If you find yourself in Chicago, chances are tamales are right around the corner. The energy-packed masa and meat packets, wrapped in leaves and steamed, are as much an early breakfast served by a street vendor and accompanied by thick sweet corn drinks like atole or the champurrado than a festive meal. that brings families together in their complex preparation.
As with many of Mexico’s most iconic dishes, modern tamales are the product of a collision of worlds and belief systems. Their diversity (there are more than 500 documented varieties in Mexico alone) speaks to the accessibility of ingredients, techniques, tools, traditions and the personal touch: there is only one best recipe. ‘abuelita for tamales, and every family has it.
When it comes to tamales in the city, Chicagoans are in luck. There’s a huge selection to choose from here, from uchepos and corundas from Michoacán, the spicy bean tamal from Guerrero, and variations from Oaxaca and Central America, as well as an array of dishes with similar native executions. from South America to the Caribbean. As Día de la Candelaria (February 2) approaches, it’s the perfect time to enjoy one (or more) tamales in Chicago.
As of Jan. 3, the city has required those ages 5 and older to be fully immunized and masked in public places indoors without actively eating or drinking. For up-to-date information on coronavirus cases, please visit the City of Chicago COVID-19 Dashboard. Health experts consider eating out to be a high risk activity for unvaccinated; it may pose a risk to vaccinees, particularly in areas with significant transmission of COVID. The latest CDC guidelines are here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.
To note: The restaurants on this map are listed geographically.