Published on 10 Nov 2023 Time 5 min read Last update by 21 Dec 2023

Unwrapping the Best Taco Chains in America: A Delicious Guide

taco chains

When it comes to fast food favorites in the United States, taco chains hold a special place in the hearts (and stomachs) of many. From the tantalizing crunch of a hard shell to the rich flavors of seasoned meat and fresh toppings, tacos have transcended their Mexican origins to become a staple of American cuisine. In this landscape, an array of taco chains has risen, each offering a unique twist on this beloved dish. As the competition heats up, these chains are not just serving food; they’re shaping the fast food culture. This guide aims to unwrap the top taco chains across the nation, offering insights for those on the hunt for their next taco destination.


Top 5 Taco Fast Food Chains 

  1. Taco Bell

top 3 businesses with the most franchises in the world

  •    U.S. Sales: $10.410 billion
  •    Total U.S. Locations: 6,588
  •    Estimated Profits: Click here
  •    Estimated Resale Value: Click here


Taco Bell’s journey began in 1962 when Glen Bell opened the first restaurant in Downey, California. Bell’s vision was to create a unique dining experience that offered quick, quality Mexican-inspired food. The concept quickly took off, leading to rapid expansion. Taco Bell distinguished itself with its innovative approach to Mexican cuisine, eventually becoming a cultural icon in the fast food industry.


  1. Chipotle Mexican Grill


  •   U.S. Sales: $4.805 billion
  •   Total U.S. Locations: 2,452
  •   Estimated Profits: Click here
  •   Estimated Resale Value: Click here


Chipotle Mexican Grill was founded in 1993 by Steve Ells in Denver, Colorado. The concept was simple yet revolutionary: to offer a fast food experience with high-quality, fresh ingredients and an emphasis on customization. Chipotle’s “food with integrity” philosophy resonated with consumers, leading to significant growth and redefining the fast-casual dining segment.


  1. El Pollo Loco

El Pollo Loco Logo

  •   U.S. Sales: $868 million
  •   Total U.S. Locations: 484
  •   Estimated Profits: Click here
  •   Estimated Resale Value: Click here


El Pollo Loco, meaning “The Crazy Chicken” in Spanish, originated in Guasave, Sinaloa, Mexico, in 1975. The U.S. operations began in 1980 when the first American El Pollo Loco opened in Los Angeles, California. The brand gained popularity with its signature citrus-marinated, fire-grilled chicken and continued to expand its menu and locations, focusing on authentic Mexican-inspired recipes.


  1. Qdoba Mexican Eats


  •  U.S. Sales: $835 million
  •  Total U.S. Locations: 743
  •  Estimated Profits: Click here
  •  Estimated Resale Value: Click here


Qdoba Mexican Eats began as Zuma Fresh Mexican Grill, which was opened in 1995 in Denver, Colorado. The founders, Anthony Miller and Robert Hauser were inspired to create a restaurant that offered Mexican cuisine with fresh, high-quality ingredients and quick service. The chain was renamed Qdoba in 1999 and has since become a prominent player in the fast-casual Mexican dining market.


  1. Moe’s Southwest Grill


  •  Investment Range: $69K-$86K
  •  Total U.S. Locations: 1,705
  •  U.S. Franchised Units: 1,663
  •  Franchise Fee: $59,500
  •  Estimated Profits: Click here
  •  Estimated Resale Value: Click here


Moe’s Southwest Grill was founded in Atlanta, Georgia, in December 2000, with a focus on fun, fresh food, and a relaxed dining environment. The name “Moe’s” originally stood for “Musicians, Outlaws, and Entertainers,” reflecting the brand’s commitment to music and culture. Known for its welcoming atmosphere and customizable menu, Moe’s quickly grew in popularity and expanded its presence across the United States.

taco chains

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The landscape of taco chains in America is as diverse as it is flavorful. From Taco Bell’s iconic and innovative menu to Chipotle’s fresh, customizable options, and El Pollo Loco’s unique take on Mexican cuisine, there’s a taco chain to suit every palate. Qdoba’s nationwide presence and Moe’s vibrant atmosphere further enrich the choices available to taco enthusiasts. Whether you crave the classic or the creative, these chains offer a delightful exploration into the world of tacos. 

As you embark on this delicious journey to find your favorite among America’s best taco chains, remember that Vetted Biz is here to assist you. If you’re considering turning your love for tacos into a business opportunity, Vetted Biz can help you navigate the franchise landscape, providing invaluable insights and support in picking the right franchise that aligns with your goals and preferences. We invite you to leverage our expertise and resources to make an informed decision in your franchising journey. Embark on this exciting venture and find not just a favorite taco chain, but potentially a successful business opportunity with the help of Vetted Biz.


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