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23 Best Tacos at Fast Food Chains

Tacos make a delicious snack, lunch, dinner, or even breakfast. They’ve been adapted many times by fast food chains, which have come up with delicious and affordable variations on this staple of Mexican cuisine.

In this article, we’ve rounded up the best fast food tacos, from drive-thru classics to slightly more upscale, sit-down fast-casual options.

Whether you prefer hard or soft shells, flour or corn tortillas, shrimp, chicken, or beef, there’s a taco on our list that’s sure to please!

23. Jack In The Box: Loaded Tiny Tacos

Jack in the Box is a fast food chain famous for its diverse menu, featuring everything from burgers to egg rolls to tacos.

There are nearly 2,200 Jack in the Box locations in 21 states.

Jack in the Box sells one of the most creative fast food tacos on the market, the Loaded Tiny Tacos.

One order of Loaded Tiny Tacos comes with fifteen tiny tacos stuffed with meat, cheese sauce, lettuce, and Jack in the Box’s special Taco Sauce.

An order of Loaded Tiny Tacos is 680 calories and contains 38 grams of fat, 1,330 milligrams of sodium, and 21 grams of protein.

22. BJ’s Restaurants: Mahi-Mahi or Shrimp Tacos

BJ’s Restaurants is a casual restaurant chain specializing in American food and handcrafted beers with over 200 locations in 29 states.

There are many different dishes on the BJ’s menu, from burgers and pasta to pizza and tacos.

One of the most popular taco dishes at BJ’s is the Mahi-Mahi or Shrimp Tacos.

Each order comes with two tacos, which you can order with blackened shrimp, grilled mahi-mahi, or fried mahi-mahi.

The tacos also have chipotle mayonnaise, Santa Fe dressing, napa cabbage, red onions, cilantro, and avocado ranch.

They’re served with a side of tortilla chips, black beans, and fire-roasted salsa.

If you order the tacos made with grilled mahi-mahi, they are 860 calories and contain 39 grams of fat, 2,592 milligrams of sodium, and 39 grams of protein.

21. Carl’s Jr.: Crunchy Beef Taco

Carl’s Jr. is a fast food chain known for its charbroiled hamburgers. However, Carl’s Jr. also sells some Mexican menu items, including burritos and tacos.

There are over 1,000 Carl’s Jr. locations in the US, mainly on the West Coast and Southwest.

The Green Burrito section of the Carl’s Jr. menu, which is only available at select locations, is where all the Mexican items are at.

One of the most popular tacos at Carl’s Jr. is the Crunchy Beef Taco.

It’s made with seasoned ground beef, shredded lettuce, hot sauce, and a four-cheese blend, all in a crispy taco shell.

A single Crunchy Beef Taco is 210 calories and contains 12 grams of fat, 380 milligrams of sodium, and 11 grams of protein.

20. The Cheesecake Factory: Grilled Steak Tacos

The Cheesecake Factory is a restaurant chain famous for its gigantic menu and its namesake cheesecakes.

There are over 200 Cheesecake Factory locations in 41 states.

The Specialties section of The Cheesecake Factory’s menu has a ton of different dishes, including tacos.

The Cheesecake Factory’s Grilled Steak Tacos are among the most popular tacos on the menu.

They’re made with chargrilled steak, avocado, tomato, chipotle sauce, crispy onions, and cilantro in a soft corn tortilla.

Each order of Grilled Steak Tacos comes with four tacos, plus a side of rice and beans.

An order of Grilled Steak Tacos is 1,060 calories and contains 49 grams of fat, 1,590 milligrams of sodium, and 31 grams of protein.

19. Taco John’s: Taco Bravo

Taco John’s is a Midwestern fast food chain famous for its “West-Mex” cuisine, including tacos, burritos, and Potato Olés.

There are nearly 400 Taco John’s locations in the US, mostly in the Midwest and Mountain regions.

