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12 Best El Pollo Loco Menu Items To Try

Mexican Fast Casual Restaurant Known as El Pollo Loco

The menu of El Pollo Loco is a veritable gold mine of delectable treats, so treat your taste buds to a gourmet fiesta. Every meal, from spicy burritos to smoky grilled chicken, is a marvel of delicious Mexican cuisine. Take a culinary journey with us as we reveal the Best El Pollo Loco Menu Items that will definitely entice your taste buds. This post is your ticket to a world where flavorful spices and delectable textures converge, whether you’re craving the succulent bites of their famous flame-grilled chicken or the gratifying crunch of their scrumptious tacos. Prepare to taste the essence of real Mexican food as we walk you through the must-try dishes that make El Pollo Loco a food lover’s paradise.

Original Pollo Bowl

Original Pollo Bowl
Source: Instagram

The Original Pollo Bowl at El Pollo Loco is the most often ordered menu item. The bowl includes rice, pinto beans, diced onion, cilantro, pico de gallo, and chopped chicken breast. It is straightforward and fresh, making it a perfect option for lunch or dinner on the go. The Original Pollo Bowl contains 550 calories and about 38 grams of protein, making it an excellent choice for a sustainable diet. When I order the Original Pollo Bowl, I like adding a small side of corn to my bowl for a touch of sweet and fire-roasted flavor. If you like it spicier, try adding the jalapeno hot sauce to your bowl! 


Double Chicken Avocado Salad

Double Chicken Avocado Salad
Source: Instagram

One of my favorite menu items is the Double Chicken Avocado Salad at El Pollo Loco. The salad is keto-friendly, so those with particular dietary needs can still enjoy a meal at the eatery. The Double Chicken Avocado Salad contains lettuce, organic super greens, corn, cotija cheese, pico de gallo, grilled chicken breast, and avocado. The salad can be customized by adding a Mexican vinaigrette or a creamy cilantro dressing. The salad is about 350 calories and offers 51 grams of protein. I enjoy the Double Chicken Avocado Salad because it is a lighter option that keeps me full for hours. It is ideal for a workday lunch.


Baja Shrimp Tostada

Baja Shrimp Tostada
Source: Instagram

A tostada is a crispy flat tortilla with various toppings. The Baja Shrimp Tostada at El Pollo Loco is one of the tastiest tostadas I have ever eaten. The tostada holds rice, pico de gallo, Monterey Jack cheese, pinto beans, sour cream, shredded lettuce, and Baja Shrimp. The fried tostada shell contains all of the delicious toppings. The Baja Shrimp Tostada originated as part of a menu expansion. The restaurant added four new shrimp dishes, including the Garlic Butter Shrimp Bowl, Shrimp Tostada, Shrimp Avocado Baja Tacos, and Shrimp Wrap. The addition was successful, and the shrimp tostada is one of the most popular resulting dishes. 

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Chipotle Chicken Avocado Burrito

Chipotle Chicken Avocado Burrito
Source: El Pollo Loco

The Chipotle Chicken Avocado Burrito at El Pollo Loco is a delicious option for lunch or dinner. The fillings are wrapped in a twelve-inch flour tortilla and include grilled chicken, avocado, sour cream, Monterey jack cheese, pinto beans, cabbage, rice, and salad rojo. Guests can customize the burrito by adding Baja shrimp. As prepared, the burrito has more than 60 grams of protein! When I order a burrito from El Pollo Loco, I enjoy adding a side of chips and guacamole and a bit of the jalapeno hot sauce. The burrito is the perfect dish for a person with a hearty appetite! 


Cinnamon Churros

Cinnamon Churros
Source: Instagram

The Cinnamon Churros at El Pollo Loco satisfy my sweet tooth! A churro is a bit of fried dough tossed in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. The churros taste like a cinnamon donut, but with the extra benefit of crispier edges for an added textural component. The portion side at El Pollo Loco is perfect because you can enjoy your meal, then add a churro for dessert without feeling like you have had too much sugar! I enjoy the churros because they are sweet, crispy, and a fun end to any meal. You can even enjoy churros with a cup of coffee for an afternoon pick-me-up! 


