I live in Southern California so I have very high expectations of Mexican food so when I learned that Chicago has a thriving tamale scene I had to see it for myself. After extensive research many reviewers gave high marks to “The Tamale Lady” in Pilsen and raved about her hand-made pockets of joy especially the ones with spicy green sauce. A few even stated that there would be long lines bright and early in the morning and that they were worth the wait.
The weather forecasted rain, but since I saw photos of her standing in the snow during the winter months I had no doubt she’d sell her goods in case it poured cats and dogs – and I was right! There was no line at 9am (probably because of the rain and humidity) and she had everything available. I decided to grab a dozen of the tamales with green chicken (spicy) and a half dozen with red pork (mild) to bring back home for my family and friends to enjoy a piece of Chicago. But before packing them up, I took it upon myself to be a guinea pig and taste test one of the red ones. Oh-Em-Gee, it was delicious!! The corn to meat ratio was perfect and the flavor brought everything together cohesively.
I recently went to a “must eat” tamale shop in LA recently, and I would rather have the tamales from THIS lady. For $15 a dozen or $1.25 for a single, I would definitely come back and buy more!
Between the two tamales – if you could only have one which would you pick? Red Pork (mild) or Green Chicken (spicy)?
The Tamale Lady
21ST Pl, Chicago, IL 60608
Sun – Sat: 7am until they sell out
One thought on “A Dozen Delicious Tamales Demolished From The Tamale Lady in Chicago, IL”
I started out eating the chicken ones back in 2009. I happened to try a cheese one many years ago, I just don’t remember exactly how long ago, but for a long time my favorite has been the jalapeno cheese. I settle for the chicken when there’s no cheese, however, they are all great! I love the tamales and I’ve been scouring the city for something better, but there isn’t. There’s a lot of hype with some other tamales, but they really just don’t add up. It has been my opinion for over a decade now that these are, in fact, the best tamales in Chicago. I will never stop searching for something close or better, but I just don’t think they exist. Love these things! Especially the cheese and jalapeno.