I walked into a dark speakeasy in NYC, and my eyes lit up. Instead of a bar, there were cozy nooks with hot sauce centerpieces. I sat down and a Taco Bell Naked Chicken Chalupa appeared in front of me. I blinked. Am I dreaming? Nope. I’m in a Taco Bell Speakeasy and it’s what fast food dreams are made of.

beer, coffee
Marina Nazario

Taco Bell opened a speakeasy in Manhattan on January 24th & 25th to promote the new Naked Chicken Chalupa. The Wild West theme at the entrance of the space is confusing at first. A Council For Eating Fried Chicken The Same Way You Have greets you at the door, and my first reaction is “what’s going on?” But it’s basically a “council” that bans Taco Bell’s new chicken taco shell. So you have to enter a speakeasy to eat it. It’s cute.

I sat down and look at the Naked Chicken Chalupa. It’s heftier than I imagined. I check out the innovative fried chicken shell and wonder how it holds its shape. The chicken is pretty thick. A Taco Bell spokesperson told me that they have a special contraption that is used to place the chicken in the deep fryer in order to create its shape. This item took three years for Taco Bell to develop.

chicken, meat, bread
Marina Nazario

I took a bite and gave an audible “OMG." Wow. This is unlike any Taco Bell item I’ve ever had. The chicken shell is perfectly crispy and the batter that it’s fried in has a slight kick to it. The taco is filled with a layer of avocado ranch sauce, lettuce, diced tomatoes, and cheddar cheese.

It looks and sounds heftier than it is. For some (magical) reason, it’s not greasy. It’s crispy and it actually tastes...fresh. I devoured two Naked Chicken Chalupas and didn’t feel the slightest bit gross afterwards (which tends to happen to me after eating a lot of fast food.) In fact, I could go for another.

Marina Nazario

Taco Bell’s newest product rolls out nationwide on January 26th and will discontinue sometime in March, according to the OC Register. It sells for $2.99 for a single taco. The Naked Chicken Chalupa is an appetizing and enjoyable addition to Taco Bell's menu. I could happily eat five in one sitting. But I'll try to preserve my health.