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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Taco Face-Off: Taco Bell Versus Del Taco

Julia Hodges |
February 26, 2012 | 4:21 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter


Taco Bell's Crunchwrap supreme contends against Del Taco's different tastes. (Julia Hodges / Neon Tommy)
Taco Bell's Crunchwrap supreme contends against Del Taco's different tastes. (Julia Hodges / Neon Tommy)
Taco Bell dominates the Americanized Mexican fast-food sector in our country. However, Del Taco is gaining a comparatively small but extremely loyal following, especially in California. They are similar yet have a few distinct differences. 

Menu Options: Del Taco has a much broader menu than Taco Bell.  The Del Taco menu includes all the typical variations in addition to American food including milkshakes, french fries and a burger. Most items at Taco Bell are variations on the same ingredients and taste essentially the same. At Del Taco there are a multitude of different tastes. 

That being said, Taco Bell has some unique specialty items that give it an edge over Del Taco’s less creative offerings. Taco Bell’s Crunchwrap Supreme is a star on the menu. It is a soft, flour tortilla filled with seasoned beef or spicy chicken, nacho cheese sauce, a crunchy tostada shell, sour cream, lettuce and tomatoes. When it’s done right and evenly spread out, Del Taco can’t compete. The Cheesy Gordita Crunch is another Taco Bell specialty. It is a soft, warm gordita shell, connected via cheese to a crunchy corn tortilla shell, filled with beef, lettuce, cheese, and a special sauce. Additionally, their double-decker tacos, cheese roll-ups and other miscellaneous creative inventions give it an edge over the straightforward tacos and burritos of Del Taco. 

The Fillings: Taco Bell has incredible nacho cheese sauce in addition to the shredded cheese. Del Taco only has shredded cheese but because it is more finely shredded, it melts better than Taco Bell’s does. Del Taco’s beans are a combination of refried and partially mashed beans, which gives them a more authentic taste than Taco Bell’s bean paste. 

The Meat: Del Taco wins for number of choices. Del Taco goes beyond the classic chicken or beef selection and offers crispy shrimp and fried fish as well. The quality of meat is poor at both places, but customers must accept this if they are choosing to dine here. The beef at Del Taco has a slightly different flavor and is a little less greasy. 

Value: It’s hard to beat Del Taco’s $49 cent tacos. However, Taco Bell’s “Why Pay More!” value menu is pretty good as well with 10 items priced at 79 cents, 89 cents and 99 cents. 

Overall, the two are pretty similar except for their menu options. Either one is a good choice if you are craving some late-night, calorie-ridden yet oh-so-delicious Americanized Mexican munchies.                                                          

     Reach Reporter Julia here


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Anonymous (not verified) on December 16, 2013 5:00 PM


Beelzien (not verified) on August 6, 2013 1:35 PM

I just had to add a few essential notes as a fan who's been back and forth between the two. As a HUGE fan and connoisseur of hot sauce, this is an enormous factor for me. And the fact of the matter is that Taco Bell's Fire Sauce has no hint of spice, and is total standard issue "play-it-safe" sauce. The Del Taco Del Inferno Sauce, on the other hand is just amazing. It actually delivers a bit of a kick, as promised by the name and has an amazingly better, zestier taste than Fire Sauce. Taco Bell Fire: 2/10, Del Taco Inferno: 9/10. And that had already won me over before I tried the Del Taco Macho Scrambler. For $3.99 you get a burrito the size of your forearm filled with eggs, cheese, pico de gallo, choice of sausage or bacon (get the bacon) and the best part: crispy tater tots. It is beyond amazing and I get one any time I can. And considering everything else I've tried from both menus, Del Taco wins hands down, no question. Ok, I said what I needed to say, now go and decide for yourselves.

Sam (not verified) on October 22, 2012 2:24 PM

Del Taco's Carbon Tacos are beyond the pale; Yes they are tiny, but so flavorful - authentic Mexican street-food taste and wonderful. The shredded beef was very tastey and tender for flank-strip. They onions were crunchy, the cilantro and sauses were just right. I've never had anything comparable at Taco Bell.