Where To Preorder Tamales In LA
If your masa looks like wet cement, order from these 17 spots instead.
Tamales aren’t exclusive to the holidays, but in many households, these fluffy masa bundles are synonymous with this time of year. And just like sweaters or bad Christmas movies, tamales see a sharp rise in demand come December, which leaves you with two options: preorder or make them yourself.
If you don't want to deal with your extended family talking smack about your dry tamales (because you know they will), visit any of LA's countless bakeries, shops, and restaurants that sell them by the dozen. From sweet tamales to nacatamales and vegan recipes, here are some of our favorite spots to preorder tamales this holiday season.
photo credit: La Mascota
La Mascota Bakery
This Whittier institution sells tamales year-round, but the lines get much longer around Christmas. You can avoid the long wait by preordering through their website, where you can choose between six tamal options, including piña, cheese chile verde, and pork chile rojo. La Mascota is selling their tamales by the dozen for $33.
photo credit: Artesano Tamaleria
This DTLA tamale shop takes preorders for trays of 20 to 60 tamales, including vegan, vegetarian, and sweet fillings. Artesano’s current menu features jackfruit, panela cheese, cochinita pibil, and pineapple, to name a few. Orders can be made via their website, with prices ranging from $65 to $195.
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La 27th is a Pico-Union restaurant specializing in nacatamales, Nicaragua’s denser-style tamales come with rice, potatoes, and tomato pressed into the masa. Wrapped in banana leaves and boiled rather than steamed, these tamales come stuffed with anything from chicken, turkey, and pork. Call the restaurant to place an order.
photo credit: La Flor de Yucatan
La Flor De Yucatan
This bakery and restaurant in Pico-Union sell its Yucatecan-style tamales year-round. Call in advance to place your order and get a price estimate, with wait times ranging from a few hours to two days, depending on stock and order size. Choose from pork and chicken vaporcitos to colados (fine masa tamales) wrapped in banana leaves.
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Los Cinco Puntos
This old-school Mexican deli in Boyle Heights sells tamales filled with pork, beef chile rojo, and chicken chile verde with cheese by the dozen or half-dozen, with a dozen going for $23. Call to place your order.
photo credit: La Indiana Tamales
La Indiana Tamales
La Indiana in Boyle Heights is where you go when you need a lot of tamales, which explains why the lines of procrastinators get extra long in mid-December. Preorder on their website to avoid the wait. Beef, elote, chicken, and cheese are just some of the available options and can be ordered frozen or hot. A dozen are currently going for $32.
Guelaguetza is always a solid choice for groups, including group tamal orders. The Oaxacan restaurant in Koreatown offers trays of black mole tamales by the half-dozen, starting at $65. Orders can be placed via their website.
photo credit: Jakob Layman
From now until December 20th, you can pick up a DIY tamale kit from Guerilla Tacos in DTLA. It might not be as convenient as picking up premade tamales, but it does make assembling that much easier. The kit comes with enough masa, husks, and fillings for up to 30 tamales, with a choice of shredded chicken, beef, or rajas con crema. Each bundle is $85 and ready for pick-up 48 hours after ordering via their website.
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photo credit: Andrea D'Agosto
Angry Egret Dinette
The Chinatown torta shop is taking orders for its seasonal tamales, with pork, squash, and chicken varieties available this year for $40 a dozen. Call to place an order starting December 1st, with pickup times slotted for the 24th and 25th.
photo credit: Jakob Layman
Tamales Elena Y Antojitos
We are definitely still mourning the closure of Tamale Elena’s Bell Gardens restaurant, but luckily, their tamales are not gone forever. You can preorder their fantastic tamales by the dozen or half dozen from their food truck in Watts, with current variations including chicken with salsa verde, strawberry, and cheese-jalapeño. Call or text the number on their Instagram bio to place your pickup order.
photo credit: Mama's International Tamales
Mama's International Tamales
Mama's in Westlake is offering seven kinds of plant-based tamales this year, including ones filled with jackfruit, mole with nopales and potatoes, and sweet corn. A full tray comes with two of each flavor and costs $70. Call the restaurant directly to place your pickup order.
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photo credit: Me Gusta Gourmet Tamales
Me Gusta Gourmet Tamales
Me Gusta Gourmet Tamales is a tamal stand out in Pacoima that cranks out high volumes of husk-wrapped corn tamales and draws long lines. You can preorder tamales on their website, with fillings ranging from beef and sweet corn to strawberry. Nationwide shipping is also available, with a half-dozen for $24.
photo credit: Jakob Layman
Mi Ranchito Veracruz
Mi Ranchito Veracruz has two locations, but only its North Hollywood shop is offering their signature banana leaf-wrapped tamales. Fillings include chicken with mole, pork with salsa roja, and jalapeño with cheese, to name a few. Call the restaurant to place your order and get price estimates, with wait times and security deposits depending on order size.
photo credit: Tallula's
Tallula’s in Santa Monica is taking preorders for tamales until December 20th, with several options filled with chicken chile verde, braised brisket, or black bean puree with Oaxacan cheese. Each order includes a half-dozen and prices vary depending on which filling you select. Place your order via their website, with pickup and delivery available December 21st through 23rd.
photo credit: Tamales Alberto
Tamales Alberto in Historic Filipinotown takes tamale orders year-round via phone or their website. Choose between vegetarian and vegan options like mole with mushroom and nopales or bean and cheese to chicken mole and pork in salsa roja: $32 per dozen.
This vegan-friendly bakery in Pico-Union does a mix of Mexican, Guatemalan, and Salvadoran tamales, including a plant-based version filled with beans. Choose between plain corn and tamales pisques, a Salvadoran specialty that involves seasoning the masa with herbs and filling the tamal with refried beans. Call to place an order
Tamales Liliana’s in Boyle Heights always takes preorders for tamales, which are currently only available for in-person pickup. Menu offerings include pork in both salsa verde and salsa roja, strawberry, pineapple, and poblano chile with cheese. Call to place an order.