When Taco Bell launched Nacho Fries last year, no one anticipated how popular they’d be. Sure, there was keen interest in the item, and yes, there was a lot of buzz around them — but no one realized exactly how much love for them there would be… or how much sadness would emerge when the limited edition snack disappeared. But hey, guess what? I have excellent news for you: Taco Bell’s Nacho Fries are coming back in 2019, allowing you to indulge in the crispy, salty treat once more. It gets better, too: Not only are they coming back super soon — Jan. 24, to be exact — but in the days prior to the official relaunch, a handful of lucky people in a few select locations will be gifted with the glory of an order of Taco Bell Nacho Fries for free.
What a beautiful, beautiful day.
Nacho Fries have long been a favorite on several of Taco Bell’s international menus, including in the UK, Korea, and Japan. They’re known as Loaded Fries across the pond — but let’s face it: If you top fries with taco meat, nacho cheese sauce, sour cream, and pico de gallo, they’re not just fries anymore. Not even “loaded” ones. They are nacho fries.
So that’s what Taco Bell called them when they finally launched them in the United States back in January of 2018 — and they were an immediate success. In the first five weeks of availability, Taco Bell sold more than 53 million orders of Nacho Fries, reported Nation’s Restaurant News last March; it’s believed that the item ousted the previous champion, the Doritos Locos Taco, from the top spot on the Tex Mex chain’s list of the most successful new launches in history. (In comparison, the Doritos Locos Taco sold 100 million units in the first 10 weeks of its availability following its 2012 launch — meaning that over five weeks, it sold approximately 50 million units, three million less than the Nacho Fries over the same period.)
And now, on the first anniversary of Nacho Fries’ U.S. launch, Taco Bell is bringing them back for a third run. Staring on Jan. 24, 2019, you’ll once again be able to order Nacho Fries from your friendly neighborhood Taco Bell. In case you need a reminder, they’re available in two different styles; a standard order of Nacho Fries consists of seasoned fries served with nacho cheese sauce, while an upgrade, Nacho Fries Supreme, adds seasoned beef, tomatoes, and sour cream to the dish. Regular Nacho Fries have historically been priced at $1.29 and Nacho Fries Supreme at $2.49; you can also grab Bellgrande Nacho Fries — which have the same product description as Nacho Fries Supreme, so I’m assuming just means you get an even bigger order — for $3.49.
But wait! There’s more!
Starting on Jan. 18, 2019 — which, you might notice, is “Fryday” (har har), and also about a week before the official relaunch — 14 Taco Bell locations spread out across 10 different markets will be offering free Nacho Fries to select customers. Taco Bell announced the free Nacho Fries promo on Thursday via a press release mocked up to look like a “leaked” internal memo from an anonymous (and probably fictional) bigwig going by the moniker of “Chief Fryologist.”
“We've all felt that extra-bottom-of-the-bag-fry joy just when you think all the fries are gone. It's up to you, my selected Taco Bell Fryologists in 10 markets across the U.S., to take that feeling to the next level for our guests,” wrote the “Chief Fryologist.” They continued, “Starting this Fryday … you'll be officially given license to give out free Nacho Fries, while supplies last, to unsuspecting customers in advance of their nationwide return on the 24th. No strings attached, you just surprise a few lucky guests of your choosing with one of our most requested items to date.”
And therein lies the answer to the burning question of exactly how one gets free Nacho Fries from Taco Bell: You just have to hope luck is on your side. Only the folks working at the 14 locations offering the promo can decide on whom they wish to bestow this delightful and tasty gift; you’re at the mercy of their whims.
So, uh… if you go to those locations, be nice to the team there.
Yeah. Those folks. BE NICE TO THEM. I mean, be nice to them regardless, because, y'know, that's just part of being a decent person — but be especially nice if you want a chance at free Nacho Fries.
To give you a hint, three of the restaurants dishing out free Nacho Fries are in Southern California (try Irvine and Brea); three are in Texas (two in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and one in Houston); two are in the Washington, DC area one in Virginia and the other in Maryland); three are in New York City; and there’s one each in Canton, Ohio, Chicago, and Philadelphia. The window of time for free Nacho Fries will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time each day for ass long as supplies last.
But even if you don’t score free Nacho Fries over the next week, the item will be available nationwide for a limited time starting on Jan. 24, 2019. Good luck!