Taco Bell has over 7,000 locations throughout the U.S. and is a must-have when you want quick, delicious, and relatively-affordable food in an instant. Whether picked up while on a road trip, ordered late at night after a busy day, or enjoyed with friends or family on the weekends, Taco Bell always seems to hit the spot.
Due to its many locations and late-night hours, it’s also a favorite among professional chefs. It’s easy to imagine that chefs only consume the most complex, involved dishes even during their downtime, but in reality, they like to hit up the chain to pick up food, too. And who could blame them—where else can you get a delicious platter of nachos with all the toppings, warm tacos, and cheese quesadillas in mere minutes?
From the always-delicious Crunchwrap Supreme to a side of loaded nachos, here’s precisely what a professional chef orders at Taco Bell. You may just get an idea (or two) of what to pick up during your next visit.
1. Crunchwrap Supreme
Chef Dennis Littley, a classically-trained chef with over 40 years of experience in the kitchen, shares that although some chefs will refuse to eat fast food, he, for one, appreciates the taste and convenience of it. “Usually chefs turn their nose up at fast food chains but I have a lot of admiration for how fast a good quality of food can be turned around,” he says. Keeping this in mind, he shares that his favorite order from Taco Bell is the Crunchwrap Supreme. “I am a huge fan of the Crunchwrap Supreme,” he confirms. “I rarely have a bad one and the consistency is very good whichever restaurant you go to.”
2. Crunchwrap Supreme with Extra Nacho Cheese and Fire Sauce
It looks like Littley isn’t the only one who appreciates the Crunchwrap Supreme. Diana Manalang, chef and owner of Little Chef Little Cafe in NYC also picks this dish as her first choice. “At Taco Bell I always get the Crunchwrap Supreme with extra nacho cheese and fire sauce,” she explains. “Every single time.” Made with perfectly-seasoned beef, fresh chopped tomatoes, and crisp lettuce, it’s easy to see why so many people love this delicious menu item. “I even make Crunchwrap Supremes at home,” Manalang adds.
3. Loaded Nachos
When Robbie Shoults, celebrity chef and owner of the award-winning restaurant Bear Creek Smokehouse in Marshall, Texas, stops at a Taco Bell he likes to get the nachos, or as he calls them “the Super Nachos.” Although Taco Bell discontinued the Nachos Supreme a couple of years ago, they still have the Nachos BellGrande on its menu, which is just as delicious.
What’s so great about Taco Bell’s nachos is that they are easily customizable. For instance, you can add jalapeno peppers, potatoes, and cubed steak for a small fee. For Shoults’ order, he likes to amp up the flavor and create a heartier dish by adding sour cream, black beans, extra meat, and extra nacho cheese. “The nachos feel like they weigh 10 pounds after I have all the extra add-ons!” he says.
4. Beef Chalupa Supreme
When Shoults doesn’t get nachos, he enjoys a Beef Chalupa Supreme. Made with seasoned ground beef, three different shredded cheeses, reduced-fat sour cream, crispy lettuce, and ripe tomatoes, the Beef Chalupa Supreme is one for the books. You can also easily customize this one, too, by adding tasty trimmings like beans, avocado ranch sauce, and chopped onions. Since the late-90s, chalupas have been the item to get when visiting Taco Bell—they’re that good!
5. Power Bowl with Chicken
“I also like the Cantina Power Bowl with chicken,” points out Shoults. The chain’s Power Bowls are made with a combination of meat (or sans meat if you’d like to order vegetarian), cheese, seasoned rice, guacamole, black beans, lettuce, tomatoes, and sour cream, drizzled with a mouth-watering avocado ranch sauce. Packed with protein and teeming with fresh ingredients (how good is the combination of crispy lettuce and warm, cheese-covered chicken though?), this is one menu item we hope never goes away.