Food & Drink May 16, 2023 at 9:15 am

Yes, the One in Lower Queen Anne Really Is A LOT More Expensive

What is going on in here??? Anthony Keo



This is an outrage.


money laundering


My husband & I lived in LQA for almost 20 years and got so tired of getting gouged by that so called Taco Bell/KFC. One night we got a couple Crunchwraps and drinks and when we got our total of $36 we said to each other, ”We could have gone to Shiros sushi for the same money!” Also the service at that Taco Bell is cold blooded, like they ignore customers on purpose.

We moved to a different neighborhood and got our usual order at our new Taco Bell. It was $13 and my husband literally cried tears of joy and confusion at the drive thru window. The staff was delightful. Also they remembered to give us all the items in our order and all the diced tomatoes were ripe.

Fuck the LQA KFC/Taco Bell and their price gouging, bad food and worse service! I wish they woulda been torn down before Tup Tim Thai or when the neighboring Uptown Apartments got wrecked. A ChikFilA is opening near Interbay Whole Foods & even though I hate ChikFilA I hope it siphons all of this Taco Bell’s sports & tourism business away.


So you went there once and we’re shocked by the prices but you went back?


"A Crunchwrap we bought in Lower Queen Anne cost us $11.07, pre-tax. But in SODO, Ballard, Rainier Beach, and Kenwood we paid $6.19, $5.39, $5.39, and $5.59, respectively, for the same thing–a staggering 45% markup on the low end."

OK, first off, technically markup is the difference between retail price of a product and cost of the product. Think wine at a restaurant. Vivian is using it to mean price premium — the amount at which something is sold over its benchmark price. Fine, fine, no real problem, that's not the real issue.

The real issue is... did anyone on the Stranger even crack 500 on SAT math?!

$11.07 is not 45% more than $6.19 (SODO)... it's almost SEVENTY percent (and it's an over 100% premium compared to the Ballard and Rainier Beach locations).


Wow, the last time I went to a Taco Bell the bean burrito was like 99 cents and you could eat pretty well there (7-layer burrito, "Mexican" tater tots and a drink) for about $5 total. OK, this was back when their TV ads still featured the chihuahua (RIP), but inflation since then hasn't been THAT ridiculous. The one in Queen Anne should be thought of as basically an extension of the CP Arena concession stand.


I'd like the Stranger to conduct an investigation of who the hell eats at Taco Bell (or any fast food outlet).

Mmmmm Yum Brands! Gotta get me some spicy pink slime squirted onto a tortilla!



Taco Bell?!? What the hell is wrong with you, are you a tourist? Real locals go to NW owned Taco Time and skip the Velveeta style cheese-fodd.


@7: I eat at Taco Bell, and I will NOT stand for this blatant gluttony-shaming.


@8 Right, and go for the deep-fried dog shit instead. Choosing between eating at Taco Bell or Taco Time is like choosing between eating warm dog shit or cold dog shit. But I guess the warm dog shit is local?


Why would anyone eat at Taco Bell in the first place? It's crap.

If you want Mexican fast food, dine at Taco Time. Much better.


It's expensive to be poor. They gouge prices because it's the only fast food place besides Dick's by the Seattle Center that's not in the Armory with a Drive-thru. If you want good chicken for as much as you're going to pay at that location, just go to Brother's and Sister's right down the road on Elliott. You're seriously going to pay as much to get hell of a lot better quality. Tacos? Hell, even The Sitting Room's burritos are much better quality for even less than you're going to pay. The problem is that the owner is a fucking cheapskate loser who exploits the immigrant workers there while charging that crap. They get a lot of the weird people who hang out near the bus stop at LQA next to the theater where everybody pisses, coming in and screaming and being gross at all hours, so I'm not surprised the staff doesn't want to talk to people.


Bad news for the folks hyping Taco Time as a "local" alternative; it's owned by MTY Food Group, a Montreal-based conglomerate with over 70 other restaurant brands under it's umbrella.


@12 people who live in Queen Anne are poor? That’s a new one. Btw isn’t this supposed to be called Uptown now? Lol


Taco Time is where you go when you are feeling nostalgic for middle school cafeteria tacos.
Taco Bell is where you go when you want a deliciously junk-foody parody of Mexican food.
Anita's Taco Truck on Aurora is where you go when you want actual Mexican food.


