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Power Ranking: Taco Bell

Lets evaluate the nuanced menu of my favorite guilty pleasure.

Taco Bell To Hand Out Free Tacos And Donate Funds To Childhood Hunger Campaign Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Hello FTRS nation,

I have returned once more to talk about everyone’s favorite subject: FOOD. During these unprecedented times, I have spent a lot of time in my tiny Chicago studio apartment and more often than not when I order out, it’s Taco Bell.

I wanted to release the definitive power ranking of Taco Bell items. I have grouped several similar items together for sake of ranking to whittle it down to the Top 10. I also didn’t include sides and extras like nachos, fries, drinks and desserts. I also didn’t separate items by meat choice since that is a different argument entirely, just assume you can choose meat on most items and that chicken is infinitely better than beef.

10. Quesadilla

I am so sorry to rank the quesadilla so low, but it’s really a critique of quesadillas themselves. If you are going to eat a tortilla, cheese, and meat, there are much better ways to package that. Besides, T Bell doesn’t do much more than use their standard ingredients to make one and they serve it in the most frustrating sleeve of all time.

9. Cheesy Gordita Crunch

(similar items: Beefy 5-layer burrito, Quesorito)

I do like the Gordita crunch but its definitely not worth the upcharge compared to the hard shell taco that it’s mostly made of. Additionally, the Quesarito is a poorly executed expansion of that concept. It’s just too much cheese. You can get much more value with other burritos on the menu.

8. Fritos Burrito

(Similar item: Loaded Taco Grande Burrito)

I don’t believe they’ve called it the Fritos burrito for a while but they still sprinkle Fritos in random items from time to time. This is a nice change of pace like a spell back.

7. Hard Shell Taco

(Similar items: Doritos Locos Taco)

Ah, the classic. This is like the Krabby Patty. The one that started it all. The regular taco is a nice add-on to combos and i usually eat it first to warm up for the more flavorful options below. In a way, this is more like your childhood memory. Because way back when, this is what your parents got you in drive-thru for your Aaahh!!! Real Monsters toy.

Even though Doritos Locos Tacos are flavorful. They are essentially the same thing. I’m not sure you know this, Taco Bell is owned by PepsiCo, hated rival of hometown Coca-Cola and owner of Frito-Lay. That connection makes this possible. It’s a 50 cent upcharge for the Doritos shell.

Ultimately, neither option is good enough that I ever order it without a throw in from a combo.

6. Soft Shell Taco

I decided to put this in a separate ranking because it is much better than the hard shell. Soft Shell tacos are king and I usually change my “Hard Shell combo add-on” to a Supreme Soft Shell.

This is also where I rank all the other burritos (Cheesy Bean and Rice, Burrito Supreme, etc) because they are usually just slightly larger versions of the soft taco). The soft shell taco is the workhorse back of the team, the Tashard Choice of Taco Bell. Most items are just a variant.

5. Mexican Pizza

(Similar item: Tostada)

I have absolutely no shame. I have no idea why I like the Mexican Pizza so much. I can only blame my close friend who went to the other school, Phil. He regularly gets this item on late game nights. It just grew on me.

It’s quite unique, its two tostada shells with refried beans and beef in the middle. Topped with cheese, tomatoes, and some crazy tomato sauce. I’m hopelessly addicted and typically frame my whole order around a #5 combo.

The Mexican pizza is trashy yet delicious. I recommend you try it at least once. Preferably late night.

4. Nachos Bell Grande

(Similar items: All Nacho Boxes and Nacho Fries)

I do appreciate a good crunch with all the soft shell items so I typically order nachos or a Nachos Bell Grande if I’m feeling froggy. It’s often sloppy but it’s a very nice side to a huge order.

I did want to group the recent Nacho boxes here. I had one and it’s way way too much food. They even made a double order for tailgates that comes with a SODIUM WARNING. Yeesh.

Nacho Fries are trash in any form. That’s all I have to say about that.

3. Chalupa

Another unique item. I don’t even know what a chalupa is. I think its a fried taco shell. Its doughy and crispy at the same time. Very delicious and filled with typical taco ingredients.

The new Tripleupa is good but not nearly as big as the pictures make it seem. Its three mini-chalupas with different sauces throughout. That’s been my big new item.

2. Crunchwrap

(Similar item: Meximelt)

The Crunchwrap is just perfect. That little hexagon and melty goodness travels exceptionally well. The shell separates the cold from hot ingredients nicely. Definitely the best item on the menu that you can eat with light cheese (or none if your lactose-intolerant)

1. Shredded Chicken Burrito

Let us hold a moment of silence for our fallen favorite. The Chicken Burrito. (and the GT student center Taco Bell)

The former Chicken Burrito was one of the greatest burritos ever made. The chunks of chicken, cheese, rice, and green sauce was not just the best Taco Bell item, it competed for best burrito out there.

I guess it was too [Duran Duran] popular that they had to kill it. Maybe it wasn’t profitable, I don’t know. The shredded chicken burrito is the replacement and in my opinion, it’s still the best. It just could have been better. Ugh

This is a staple and I usually save it for last in my order. The new Chipotle Chicken version for a dollar is really good too.


The desserts are pretty good. I like the cinnamon twists. They are solid if a little too brittle.

The Cinnabon delights are not as good as they appear unfortunately.

When in doubt, get Baja Blast.

I’ve also been alerted to this video, where a poor guy tries everything on the taco bell menu. Enjoy:

That’s all for this one folks. Leave me your top ten in the comments. Let me know if you agree or if I’m the most wrong human who ever lived.

Until next time!