Tamales are not only from Mexico. Here are the world’s best in Los Angeles
Tamales are gifts you can open again and again. Wait — those are books. Tamales are gifts you can open once, because once they’re unwrapped they’re going directly into our stomachs.
Our 2021 tamales list was such a success, we’re bringing it back. This year, we’re highlighting our love for all the tamales, the beloved Mesoamerican creation found throughout Latin America — not just from Mexico but also from Guatemala, El Salvador, Colombia and Cuba, just to name a few places. And we’re even extending the strict definition of tamal to include Chinese sticky rice packets wrapped in lotus or bamboo leaves, instead of the corn husks or banana leaves one might usually expect.
Tamales are delicious year-round but are particularly popular during the holiday and New Year’s seasons, often accompanied by a steaming mug of atole, champurrado or other hot beverage. So whether you’re enjoying a tamal cubano, Guatemalan chuchito or Chinese zongzi, tuck in and get ready to eat: We’re heading into the most wonderful time of the year.
El Nuevo Mundo Market
Guatemalteca Bakery and Restaurant
La Esperanza Bakery & Restaurant
La Fonda Antioqueña
La Original Panaderia El Salvador
Long’s Family Pastry
The Chinese tamale at Long’s Family Pastry is like the Avengers of zongzi, combining all the fillings I grew up eating at my grandmother’s house in one. Your first bite may offer a chunk of tender pork belly. In another you’ll find baby shrimp and slivers of lap cheong. There are soft-boiled peanuts throughout and salted egg yolk for an extra bit of umami. The restaurant also serves zongzi filled with sweet ground chicken, sticky rice and a nose-tingling hit of white pepper.
Me Gusta Gourmet Tamales
Mi Ranchito Veracruz
Venezuelan Chamo Cuisine
Eat your way across L.A.
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