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Del Taco vs Taco Bell [Food Fight for Flavor in 2024]

By: Neha Arya
Updated On: September 1, 2023

The debate between “Del Taco vs Taco Bell” is a timeless one, with fans of each fast-food chain passionately defending their preference for tasty Mexican-inspired meals on the go. As someone intrigued by the influence of popular culture on our taste buds and dining experiences, I set out on a flavorful expedition to see which of these renowned eateries truly wins the crown.

By diving deep into their menus, ordering experiences, and the overall taste of their classic offerings, I’m here to provide an answer for those torn between these two titans of Tex-Mex cuisine. So grab your hot sauce packets and let’s embark on this delicious journey together!

Also Read: Domino’s Hand Tossed vs Pan Pizza

Article Includes

An Overview of the Contenders: Del Taco and Taco Bell

Before we dive into the details, let’s take a moment to provide some context on the titans dueling for the title of best Tex-Mex fast-food chain. Both establishments boast strong fan followings and offer menus stacked with delicious options, but how did they get to where they are today?

Del Taco

Del Taco

Founded in 1964 in Yermo, California, Del Taco quickly became the go-to spot for fresh, affordable Mexican-American cuisine. Today, with over 580 locations across the United States, Del Taco remains committed to offering a wide selection of diverse menu options that cater to varying tastes. The chain has successfully managed to fuse classic Mexican dishes with American culinary influences, resulting in a menu range that has consistently won customers over. To explore Del Taco’s world further, visit their website at

Taco Bell

Taco Bell

Glen Bell launched Taco Bell in 1962, with the first location opening its doors in Downey, California. Originally known as “Taco-Tia,” the restaurant’s name underwent multiple transitions until it eventually became the iconic Taco Bell. The chain has since grown exponentially, operating over 7,000 locations worldwide. Taco Bell has established itself as a pioneer in the fast-food market, focusing on creating unique and inventive dishes that can only be found at their restaurants. For more information, follow this link to the Taco Bell website:

Now that we are familiar with our contenders, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of our comparison and determine which of these fast-food chains truly reign supreme.

Menu Variety: Del Taco’s Wider Range vs. Taco Bell’s Specialty

Menu Variety: Del Taco's Wider Range vs Taco Bell's Specialty

When it comes to the battle between Del Taco and Taco Bell, the contrasts in their menu variety become one of the key deciding factors for many diners. In my own experience, I was pleasantly surprised to discover the extensive range of options offered by both chains.

Del Taco: Tacos and Beyond

At Del Taco, not only do they serve Mexican-style fast-food classics like tacos, burritos, and quesadillas, but they also pride themselves on a diverse menu that caters to a variety of tastes. Here are a few noteworthy menu items:

  • Signature Tacos such as the Beer-Battered Fish Taco and Del’s Epic Crispy Chicken & Fresh Guac
  • An impressive selection of breakfast items like breakfast burritos and the Breakfast Toasted Wrap
  • American-style fast-food options including burgers, crinkle-cut French fries, and milkshakes

Taco Bell: Focused on Its Strengths

On the other hand, Taco Bell chooses to specialize in what they do best: tacos and burritos. Their menu revolves around the iconic Tex-Mex staples, with myriad options to suit individual preferences. A few highlights include:

  • The classic Crunchy Taco, available in Beef, Spicy Potato, and Supreme variants
  • Exciting limited-time offerings for genuinely adventurous patrons, like the Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Tacos
  • Customizable combinations with the Build-Your-Own-Cravings Box, allow for personal tailoring of meals

Innovative Menus and Limited-Time Offers

Both chains consistently strive to innovate and tantalize their hungry customers with new and unique menu items. Del Taco introduces fresh twists, such as its epic line of burritos and tostadas, while Taco Bell leverages its partnerships and pop culture influences for menu gems like the Cheetos Burrito and the aforementioned Doritos Locos Tacos.

The Verdict on Menu Variety

When comparing Del Taco and Taco Bell in terms of menu variety, both chains demonstrate their strengths in different ways. If you’re in the mood for an expansive menu with numerous non-Mexican options, Del Taco may be your go-to choice. However, if you prefer the tried-and-true Taco Bell classics with the added excitement of limited-time offerings, you’ll find satisfaction in their focused approach to Tex-Mex cuisine. The choice ultimately comes down to your personal taste and preferences, although it’s clear that Del Taco offers a wider range of options.

The Drive-Through Experience: Speed and Efficiency [Del Taco vs Taco Bell]

Visiting both Del Taco and Taco Bell drive-throughs has provided me with plenty of insights into their differences and similarities regarding speed, efficiency, and overall satisfaction. Let’s explore some of those key observations.

