I compared Burger King's new $1 taco against Taco Bell - and it was not a close contest

Burger King Taco vs Taco BellIrene Jiang / Business Insider

  • We tried Burger King's new Crispy Taco, which costs $1 and is made with deep-fried tortillas, ground beef, shredded cheese, and lettuce.
  • We compared it with Taco Bell's Crunchy Taco, which costs $1.49 in Manhattan and is made with hard corn tortillas filled with ground beef, lettuce, and shredded cheese.
  • Taco Bell's Crunchy Taco was clearly the superior American-style hardshell fast-food taco. Not only was it much bigger, it had visible beef and more balanced and satisfying flavors overall.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

If you want a real Mexican taco, you don't go to Taco Bell.

But if you want a reliably tasty American-style hardshell fast-food taco, you go to Taco Bell.

So when we heard that Burger King was bringing back its tacos, we naturally wondered how they compare to Taco Bell's tacos. At $1, Burger King's Crispy Tacos have the potential to pose a threat to Taco Bell's Crunchy Tacos, which are $1.49 at our Manhattan location.

In a press release, Burger King said, "The Crispy Taco features a crispy, crunchy tortilla filled with seasoned beef, shredded cheddar cheese and crisp lettuce, all topped with just the right amount of our savory taco sauce."

This sounded a lot like the Taco Bell Crunchy Taco, which is described on the unofficial Taco Bell fan Wiki as "a crispy corn tortilla shell stuffed with ground beef, lettuce, and shredded cheese." (The official description is a lot longer and much less straightforward.)

But Taco Bell's Crunchy Taco came first. So what's Burger King up to?

We went to both Taco Bell and Burger King to eat their tacos. Here's how they compare:

Read more: I ate the bacon, egg, and cheese biscuits from 4 major fast-food chains, and the winner surprised me

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TACO BELL — CRUNCHY TACO, $1.49. They looked the same as they ever did — maybe even better.

TACO BELL — CRUNCHY TACO, $1.49. They looked the same as they ever did — maybe even better.

The hard corn tortilla was slightly cracked on the bottom, and the meat juices had soaked through slightly.

The hard corn tortilla was slightly cracked on the bottom, and the meat juices had soaked through slightly.

There was a fluffy pillow of shredded lettuce and cheese.

There was a fluffy pillow of shredded lettuce and cheese.

The beef was juicy and saucy with a springy bite, and the crispy, albeit watery lettuce provided sharp, fresh contrast. The cheese added a barely noticeable tang.

The beef was juicy and saucy with a springy bite, and the crispy, albeit watery lettuce provided sharp, fresh contrast. The cheese added a barely noticeable tang.

All-in-all, you get what you expect from a Taco Bell Crunchy Taco: a satisfying, light, and well-balanced snack.

All-in-all, you get what you expect from a Taco Bell Crunchy Taco: a satisfying, light, and well-balanced snack.

Read more: I ate everything at Costco's food court, and this $1.50 classic is still the best item on the menu

BURGER KING — CRISPY TACO, $1. This dense, malformed food creature should have stayed in the bag.

BURGER KING — CRISPY TACO, $1. This dense, malformed food creature should have stayed in the bag.

Burger King's taco was much smaller. At first glance, the filling was a mystery, and the outer shell was strangely warped.

Burger King's taco was much smaller. At first glance, the filling was a mystery, and the outer shell was strangely warped.

And upon biting into it, I was even more bewildered. The beef wasn't there at all, and the filling actually tasted more like beans.

And upon biting into it, I was even more bewildered. The beef wasn't there at all, and the filling actually tasted more like beans.

The cheese was melted, even though Burger King's description promises shredded cheese. The hot sauce was nowhere to be seen, found, or tasted.

The cheese was melted, even though Burger King's description promises shredded cheese. The hot sauce was nowhere to be seen, found, or tasted.

Even though BK's Crispy Taco is almost 50 cents cheaper, it's much smaller and tastes worse than Taco Bell's Crunchy Taco.

Even though BK's Crispy Taco is almost 50 cents cheaper, it's much smaller and tastes worse than Taco Bell's Crunchy Taco.

If I'm craving a classic hardshell, I'm sticking with Taco Bell's. It's more than worth the premium.

If I'm craving a classic hardshell, I'm sticking with Taco Bell's. It's more than worth the premium.
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