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Growing up, I enjoyed Mexican tamales, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I discovered the tamal—a staple of Mexican cuisine—isn’t exclusively Mexican. More recently, I’ve had the pleasure of tasting tamales from various regions and countries I’d never experienced before. If you’re on the hunt for the best tamales in Dallas, not only have I compiled a list of my favorite Mexican tamale spots, but I’ve also included top locations to find Salvadoran, Cuban, Colombian, Guatemalan, and Venezuelan tamales.
Chef Olivia Lopez creates mouthwatering tamales using heirloom corn, supporting local farmers.
Owner Olivia Lopez makes her masa with nixtamalized heirloom corn that brings tortillas, nicuatoles, sopecitos, tacos, and tamales to life. Tamale fillings include pork, chicken, or wagyu beef picadillo. Vegetarians can indulge in her plant-based tamal of sweet potato and a specialty picadillo made with golden raisins and almonds. Customers can pre-order food for pickup at the business’s commercial kitchen via Instagram.
- 1025 N. Stemmons Fwy. Ste. 600.
- Instagram: @molino_oloyo
Del Norte Bakery
Enjoy popular tamales alongside pan dulce and house-made salsa at this bustling bakery.
The Del Norte bakery does pan dulce right, but it’s not their only specialty. Their tamales are so popular, they triple their production for holidays and weekends. Flavor choices include chicken, beans with cheese and jalapeño, and pork. Top them off with the kitchen’s house-made green or red salsa. Trust me, if you’re picking up their conchas or bolillos, add some tamales to your haul.
- 5507 Lindsley Ave.
- Hours of operation: Mon.-Sat. 7am-6:30pm, Sun. 7am-1pm
- Instagram: @delnortebakery
Dallas Tamales Café
Stop by this Grand Prairie spot for tacos, tortas, gorditas, and a variety of tamales with exceptional salsa.
If you’re ever in Grand Prairie, this is the spot for tacos, tortas, gorditas and tamales. Tamales include pork, beef, beef jalapeño, pork jalapeño and chicken. Can’t decide? Try “the Mexican plate” or the “three T’s plate” from their lunch menu to get a little taste of everything. I rarely love a restaurant’s salsa as much as the tamales themselves, but I make an exception here. Their salsa is top-notch. Stop by early in the morning or in the late afternoon to avoid a wait.
- 1702 Small St.
- Hours of operation: Mon-Thurs. 8am-5pm, Fri.-Sat. 7am-5pm, Sun. 7am-4pm
- Website: Dallastamalescafe.com
Experience authentic Veracruzan tamales wrapped in banana leaves, complemented by delicious dessert options.
Limon’s tamales are authentic to the state of Veracruz and come gently wrapped in banana leaves. Add rice and beans as desired. Their spicy red salsa complements the pork and chicken fillings well, though the milder green salsa seems to be everyone’s favorite. Their flan and platanos fritos—their only two dessert items — are worth the extra calories. Limon’s has two locations in Dallas and Grand Prairie. Because the Dallas location is in a small business strip, parking is tight.
- 3105 W. Davis St.
- Hours of operation: Sun.-Tues., Thurs. 9am-8pm, Wed. Closed, Fri.-Sat. 9am-9:30pm
- Website: Limonsrestauranttx.com
Gloria’s Latin Cuisine
Indulge in Salvadoran tamales at this dine-in restaurant with unique combo plates and multiple Texas locations.
Gloria’s handmade tamales are neatly wrapped and steamed in green banana leaves. Find just one flavor, a mixture of chicken with potatoes and lightly spicy peppers. Order three tamales as an appetizer or try them as part of “Gloria’s Super Special,” or the lunch special, “Nancy’s Favorite.”
- 600 N. Bishop Ave.
- Hours of operation: Sun.-Thurs. 11am-9pm, Fri.-Sat. 11am-10:30pm
- Website: Gloriascuisine.com
Casa Linda Salvadoran Cuisine
Explore a variety of Salvadoran dishes and two types of tamales, including one made with elote and crema.