Del Taco Drive-Through: A Surprising Combo

While I went in with no particular expectations, my experience at Del Taco’s drive-through pleasantly surprised me. For one, the menu layout is clear and easy to navigate, allowing a quicker selection process. Additionally, the Del Taco staff took my order promptly and maintained a friendly demeanor throughout the interaction.

The wait time at Del Taco was surprisingly short, and my order was handed to me in less than 5 minutes. I found the packaging to be both neat and efficient—it effectively protected my meals from spilling, while still allowing me to easily access my items.

Taco Bell Drive-Through: Well-Oiled Tex-Mex Machine

Taco Bell, on the other hand, has had years to perfect its drive-through experience. The staff here were equally amiable, and their menu presentation was just as straightforward. One notable difference I observed was that compared to Del Taco, Taco Bell’s drive-through lane seemed to be busier.

Nevertheless, this popularity didn’t hinder the speed of service. My order came through in approximately 6 minutes and was well-packaged.

Comparing the Two Experiences

FactorDel TacoTaco Bell
SpeedFast (under 5 minutes)Quick (around 6 minutes)
Menu layoutClear and easy to navigateStraightforward presentation
Order accuracyAccurate and organizedConsistent and organized
Staff friendlinessFriendly and engagingWelcoming and pleasant

When it comes to deciding the winner in the “Del Taco vs Taco Bell” drive-through showdown, it is quite a close call. Both fast-food chains have managed to maintain speed and efficiency in meeting the demands of their customers.

However, the slightly quicker service at Del Taco has given it a thin edge over Taco Bell. Despite this minor difference, your experience may vary based on the location or time of day. But if you’re in a hurry, you are likely to be satisfied with the speed of service at either Del Taco or Taco Bell.

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Del Taco vs Taco Bell Pricing: Evening the Playing Field

Pricing: Evening the Playing Field

When deciding between Del Taco and Taco Bell, one important factor to consider is the pricing. After all, everyone likes getting a good deal on their favorite fast-food delights. In my quest to find out which chain offers the best bang for the buck, I compared the prices of several similar menu items. Additionally, I took a close look at the value menu options at both chains.

Meal Pricing Comparison

Digging into the menus, here’s a quick pricing comparison for some popular items:

Menu ItemDel Taco PriceTaco Bell Price
Classic Taco$1.39$1.39
Chicken Soft Taco$1.99$1.89
Bean & Cheese Burrito$1.49$1.29
Regular Nachos$1.29$1.39

From this table, it’s evident that the prices are quite comparable, with only a few cents difference in most cases.

Value Menus

Moving on to the value menu options, both Del Taco and Taco Bell offer special selections with budget-friendly items.

Del Taco’s Buck & Under

Del Taco boasts a “Buck & Under” menu that features a variety of items priced at just $1 or under. Some of the standout options include:

  • Jack’s Value Bean, Rice & Cheese Burrito: $0.89
  • Jack’s Value Mini Bacon Quesadilla: $0.99
  • Chicken Crunch Taquito with Primo Salsa: $1.00

Taco Bell’s Dollar Cravings

Taco Bell, on the other hand, presents their Dollar Cravings menu, showcasing a selection of tantalizing treats priced at just $1. A few notable items include:

  • Spicy Potato Soft Taco: $1.00
  • Shredded Chicken Mini Quesadilla: $1.00
  • Cheesy Roll-Up: $1.00

By evaluating the pricing at both Del Taco and Taco Bell, it becomes apparent that their prices are quite similar — with only minor differences in the value menus. Ultimately, it boils down to personal preference and the specific items that appeal to your taste buds. The battle between Del Taco vs Taco Bell continues, as pricing alone won’t tilt the scale in favor of one over the other. Let’s explore further aspects to help us make a decision!

A Taste Test Showdown: Comparing the Classics

There’s no better way to evaluate these two popular chains than by subjecting them to a taste test, side by side. Let’s delve into how Del Taco and Taco Bell fare in head-to-head comparisons of their most iconic dishes.

Classic Tacos: Del Taco’s Crunchtada Tostada vs Taco Bell’s Crunchy Taco

Indulging in the fierce rivalry between Del Taco’s Crunchtada Tostada and Taco Bell’s Crunchy Taco, I couldn’t help but appreciate the differences in their composition. While Del Taco’s offering presents a generous layering of beans, cheese, and lettuce atop a crispy tostada shell, Taco Bell’s signature item features seasoned ground beef, lettuce, and shredded cheese, all nestled within a hard taco shell.