@14. Do you know the difference between Lower and Upper Queen Anne?


“This is the kind of hard-hitting investigative journalism I count on from The Stranger,” said no one ever.


Oh yeah, and obviously Dos Chamucos and Blue Water Taco Grill are right there if you want actual Mexican food competitors in the same price range. But they got the monopoly, the location, and the late night snack hours. LQA is only served by Taco Bell, Dick's, and Big Mario's down by the Ballet. Haters can hate but they'll keep making money for these reasons until they have to compete to bring down the prices.


Not to snub the other great Mexican places around, like Plaza Garibaldi which is awesome, but by then you're right at the edge of Belltown. I will say, however, that this Taco Bell is right across from the most epic and amazing place to get a coffee, Danish, or tasty treat or healthy sandwich. Nielsen's fuckin Pastries are godlike. I swear, it makes the trek to LQA totally worth it. Nielsen's is doing all the heavy lifting and may as well be the goddamn Space Needle for how epic it is. Trust me, go there. NOW


@16 What are you blathering about, exactly? You ask whether @14 knows the difference between Upper and Lower Queen Anne.

@14 wrote, "@12 people who live in Queen Anne are poor? That’s a new one. Btw isn’t this supposed to be called Uptown now? Lol"

(1) LQA is not poor, obviously.

(2) LQA is exactly what we are now told is "Uptown." Which I would think anyone paying attention to Seattle in recent years, or who read the link @14 provided, would know (and I'd assume you would know, given your details on better options in the area).

Which is offered without comment on where in LQA is worth going to when it comes to Mexican food!


@20. A big ass hill that is prohibitive for people who get around exclusively on foot.


The Stranger is coming to the defense of people who use the drive-thru? Don't they know that means that these disgruntled diners are in cars?

As for Taco Time, I think it's perfectly acceptable. I just wish they diced their tomatoes instead of giving you that big slice of tomato on your taco. And if dopey little Taco Time can source service products that are almost all compostable, why can't McDonald's, Starbucks, etc


@13 you are incorrect, Taco Time NW is not owned by MTY


"Frank Tonkin Sr. opened the first Taco Time Northwest restaurant in 1962 with the goal of becoming a leader in quick service Mexican restaurants. The second Taco Time restaurant opened in 1963 and between 1980 and 2005, Taco Time Northwest grew from 20 to 75 local restaurants throughout the Puget Sound area.

Today, Taco Time Northwest is run by the fourth generation Tonkin family, who are proud to lead a local company that continually serves its community. Taco Time Northwest is a Western Washington-based company that is wholly independent from Kahala Corporation. Kahala Corporation owns the rights to Taco Time outside of Western Washington. Taco Time Northwest has no affiliation with Kahala Corporation and no affiliation with Taco Time restaurants outside of Western Washington, except for the Taco Time location in Wenatchee, Washington. Since its inception in 1962, Taco Time has employed more than 35,000 people."


You don't have to eat there.


@23/24 Well, I stand corrected. You don't hear about franchise agreements like that too often.

I have fond memories of Taco Time as a child. Memories that were forever ruined while driving through Roseburg, OR and stopping at what, at least on that day, must have been the franchises most disgusting location.

On topic: goddamn that's one expensive Taco Bell.



Who eats at Taco Bell any more?

They're the worst of the worst.
They could give their . . . stuff . . . away for free, and I still wouldn't eat there.
No way no how.


13--don't confuse Taco Time Northwest with Taco Time. (I'm not judging, I just learned this last month and I've lived here for decades.)

"Today, Taco Time Northwest is run by the fourth generation Tonkin family, who are proud to lead a local company that continually serves its community. Taco Time Northwest is a Western Washington-based company that is wholly independent from Kahala Corporation."


Crap--I didn't see others had already pointed this out.

Please wait...

Comments are closed.

Commenting on this item is available only to members of the site. You can sign in here or create an account here.

Add a comment

By posting this comment, you are agreeing to our Terms of Use.