Learn Spanish from the Taco Bell Menu

Quick Answer

Even though America’s most beloved chihuahua may have taught you the phrase "Yo quiero Taco Bell.," Taco Bell’s Spanish is about as authentic as its food. Read on for a breakdown of the Spanish used on Taco Bell's menu.

Loan Words vs. Fake Words

Every once in a while someone will ask a question like "How do you say tacoin Spanish?" Sometimes we forget that we are using Spanish words because they are deeply embedded in the English language. Taco, burrito, and quesadillaare just a few of the loan words that appear on the Taco Bell menu. These menu items definitely aren’t prepared authentically, but they are foods people actually eat in Mexico.

There are other items on the menu that Taco Bell made up to give a new twist to traditional Mexican cuisine. Here is a breakdown of the menu items that Taco Bell has invented entirely.

Menu ItemDescription
tacostada
a cross between a taco and a tostada
quesarito
a quesadilla burrito
chilito
a chili cheese burrito
quesalupa
a cross between a quesadilla and a chalupa

It would be fun to go to an authentic Mexican restaurant in Oaxaca and ask for a “quesalupa.” The look on the server’s face would be priceless.

Taco Bell’s Spanglish

Sometimes Spanish and English intermingle in the same menu item at Taco Bell. Some may consider this offensive, while others may claim that the company is just trying to give the restaurant an authentic feel. Either way, we can all agree that “cheesy fiesta potatoes” is far more catchy than just “cheesy potatoes."

Here are a few examples of Spanglish on the Taco Bell menu.

Menu ItemDescription
fresco taco
fresh taco
cheesy fiestapotatoescheesy party potatoes
BajaBlastflavor of Mountain Dew® whose name originates from Baja California (lower California)
Doritos® LocosTacoDoritos® crazy taco

Any menu item at Taco Bell can be prepared fresco style, replacing the high-fat items such as cheese and sour cream with salsaor pico de gallo.

Getting “Gorda” Eating Gorditas

A taco at Taco Bell is similar to an authentic taco you would get in Mexico, except for the flour tortilla and the copious amount of cheese and sour cream. However, there are some items on the menu that don't resemble their Mexican namesakes at all. The most glaring example is the gordita. Taco Bell’s gordita is basically their soft shell taco in a flatbread instead of a tortilla. In Mexico, on the other hand, a gordita is a deep-fried pocket of cornmeal dough stuffed with meat, cheese, and other fillings. It is similar to an arepa.

Live Más

Taco Bell says it wants you to live life to its fullest, so it uses the slogan Live más(more). This is a prime example of the Spanglish the company uses in an attempt to package Latinx culture and cuisine in a way that appeals to American ears and tastebuds.