Here's where you can get the best Mexican food in the country — Taco Bell

2 months ago by James Mattone in Facts, News, Trends

Americans are thinking outside the bun when it comes to their favorite Mexican restaurant.

The Harris Poll, one of the longest running surveys in the United States, named Taco Bell, a subsidiary of Yum! Brands ($NYSE:YUM), the best Mexican restaurant in the United States for 2018. Specifically, it earned "Brand of the Year" honors, which is based on a poll of more than 77,000 American consumers assessing more than 3,000 brands for "Familiarity, Quality and Purchase Consideration."

In celebration of this win for the mecca of Cheesy Gordita Crunches and Nacho Fries, we mapped out all 6,923 Taco Bell locations in the U.S. to see which state and city is most blessed with America's number one Mexican eatery.

As expected, there is a large concentration of Taco Bells in the largest metropolitan areas in the country. Breaking the data down by state shows that California and Texas, two locales known for producing some of America's best Mexican cuisine, also claim the first most and second most T-Bells out of all 50 states.

State Entity Name (Count) State Entity Name (Count)

CA

820 KS 92
TX 641 NJ 88
FL 416 MD 88
OH 356 MS 82
MI 279 MN 82
IL 255 NV 74
NC 247 UT 62
GA 242 MA 62
TN 223 IA 58
IN 220 NM 56
MO 200 WV 54
VA 184 CT 44
AZ 176 NE 43
PA 161 HI 32
CO 155 ID 29
NY 153 ME 22
WA 144 NH 22
KY 138 MT 19
LA 132 AK 19
WI 132 SD 18
AL 129 RI 17
OR 107 DE 14
SC 105 ND 12
OK 102 WY 12
AR 100 VT 5


Of course, our map only showed the contiguous United States; as seen here, there are another 32 Taco Bells in Hawaii, and another 19 in Alaska. Neither of those two states had the least amount of Taco Bells, as that honor fell to Vermont, which only has five listed stores.

In terms of which cities have the most Taco Bells, that honor goes once again to the Lone Star State, which has the #1 (Houston), #2 (San Antonio), AND #6 (Dallas) spots in the top-ten list.

City Entity Name (Count)
Houston 61
San Antonio 40
Las Vegas 39
Columbus 38
Phoenix 35
Dallas 34
Miami 33
Indianapolis 33
Los Angeles 28

Las Vegas, Nevada provides a pretty interesting case, being that it is in a state with the 20th least amount of Taco Bells. Its 39 locations — including its epic Cantina location shown below — accounts for 53% of the state's 74 locations. 

(Photo Credit: Steevven1 - Own work, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=64032384)

James Mattone

James is a recent Boston University graduate who calls the world of esports and video games his home. As a young journalist, he has already covered two E3 expos a...

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