Macaroni and Cheese 

Macaroni and Cheese 
Source: Instagram

While macaroni and cheese might not be a typical side dish you see at a Mexican-style restaurant, the Macaroni and Cheese at El Pollo Loco is a perfect pairing with the fire-grilled chicken that the restaurant is known for serving. The creamy and cheesy pasta is a fan favorite that keeps people coming back for more. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that El Pollo Loco serves macaroni and cheese. It is perfect for kids and a tasty addition to any meal for adults. I ordered the macaroni and cheese as a side dish with the Original Pollo Bowl. The next time you visit, definitely add a small side of the pasta and give it a try! 


Chicken Tortilla Soup 

Chicken Tortilla Soup 
Source: El Pollo Loco

Chicken Tortilla Soup is a classic comfort meal, and El Pollo Loco has perfected the homey and satisfying taste. El Pollo Loco’s  Chicken Tortilla Soup is sold in two sizes: small, which serves one, and large, for three to four people. The soup includes the famous grilled chicken in a chicken broth with carrots, celery, and roasted corn. The Chicken Tortilla Soup is topped with tortilla strips, fresh cilantro, and Cotija cheese. When I ordered the Chicken Tortilla Soup, I added sliced avocado on top for an extra flavor of freshness. The soup is the perfect menu selection for a cold day when you are looking for a warm and hearty meal. 

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Classic Tostada Salad 

Classic Tostada Salad 
Source: El Pollo Loco

The tostadas at El Pollo Loco are built to be filled with various toppings, and the Classic Tostada Salad is no different. The salad includes grilled chicken shredded lettuce, pinto beans, pico de gallo, Monterey Jack cheese, rice, and sour cream. Notably, the Classic Tostada Salad is one of the most easily customizable menu options at the eatery. You can exchange the grilled chicken for Baja Shrimp, but I recommend adding the creamy cilantro dressing to your salad no matter your protein selection. The bowl as prepared has about 800 calories and 40 grams of protein. 


Ranchero Burrito

Ranchero Burrito
Source: Instagram

The Ranchero Burrito at El Pollo Loco is a twelve-inch flour tortilla stuffed with chicken and other delicious fillings like sour cream, rice, and a special sauce. The Ranchero Burrito is one of the spicier options on the menu, so it is perfect if you enjoy a bit of heat. I recommend pairing the burrito with a side of chips and guacamole because the avocado pairs nicely with the subtle heat of the ranchero burrito. A burrito is one of the more portable menu options, so it is a perfect choice if you visit El Pollo Loco via the drive-through on a road trip! 


Mashed Potatoes & Gravy

Mashed Potatoes & Gravy
Source: El Pollo Loco

I enjoyed the Mashed Potatoes & Gravy at El Pollo Loco. The creamy mashed potatoes are served with brown gravy and are an excellent complement to the fire-grilled and marinated chicken. The mashed potatoes and gravy are available in two sizes, small and large. The Mashed Potatoes & Gravy at El Pollo Loco are great for family events or younger kids visiting the restaurant. I recommend ordering the mashed potatoes as a side dish if you are taking advantage of the catering options via the restaurant. The most popular family meal is a three-course, twenty-four pieces of chicken meal, which comes with various sides, like mashed potatoes. 

Chips & Queso

Chips & Queso
Source: Instagram

The Chips & Queso at El Pollo Loco is a must-have pairing with any entree. The creamy queso blanco at El Pollo Loco is a delight to your taste buds. It is the perfect appetizer, snack, or side dish that everyone in the family can enjoy. If you are visiting in search of chips and queso, I also recommend trying the chicken nachos, which are covered in the queso and other toppings like smashed pinto beans, sour cream, and pico de gallo! I believe that there is truly never a bad time for chips and queso! 


BRC Burrito

BRC Burrito
Source: Instagram

The BRC Burrito is a perfect option for people visiting the restaurant for the first time and it is an excellent choice for vegetarians. The BRC burrito is straightforward, and that simplicity equals deliciousness. The letters “BRC” stand for beans, rice, and cheese, all three of which are wrapped tightly in a ten-inch flour tortilla. The BRC Burrito lends itself to being dipped in sauces. I enjoy the burrito with both the jalapeno hot sauce and the creamy cilantro dressing, but don’t forget that a side of queso or guacamole could also be an excellent addition to the BRC burrito at El Pollo Loco! The burrito is about 400 calories and offers 13 grams of protein. 

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian attended West Virginia University, then started his career in the IT industry before following his passion for marketing and hospitality. He has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and bar industry.

As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.

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