Although Taco John’s menu contains a variety of delicious tacos, one of the most unique is the Taco Bravo.

The Taco Bravo is made with chicken, beef, or steak, along with lettuce, diced tomatoes, cheese, and mild sauce.

Instead of a standard taco shell, the Taco Bravo is made with a warm tortilla smothered in refried beans.

A beef Taco Bravo is 320 calories and contains 14 grams of fat, 680 milligrams of sodium, and 15 grams of protein.

If you’d like, you can forgo the meat altogether and order it with the refried beans as your only protein.

For an additional charge, you can also add guacamole, sour cream, or Super Hot Sauce to your Taco Bravo.

Lastly, you can upgrade your Taco Bravo to a Taco Bravo Combo, which comes with a drink and your choice of a side of Potato Olés, refried beans, nachos, or a side salad.

18. Baja Fresh: Baja Taco

Baja Fresh is a fast-casual restaurant chain best known for its farm-fresh, handmade Tex-Mex offerings.

There are over 150 Baja Fresh locations in 15 states.

The signature taco at Baja Fresh is, of course, the Baja Taco.

The Baja Taco can be made with various proteins, including steak, pork carnitas, fire-grilled chicken, and roasted veggies.

Your protein is joined by onions, cilantro, a soft corn tortilla, and your choice of salsa, including:

  • 6 Chiles
  • Baja
  • Pico de Gallo
  • Mango
  • Molcajete
  • Verde

A steak Baja Taco is 160 calories and contains 6 grams of fat, 170 milligrams of sodium, and 7 grams of protein.

You can upgrade your Baja Taco to a Baja Taco Combo, which comes with two tacos, Baja rice, and your choice of either black or pinto beans.

17. TacoTime: Soft Taco

TacoTime is a fast food chain specializing in freshly prepared, homestyle Mexican food.

There are over 200 TacoTime locations in the US and dozens more in western Canada.

One of the most popular tacos at TacoTime is the Soft Taco, full of fresh ingredients and served like a burrito instead of folded like a traditional taco.

You can order your Soft Taco made with beef, chicken, or pork carnitas.

In addition to the protein, each Soft Taco contains cheddar cheese, shredded lettuce, and diced tomato.

A beef Soft Taco is 410 calories and contains 16 grams of fat, 960 milligrams of sodium, and 23 grams of protein.

You can upgrade your Soft Taco to a combo with a fountain drink and a side of TacoTime’s Mexi-Fries.

16. On the Border: Brisket Tacos

On the Border is a casual restaurant chain famous for its generously sized Tex-Mex cuisine.

There are nearly 120 On the Border locations in 29 states.

On the Border’s menu has a variety of tacos, but one of the most popular is the Brisket Tacos.

On the Border’s Brisket Tacos are made with shredded beef brisket, jack cheese, fried onion strings, and jalapeno-BBQ sauce, all in a hand-pressed flour tortilla.

You can order two or three Brisket Tacos, and they’re served with a side of rice and black or refried beans.

An order of two Brisket Tacos (not counting the rice and beans) is 930 calories and contains 51 grams of fat, 2,560 milligrams of sodium, and 44 grams of protein.

15. Chipotle: Soft Taco

Chipotle is one of the most popular fast-casual restaurant chains, beloved for its customizable Mexican cuisine.

There are nearly 3,000 Chipotle locations in 48 states plus Washington DC.

Like the rest of Chipotle’s menu, Chipotle’s Tacos can be customized with your choice of proteins, rice, beans, and toppings.

For your protein, you’ll be able to choose from:

  • Pollo Asado
  • Chicken
  • Steak
  • Barbacoa
  • Carnitas
  • Sofritas
  • Veggies

Next, you’ll be able to add white rice, brown rice, black beans, and/or pinto beans to your taco.

