[ waw-king tah-koh ]
What is a walking taco?
A walking taco consists of a bag of chips (often Fritos, Doritos, or tortilla chips) filled with taco fillings or similar ingredients. Walking tacos are typically eaten directly from the bag (often with a spoon).
Common fillings for a walking taco include familiar (and often Americanized) taco ingredients, such as ground beef, shredded or nacho cheese, shredded lettuce, and diced tomatoes, but versions vary.
The term walking taco is especially common in the Midwest region of the US. They are especially popular at sporting events, where they are often sold by food vendors.
In some places, the term walking taco is used to refer to what in other places is called Frito pie. The name Frito pie is more often used in the South, especially Texas, where it most often refers to a bag of Fritos chips filled with chili (or the same combination served from a dish instead of straight from the bag).
Example: I always start eating my walking taco with a spoon, but eventually I just empty the bag straight into my mouth.
Where does walking taco come from?
The origin of the name walking taco is uncertain. The term is likely intended to indicate that it includes common taco fillings (or similar ingredients) but is more easily eaten on the go (while walking) compared to actual tacos (which can be messy).
The name walking taco is sometimes used synonymously with the term Frito pie or to refer to an on-the-go variation of it.
The origin of Frito pie is disputed. Multiple people, several of whom have connections to the Frito-Lay company, have been credited as the inventor. Records of the name and recipe date back to at least the 1950s. It’s likely that the food is based on similar recipes originating in Mexico.
Today, the term Walking Taco is used as a brand name by the Frito-Lay company, which trademarked it in 2022. However, the term long predates its use as a brand name or trademark.
Mmm…I just ate a walking taco. So yummy.
— Holly (@ArtistMother) June 18, 2008
Examples of walking taco
Who uses walking taco?
The term walking taco is especially used in the Midwest region of the US. In places where the term is used, it’s popular at sporting events. The name walking taco is sometimes used synonymously with the term Frito pie or to refer to an on-the-go variation of it, though the name Frito pie is more often used in the South, especially Texas, where it most often refers to a bag of Fritos chips filled with chili.
do you think they'd let me carry a walking taco around home depot
— dr. normal (@lemonade_grrrl) March 13, 2022
— Shane Renaud (@CstRenaud) July 13, 2022
I’m at a Spikes game on walking taco night and people choosing lays original as their choice of chip for a walking taco makes me sick.
— Clayton (@claytongreen84) July 12, 2022
This is not meant to be a formal definition of walking taco like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of walking taco that will help our users expand their word mastery.