Take a tasty stroll down memory lane with us as we honor the long-gone treasures that were formerly on the Taco Bell menu. The fast-food industry is always evolving, and with each new development, some cherished menu items go, leaving a legacy of nostalgic food memories. Taco Bell fans have a special place in their hearts for these discontinued treats, from the crunchy Double Decker Taco to the flavorful Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes. Come relive the flavors, textures, and experiences that gave these dishes their unique character. We will relish the recollections of these long-gone menu delicacies that remain in our appetites as we travel back in time.
The 7-layer burrito was a meatless burrito designed as a new option for vegetarian customers in 1993. It was inspired by the renowned 7-layer dip. It consists of refried beans and a rice base topped with lettuce, tomatoes, three types of cheese, sour cream, and guacamole. Taco Bell discontinued the burrito in 2020 as it was simplifying its menu due to Covid. I still sometimes order it as a secret menu item by customizing a bean burrito.
Caramel Apple Empanada
Other than cinnamon twists, most of Taco Bell’s desserts have a limited lifespan. The caramel apple empanada was Taco Bell’s answer to the fried apple pies served at many other fast food restaurants. It quickly became a fan favorite. It’s made of a deep-fried empanada stuffed with apples and caramel. While the empanada went away in 2019, there are plenty of copycat recipes online.
The Bell Beefer is something of a cult classic. Many Taco Bell fans likely don’t remember it or never even knew it existed. While Taco Bell tries to differentiate itself from fast food burger joints, it did have a burger known as the Bell Beefer. It was around from the 1970s to the 90s and had a brief reappearance in 2012. The Beefer was a bun topped with taco meat, onions, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and border sauce.
Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes
While Taco Bell has many great entrees, they’ve always struggled with sides. The cheesy fiesta potatoes are one of their many attempts at finding something people will like to go along with their tacos and burritos. The cheesy fiesta potatoes consist of fried potato bites topped with nacho cheese sauce and sour cream. The potatoes seem to come and go from Taco Bell’s menu.
The enchirito is a mix of an enchilada and a burrito. It’s a rolled flour tortilla filled with beef, beans, and onions. It’s topped with enchilada sauce, shredded cheese, and olives. In 2022, Taco Bell allowed guests to vote on an item to bring back: the enchirito or the double-decker taco. The enchirito won, and it returned for a short time, but it’s not a permanent fixture on the menu.
Spicy Potato Soft Taco
The spicy potato soft taco was another of Taco Bell’s discontinued items that were a favorite for vegetarians. It features a flour tortilla, crispy potato bites, lettuce, and spicy chipotle sauce. Like the cheesy fiesta potatoes, it comes and goes from the menu.
The spicy tostada was an entry to Taco Bell’s dollar menu and a personal favorite of mine. It’s made of a flat corn shell spread with a layer of refried beans. It’s then topped with lettuce, red sauce, chipotle sauce, cheese, and tomatoes. It went away in 2020, and like many fans, I’m hoping it comes back soon!
Beefy Crunch Burrito
The beefy crunch burrito was never intended to be a permanent menu item. It was a beef burrito with Mexican rice, nacho cheese, and sour cream. The coup d’état was the Flamin’ Hot Fritos. The burrito was a bestseller for the Bell, but it only lasted from 2009 to 2011.
Chili Cheese Burrito
The chili cheese burrito was a popular menu item in the 90s. It was called the Chillito and featured chili and cheese, and it was also a value menu feature. The burrito went away, but it’s shown up on the menu a few times since then. You can find it in select areas from time to time.
The double-decker taco was a great equalizer when it came out in the 90s. People no longer had to make the impossible choice between a soft and crunchy taco. The double-decker let people have both. It was a basic crunchy taco spread with refried beans on the outside and then wrapped in a soft tortilla.
The taco salad was another personal favorite. It was a large salad shell filled with a meat of your choice, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, and crunchy fiesta strips. You have to love a salad bowl that’s packed with protein and delicious toppings. Taco Bell discontinued the salad because the shells broke so easily.
Zesty Chicken Bowl
The Zesty Chicken Bowl came out when many places were offering “bowl” options. It came with rice topped with lettuce, cheese, and seasoned grilled chicken. You could top it with a zesty dressing. Unfortunately, this Taco Bell discontinued item only lasted from 2003 to 2011.
Grilled Steak Soft Taco
I loved the grilled steak soft taco. It was similar to a regular soft taco, only with steak and a delicious avocado ranch sauce. Taco Bell discontinued it in 2020, but the good news is you can easily order one by subbing out steak and ranch on a regular taco.