Finally, you’ll be able to add toppings, including:

  • Fresh Tomato Salsa
  • Roasted Chili-Corn Salsa
  • Tomatillo-Green Chili Salsa
  • Tomatillo-Red Chili Salsa
  • Sour Cream
  • Fajita Veggies
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Guacamole (costs extra)
  • Queso Blanco (costs extra)

At Chipotle, you can order one taco a la carte or three tacos.

To find out the nutrition information for your order, enter it into the Nutrition Calculator on their website.

14. Taco Bell: Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco Supreme

Taco Bell is the largest and most popular Mexican fast food chain worldwide, famous for its affordable prices and creative takes on Mexican food.

There are over 7,000 Taco Bell locations in the US alone, with at least one in each state.

Although Taco Bell has many kinds of tacos on its menu, one of the most unique is the Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco Supreme.

The Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco Supreme is made with beef, tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, and sour cream in a taco shell made from a nacho cheese Dorito.

A single Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco Supreme is 190 calories and contains 11 grams of fat, 360 milligrams of sodium, and 8 grams of protein.

For an additional charge, you can add extra toppings to your taco, including guacamole, nacho cheese, onions, spicy ranch, beans, jalapenos, and rice.

If you’re extra hungry, you can order the combo, which comes with three Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco Supremes and a drink of your choice.

13. Qdoba: Street Style Chicken Tacos

Qdoba is a Mexican-themed fast food chain known for its flavorful, fresh and sustainably sourced food.

There are over 750 Qdoba locations in 44 states, plus Washington DC.

Qdoba allows you to make your own 3 Taco Plate but also offers pre-made tacos on the menu, including the Street Style Chicken Tacos.

One order of Street Style Chicken Tacos comes with three tacos.

They’re made with grilled chicken, guacamole, salsa verde, pickled red onions, and cotija cheese.

In addition, you can have your tacos served on corn or flour tortillas.

One order of Street Style Chicken Tacos with corn tortillas is 490 calories and contains 22 grams of fat, 1,240 milligrams of sodium, and 31 grams of protein.

12. Taco Cabana: Shredded Chicken Taco

Taco Cabana is a Texas-based fast food chain specializing in Tex-Mex food with nearly 150 locations.

The Taco Cabana menu features different kinds of tacos, but one of the most popular is the Shredded Chicken Taco.

The Shredded Chicken Taco is available in a crispy and soft shell version.

It’s made with Ranchero chicken, shredded lettuce, diced tomato, and shredded cheese.

A single Shredded Chicken Taco with a crispy shell is 210 calories and contains 9 grams of fat, 650 milligrams of sodium, and 14 grams of protein.

You can choose up to two salsas on the side, including salsa Roja, salsa de Fuego, salsa ranch, pico de gallo, and jalapeno salsa. 

You can also order a combo, which comes with two Shredded Chicken Tacos, a side of tortilla chips and queso, and a drink.

11. Wahoo’s Fish Tacos: 805 Battered Fish Taco

Wahoo’s Fish Tacos is a fast-casual restaurant chain that fuses Mexican, Brazilian, and Asian food.

There are over 40 Wahoo’s locations in California, Colorado, Nevada, New Jersey, and Texas.

Wahoo’s serves tacos with fish and with other proteins.

One of the most popular tacos on the Wahoo’s menu is the 805 Battered Fish Taco.

The 805 Battered Fish Taco is made with beer-battered wahoo fish, melted cheese, citrus slaw, and aioli sauce on a corn tortilla.

A single 805 Battered Fish Taco is 318 calories.

You can also order the 805 Battered Fish Taco as part of an entree, served with an enchilada of your choice and rice and beans.

10. Chuy’s: Tacos Al Carbon

Chuy’s is a Mexican restaurant chain famous for its Tex-Mex food, with nearly 100 locations in 17 states.

There are a variety of tacos available on Chuy’s menu, but one of the best is the Tacos Al Carbon.

The Tacos Al Carbon is made with fajita grilled beef or chicken, grilled onions and peppers, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and guacamole served in a flour tortilla.

