Menus Across America: The Cost of Mexican-Inspired Foods

Every year new food trends land on the scene and chefs jump on the bandwagon looking for unique ways to add these items to their menus. In 2017, one trend seems to stand out above the rest. From taco trucks to taquerias, Mexican Food is “hot, hot, hot.” Even The New Yorker has taken notice of the trend.
Our team also took a closer look at this trend by digging into more than 4,700 menus, together containing 96,000+ menu items, to learn more. We found that two Mexican-inspired foods stood out more than any others.  Tacos and guacamole show up quite a bit across our database of menus, which are two staples in the Mexican food world. Our analysis also dug into cost data and what we saw was somewhat surprising.
Let’s look at tacos first. Our team pulled specific data for restaurants that have tacos on their menus and found that the median price for this dish comes in at $11.28.
Our data set can search in a number of unique ways. So we decided to search by state and learned that if you really want to get your bang for your buck — and prefer something a little fancier than Taco Bell — head to North Carolina where you can scoop up a taco for an average cost of $9.
Tacos and guac have been accepted into the mainstream of our U.S. food lexicon.
Guacamole is a popular menu item as well, showing up consistently on menus nationwide. The median cost for this dish surprisingly comes in at $11.28 as well. If you want a more affordable plate head over to Texas or Wyoming where your dish will cost you a little more than $5 and if you are feeling spendy, New Jersey is ringing in at more than $17.
We all know that so many things can affect the price of a menu item. From what is served alongside the dish to the cost of ingredients prices will fluctuate and vary widely from menu to menu.  One thing is notably clear. While more and more restaurateurs and chefs are heading south of the border for inspiration there does not seem to be a consistent pricing strategy.
The way we experience traditional Mexican and Mexican-inspired food in the U.S. is also changing quite a bit. There are more fine dining Mexican restaurants and therefor a greater variance in price across the board. Tasting Table did a great roundup with this in mind that focuses on the advanced street-style Mexican food that is being offered. Variety is also changing as well as with much more unique Mexican-inspired items on menus.
Another important point that is that tacos and guac does not necessarily mean you are sitting in a Mexican restaurant anymore. Tacos and guac have been accepted into the mainstream of our U.S. food lexicon. There is longer a united front for these food items anymore. In fact I recently had a broccoli taco at a restaurant (it was delicious).

So maybe it’s time to start thinking about how you can integrate Mexican-inspired foods onto your menu.