I Tried Taco Bell's Newly Launched Taco and It Has the Best Shell Ever

A craveable taco has to check a few important boxes to hit the spot. For me, those are well-seasoned beef, a good, sturdy shell, a fresh element, and cheese that brings it all together. Taco Bell’s new Crispy Melt Taco, which just became available today, delivers all that plus a unique twist on the shell.

After a successful test run in Alabama, the Crispy Melt Taco has been deemed worthy of a limited-time stint nationwide. This one is different from all the other tacos on the menu because it comes on a crispy, white corn tortilla that is fried in-house daily—and it has an overload of cheese. A similar shell was featured on the chain’s Cantina Crispy Melt Taco which was available for a limited time in 2021. Considering the fact that fans have been begging for its return for some time, it makes sense that this new taco would be a close imitation—all the way down to the filling.

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So what’s in it? Your choice of beef or black beans, shredded lettuce and tomatoes, and a boatload of cheese. It features Taco Bell’s signature three-cheese blend and nacho cheese melted at the base, plus more shredded cheddar cheese on top. Bonus: All this for only $2.49.

The hard shell tacos at Taco Bell have always been a disappointment for me because they fall apart so easily, so I had to see how this one would hold up.

taco bell crispy melt taco side
Meaghan Cameron

The taste test

The look: This looks sturdy with a thick and bubbly shell—a quality that Taco Bell’s tacos tend to lack. It also looks larger than Taco Bell’s other tacos, but that could be because the shell is thicker. There isn’t as much cheese as the chain claims and there is definitely more of the less expensive nacho cheese than the shredded cheese, but the meat ratio looks good and the lettuce is piled high. Plus, it comes in a handy sleeve with an added flap that keeps in the filling.

The taste: The shell is crispy and tasty—it doesn’t live up to a crispy corn shell taco from a Mexican restaurant, but that’s probably asking too much. I do think it’s light years better than Taco Bell’s super thin yellow corn shell tacos that fall apart with one bite. I am not in love with the nacho cheese and I might just ask for more of the shredded stuff, but the melted cheese in the groove of the taco is a nice touch. The crispy shell stands up well to all the extra cheese moisture. The spicy beef and the cheese meld together well.

Overall: Taco Bell should just toss out its other shells and make this the defacto taco shell. I understand why everyone wanted this one back.

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