Chuy’s tacos, including the Tacos Al Carbon, are served with Mexican rice and beans.

9. Pappasito’s Cantina: Grilled Mahi Tacos

Pappasito’s Cantina is a family-owned restaurant chain specializing in Tex-Mex food. 

There are 25 Pappasito’s Cantina locations in Georgia and Texas.

Pappasito’s menu has many tacos available, but one of the most popular is the Grilled Mahi Tacos.

The Grilled Mahi Tacos are made with grilled Mahi, Baja cabbage, green Chile scallion aioli, avocado, and toasted pepitas in a corn tortilla.

Two Grilled Mahi Tacos are served in one order with rice and frijoles charros.

8. El Pollo Loco: Chicken Taco Al Carbon

El Pollo Loco is a fast food chain famous for its Mexican-style grilled chicken.

There are over 480 El Pollo Loco locations in the US, most of which are in the Southwestern region.

One of the most popular tacos on the El Pollo Loco menu is the Chicken Taco Al Carbon.

The Chicken Taco Al Carbon is made with El Pollo Loco’s famous chicken, diced onion, cilantro, and a corn tortilla.

A single Chicken Taco Al Carbon is 170 calories and contains 5 grams of fat, 250 milligrams of sodium, and 15 grams of protein.

If you want, you can also add Baja shrimp to your taco.

Lastly, you can choose to order the combo, which comes with three Chicken Tacos Al Carbon, tortilla chips, and a drink.

7. Torchy’s Tacos: Baja Shrimp Taco

Torchy’s Tacos is a fast food chain famous for its array of creative taco flavors.

There are over 90 Torchy’s Tacos locations in 13 states.

Torchy’s sells over a dozen taco flavors, but one of the most delicious is the Baja Shrimp.

The Baja Shrimp Taco is made with fried shrimp, cooked cabbage slaw, pickled onion, jalapenos, cotija cheese, cilantro, lime, and chipotle sauce in a corn tortilla.

A Baja Shrimp Taco is 412 calories and contains 29 grams of fat, 550 milligrams of sodium, and 11 grams of protein.

6. Taco Bueno: The Muchaco

Taco Bueno is a Texas-based restaurant chain famous for its delicious Tex-Mex cuisine.

There are almost 150 Taco Bueno locations in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.

There are different kinds of tacos on the Taco Bueno menu, but one of the most popular is the Muchaco.

Instead of a tortilla, the Muchaco is made using pita bread stuffed with refried beans.

Then, it’s filled with your choice of chicken or beef, lettuce, tomatoes, and cheddar cheese.

A chicken Muchaco is 510 calories and contains 27 grams of fat, 910 milligrams of sodium, and 22 grams of protein.

For an additional charge, you can add extra toppings to your Muchaco, including peppers, salsa, onions, Mexican rice, sour cream, queso, guacamole, and jalapeno ranch.

The beef Muchaco is part of several combo meals at Taco Bueno.

The first is Combo #1, which comes with a beef Muchaco, a crispy beef taco, a bean burrito, and a drink.

The next is Combo #6, with a drink and a beef Muchaco and Mexidips & Chips.

5. Uncle Julio’s: Carnitas Tacos

Uncle Julio’s is well known for its made-from-scratch Tex-Mex food, with over 30 locations in 11 states.

Uncle Julio’s menu has different tacos, including a Build Your Own Taco night every Tuesday at participating locations.

One of the most popular tacos at Uncle Julio’s is the Carnitas Tacos, made with pulled pork, chipotle crema, cotija cheese, roasted corn, and cilantro in a corn tortilla.

You can order a plate of two or three tacos, and each dish is served with cilantro rice and black beans.

One order of Carnitas Tacos at Uncle Julio’s is 1260 calories and contains 46 grams of fat, 3,600 milligrams of sodium, and 71 grams of protein.

