- I had Taco Bell’s entire breakfast menu delivered, and I ranked all 14 options.
- The chain’s sausage was the best breakfast meat, especially because of its low price.
- Taco Bell also had great hash browns, but its other potatoes were often under-seasoned.
- The hash brown toasted breakfast burrito with sausage was my favourite item because it was crispy and flavorful.
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Taco Bell has a storied history as a late-night fast-food option. But what happens when those evenings creep into the early morning?
Well, Taco Bell will stay up with you.
The chain has been serving breakfast nationwide since 2014, and although its morning menu (offered until 11 a.m.) doesn’t include the waffle taco anymore, it still has some great options to choose from.
As a lover of all things fast food – and Taco Bell – I had the breakfast menu delivered to my home and I set out to create a definitive ranking of all 14 choices.
Note: Prices are based on my local New York City Taco Bell.
To keep the taste test fair, I limited my use of hot sauce even though I know it makes everything better.
Taco Bell has some great sauces, and I found its breakfast salsa to be quite charming – it was pretty flavorful, though not very spicy.
But, for the sake of this test, I really wanted to embrace the true Taco Bell flavours so I didn’t put much hot sauce on my food.
To be clear, though, I think hot sauce makes everything better – and I used some when heating up leftovers after this taste test.
Here’s taco bell’s breakfast menu, ranked from worst to best.
Mini Skillet Bowl — $US1.79
This bowl, which consists of potatoes, egg, pico de gallo, and nacho cheese sauce, simply didn’t impress.
Anything with Taco Bell’s nacho cheese is going to have a base level of goodness, but I’d recommend staying away from this item if you like well-seasoned potatoes – I found the ones in this dish to be quite bland.
The tomatoes from the pico didn’t do very well as a main character in the dish, either. On the plus side, the skillet made me appreciate and miss Taco Bell’s tortillas, which were nowhere to be found here.
Cheesy toasted breakfast burrito with potato — $US1.59
Is there such a thing as too much starch? Yes. This meal is pretty filling, but not very fulfilling.
The pico didn’t really help flavour this much since it was buried at the bottom of the burrito, and even the mighty Taco Bell nacho cheese wasn’t enough to save this one.
The eggs didn’t add much to this burrito, either. To be fair, I don’t think any eatery gets eggs right. They’re such a personal menu item, and chain-restaurant breakfast is such an impersonal thing – but that makes having tasty spuds extra important.
If the potatoes had been seasoned better, the cheesy toasted breakfast burrito probably would have been higher on the list, and that disappoints me.
Without well-seasoned ingredients, this burrito hit me with the same, plain potato flavours in each bite.
Grande toasted breakfast burrito with bacon — $US2.79
I think this item is what most people thought of when they learned Taco Bell serves breakfast.
This didn’t blow my brain out of its shell, but it was solid. This burrito didn’t skimp on the bacon, which I liked, though bacon was actually my least favourite Taco Bell breakfast meat (more on that later).
The potato was a little overpowering at times, but the pico brought a lighter flavour to the hefty burrito, though I wish it had been more evenly distributed throughout.
Taco Bell cheese is always a highlight, so this was a complete dish, all things considered.
Grande toasted breakfast burrito with steak — $US3.49
Most people probably aren’t going to Taco Bell for the steak, nor should they, but it worked well here – though I was out of luck as somebody who likes theirs medium-rare.
In my experience, I think any time adding steak to a meal costs less than $US1 generally means it isn’t worth paying for, but this was pretty good.
The burrito still had a lot of subpar potato flavour but this flavorful meat helped counteract the plainness. The steak gave the burrito a nice weight and flavour, but wasn’t the main draw.
Grande toasted breakfast burrito with sausage — $US2.79
This was a decent item. I thought the sausage was Taco Bell’s best breakfast meat since it was more mellow than bacon and it blended with the other ingredients more smoothly. The steak was a close second, but it ran the risk of being too tough and chewy.
Sausage really helped to make everything else in the burrito pop. Really, my only gripe was with the plain potatoes.
In general, the toasted breakfast burritos were all quite tasty, but I felt like they were missing something. Maybe a little salt?
Cheesy toasted breakfast burrito with sausage — $US1.59
This is undoubtedly a step up from the potato version, though it felt a bit smaller. The nacho cheese is at its processed best here, and it reminds me of ballpark nachos without the mess.
Let’s be honest, the egg doesn’t taste like much, but that’s OK. In my opinion, egg is the worst part of any breakfast burrito.
