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Dec 3, 2006 04:20 PM

Holiday Tamales in Phoenix

What is a great place to get tamales for the holidays?

Ranch Market and Carolinas both price dozens for about $14. Ranch has larger tamales and more fluffy than Carolinas and they sell them hot from a few different spots in the store, not just the food court area. Carolinas are moister and have chunks of meat with more sauce. Both are good, just different.

For variety, it must be Los Sombreros. Any other great places?


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  1. The Guadalupe Farmer's Market always has tamales, and (in a pinch) look in the freezer case at Food City (where they also often have pumpkin tamales!)

    1. I bought some pumpkin tamales out of the deli case at AJ's a couple weeks ago! I bet they're the same as Food City carries...they were delicious!

      I just bought some tamales from Molly's Tamales at the Ahwatukee farmer's market yesterday. Haven't tried any of them yet. Has anyone tried these?

      Saw a sign at Espo's this weekend (in Chandler) as well that they are now taking tamale orders for Christmas. Haven't tried those yet.

      Wonder if Los Sombreros is doing theirs this year now that Chef Smedstead has left?

      1. I picked up a bag from Ranch Market yesterday. Don't go late in the day, they seem to be running out of the savory varieties. I was hoping for a dozen puerco and a dozen pollo but I only got six total; I didn't feel like rounding out the order with pina y fresas. I was sad! They are huge, though.

        Mi Cocina Mi Pais does incredible tamales and also do the Ecuadorian (banana leaf wrapped) style. I would call ahead with the order. I find theirs hold or store better than Ranch Market's and may be slightly less greasy, with spicier fillings, but it's a toss-up for flavor and texture of the masa.

        1. Espo's tamales are pretty good. We got our Christmas tamale's there a few years ago after our go to family tamale lady hung up her apron (it was very sad .. she made the best green chili tamales). I seem to recall that the Tamales at Espo's were a bit spicier than some may like. May want to do a test lunch first.


          1. Los Sombreros seems to be keeping their website current. Check the events page for the 12 tamales of Christmas.


            I had lunch at Espo's, yesterday, and I had an enchilada style tamale that was pretty good. The masa was a little crumbly, but, the shredded beef was good, and I love their enchilada sauce.

            As I've mentioned before, the pictures on their website is a little misleading.