In my evaluation, Del Taco’s Crunchtada Tostada proved lighter and crunchier, while Taco Bell’s Crunchy Taco boasted a more indulgent, meatier bite. Flavor-wise, it ultimately boils down to personal preferences between the two.

Battle of the Burritos: Del Taco’s Del Combo vs Taco Bell’s Burrito Supreme

Equally intriguing is the skirmish between Del Taco’s Del Combo Burrito and Taco Bell’s Burrito Supreme. The Del Combo Burrito serves up seasoned beef, grated cheddar cheese, and slow-cooked beans topped with zesty red sauce, whereas the Burrito Supreme showcases seasoned beef, beans, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, reduced-fat sour cream, and cheddar cheese in a warm, soft flour tortilla.

In this match-up, I found that the Del Combo drew its strength from the harmony of flavors and simpler composition, while the Burrito Supreme’s appeal lied in its creamier, more complex profile. Once again, embracing either option depends on individual taste preferences.

Comparing Side Dishes and Other Menu Items

Peering beyond tacos and burritos, it’s important to explore the breadth of options available at each chain. Del Taco shines with its Crinkle-Cut Fries and Epic Burritos, while Taco Bell excels with its Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes and Chalupas.

The taste test showdown between Del Taco and Taco Bell is ultimately subjective, with each chain offering distinctive flavors and menu choices. Passionate diners may lean toward one or the other, but in the end, both establishments have earned legions of fans with their delicious and fulfilling Mexican-inspired fare.

Health Conscious Choices: Spotting the Lighter Options

Health Conscious Choices: Spotting the Lighter Options

As a health-conscious individual, I wasn’t going to overlook the lighter options available at both Del Taco and Taco Bell. Let’s take a closer look at how these fast-food chains cater to diners who are seeking healthier choices without compromising on taste.

Del Taco’s Healthier Picks

Here are a few lighter selections from the Del Taco menu:

  1. Del Taco Fresh Avocado Plate: Featuring fresh avocado, pico de gallo, and your choice of protein, this dish is a satisfying and healthier alternative.
  2. Salads: Del Taco offers a variety of filling salads, such as the Chicken Bacon Avocado, Grilled Chicken, and Signature Taco salads.
  3. Veggie Works Burrito: A satisfying meat-free option packed with avocado, black beans, rice, and fresh veggies.

Taco Bell’s Healthier Options

Taco Bell also has a variety of lighter menu items to choose from:

  1. Power Menu Bowl: Your choice of protein, topped with black beans, seasoned rice, and fresh veggies.
  2. Fresco Style: A customizable option that replaces higher-calorie ingredients with pico de gallo in any Taco Bell menu item.

For those with dietary restrictions, it’s important to note that both restaurants provide options as well. You’ll find vegetarian dishes at Del Taco, and Taco Bell has even taken it a step further by offering a vegetarian-certified menu.

Taking a quick glance at a calorie comparison table for similar menu items will also prove helpful:

Menu ItemDel TacoTaco Bell
Classic Taco (Crunchy)130170
Chicken Soft Taco170190
Bean & Cheese Burrito430350
Classic Nachos450347

Overall, both Del Taco and Taco Bell are making strides in offering options that cater to various dietary needs and preferences. It’s clear that they’re committed to delivering a balance between indulgent treats and healthier choices for their diners.

My Verdict: Del Taco vs Taco Bell

My Verdict: Del Taco vs Taco Bell

After careful taste-testing and comparing various aspects of both Del Taco and Taco Bell, it’s time for me to reveal my final verdict in this satisfying battle of Mexican-inspired fast food.

Menu Variety

When it comes to menu variety, I appreciate Del Taco’s broad offerings and their inclusion of American fast-food classics, like burgers, alongside Tex-Mex options. However, Taco Bell’s focused approach to Mexican cuisine allows them to dedicate more resources to their core items, leading to innovative menu additions like the Doritos Locos Tacos. Thus, I declare a tie in this category – Del Taco for those who need variety, and Taco Bell for a more specialized experience.

Taste and Quality

Del Taco’s fresh ingredients, variety in flavors, and crispy Crunchtada Tostada definitely left me impressed. Taco Bell, on the other hand, excels in bold flavor combinations and unique textures like their signature Crunchwrap Supreme. Considering these factors, I believe this category ultimately comes down to personal preference. I lean slightly more towards Del Taco, due to the satisfying taste of their ingredients.

