When it comes to Taco Bell, you could say I’m a pretty big fan.
My love for Taco Bell runs so deep that I’ve been known to blow $60 on a midnight delivery. Excessive? Probably. But nothing hits the spot after a big night out like some Crunchwrap Supremes and a Party Pack.
So when I found out that my childhood home was only an hour away from what’s considered the most beautiful Taco Bell in the world, I knew I had to make the trek.
The Taco Bell that has been dubbed “the most beautiful in the world” is in Pacifica, California.
Located right on Pacifica State Beach, this Taco Bell has become famous for its outdoor patio with stunning ocean views. It was redesigned into a Cantina location in 2019, with new features including a fireplace and surfboard parking spaces.
The Pacifica Taco Bell went viral on TikTok last year when a fan gave her followers a tour. And one couple recently paid $4,000 to have their wedding reception at the location.
So, on the day before Thanksgiving, I convinced my family to make the trek to Pacifica from our home in Silicon Valley. It was time to see if the “world’s most beautiful Taco Bell” actually lived up to its name.
I was already impressed when we drove up to the famous Taco Bell location.
It was a rare sunny day in Pacifica, which is just a few miles from San Francisco and often shares the city’s perennially foggy backdrop.
But the sky was bright blue on Thanksgiving eve, and the surfboards were out in full force behind the restaurant. I could see dozens of surfers as I got out of the car, greeted by the sound of crashing waves and the smell of a salt-tinged breeze. Ah, paradise.
Before I went inside, I decided to get a closer look at the ocean view — which looked straight out of a California postcard.
Taco Bell’s backyard was packed with fellow Bay Area locals soaking up the sunshine on the rocky beach, watching surfers conquer the sea. Stunning houses on a cliff overlooking the ocean could be seen in the distance, reminding me of Malibu.
For a second I completely forgot I was at a fast-food restaurant.
After the hour-long drive, my family was ready for some food. So I went inside to order and was impressed by the chic and modern interior.
Taco Bell Pacifica’s main colors are a crisp white and a pretty turquoise, the latter of which is used for the main counter.
Despite the holiday week, the location was pretty packed for the Wednesday lunch hour.
Since this is a Cantina location, I decided to order all three of the special alcoholic drinks.
I got the Mountain Dew Baja Blast, the Cantina Margarita, and the Sangria. You can order the Baja Blast or Margarita with either vodka or tequila, and you can specify whether you’d want the regular or top-shelf liquor.
And, in true ”Live Más” spirit, you can also add extra shots or get your drink in a huge, Fat Tuesday-style reusable cup (more on that in a bit).
My family and I scored two tables right at the edge of the deck and started with our Taco Bell cocktails.
My favorite was definitely the sangria. It tasted a bit like frosé, with just a hint of sweetness. It was also the only drink of the three that I could really taste the alcohol in.
I also loved the Baja Blast, which I ordered with vodka. I actually had no idea it was made with Mountain Dew, but the drink was super refreshing and had a nice balance of tart to sweet.
The Cantina Margarita, which I ordered with tequila, had a fun bright-green color but tasted a little artificial to me. It felt like the kind of drink I’d get at as a 20-year-old partying on Squid Roe in Cabo during Spring Break.
It was finally time for some food, and first up was the new Cantina Crispy Melt taco.
I haven’t been super impressed with the chain’s new tacos in the past — I always go for the burritos or a Crunchwrap — so I was shocked by how much I loved the Cantina Crispy Melt. The seasoned beef had tons of flavor, the veggies didn’t taste stale, and the taco was super juicy — even without any Taco Bell hot sauce. And the crispiness of the fried white-corn shell gave each bite a delightful crunch.
My parents and sister loved this taco so much, they each ordered another one.
Next up were Taco Bell’s new twists on the Grilled Cheese Burrito.
As with the Grilled Cheese Burrito, the Double Steak is ooey-gooey goodness. The cheese is prominent without overpowering the burrito, and the seasoned rice is absolutely delicious. There’s a perfect amount of steak, giving you some meat with every bite. And the chipotle sauce adds a nice kick to the flavors.
My dad, who tried both the original and steak version during our lunch in Pacifica, preferred the new burrito.
“The meat shines more in the steak one than the beef one,” he told me. “It reminds me of a Philly Cheesesteak — but in a burrito.”
Next up was the Spicy Double Steak Grilled Cheese Burrito, which I loved even more.
The spicy Double Steak Grilled Cheese Burrito has actual jalapeños grilled into it, providing even more heat and crunch to each bite.
It’s a great touch that adds more texture and flavor. I would definitely order either version again, even before midnight.
My family, who are not big Taco Bell people, couldn’t believe how much they enjoyed the food — and the location.
It was actually my sister’s very first time having Taco Bell (I know, how are we related?) and she loved the whole dining experience.
“This view makes it feel less like fast food,” she said. “How will I ever be able to eat at another Taco Bell again?”
“Everything tastes better with this view,” my mom agreed.
But the Taco Bell Pacifica experience wouldn’t be complete without this crazy drink.
I didn’t even realize this mega drink existed until I saw someone drinking from one on the outdoor patio. Obviously, I had to try it.
I went with the Cantina Margarita, this time ordering it with premium tequila (for a total of $21) because it just seemed like the most appropriate flavor to drink out of a huge plastic container.
After a few sips, I definitely wished I had gone with the sangria instead. The artificial taste of the margarita somehow felt even stronger. Despite the fun Vegas vibes, it just wasn’t for me. But I’m definitely going to use the cup again.
I loved hanging out at the world’s most beautiful Taco Bell — and I would definitely make the trek to eat there again.
From watching surfers and listening to the sea to eating delicious burritos and enjoying the ocean breeze, my family loved our experience at Taco Bell Pacifica. We’ll definitely be back when I return to the Bay Area for Christmas — but next time, I’m definitely getting the big sangria instead.
My visit also made me realize how fun it can be to explore unique fast-food locations, and apparently, Taco Bell has a dozen of them.