The cheese and sausage – which I think are Taco Bell’s top two breakfast ingredients – really get a chance to shine here. This burrito doesn’t have pico, and I don’t really miss it because of how well-seasoned all of the ingredients are.
Although this burrito is a bit small, it’s a solid choice and I wouldn’t mind ordering more of them. The only thing holding it back is a lack of hash browns, which all the best Taco Bell dishes have.
Hash brown — $US1.00
There’s something about fast-food hash browns that’s just irreplicable. I’ve never had a bad one.
Salty, oily, finished too soon. Like a sommelier would with wine, I always find myself probing the back corner of my mouth after a hash brown is gone, trying to hold on to that last hint of flavour.
This is one of the most complete items on the menu – but since it (thankfully) appears in many of the other dishes, I didn’t rank it higher.
Breakfast Crunchwrap with bacon — $US3.89
If you aren’t a fan of Taco Bell bacon, then you run the risk of missing out on some of the more subtle qualities of this dish.
I really enjoyed the hash brown inside of the tortilla, and it was the main thing that makes this better than the grande toasted for me.
The breakfast Crunchwrap is pretty simple, just cheese, eggs, bacon, and hash brown in a tortilla.
According to the menu, this has a creamy jalapeno sauce, but I’m not convinced it was actually there. If it was, it was very understated and not spicy.
Hash brown toasted breakfast burrito with bacon — $US1.99
My order got a bit messed up and it didn’t include the hash brown – since I had the food delivered, I wasn’t able to amend it.
Fortunately, I am a master of improvisation and all of the other ingredients (egg, bacon, cheese) were present, so I made the correction myself by simply placing a hash brown on top of the burrito so it made it into each bite.
It was delicious, and my main takeaway was that hash brown is the superior potato.
Breakfast Crunchwrap with steak — $US4.49
The steak in this one was a little chewy but decently flavorful. Again, I didn’t really taste the creamy jalapeno sauce, which is the only reason I ranked this lower than the hash brown burrito.
This was another solid choice, but I don’t think the steak was really worth the extra few cents.
Hash brown toasted breakfast burrito with steak — $US2.69
There’s something classic and unignorable about steak and eggs.
This really needed some pico, but Taco Bell gives you as much salsa as you want for free and I think that would help add flavour to this.
Cinnabon Delights — $US1.00
These bite-sized pastries came in a pack of two for just $US1, but you can and should order more – a friend and I have easily eaten more than a dozen of these in one sitting.
These are listed as both a dessert and a breakfast on Taco Bell’s website, though I think it leans more toward dessert.
You can pop one of these in your mouth, but I try to eat it in two bites. That’s the sign of a great dessert – when you spend longer than you need to finish it. The Cinnabon sauce is a beautifully warm, extra sweet cinnamon concoction, and the dough is remarkably fluffy and buttery.
I’d put these at the top of my list, but they aren’t really a solid breakfast meal and I couldn’t see myself eating these without having a sugar crash.
Breakfast Crunchwrap with sausage — $US3.89
Taco Bell sausage is where it’s at. It was just the right amount of greasy, and the mellow flavour went really well with the cheese. This hash brown had the right amount of crispiness, too.
The flavours of this Crunchwrap kind of brought me back to my elementary-school lunchroom days – in a nostalgic way. Maybe I should have asked for a Styrofoam plate to really bring the experience full-circle.
This was the best Crunchwrap. It didn’t try to be too fancy, and the sausage highlighted all the other ingredients.
That said, cheese, tortilla, potato, and sausage is a fantastic combination but can get a little one-note. I suggest adding some hot sauce or breakfast salsa to this one for an extra kick.
Hash brown toasted breakfast burrito with sausage — $US1.99
This hash brown toasted breakfast burrito with sausage was my favourite menu item.
The way the grease and salt mixed in with all the other ingredients here was perfect. I still don’t understand how Taco Bell could season one potato-filled menu item so perfectly but have others taste so plain.
My only real gripe was there wasn’t as much cheese as I wanted, but that could be said of literally anything that’s edible and even a few things that aren’t.
- I ate my way through Starbucks’ hot breakfast menu, and ranked every item
- I tasted all of the pancake dishes at IHOP and ranked them from worst to best
- I tried all 16 items on Chick-fil-A’s breakfast menu and ranked them
- I tried every single breakfast at McDonald’s and ranked them from worst to best