreme, the Nachos Bellgrande, and of course the Crispy Taco.
These are available in the ‘‘fresco’’ style but sometimes you just need to experience them in their original calorie-loaded glory.
The popularity of menu items changes over time but the most popular item in recent years has been the Nacho Fries. Even though these are not a permanent item, they have become the chain’s most popular item so far, with fifty-three million orders sold in just five weeks.
Healthy or unhealthy, Taco Bell has gained a massive following over its history, and there are several items they have served that people just can’t seem to live without. Right now, the most popular item availble is the Cantina Crispy Melt Taco, with the Crunchwrap Supreme following at a close second.
Third and fourth are the Chicken Power Bowl, and the famous Mountain Dew Baja Blast. Fifth in popularity right now is the Chicken Quesadilla.
You can find Taco Bell’s most popular items updated weekly here, in case you are in the mood to try something new.
As you can probably gather by now, there are several reasons why Taco Bell could be considered “worth it” or not, but the facts do stand that the fast food chain has made strides in recent years to update and adapt their menu to the next generation’s wants and needs.
By expanding healthier options, keeping low prices, and trying out new flavors, Taco Bell is expanding into even more people’s cravings.
If you still haven’t decided whether you are on or off the Taco Bell train, maybe it’s time to pay them a visit. They might even have a new menu item waiting for you!