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Oct 3, 2007 03:40 PM

On a quest for the best Tamales in the 5 boroughs.

also posted this on the Manhattan board but didn't get many responses. so...

There is some GREAT (and not so great) Mexican food in the city. I've had some OK and some really NOT OK tamales in Manhattan. I need your recommendations for your favorite, most tasty (which means not dry!!) tamales in the 5 boroughs. Because it's one of the best dishes ever created. And my mouth is watering just writing this email.

I'll throw in a Part B for extra credit--grilled corn mexican style...


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  1. Try the guy who stands under the LIRR tracks on Roosevelt Ave. in Woodside near the 61st St. 7 stop. I particularly like his queso tamales.

    1. part b is easy--the red hook ballfields. do a search on this board, there's tons of posts about it.

      as for tamales: try red hook ballfields for those as well. there's also a place in park slope--4th ave and 10th street, that does decent regular and oaxaqueno tamales. there's also rico's in sunset park. and we got tamales from a place on 5th ave in park slope the other day that were surprisingly good, moist and spicy, but unfortunately i forget the name and location. i'll check with my SO about the location and get back to you.

      as for manhattan, i've always been partial to the tamales they make in the little mexican grocery store on ave A, btw. 13th and 14th, next to muzzarella pizza. you can get them "con todos" there, which means they put them on a plate with lettuce, the crumbly white queso, and green or red sauce. The tamales themselves are moist and tasty.

      1 Reply
      1. re: missmasala

        Havana Outpost and the Cafe Havana in Manhattan has the corn and pretty good food.
        Tamales: go to Sunset Park and walk around 5th ave. You'll find it.
        Just don't tell the DOH, they already ruined my ballfields

      2. The ones at Red Hook ballfields were the best I've had since San Francisco. Nearly a custard like consistency.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Nehna

          ya very good, quite large, much wetter than I've ever had.

          I also like the tamales from a vendor right near the 82nd street station on the 7 train comes in spicy or mild and, quite delicious.

          1. re: bigjeff

            Thanks guys! high praise. i can't wait to try it! i'm disappointed there isn't more enthusiasm for one of the best dishes on the planet....interesting.

            1. re: claireness

              I doubt that there's a lack of enthusiasm for tamales. Instead, it's more likely that there aren't too many awesome tamales in New York. You can go to Sunset Park, the Red Hook ball fields (my favorite), or the South Bronx. Otherwise you're pretty much out of luck.

        2. Thanks all. Anyone have any news on the status of the DOH and redhook vendors? i thought they were on some ridiculous mission to crack down. (ie vendors required to have running water...seriously gimme a break). I'll hit the place in alphabet city 1st (benefits from proximity to my home).

          I'll definitely check these out and report back.

          Is the season already over for the Redhook guys i thought they were a summer/very early fall fall thing only.

          and yes...i love cafe habana for corn! (one place not to try for corn-or anything else, despite the hype-is Kampuchea on the your money.)

          1 Reply
          1. re: claireness

            pretty sure it's still oct 21 close date (one week before the league ends) but as always, the definitive source is: