Taco Bell Is Launching a New Vegetarian Menu Today

updated Sep 11, 2019
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Credit: Courtesy of Taco Bell

In the last couple of weeks there’s been a lot of attention put on faux meat at fast food chains (we’re looking at you, KFC). It seems as though companies and restaurant chains everywhere are clamoring to create the next big plant-based offering. So it might be refreshing to hear that Taco Bell is simply upping their vegetarian offerings. In fact, they’re creating their first-ever dedicated in-store vegetarian menu board, and it’s officially available today. 

Beginning September 12 (that’s today!), Taco Bell will have an entire menu board that solely lists vegetarian items as certified by the American Vegetarian Association. The new board will include long-time favorites like the seven-layer burrito and the bean burrito, and also include two new options that allow vegetarians to get in on some of Taco Bell’s signature items: a black bean crunchwrap supreme and a black bean quesarito. 

Credit: Courtesy of Taco Bell

While the move is mostly symbolic, given that Taco Bell has long been an oasis of vegetarian-friendliness, it’s a nice change to see vegetarian items promoted as a competitive advantage, rather than an afterthought.

The new menu board, which has been in tests in Dallas, features only four items, but Taco Bell actually offers 13 vegetarian items, and allows all meat dishes to be ordered meatless by substituting beans. Their flour tortillas, tostada shells, black beans, refried beans, seasoned rice, guacamole, red sauce, and (of course) vegetables, among other ingredients, are also all vegan, for those who avoid animal products.

Of course, the catch is — and there’s always a catch, right? — that they can’t actually promise the vegetarian items are cooked on a separate surface from meat items, which means vegetarians need to accept that there could be some cross-contact. Still, with vegetarian orders at almost one in 10 items, it doesn’t seem far-fetched that a fast-food restaurant could soon decide to make that change.