Iconic Foods From The 1980s That You Totally Forgot About

By Jack Ripley | April 19, 2024

Not an Enchilada, Not Quite a Burrito: The Taco Bell Enchirito

When some people picture the 1980s, they think about bright neon colors or wood paneling and other leftovers from the 1970s. For others, though, the decade was all about the food. Those of us who grew up in the 80s remember the snacks our moms set out after school and sent in our lunch boxes. From sweet and sugary drinks to dishes that used the then state-of-the-art microwaves, the food had everyone salivating and begging for more. Take a walk back in time with the foods that everyone loved in the 1980s.


test article image
Getty Images

The Taco Bell of the 1980s looked very different compared to the chain today. Its menu included fewer options and dishes that made use of limited ingredients. One menu option fans still talk about is the Enchirito. Some restaurants in the chain added the dish in the late 1960s and the early 1970s, but it didn't go nationwide until the 80s. Though it sounds simple, it was delicious. Taco Bell mixed onions and ground beef with pinto beans and added it inside a tortilla before rolling it and coating the tortilla with olives, shredded cheese, and its signature red sauce.

Making the Enchirito even better was the metal tray it sat inside. The tray retained heat to keep the tortilla hot. Discontinued in 1993, the Enchirito popped up a few times on the menu, including for a month in 2023. While some fans miss the old metal tray and the olives on top, others eagerly await its next return.

Slimer's Official Juice: Ecto Cooler

test article image

While the studio behind “Ghostbusters” expected viewers to love the team, they loved Slimer even more. The funny and goofy green ghost was easy to love, which is what led him to get his own drink. Made by Hi-C, Ecto Cooler came out in 1989 and quickly became a hit. Known as much for its tangerine flavor as it was for the dripping ectoplasm design on the front, it stuck around long after the films left theaters.

Many people don't know that Ecto Cooler stayed around even longer, albeit with some name changes. It became Shoutin' Orange Tangerine and later Crazy Citrus Cooler. In addition to the name change, it also lost its signature green color. Ecto Cooler came back in 2016 for the new “Ghostbusters” film and found a whole new legion of fans before it sadly disappeared from store shelves again.