We tried Del Taco’s new Beyond Meat tacos so you don’t have to

Del Taco’s Beyond Avocado Taco, with Fries. Photo by Anthony Pignataro.

One of the perks about living in Southern California is that you’re pretty much never more than a block away from a purveyor of tacos. They might not necessarily be great tacos, or even edible tacos, but they’re still tacos.

Del Taco is one of those purveyors. On Dec. 13, the company began field-testing tacos made with the non-meat substance known as Beyond Meat at 21 of its 560 locations, including the one on El Toro Road in Lake Forest. Though the company’s headquarters is also in Lake Forest, this location is the only Del Taco in Orange County to sell the new Beyond Meat tacos.

The Beyond Meat taco comes in two varieties–the straight Beyond Taco, topped with shredded lettuce and cheese, and the Beyond Avocado Taco, which is topped with lettuce and avocado. The former is vegetarian while the latter is vegan.

“We believe there is a better way to feed the planet,” states the Beyond Meat website. “By shifting from animal, to plant-based meat, we can positively and significantly impact 4 growing issues attributed to livestock production and consumption: human health, climate change, natural resource depletion, and animal welfare.”

Always willing to try new tacos, I ordered two Beyond Avocado Tacos with medium fries and drink, which all came to about $9–comparable in price to a combo with Del Taco’s regular crunchy tacos. While similar in virtually every way to Del Taco’s usual tacos (which, to be honest, sit somewhere between Taco Bell and Jack in the Box on the grand scale of taco desirability) their taste was quite different.

Which brings up a huge point about who would order these things. Many vegans cringe at the thought of eating anything resembling an animal product, and the whole point of Beyond Meat is that it’s supposed to mimic regular meat. What’s more, while the filling had the same consistency as whatever substance Del Taco usually stuffs into its tacos, it had an odd, bitter quality to it. This was easily cut with either hot sauce or the slice of avocado, but this presented further problems–namely, the thick mass of lettuce that rises to the top of the shell that Del Taco insists on putting in its tacos, which did a great job of preventing any taco sauce or avocado from ever coming close to the filling.

Look, I’m not going to say the Beyond Avocado Tacos were bad, just that they need some work (indeed, Del Taco’s flirtation with Beyond Meat is still an experiment, and may never become standard fare sold at all Del Taco locations). Because as it stands now, the best thing on the Del Taco menu for vegans is still the Epic Cali Steak & Guac Burrito (just order it without the sour cream and with beans instead of the carne asada). That burrito, which when properly veganified comes loaded with beans, guacamole, pico de gallo, and Del Taco’s divine crinkle cut French Fries, is a thing of beauty.

Seriously, the best thing about Del Taco was always the fries.

17 Replies to “We tried Del Taco’s new Beyond Meat tacos so you don’t have to”

  1. I love beyond plant base patties, sometimes you have to be vegan for health purpose no cholesterol, no dairy so this is perfect for people like myself.

  2. As a 40+ year old lifelong vegetarian/vegan with a lot of veg family and friends I think you are totally wrong about when you stated the following “any vegans cringe at the thought of eating anything resembling an animal product”
    They just don’t want to eat the animals or animal products.

  3. So you tried the Beyond Tacos, but only the Beyond Avocado tacos, so we don’t have to? I feel like you probably should have done a side by side comparison (or asked someone who eats meat to do so) before you wrote this article that tells us very little. Thanks, OC Weekly!

  4. the fries sucks and thats just howlife is.. go to a normal burger bar and ul get beter fries.. those crinckle cut crap fries r sad.. and dont care for vegetarian things.. but carls jr has the meatless burger and that got good reviws.. not a bad optin or those that want a change… that enchlada sauce though is damn good.. fast food is always overpriced for what u get..

  5. I wish I could be vegan so I tried them at the Orange location and love them ! That’s all I order now . Not only they taste like chilli to me but I feel light after eating 4 tacos . So I will continue to buy. Too bad people are to set on their ways to open their minds when it comes to tasting something different

  6. I just tried one and to be honest it was fantastic. I agree with a lot of the other people above.. we don’t eat animals for many reasons but had to give up most tacos when choosing a vegan lifestyle. Great Collaboration. Great taste. And it reminds me of the days I did eat a Del Taco (the original meat version). Thumbs up here.

  7. The best thing about del taco is the fries? I think it’s the worst thing about them personally. I’m not sure of the quality of your Taco Bells, but the ones near me always mess up my order and put about a tenth as much cheese on their tacos as Del Taco.

  8. Just recently decided to stop eating meat last week. Tried these tacos today for the second time and I really enjoyed them. They taste like the regular tacos. I also got my 15 yr old son a couple and didn’t tell him they were meatless. He didn’t notice anything until I told him afterward. They aren’t going to be the best tacos ever to a meat eater but for someone who doesn’t eat meat or is trying not to they are a good option 🙂

  9. I’ve now had the avocado beyond taco and a beyond, bean & cheese burrito. They were Excellent! I’ve been vegetarian for 24 yrs and for me, it’s amazing to be able to order food with Substance at a fast food joint. I normally don’t eat fast food (because just French fries is Not a meal) but this gives me a new option. And quite frankly it’s amazing to have a “normal for me” taco when I’m out and about!

  10. Yeah I also loved it. When I was in high school I was always a Taco Bell person, and used to eat the tacos on the daily. The del taco beyond tacos made me feel kind of nostalgic. And I thought they were delicious to boot. Honestly I’ve never been much of a Del Taco fan, and I don’t normally even eat fast food nowadays, but now that I’ve had these tacos I could easily see myself going back, and having it be my first choice, when I’m hungry and in a rush (or hung over).

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