Update: The Taco Bell Volcano Menu is no longer available. It was a limited edition offering from June 29th - July 5th (2023) through the Taco Bell App or Doordash.
It finally happened: Taco Bell resurrected the infamous Volcano Menu in all of its Lava Sauce-covered glory.
I've had no experience with the Volcano Menu myself, but people are effing psyched about this stuff. As someone who was angry when Taco Bell got rid of the spicy potato soft taco a couple years ago, I could at least relate to their feelings of jubilation when the announcement of its second (third? seventh?) coming was made tongue-in-cheek earlier this year.
So given the extraordinary amount of hype surrounding this stuff, I made a pilgrimage to my local Taco Bell on the very first day of early access (more on that below). I was half expecting the restaurant to be packed with people demanding more Lava Sauce, but it was a pretty slow lunch rush. No one else seemed to be there for the Volcano Menu. Honestly, I was kind of hoping it was going to be all rowdy and festive.
I was unceremoniously handed my Volcano haul and I took a seat. The deep, artificial red coloring of the crunchy Volcano Taco's shell is the first thing I noticed, but otherwise, the taco and the burrito looked pretty placid. I wanted this stuff to melt my face off with the burning of 100 suns, but I guess I'll have to settle for food coloring.
I ate some of the Volcano Taco first. The red shell tasted exactly the same as a plain shell, confusingly. I had to poke around in it with a fork to actually find the Lava Sauce. Turns out it kind of melted into the beef in a creamy unholy alliance of cheese, meat, and spicy goo. It wasn't half bad.
Next up: the Volcano Double Beef Burrito. I never order burritos from Taco Bell because I prefer food with discernable texture. But thanks to the rice and a restrained use of sour cream and Lava Sauce, it actually had some structure, thank god. There was lots of creaminess, lots of beef, no crunchy red tortilla strips like there was supposed to be, and a moderate amount of spice that took a while to build up and lingered for a few minutes.
Still, I would not have named this volcano or lava anything given its heat level. I can see the appeal though, since it's essentially a spicier version of the nacho cheese sauce, and much better for adding creaminess than wimpy sour cream.
So why is Taco Bell's Volcano Menu so ridiculously popular? Never underestimate the value of nostalgia. Throw in some "limited time only" urgency (Lava Sauce will only be sticking around for a short time, and will probably sell out at many locations within weeks), and you've got a recipe for mediocre tacos and so much hype. Personally, I'll stick with regular tacos with a packet of Diablo sauce on top. It's spicier and cheaper than the Volcano Taco.
When Does the Taco Bell Volcano Menu Return?
The Volcano Menu officially returns nationwide on June 29, 2023. It's the first time Lava Sauce — the spicy cheese sauce that makes Volcano Menu items different from the rest of the menu — has been on Taco Bell's menu since 2016.
Members of Taco Bell's rewards program can get early access to the Volcano Menu on June 27 and 28, 2023. To get your hands on a Volcano Taco those days, you'll have to order through the app.
What Items Are on the Taco Bell Volcano Menu?
The Volcano Menu only has two items in 2023: the Volcano Double Beef Burrito, and the Volcano Taco. The taco comes in a bright red crunchy shell with beef, lettuce, cheese, and Lava Sauce. The burrito includes beef, rice, sour cream, cheese, crunchy red tortilla strips, and Lava Sauce in a flour tortilla.
You can buy them separately or as part of a Volcano Combo, which includes one Volcano Taco, one Volcano Double Beef Burrito, and a drink. You also have the option to add Lava Sauce to any other Taco Bell menu item for a small upcharge.
What Are the Prices of the Taco Bell Volcano Menu?
At my location in the Midwest, the Volcano Taco is $2.59, the Volcano Double Beef Burrito is $4.19, and the Volcano Combo is $8.19.
Chances are, prices at your location will vary because each Taco Bell franchisee can set their own prices. To find out which Taco Bells near you have the least expensive prices, there's a Redditor-created website you can use (and you may want to avoid the most expensive Taco Bell in the country.)
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