Tamales are popular all year long, but this Mexican cuisine staple is in higher demand than usual during the holiday season.
The traditional preparation requires several hands to make both the masa and filling from scratch, wrap each tamale in a corn husk and then steam it. Lucky for us, several Mexican restaurants are happy to make large batches and sell them to the public.
Here are 10 of the best spots in the Valley to order tamales — savory, sweet or both. Prices are listed for a dozen tamales, but most places also sell half a dozen or other quantities.
The Tamale Store
The green chile chicken tamale from The Tamale Store. (Photo: The Tamale Store)
Like your protein with a kick? Options include chicken chipotle, pork green chile, Tex Mex and beef red chile. Vegetarian tamales range from green corn with cream cheese to Arizona cornbread with Colby Jack cheese. Vegan? No problem. Get the cilantro black bean, chipotle corn or dessert tamales like pumpkin pie and sweet corn. Order 12 for $35.
Details: 13046 N. Cave Creek Road, Phoenix. 602-435-2604, thetamalestore.com.
TeePee Mexican Food
One of the Valley's long-running Mexican restaurants, TeePee sells beef or green corn tamales (12 for $30) and the sauce ($6.50 for a pint). Place your order at least two days in advance.
Details: 4144 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix. 602-956-0178, teepeemexicanfood.com.
Carolina’s Mexican Food
At this local favorite, you can order red beef, green chicken and green corn tamales either cooked (12 for $28.55) or frozen (12 for $17.55). At the Original Carolina’s at 12th and Mohave streets, the price is the same (12 for $24.44), whether they're cooked or frozen. Placed your order at least a day in advance.
Details: 9030 W. Peoria Ave., Peoria, 623-487-1400. Also, 2126 E. Cactus Road, Phoenix, 602-275-8231. And, 1450 S. Country Club Drive, Mesa, 480-912-3420, carolinasmexicanfood.com. Original Carolina's, 1202 E. Mohave St., Phoenix. 602-252-1503, carolinasmex.com.
Tamales at Barrio Queen. (Photo: The James Agency)
The tamale making is a serious business here. The pork green chile is slow-cooked in a green chile tomatillo sauce. The chile verde del pollo pairs pulled chicken with a fresh tomatillo sauce. Tamales de carne are made with slow-cooked beef brisket in an ancho-guajillo and chile de arbol sauce. Get 12 for $24 through Dec. 31.For more than two dozen tamales, place your order 24 hours in advance.
Details: 7114 E. Stetson Drive, Scottsdale. 480-656-4197. Also, 388 N. Gilbert Road, Gilbert. 480-634-5025, barrioqueen.com.
Tamales from Los Sombreros. (Photo: Tamales from Los Sombreros.)
This Scottsdale hot spot sells a dozen flavors, including chipotle pork, chorizo with black bean, gualajillo beef with Jack cheese, pineapple raisin and cinnamon with chocolate. Get 12 for $35. Place your order five days in advance.
Details: 2534 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale. 480-994-1799, lossombreros.com.
This local Mexican chain sells traditional tamales in red beef or green corn. Get 12 for $26. Place your order a day in advance.
Details: 101 E. Baseline Road, Tempe. 480-839-8226. Also, 7501 E. Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd., Scottsdale. 480-443-8226. Other locations at someburros.com.
Los Gringos Locos
Buy 12 tamales for $22 and get another dozen for $11 through Dec. 31. Tamales include red chile pork and green corn. Frozen tamales are available for pickup anytime, but cooked tamales must be ordered 24 hours in advance.
Details: 280 S. Phelps Drive, Apache Junction. 480-288-5626, losgringoslocosaj.com.
Macayo’s Mexican Table
Macayo's Mexican Restaurants. (Photo: Macayo's Mexican Restaurants)
This classic Mexican restaurant sells red beef and green corn tamales in or out of the husk, in red enchilada, fire-roasted tomatillo or Baja sauce. Get 12 full-size tamales for $35.99 or 12 mini tamales for $16.99. For orders of $150 or more, 24-hour advanced notice is recommended.
Details: 15565 W. Bell Road, Surprise. 623-214-5950. Also, 12637 S. 48th St., Phoenix. 480-598-5101. Other locations at macayo.com.
Soy-, lard- and gluten-free tamales come in several varieties, including cactus (nopal), spicy beef and chicken with spinach (12 for $36). Salmon and vegan options, such as black beans with corn, also are available (12 for $44).
Details: 8806 N 43rd Ave., Glendale. 623-937-1060, mollystamales.com.
The blackberry tamales at Food City. (Photo: Food City)
Get savory tamales like red chile beef (or pork) or green chile with cheese; or sweet ones like guava, blackberry, chocolate or strawberry. A great deal is the tamale holiday dinner package for $22.99. It includes a dozen tamales, two pints of refried beans, two pints of Mexican rice and a pint of red or green salsa. Available for pickup at the deli department.
Details: 1450 N. Dysart Road, Avondale. 623-925-1515. Also, 822 S. Alma School Road, Mesa. 480-827-7600. Other locations at myfoodcity.com.