4. El Torito: Tacos Vampiros

El Torito is a Mexican restaurant chain with over 30 locations, all of which are in California.

The El Torito menu features a variety of tacos, including the delicious Tacos Vampiros.

El Torito’s Tacos Vampiros are made with handmade guajillo corn tortillas, jack cheese, your choice of carne asada or chicken, guacamole, serrano chiles, salsa picante, pico de gallo, cilantro, and cotija cheese.

Each order of Tacos Vampiros comes with two tacos served with rice, beans, and sweet corn cake.

3. Rubio’s Coastal Grill: The Original Fish Taco

Rubio’s Coastal Grill is a restaurant chain combining coastal-inspired flavors with Mexican cuisine.

There are over 150 Rubio’s locations in Arizona, California, and Nevada.

There are a ton of seafood tacos on Rubio’s menu, but the most classic is the Original Fish Taco.

The Original Fish Taco has been part of Rubio’s menu since 1983 and was voted the #1 Fish Taco in California by USA Today in 2018.

The Original Fish Taco is made with sustainable wild Alaska pollock, beer-battered by hand, and fried.

Then, it’s topped with warm salsa, white sauce, and cabbage and served on a stone-ground corn tortilla.

You can order the Original Fish Taco a la carte or as part of a two-taco plate with tortilla chips and beans.

A single Original Fish Taco is 330 calories and contains 20 grams of fat, 370 milligrams of sodium, and 9 grams of protein.

If you’d like, you can swap the corn tortilla for a flour or keto-friendly cheese “tortilla.”

For an additional charge, you can also add guacamole, sliced avocados, sour cream, or a three-cheese blend to your fish tacos.

2. Fuzzy’s Taco Shop: Shredded Brisket Taco

Fuzzy’s Taco Shop is a restaurant chain specializing in Bajan-style Mexican cuisine with nearly 150 locations in 17 states.

The Fuzzy’s Taco Shop menu is chock-full of delicious tacos, but one of the best is the Shredded Brisket Taco.

Fuzzy’s Shredded Brisket Taco is made with slow-roasted brisket, garlic sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, cilantro, and feta, all in a soft corn tortilla.

A single Shredded Brisket Taco is 240 calories and contains 13 grams of fat, 420 milligrams of sodium, and 18 grams of protein.

If you’d like, you can swap the soft corn tortilla for a crispy corn tortilla or a flour tortilla.

For an additional charge, you can also add avocado slices, fire-roasted salsa, guacamole, queso, salsa verde, sour cream, pico de gallo, or jalapenos to your Shredded Brisket Taco.

1. Del Taco: The Del Taco

Del Taco is one of the most popular Mexican fast food restaurant chains in the US.

There are nearly 600 Del Taco locations in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, and Washington.

Del Taco’s menu has over 20 delicious tacos, but one of the most popular is Del Taco’s namesake taco, the Del Taco.

The Del Taco is made with seasoned beef, freshly grated cheddar cheese, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and a crunchy corn taco shell.

A single Del Taco is 310 calories and contains 20 grams of fat, 540 milligrams of sodium, and 17 grams of protein.

You can also upgrade your Del Taco to a Del Tacos Meal, which comes with two Del Tacos, a side of crinkle-cut fries, and a drink of your choice.

Conclusion

Tacos are an undisputable staple of Mexican food culture. The delicious fast food tacos on our list make the perfect snack, lunch, dinner, or even breakfast whenever you have a craving.

Whether you want a classic beef or chicken taco or prefer something more creative, use our list to find the best fast food taco near you and satisfy your craving.

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Last Updated: September 23, 2022

About the Author

Eril Eti is the founder of Shopfood.com.  He has over a decade of experience in consumer goods and launched many products sold at retailers like Walmart, Costco, Amazon, Target, Kroger, Publix, and more.

Eril loves food, traveling, and trying out new restaurants. Outside of work, you can find him on a hiking trail in New England or playing soccer with his kids.

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