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12 Best Tex-Mex Franchises in the United States

12 Best Tex-Mex Franchises in the United States

Are you searching for a list of the best Tex-Mex franchises in the United States?

At Del Taco, we understand it can be difficult to narrow it down to one because there are so many great options to choose from.

In this article, we will highlight twelve of the best Tex-Mex franchises in the USA in no particular order.

What Is a Tex-Mex Franchise?

Tex-Mex franchises blend the flavors of Texas and Mexico by using ingredients that are popular and readily available in the USA.

Some of the most common ingredients on the Tex-Mex menu include shredded cheese, beans, beef, chili peppers, and flour tortillas.

These ingredients are then turned into the popular Tex-Mex dishes we know and love like tacos, burritos, nachos, quesadillas, and more.

The popularity of Tex-Mex cuisine has spread from border states like Texas and California to the rest of the United States.

Del Taco

We simply had to put ourselves on this list because of our authentic Tex-Mex ingredients, freshly prepared menu, and franchise opportunities in existing and untapped markets.

At Del Taco, our menu includes tacos, burritos, nachos, and other Tex-Mex favorites along with 100% beef burgers and crinkle cut fries.

However, we take things a step further by starting with fresh ingredients like:

  • Fresh House-Grated Cheddar Cheese
  • Slow-Cooked Beans Made From Scratch
  • Fresh House-Made Pico De Gallo
  • Freshly Grilled, Marinated Chicken
  • Fresh House-Made Guacamole
  • Freshly Grilled, Marinated Carne Asada Steak

This rare combination of freshly prepared, craveable food at an unbeatable value is why we are the second largest brand in the Mexican Quick-Service Restaurant (QSR) Industry.

Today, we have grown to +590 locations in +15 states thanks to our incredibly loyal fan base. We are aggressively expanding across the United States and currently seeking multi-unit restaurant operators.

To get started, please submit this form and a member of our team will be in touch shortly.

Taco Bell

Taco Bell is one of the most well-known Tex-Mex franchises in the world. In 1962, their first location opened in Downey, California.

In the United States, Taco Bell and their franchisees operate over 7,200 restaurants that serve more than 40 million customers each week. This makes them the largest Mexican QSR concept in the world by total number of restaurants.

Their brand is also growing internationally with more than 1,000 restaurants located in 30 countries across the globe.


Qdoba is a fast-casual restaurant that was founded in 1995 as “Zuma Fresh Mexican Grill” in Denver, CO.

Today, they have grown their Tex-Mex franchise to over 700 locations across 47 different states along with Canada and Puerto Rico.

Their made-to-order menu features burrito bowls, quesadillas, and tacos. Plus, catering selections when you need to feed a large crowd.


Chipotle is a chain of Tex-Mex restaurants that has become popular due to their specialty menu with a focus on natural ingredients.

The first Chipotle was opened in Denver, CO in 1993. Fans of this Mexican grill love their burritos, bowls, quesadillas, tacos, and salads.

As of 2023, all of Chipotle’s +3,100 locations are company-owned, and they do not offer franchising opportunities at this time.


Moe’s Southwest Grill is a fast-casual Tex-Mex franchise that was founded in Atlanta, GA by Raving Brands on December 9th, 2000.

The Moe’s menu is known for burritos, bowls, tacos, quesadillas, nachos, and salads. They even offer meal kits able to feed 4 to 6 people.

They’re looking for franchise owners interested in building a loyal following in their market while embracing their own independent spirit.

Baja Fresh

Baja Fresh is a Tex-Mex franchise that caters to customers who are looking for healthier options than conventional fast food.

In 1990, they opened their first location which featured fresh and traditional fire-grilled Mexican favorites across the menu.

The interior of their restaurant features patios, bright lighting, and comfortable seating so customers can enjoy a relaxing meal.

Taco John’s

What started as a single taco stand in Cheyenne, WY has become one of the nation’s largest Tex-Mex franchise restaurants.

More than 50 years later, they have grown to over 380 restaurants in 22 states with further plans to expand their taco franchise brand.

Taco John’s has available markets throughout the United States. Target areas include Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Ohio, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Kansas, and Missouri among others.

Chronic Tacos

Chronic Tacos Mexican Grill is a unique taco shop with Tex-Mex food and a vibe inspired by their Southern California roots.

They take pride in offering authentic third-generation recipes with an opportunity to celebrate the art and individuality of their customers.

Chronic Tacos believes their franchise partners are the single most valuable asset to their organization.

Taco Bueno

In 1967, Taco Bueno opened their first location in Abilene, TX with a mission to share fresh, authentic Mexican food with the community.

Taco Bueno has grown their brand across the USA with more than 180 stores in 7 states, and they are looking to grow.

The ideal candidate for a Taco Bueno franchise is someone with restaurant operating experience, desire to be hands-on, and strong work ethic.


Surcheros is an emerging Tex-Mex franchise with 24 restaurants located across the Southeastern United States.

Since 2007, they have been serving freshly prepared Tex-Mex favorites like burritos, tacos, nachos, bowls, and more.

This brand began franchising in 2017 and are looking to grow their existing footprint throughout the USA.


TacoTime has grown from humble beginnings to become one of the premier Tex-Mex restaurant franchises in the industry.

In 1960, Ron Fraedrick set out to feed the hordes of hungry college kids in his hometown of Eugene, OR by opening the first TacoTime restaurant.

Since then, they have expanded to nearly 300 locations and are seeking savvy entrepreneurs who are interested in bringing Mexican food to their communities.

El Pollo Loco

El Pollo Loco is a Mexican franchise known for their fire-grilled chicken with fresh salsas made from scratch.

In 1975, the first El Pollo Loco opened in Mexico and five years later they came to the United States via Los Angeles.

They are looking for franchisees who want to create special moments with quality food you can be proud to serve.

Check Out These Additional Resources

We hope this list of the best Tex-Mex franchises to own helped you narrow down your search.

At Del Taco, we serve freshly prepared, craveable food at an unbeatable value and are looking for franchisees who want to grow with our brand.

Here are some additional online resources you may like to check out:

If you have any questions, please contact our franchise sales and support team.

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