Restaurant gift cards make great holiday presents. Getty Images/iStockphoto Upward Projects restaurants | Through Dec. 31, get a $20 giftcard with a $100 gift card purchase forPostino, Joyride Taco House, Windsor, Churn andFederal Pizza. | Details: upwardprojects.com. Photo provided by Upward Project Fox Restaurant Concepts | Through Dec. 31, get a $20 giftcard with a $100 gift card purchase forCulinary Dropout, Blanco Tacos & Tequila, North Italia, The Arrogant Butcher, Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar, Wildflower American Cuisine, Olive & Ivy, Little Cleo’s Seafood Legend, Flower Child, Doughbird, The Greene House and The Henry. | Details: foxrc.com. Michael Chow/The Republic Riot Hospitality restaurants | Through Jan. 1, get a $25 gift card when with a $100 gift card purchase for Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row, El Hefe, Hand Cut Burgers & Chophouse and Farm & Craft. | Details: riothg.com. J. Martin Harris Photography The Gladly | Through Dec. 25,get a $20 giftcard when you spend$100 in gift cards. You'll be able to use the bonus cardstarting Jan. 1. | Details: The Gladly,2201 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix. 602-759-8132.Citizen Public House, 7111 E. FifthAve., Scottsdale. 480-398-4210,ingoodspirits.instagift.com. The James Agency Citizen Public House | Through Dec. 25,get a $20 giftcard when you spend$100 in gift cards. You'll be able to use the bonus cardstarting Jan. 1. | Details: The Gladly,2201 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix. 602-759-8132.Citizen Public House, 7111 E. FifthAve., Scottsdale. 480-398-4210,ingoodspirits.instagift.com. Photo by Andrew Fritz Sierra Bonita Grill | Through Dec. 31, get a $20 giftcard with a $100 gift card purchase. | Details: 6933 N. Seventh St., Phoenix. 602-264-0700, sierrabonitagrill.com. Sierra Bonita Catering Co. Tacos Tequila Whiskey | Through Jan. 1, get a $5 or $10 gift card with a$25 or $50 gift card purchase, respectively. | Details: 3950 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix. 602-603-9411, tacostequilawhiskey.com. Awe Collective TexazGrill | Through Dec. 24, buy any gift certificate and geta bonus certificate worth 10 percent of that purchase. | Details: 6003 N. 16th St., Phoenix. 602-248-7827, texazgrill.com. TEXAZ Grill Miracle Mile Deli | Through Dec. 31, buy $100 in gift cards and pick a gift card from the "mystery jar" that could be worth $20, $50 or $100. | Details: 4433 N. 16th St., Phoenix, 602-776-0992, miraclemiledeli.com. Miracle Mile Deli Salty Sow | Through Dec. 31, get a $20 giftcard when you spend$100 in gift cards. | Details: 4801 E. Cactus Road, Phoenix.602-795-9463, saltysow.com. Photo provided by Salty Sow True Food Kitchen | Through Dec. 31, get a $20 gift card when you spend $100 in gift cards. | Details: Scottsdale Quarter, 15191 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale. 480-265-4500. Biltmore Fashion Park, 2502 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix. 602-774-3488, truefoodkitchen.com. True Food Kitchen Roaring Fork | Through Dec. 31, get a $20 gift card when you spend$100 ingift cards. | Details: 4800 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, 480-947-0795, roaringfork.com. Photo courtesy of Roaring Fork Market Street Kitchen | Through Dec. 24, get a $20 gift card when you spend$100 ingift cards. | Details: 20825 N. Pima Road, Scottsdale. 480-278-7044, marketstreetkitchen.com Michael Chow/The Republic Sonata’s Restaurant | Through Dec. 31, get a $20 gift card when you spend $100 in gift cards. | Details: 10050 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale. 480-477-1390, sonatasrestaurant.com. The Republic Sauce Pizza and Wine | Through Dec. 31, buy a $25 gift card and get a $5 bonus card. | Details: 3426 E. Baseline Road, Mesa. 480-497-3500. Other locations at saucepizzaandwine.com. Photo by Debby Wolves Salut Kitchen Bar | Through Dec. 24, get a $25gift card when you spend$100 ingift cards. | Details: 1435 E. University Drive, Tempe. 480-625-3600, salutkitchenbar.com. The Republic Chompie's | Through Dec. 31, get a$10 gift card with a $50 gift card purchase. The bonus card can beredeemed after Jan. 1. | Details: 3481 W. Frye Road, Chandler. 480-398-3008. Other locations at chompies.com. Chompie's Someburros | Through Jan. 1, buy a $25 gift card and get a $5 bonuscard that can be used Jan. 2 through Feb. 28. | Details: 2597 S. Market St., Gilbert, 480-497-8226. Other locations at someburros.com. Photo by Grace Stufkosky Cold Beers & Cheeseburgers | Through Dec. 31, buy a $25, $50 or $100gift cardand get a $5, $10 or $25 bonus card, respectively. | Details: 1980 W. Germann Road, Chandler. 480-899-2007. Other locations at coldbeers.com. J. Martin Harris Photography Grimaldi's | Through Dec. 31, get a $10 or $20 gift card with a $50 or $100 gift card purchase, respectively. | Details: 9788 W. Northern Ave., Peoria. 623-486-4455. Other locations at grimaldispizzeria.com. Grimaldi's Pizzeria Fired Pie | Through Dec. 24, buy a $25 gift card and get a $5 bonus card. | Details: 13070 W. Rancho Santa Fe., Avondale. 623-266-7998. Other locations at firedpie.com. Fired Pie Pita Jungle | Through Dec. 31, spend $25 in gift cards and get $5 back in Pita Dough (a voucher that can be used on future purchases through Feb. 28). Buy $250 or $500 worth of catering and get back $50 or $100, respectively, in Pita Dough. | Details: 7530 W. Bell Road, Glendale. 623-486-2615. Other locations at pitajungle.com. Photo by Pita Jungle Famous Dave's | Book a catered party or event for November or December and each guest in attendance gets a $10 gift card. | Details: 16148 North 83rd Ave., Peoria. 623-979-3706. Other locations at famousdavesbbq.com. Famous Dave'sMORE AZCENTRAL ON SOCIAL: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | PinterestWant more news like this? Click here to subscribe to azcentral.com.
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