Drive-Through Experience

The drive-through experience at both chains was efficient, with quick service times and accurate order fulfillment. However, I found Del Taco’s drive-through lanes more navigable, easier to enter, and exit. Therefore, I give the edge to Del Taco in this category.

Pricing and Value

Honestly, it feels like a draw between Del Taco and Taco Bell regarding pricing and value. Both chains offer budget-friendly options, like Del Taco’s Buck & Under menu and Taco Bell’s Dollar Cravings menu. The prices for similar items were comparable as well, providing excellent value for your money at both eateries.

Healthier Choices

Del Taco appears to have more diverse options when it comes to accommodating specific dietary needs, with several vegetarian and lower calorie dishes on the menu. Taco Bell, though, isn’t far behind with their Fresco Style substitutions. For catering to a wider range of customers’ preferences and dietary requirements, Del Taco takes the win in this category.

My personal recommendation and preference would tilt towards Del Taco, mainly due to the fresh taste of their ingredients, the wider range of menu options including healthier choices, and the smooth drive-through experience.

That said, this choice ultimately boils down to personal taste. Both Del Taco and Taco Bell have their unique offerings, which cater to different preferences, so don’t hesitate to explore both chains’ menus for yourself and find the perfect meal to satisfy your cravings.

Also Read: Does Panera have Gluten Free Bread or Not?

Frequently Asked Questions

Which chain has a larger menu: Del Taco or Taco Bell?

While both Del Taco and Taco Bell offer a multitude of menu items, Del Taco generally has a larger menu, including both Mexican-inspired dishes and American-style fast-food options such as burgers and fries.

Are Del Taco and Taco Bell vegetarian-friendly?

Yes, both Del Taco and Taco Bell offer vegetarian options on their menus. Taco Bell, in particular, has a wide variety of customizable items that can easily be made meat-free.

Who has better value for your money: Del Taco or Taco Bell?

This question is subjective and depends on personal preferences. However, both chains have value menus that offer affordable and filling options. Del Taco has the Buck & Under menu, while Taco Bell has Dollar Cravings.

Are there gluten-free options at Del Taco and Taco Bell?

Both chains have some gluten-free options, but it’s important to check each menu item carefully and inform the staff of any dietary restrictions when ordering. Cross-contamination is possible due to shared kitchen equipment.

Which chain is more popular: Del Taco or Taco Bell?

While both chains enjoy passionate followings, Taco Bell has a larger national presence with more locations across the United States compared to Del Taco.

Are there healthier menu choices at Del Taco and Taco Bell?

Yes, both Del Taco and Taco Bell have lighter menu items that can cater to individuals looking for healthier options. Always be sure to double-check the nutritional information for each item when making your choices.

Which chain has better drive-through service: Del Taco or Taco Bell?

Drive-through service experiences can vary widely based on factors such as location and time of day. Generally, both chains aim to provide quick and efficient drive-through service to their customers.

Are there any breakfast options available at Del Taco and Taco Bell?

Yes, both Del Taco and Taco Bell offer breakfast menus with Mexican-inspired morning dishes like breakfast burritos and hash browns, among other options.

How often do Del Taco and Taco Bell introduce new menu items?

New menu items, limited-time offers, and promotions are introduced regularly by both Del Taco and Taco Bell. These chains often add innovative dishes and seasonal items to keep their menus fresh and exciting.

Are Del Taco and Taco Bell franchises or company-owned?

Both Del Taco and Taco Bell operate using a franchise model, which means many locations are owned and operated by independent franchisees.


After thoroughly exploring the menus, flavors, and unique experiences offered by both Del Taco and Taco Bell, it became clear that there is a reason why each chain enjoys a devoted following. Del Taco has a wider menu variety, catering not only to Mexican food aficionados but also to those craving American-style fast-food classics. Taco Bell, on the other hand, has a narrower focus but excels in its customizable combinations and innovative limited-time offers.

When it comes to choosing between Del Taco vs Taco Bell, it ultimately boils down to personal preference and priorities. Are you more focused on menu variety or the availability of budget-friendly options? Do you prefer the convenience and speed of the drive-through, or are the healthy choices more important to you?

In the end, both chains have their own strengths, and one might resonate with a particular set of tastebuds more than the other. By trying the signature dishes from each eatery, you too can savor and appreciate the unique qualities that make them fan favorites.

Wanderlust Foodie and Cultural Ambassador ???????? Neha's passport is a menu, and her journeys are flavored with global tastes. As he navigates culinary landscapes, her narratives bridge the gap between cuisines and cultures. Join her as she proves that the world is best explored through its diverse dishes.
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