The Rest of the Best: Houston's Top 10 Tamales

Categories: Top 10

3. Hugo's

The mushroom tamales at Hugo's are mind-blowing -- and although they may sound like an upscale spin on Mexican food, they're actually very traditional. Chef Hugo Ortega serves mushroom tamales as a side dish with lamb and makes another kind of mushroom tamale called a zacahuil for an appetizer. The zacahuil is made by layering banana leaves in a clay pot and then baking the tamales inside. Ortega explains that mushrooms are part of the traditional cuisine of Veracruz, Oaxaca, Puebla and Tlaxcala, and that people in these regions have been making mushroom soup, mushroom quesadillas and mushroom tamales for centuries.

2. Doña Tere Tamales

They cost a dollar apiece, which may seem expensive -- but the tamales at Doña Tere Tamales aren't your average Tex-Mex version. These are Mexico City-style tamales, and each one is three to four times bigger than the kind we're used to. Chicken with mole and pork with green chile are the best fillings, but sweet tamales with raisins are also popular. If you're eating them for breakfast, bring your own coffee.

Photo by Katharine Shilcutt
1. Alamo Tamale Factory

There's a reason Alamo Tamale Factory won the Best of Houston® award for Best Tamales back in 2008: The tamales are pefectly plump and filled with just the right amount of savory pork. The important masa-to-meat ratio is always precise here, with the meat incredibly moist and well-seasoned. You won't need any of the incredibly benign salsa that's served alongside your tamales, owing to the grease that seeps out from the filling (which, at times, can be a little on the heavy side -- but it's a price we're willing to pay).

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Location Info

Radical Eats

507 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen

6401 Woodway Drive, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant


4601 Washington Ave., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Berryhill Baja Grill

1717 Post Oak Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

RDG + Bar Annie

1800 Post Oak Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Gerardo's Drive-In Grocery

609 Patton St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Goode Co. Seafood

2621 Westpark Drive, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant


1600 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Tamales Don Tere - CLOSED

14447 Bellaire Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Alamo Tamale & Taco

2310 Navigation, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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My Voice Nation Help

We'd love a shot at getting your taste buds on our Tamales next time!

-Texas Tamale Company


As in all lists, there is always "one missing" -- my "one" would be Texas Tamale Company! 

FattyFatBastard topcommenter

Considering my sister just married into an hispanic family, this is a great find.  We were planning on having tamales for the first time this year.  So far my favorites have been from the deli section at Central market.  I'll have to try a few of these out.

Amy Garcia Leonhardt
Amy Garcia Leonhardt

You know, you ARE allowed to eat tamales throughout the year:)...It is how I achieved my manteca filled frame.

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