Tamales are a staple in Latin American cuisine, and Philadelphia is no exception. The city is home to a variety of restaurants and food trucks that serve up some of the most delicious tamales you'll ever taste.
Whether you're in the mood for a traditional pork tamale or a vegan option, Philadelphia has got you covered.
If you're not familiar with tamales, they are a type of dough made from masa (cornmeal) that is filled with various ingredients such as meat, cheese, or vegetables.
The dough is then wrapped in a corn husk and steamed until it's cooked through. Tamales are a popular food item during the holiday season, but you can find them year-round at some of the best places in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia's food scene is diverse, and tamales are just one of the many dishes that reflect the city's multiculturalism. From Mexican to Puerto Rican, you can find tamales that are unique to each culture.
Many of the restaurants and food trucks that serve tamales also offer other Latin American dishes, so you can get a taste of the entire region without leaving Philadelphia. If you're a foodie looking to explore the city's culinary offerings, then you'll definitely want to check out the best places for tamales in Philadelphia.
1. Alma del Mar
Alma del Mar is a small restaurant that offers delicious Mexican and American cuisine.
The seafood birria soup and huevos rancheros are highly recommended. The portions are generous and reasonably priced.
The outdoor seating area is colorful and inviting, perfect for enjoying a meal with friends or family.
The staff is friendly and attentive, ensuring a pleasant dining experience. If you're in the mood for tamales or other tasty dishes, Alma del Mar is definitely worth a visit.
2. South Philly Barbacoa
South Philly Barbacoa is a no-frills Mexican restaurant that specializes in traditional slow-cooked barbacoa-style tacos and toppings.
The tortillas are freshly made and the barbacoa is incredibly tender and flavorful. The sweet tamales with pineapple and raisin are a must-try, and the consomme is perfect for a cold day.
The service is efficient and fast, even with long lines. Keep in mind that the restaurant is cash-only.
If you're looking for an authentic and delicious Mexican food experience, South Philly Barbacoa is definitely worth a visit.
3. Pancho's Cafe
If you're looking for authentic Mexican tamales, Pancho's Cafe is the place to go. This family-run restaurant serves up some of the best home-cooked tamales in town.
The menu is simple, but the flavors are anything but. The tamales are made with fresh, natural ingredients and are bursting with traditional Mexican flavors.
The portions are generous, and the prices are very reasonable. The staff is friendly and welcoming, and the atmosphere is cozy and inviting.
If you want to experience true Mexican cuisine, head over to Pancho's Cafe and try their delicious tamales.
4. Los Cuatro Soles
If you're looking for authentic Mexican food that won't break the bank, look no further than Los Cuatro Soles.
This small, family-owned restaurant offers delicious tamales, tacos, and other dishes that are sure to satisfy your cravings.
The staff is friendly and accommodating, and the atmosphere is cozy and inviting.
Whether you're in the mood for a quick bite or a sit-down meal, Los Cuatro Soles is a great choice for anyone who loves great food at a great price. So why not stop by and see for yourself what this hidden gem has to offer!
5. Taqueria Morales
Taqueria Morales is a must-visit for anyone looking for authentic Mexican cuisine.
Their tamales are out of this world, with a perfect balance of flavors and textures.
The restaurant offers a variety of other dishes as well, including tacos, burritos, and enchiladas, all made with fresh ingredients and expertly prepared.
The staff is friendly and attentive, making for a great dining experience. Whether you're a local or just passing through, Taqueria Morales is definitely worth a visit.
6. San Miguelito Mexican Cuisine
San Miguelito Mexican Cuisine is a hidden gem that serves up some of the best tamales in town.
The restaurant has a cozy, down-to-earth vibe that makes you feel right at home. The tamales are freshly made and bursting with flavor.
The menu is simple, but everything is cooked to perfection.
The staff is friendly and attentive, making your dining experience a pleasant one. Don't miss out on this authentic Mexican restaurant.
7. Sor Ynez
Sor Ynez is a must-visit for those in search of delicious tamales. The menu boasts a variety of unique and flavorful options, making it difficult to choose just one.
The atmosphere is cozy and inviting, perfect for a casual lunch or dinner with friends.
The service is friendly and attentive, ensuring a pleasant dining experience.
Don't miss out on the chance to try the tamales at Sor Ynez. They're truly something special.
8. El Rincon Latino #2
El Rincon Latino #2 is a charming Mexican restaurant that serves quality tacos, burritos, and tamales.
The food is affordable and delicious, and the service is friendly. Customers rave about the Al Pastor Chimichanga, Carnitas Quesadilla, and Birria Tacos.
The refried beans are a highlight, perfectly seasoned and creamy with freshly shredded cotija cheese. The restaurant is BYOB, and the staff is accommodating and gracious.
El Rincon Latino #2 is a must-visit for anyone craving authentic Mexican food in a cozy and welcoming atmosphere.
9. Don Barriga
Don Barriga is a Mexican restaurant that delivers on authentic flavors and generous portions.
The friendly staff and laid-back atmosphere make for a comfortable dining experience. The tamales are a standout dish, with a perfect balance of savory filling and fluffy corn masa.
Prices are affordable, making this spot a great choice for a casual meal with friends or family. Don Barriga also offers outdoor seating, perfect for warm summer nights.
BYOB adds to the casual vibe of the restaurant. For those looking for a taste of Mexico in the city, Don Barriga is a must-try.
10. Casa Mexico
Casa Mexico is a must-visit spot for anyone craving delicious Mexican food. The menu changes daily based on availability, ensuring the freshest ingredients are used.
The corn tortillas are a standout, with a strong corn flavor that perfectly complements the tamales. The staff is friendly and welcoming, and the service is excellent.
The venue has plenty of seating, both indoor and outdoor. The food is a bit pricey, but definitely worth it for the quality and taste.
Don't miss out on the guacamole and the daily specials. Casa Mexico is a top choice for anyone looking for authentic Mexican cuisine in town.
11. El Purepecha
El Purepecha is a must-visit for anyone who loves Mexican cuisine.
The tamales are simply amazing, with a perfect blend of flavors and spices. The portions are generous, and the prices are reasonable.
The service is friendly and attentive, making for a pleasant dining experience. The restaurant has a cozy atmosphere, perfect for enjoying a meal with friends or family.
Whether you're in the mood for tamales or any other Mexican dish, El Purepecha is the place to be.
12. Taqueria La Prima
Looking for authentic Mexican tamales in the city, without breaking the bank or compromising on quality and taste, Taqueria La Prima is the spot to visit.
Their tamales wrapped in banana leaves and corn husks are a must-try, complemented by their homemade Mexican flavors.
While the restaurant can be busy, the wait is well worth it for the delicious food. They also offer a variety of other Mexican dishes, including tacos, burritos, and tortas.
With friendly staff and affordable prices, Taqueria La Prima is a top choice for anyone craving authentic Mexican cuisine.