A giant fast-food chain with a surprisingly small Boston footprint is coming downtown. Taco Bell is slated to open at 74 Summer St., where it will take over a former Subway space.
Taco Bell operates just a handful of restaurants in the Boston area, including its only actual Boston location (which is in West Roxbury), one in Cambridge, and a few more farther outside of the city. The new Downtown Crossing restaurant will have some competitors in the form of fast-casual operations: That stretch of road is already home to a Five Guys and a Wendy’s, along with Sweetgreen, Grainmaker, B.Good, and Noon Mediterranean.
The mega chain has a reputation for selling hybrid, pseudo-Mexican menu items — like the cheesy gordita crunch with cheese sandwiched between soft and hard taco shells, or the substitution of chicken for a taco shell — tasty enough to garner a serious following. (You can even get married at a Taco Bell in Las Vegas.)
It’s also one of the more vegetarian-friendly fast-food restaurants, and it even plans to test a full vegetarian menu this year. Several Taco Bell locations also serve alcohol, and for a while, it looked as though Somerville’s Davis Square would get a booze-filled version of the restaurant, but those plans never came to pass.
Taco Bell has not yet announced a timeline for its downtown Boston arrival.