Besides the pupusa, Casa Linda offers Salvadoran food like churrasco, shrimp cocktail, yuca, fried plantain, and tamales. Unlike Gloria’s, Casa Linda makes two kinds: chicken wrapped in a banana leaf and my favorite—a sweet elote and crema that pairs well with their coffee in the mornings. Customers can order a sampler plate that comes with a pupusa, one of each kind of tamal, yuca and plantain. I found the portions and prices quite reasonable.
- 11255 Garland Rd. Ste. 1330.
- Hours of operation: Mon.,Wed.-Thurs. 10am-8:30pm, Tues. Closed, Fri.-Sat. 10am-9pm
- Website: Casalindasc.com
Havana Café-Mojito Bar
Find authentic Cuban cuisine, including traditional yellow corn and seasoned pork tamales, in a comfortable atmosphere.
This is no Americanized version of Cuban cuisine. Customers love their authentic shrimp tostones, picadillo, empanadas, ceviche, and Cuban sandwiches served up in a relaxed atmosphere. Their tamal is made with yellow corn and seasoned pork. Regulars recommend ordering a couple as an appetizer.
- 1152 N. Buckner Blvd. Ste. 126.
- Hours of operation: Sun. 11am-8pm, Mon.-Thurs. 11am-9pm, Fri. 11am-12am, Sat. 11am-10pm
- Website: Havanacafedallas.com
La Cacerola Colombian Cuisine
Enjoy generous lunch specials, fresh tropical juices, and Colombian tamales at this popular spot.
Friendly customer service, a large menu, and affordable specials make La Cacerola one of Dallas’s favorite places for authentic Colombian food. Their tamales are made with chicken, beef, or pork in a corn dough. As is typical of Colombian tamales, they also contain slices of carrot and a boiled egg. Add the spicy house salsa and a glass of tropical juice to complete your meal. I recommend the passion fruit, guanabana or mamey.
- 580 W. Arapaho Rd. Ste. 130.
- Hours of operation: Mon. Closed, Tues.-Fri. 11am-8pm, Sat.-Sun. 9am-8pm
- Website: Lacacerola.co
Casa Vieja Restaurant
Taste traditional tamales from Colombia’s Tolima region, served with an arepa and plantain.
This modest locale in Carrollton serves Tolimenses, tamales from the Tolima region of Colombia. Dig into the combination of beef, chicken, and pork in a rice-corn dough, all wrapped in a banana leaf. The traditional tamal plate comes with an arepa and plantain. Of their fresh fruit juices, the maracuya and mora are my favorites.
- 1927 E. Belt Line Rd. Ste. 152.
- Hours of operation: Sun. 11am-8pm, Mon. Closed, Tues.-Fri. 11am-9pm, Sat. 11am-10pm.
- Website: Casaviejadfw.com
Isabel’s Guatemalan Restaurant and Bakery
Savor affordable Guatemalan tamales wrapped in banana leaves and pair them with coffee or atole.
This Guatemalan restaurant offers the most inexpensive tamales on this list. Try chicken or pork with traces of banana leaf flavor from the traditional wrapping. I love them paired with coffee or atole in the morning. Locals recommend Isabel’s as a cozy, welcoming spot to try Guatemalan food for the first time—or indulge in favorites from home. Go during the week to avoid crowds.
- 5528 Alpha Rd. Ste. 103.
- Hours of operation: Sun.-Sat. 7am-9pm
- Website: Orderisabelsguatemalanrestaurantandbakery.com
Zaguán Latin Café and Bakery
Dine on beautifully presented hallaca tamales with beef, chicken, and pork fillings on a comfortable patio.
Zaguán’s dishes are artfully arranged and presented, and on sunny days, you can enjoy their comfortable, shaded patio seating. Their menu features the hallaca tamal, filled with beef, chicken, pork, raisins, corn, and olives, and served with a side salad. Although there’s only one filling option and no vegetarian alternatives for the tamal, the rest of their menu offers a variety of vegetarian and vegan-friendly options. End your meal on a sweet note with their guava cookies or chocolate churros.
- 2604 Oak Lawn Ave.
- Hours of operation: Sun.-Wed. 7:30am-9pm Thurs.-Sat. 7:30am-10:30pm
- Website: Zaguan.com
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