11 Discontinued Taco Bell Items We Want Back Now

Taco Bell volcano menu items

Lacey Muszynski / Cheapism

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Taco Bell Late Night Hours
lawcain/istockphoto

Mourning After

Taco Bell is famous for changing its menu, featuring some items only for a short period as part of its marketing strategy. The approach generates a ton of buzz and excitement for some Taco Bell menu items from superfans but also a lot of heartaches. Some of Taco Bell's most infamous discontinued items and ingredients are also those we'd like to see back in its restaurants now.


Related: Live Más: Spicy Secrets Behind Taco Bell's Success

Beefy Crunch Burrito
Beefy Crunch Burrito by Rusty Blazenhoff (CC BY-NC)

1. Beefy Crunch Burrito

The beefy crunch burrito was released in 2009 and became one of the most popular items on the menu for over a year before being axed by the company. Since then, a Facebook group 68,000 strong called the Beefy Crunch Movement has lobbied to bring it back, but the item has only resurfaced as a sporadic limited time offer — and the last time was August 2023. Similar to the Crunchwrap, eating a beefy crunch burrito as soon as you get it is essential for keeping the Flamin' Hot Fritos tortilla chips crunchy.

Double Decker Taco
Double Decker Taco by theimpulsivebuy (CC BY-SA)

2. Double Decker Taco

What started as a limited time item in the mid '90s turned into a dozen-year run for the double decker taco. Discontinued in 2019, it's a relatively simple product by Taco Bell standards: A crunchy taco is wrapped in a soft flour tortilla shell that's stuck in place with a layer of refried beans. The Bell still has all the necessary components to make it, but you'd have to really sweet talk employees to get one.


Related: Fast Food Items Overdue for a Comeback

Enchirito
goblinbox_(queen_of_ad_hoc_bento) / Flickr

3. Enchirito

What happens when you combine a burrito and enchilada at a fast food restaurant? You get the Enchirito, a dish that first appeared on Taco Bell menus in the 1960s, with a name that was trademarked in 1970. The beef, bean, and cheese burrito is smothered in red or green sauce, cheese, and black olives and served in a signature foil dish. It was discontinued in 1993, but came back in 2000, only to be cut again 13 years later. After a fan vote, it came back in November 2022, but only for two weeks, much to customers' chagrin, then in May 2023, again for a limited time.


Related: The Best Items to Order From Taco Bell’s Meatless Menu

Caramel Apple Empanadas
Taco Bell

4. Caramel Apple Empanadas

Desserts aren't Taco Bell's strong suit, but there was one contender for best fast food dessert that wiped the floor with McDonald's apple pie: the caramel apple empanada. The chunks of apples floated in a caramel-laced sauce, and the whole flaky pastry was dusted with sugar. It was only $1, too, making it an easy add-on to your order.

Pico de Gallo
Taco Bell

5. Pico de Gallo

Pico de gallo may sound like a pretty boring ingredient that no one would miss, but another Taco Bell favorite also disappeared by default when the sauce was axed in 2020 during a pandemic streamlining: the fresco menu. Sure, you can still order a taco fresco style, but the pico de gallo you used to get was replaced by plain old diced tomatoes, something that's been around forever and is usually pretty terrible at the Bell. RIP good fresco tacos.

Taco Bell Volcano Burrito
Lacey Muszynski / Cheapism

6. Volcano Menu

The volcano menu started with a single volcano taco way back in 1995. What made it special was the bright red crunchy shell and the spicy, creamy lava sauce. People went nuts for the nacho cheese-like sauce, and eventually its popularity prompted the chain to expand the volcano menu with a burrito and nachos. The lava sauce was discontinued in 2013, but a social media campaign briefly brought it back in 2016, and it also returned in 2023, albeit briefly.

Bell Beefer
Bell Beefer by Rob (CC BY-NC-SA)

7. Bell Beefer

Believe it or not, Taco Bell used to sell hamburgers, and the Bell Beefer is a throwback to that era. Dating to the mid-70s, it was similar to a sloppy joe, with seasoned ground beef on a hamburger bun, topped with lettuce, onions, mild sauce, and optional cheese and tomatoes. If you're still hankering for one (and you're not alone), you might be able to convince an employee at a combination Taco Bell/KFC location, which carries buns, to put one together for you.

7-Layer Burrito
Taco Bell

8. 7-Layer Burrito

Taco Bell is well-known for being vegetarian-friendly, but people were very disappointed when they got rid of one of their most popular meatless items in 2020, the 7-layer burrito. Inspired by the Tex-Mex dip and introduced in 1993, it included rice, refried beans, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, tomatoes, and lettuce. If you play around with the customization options on the chain's ordering system, you can still get it if you start with a cheesy bean and rice burrito, make it fresco style, and add the rest of the toppings.

Shredded Chicken Quesadilla
Taco Bell

9. Shredded Chicken

There's only one permanent chicken ingredient on the menu right now, and that's strips of grilled chicken. But chicken connoisseurs know that there used to be a second, much tastier option: spicy shredded chicken. It was slow cooked in a lightly spicy sauce, and had so much more flavor than the grilled stuff. You could get it in tacos, burritos, and Crunchwraps, or substitute it for ground beef, before it got the ax in 2020.


Chili Cheese Burrito
Taco Bell

10. Chili Cheese Burrito

If you're reading this and thinking to yourself that the chili cheese burrito — aka Chilito — isn't discontinued, congratulations, because you live in an area where it's still around. Though the infamous item hasn't been officially discontinued by the company, many locations removed it from the menu in the 1990s. If you're looking for the long lost hot chili sauce burrito, you'll still be able to find it at locations mostly in the Midwest and Southwest. Use this handy fan-made map for exact locations. 

Spicy Tostada
Taco Bell

11. Spicy Tostada

One of the lesser-known value menu items when those were all still a dollar, the spicy tostada was a simple affair of a crunchy tostada shell, beans, cheese, creamy chipotle sauce, and veggies. It was well-known in vegetarian communities as a go-to, similar to the 7-layer burrito, but it was discontinued in the great pandemic streamlining of 2020.