Feb 7, 2024 - Food and Drink

We tried Taco Bell's alcoholic slushies

The inside of a fast food restaurant with menu board, cash register and drinks

FYI: Spiked drinks aren't supposed to leave the restaurant. Photo: Arika Herron/Axios

Taco Bell's high-end, alcohol-serving Cantina brand opened on Washington Street downtown just over a month ago.

  • We had to see what all the fuss was about.

The vibe: It's unlike any other Taco Bell we've been inside, with TVs lining the walls and a swanky upstairs lounge.

The drinks: There are four frozen slushy flavors — Mountain Dew Baja Blast, margarita, wild strawberry or piña colada — that you can add a shot of hard liquor to.

  • Lindsey's thought bubble: The strawberry with vodka was well balanced — I could taste the alcohol but it didn't overpower the flavor — but the drink was very sugary.
  • Arika's thought bubble: The piña colada paired with the coconut rum was dangerously delicious. I couldn't taste the booze in the frozen treat.
  • Justin's thought bubble: As I sipped my Baja Blast and rum slushy in the upstairs lounge, one thought immediately popped into my head: "Issa vibe."
  • Plus: They serve beer.

Yes, but: They were out of tequila. Not ideal for a Mexican (ish?) restaurant.

The food: Exactly the same.

  • Fast food is about consistency. You want to know exactly what you're getting, no matter which location you stop at, and the Cantina delivers.

The intrigue: The restaurant group that operates the Taco Bell inside the Circle Centre Mall food court has filed a lawsuit against the operators of the Cantina, arguing that it will "unfairly compete" with their nearby location.

The bottom line: If you're looking for a quick bite (or a cheap date) downtown, it's a novel stop but we won't go out of our way for it.

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