Tacos are life. At least, if the last few years are any indication. While we've all (hopefully) had a good taco at least once in our lives, there's just something about fast food tacos that hit differently. It could be the sheer amount of grease that drips out of the backside of the tortilla, or maybe the way the cheese melts and coats the entire thing - either way, there's something un-nutritiously delicious about them.
There are now many fast-food taco chains throughout the U.S. and even the world since the food has become somewhat of a universal staple. It's quick, easy, always delicious, and, in some cases, customizable. Taco Bell is no longer the only contender which leads us to wonder if there are any fast-food chains out there that outrank the Tex-Mex restaurant... and the answer, according to our findings, is overwhelming yes. From Del Taco to Moe's and everything in between (including restaurants that aren't specifically Tex-Mex), when that 1 AM craving hits, these are the chains you'll want to be near... Or stay away from.
The Del Taco From Del Taco
Del Taco is currently the leader of all fast-food taco chains. While Taco Bell was once the end-all and be-all of fast food tacos, the second that Del Taco appeared with its upgraded tacos, incredibly fresh toppings, and bold flavors, there was no competition. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the chain's OG taco is the best, hands-down. While Taco Bell will do in a pinch, anyone who's comparing the two will be able to attest to the fact that Del Taco is the clear winner here.
Overachiever From Moe's Southwest Grill
Moe's has been around for over two decades at this point after getting their start in 2000, so we wouldn't expect anything less from a chain that claims authentic Tex-Mex food. The Overachiever taco is beautiful in the way that most customizable menu items are - with a choice of ground beef, adobo chicken, steak, pork carnitas, or tofu, it doesn't get much better than this. To top off what's already a great taco, this bad boy is filled to the brim with cheese, beans, pico de gallo, and Moe's famous, from-scratch guacamole. If you're like most of the world and could eat the green stuff by the spoonful, then this taco is right up your alley.
Crunchy Taco From Taco Bell
It's no longer number one but it's definitely in the top three. Surprisingly, the best taco from Taco Bell is still its original Crunchy Taco. It's simple yet done well and always comes in a perfectly crunchy shell that puts most other soggy competitors to shame. The ground beef is seasoned as only Taco Bell can season beef, and those tiny diced tomatoes and strips of shredded lettuce always make it taste fresher than it probably is. With a topping of shredded cheese that just barely melts and any of the chain's custom hot sauces, it's always comforting and delicious.
Grande Chicken Avocado Taco From El Pollo Loco
With a name like El Pollo Loco, you'd hope that any of its chicken-based menu items are nothing short of delicious. The Grande Chicken Avocado Taco is one of the best, with pieces of tender, grilled chicken wrapped up with cabbage (giving it a surprisingly fresh crunch), lettuce, and pico de gallo. While this alone would be enough, slices of perfectly ripe avocado are laid over the top of this taco, creating the perfect balance of textures and creamy, fresh avocado flavor.
Tacos From Jack In The Box
A strange thing happens when it comes to tacos from Jack in the Box. These tacos are unusual, to say the least, but, according to Thrillist, deserving enough of being on any good-taco-list. The ground beef has a texture that's much softer than most, which is surprisingly pleasant despite its textural similarity to mashed potatoes. The cheese that tops these tacos is also a very unusual choice, with a slice of American melted over the top... but, somehow, it actually works. It's not the best, but it's definitely worth trying to scratch that taco itch.
Soft Taco From Chipotle
In terms of flavor, Chipotle's tacos are stellar. However, in terms of the amount of meat and ingredients that are stuffed into a taco shell, its worth dwindles. Compared to other fast-food chains that serve tacos, Chipotle simply doesn't stack up when it comes to balancing the price point of one taco vs. the price point of other menu items and their entree sizes. So, while the guac is the stuff of dreams and the actual flavors are on-point, the tacos just aren't worth the money when the rest of the menu has such coveted items.
Crispy Taco From Burger King
Yikes. Burger King is known for many things but its crispy (soggy) taco definitely is not one of them. It's anyone's best guess as to how many of these the chain actually sells annually but it can't be many. Though this taco also gets a slice of American cheese, it's nothing compared to the flavor that Jack in the Box - which also is not a taco chain - puts into its taco meat. Instead, Burger King resorts to watered-down, somewhat flavorless meat, wrapped in what can only be described as an oversized tortilla chip.