Food & Drink

Hot and Tasty: Discovering Chicago’s Top 11 Tamale Havens

Chicago is a city famous for its diverse cuisine. With the influence of different cultures, the city has become a hub for food enthusiasts. One dish that has gained immense popularity is tamales. Tamales are a traditional Mexican dish that is enjoyed by people of all cultures.

These little pockets of goodness are made with masa dough that is filled with various ingredients such as meat, cheese, vegetables, and spices. They are then wrapped in a corn husk and steamed until they are tender.

If you are looking for the best tamales in Chicago, you are in for a treat. The city has a plethora of options to choose from.

Whether you are looking for traditional tamales or something with a modern twist, you will find it all here. From food trucks to restaurants, there is no shortage of places to indulge in this delicious dish.

Chicago's tamales are not just any tamales. They are made with the freshest ingredients, and the flavors are a result of a perfect blend of spices and seasonings. The city's vibrant Mexican community has perfected the art of making tamales, and it shows in every bite.

Whether you are in the mood for something savory or sweet, you will not be disappointed. So, get ready to embark on a culinary journey and discover the best places for tamales in Chicago.

1. El Milagro Tortilla

El Milagro Tortilla
1927 S Blue Island Ave, Chicago, IL 60608 (Google Maps)

El Milagro Tortilla is a must-visit place for tamales in Chicago. Known for their authentic Mexican food, this restaurant offers some of the best tamales in town.

The staff is friendly, and the service is quick. The portions are generous and the prices are reasonable.

The restaurant takes COVID-19 seriously and has implemented measures to ensure the safety of its customers.

The environment is clean, and the restaurant has a welcoming atmosphere. If you are a fan of Mexican food, El Milagro Tortilla is definitely worth a visit.


449 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654 (Google Maps)

XOCO is a Mexican street food restaurant that serves delicious tamales. The tamales are made with fresh ingredients and have a perfect texture.

The restaurant has a cozy and fun atmosphere, and the staff is friendly and helpful.

The restaurant also serves other Mexican dishes, such as tacos and tortas, which are equally delicious. The prices are reasonable, and the portions are generous.

The restaurant is a great place to grab a quick bite or to have a casual meal with friends. If you are looking for authentic Mexican food, XOCO is definitely worth a visit.

3. Lena Brava

Lena Brava
900 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607 (Google Maps)

Lena Brava is a sophisticated Mexican seafood restaurant that offers a hip spot for Baja-style seafood.

Their focus on live-fire cooking adds a unique touch to their dishes, including their tamales. The tamales are cooked perfectly and melt in your mouth, leaving a subtle wood fire aftertaste.

The portion sizes are fantastic and the prices are reasonable. The elegant atmosphere and attentive service make for a great dining experience.

Lena Brava is a must-visit for anyone looking for authentic Mexican cuisine with a twist.

4. Yvolina's Tamales

Yvolina's Tamales
814 W 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608 (Google Maps)

Yvolina's Tamales is a must-visit for anyone craving authentic tamales.

The restaurant offers a wide variety of flavors, including vegan options. The portions are generous, making it an excellent value for the price.

The mole sauce is a standout, and the staff is friendly and attentive.

Whether you're a local or just passing through, Yvolina's Tamales is a must-try.

5. Tamaleria Lupita

Tamaleria Lupita
5904 1/2 W 63rd St, Chicago, IL 60638 (Google Maps)

Looking for some of the best tamales around town that are sure to satisfy your cravings for authentic Mexican cuisine, look no further than Tamaleria Lupita.

With their soft and flavorful masa, these tamales are sure to delight your taste buds.

Not only that, but the service is top-notch, making for a truly enjoyable dining experience.

If you're in the mood for some delicious tamales, Tamaleria Lupita is the place to be.

6. El Senor Tamal

El Senor Tamal
4234 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60639 (Google Maps)

El Senor Tamal is a must-visit place for those looking for authentic tamales.

The tamales are always hot and fresh, and the owners are friendly and helpful.

The shop is perfect for quick bites or corporate events. The size of the tamales is consistent, and the quality is excellent.

If you want a great smooth experience, El Senor Tamal is the place to go for tamales.

7. Fiesta Tamaleria el Barrio

Fiesta Tamaleria El Barrio
1820 W 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608 (Google Maps)

Looking for delicious tamales in town that won't disappoint your taste buds and wallet at the same time, then Fiesta Tamaleria el Barrio is the place to go.

They offer a variety of tamales, including chicken and pork in red and green sauce. Their sweet tamales are a must-try, as they have real fruit pieces in them.

They also have a wide selection of atole flavors, including almond milk, that are all delicious. The staff is friendly and accommodating to your needs.

Just be aware that their frijoles tamales are very spicy. This Mexican restaurant is definitely worth a visit for anyone who loves tamales!

8. Tamales Caribay

Tamales Caribay
840 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611 (Google Maps)

Tamales Caribay is a hidden gem for anyone who loves tamales.

The pork tamale with hot salsa and Elote with extra heat were both impressive.

The tamales were moist and packed with flavor, and the serving size was more than reasonable for the price.

The virgin Pina Coladas served in a pineapple were a nice touch. This Mexican restaurant and tamale shop is definitely worth the visit.

9. Tamales Rebe

Tamales Rebe
5926 S Pulaski Rd, Chicago, IL 60629 (Google Maps)

Tamales Rebe is a must-visit for anyone who loves tamales. The meat to dough ratio is perfectly balanced, making every bite delicious.

The chicken, jalapeno & cheddar, and bean tamales are all top-notch.

The pricing is reasonable and the tamales are always fresh and hot. They offer free hot drinks with a dozen purchase, which is a nice touch.

Tamales Rebe is definitely worth the trip and is highly recommended for anyone looking for a great tamale experience.

10. Rosa's Tamales #1

Rosa's Tamales #1
5632 S Kedzie Ave, Chicago, IL 60629 (Google Maps)

Rosa's Tamales #1 is a no-nonsense self-serve kitchen that specializes in traditional Oaxacan tamales. The tamales are not only good tasting but also never dry.

The banana leaf tamales and rajas con queso are highly recommended. They also serve great arroz con leche and atoles.

Rosa's Tamales #1 is a reliable place for anyone who wants to taste the best Oaxaca tamales around the area. However, it's important to note that they only accept cash.

The friendly customer service is also a plus. If you're looking for a low-key Mexican fast-food counter serve, Rosa's Tamales #1 is the place to go.

11. Rosa's Tamales #2

Rosa's Tamales #2
3314 W 55th St, Chicago, IL 60632 (Google Maps)

Rosa's Tamales #2 is a must-visit for anyone looking for authentic and delicious tamales.

The variety of tamales is impressive, and they are all priced affordably. The staff is friendly, and the service is quick.

The champurrado is a perfect accompaniment to the tamales. The only downside is that they only accept cash.

However, the quality of the tamales more than makes up for it. Rosa's Tamales #2 is a great place to grab some tasty Mexican food.