Pilsen’s Dia de Los Tamales

Located in vibrant Pilsen, non-traditional and revolutionary tamales are the main deal at Dia De Los Tamales. We got a sampling of their fare at the Taste of Chicago back in July. Since my daughter has only wanted tamales as her source of sustenance for the last 3 months, we decided to trek out to the Lower West Side of Chicago for more Cuban Slow Roasted Pork Tamales.

Pork and Buffalo Chicken

The restaurant was easily spotted by it’s colorful facade of Dia de Los Muertos graffiti. The interior is a bit cramped with only stool seating by the window. We were greeted by a friendly lady at the counter and proceeded to order from the exotic menu of tamales and numerous sides.

Daily Tamales

  • Cuban Slow Roasted Pork
  • Atomic Pork
  • Buffalo Chicken
  • Chicago Beef
  • Juicy Lucy
  • Roasted Pepper Goat Cheese
  • Spicy Black Bean & Corn
  • Coconut Curry Chicken
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter
  • Apple Cobbler

Specialty Tamales

  • Papancho Tamale
  • Sweet Corn Cake
  • Curried Sweet Potato Tamale
  • Italian Sausage Pizza Tamale


  • Black Beans
  • Garbanzo Beans
  • Chips and Salsa
  • Chips and Cheese
  • Fiesta Rice
  • Elote Corn
  • Nacho Mama’s Nachos

The sides that we ordered were quite watery. The Elotes tasted bland even with the sauce. Not quite what I’m used to when it comes to Elotes in my neck of the woods (mayo, cheese and chili – all separate and not mixed). The Garbanzo was mixed in with more shredded meat than beans also bland. Even the Buffalo Chicken wasn’t quite as tasty as I thought it would be. Maybe they could garner some help from the folks over at Honey Butter. Honestly the only gem out of the entire meal was the Cuban Slow Roasted Pork Tamale and the view.

Black Beans and Rice

Garbanzo and Elotes

They have an adjacent outdoor seating area that is spacious, but at the time we went, was practically empty. You could see downtown Chicago from there, and on a nice summer day, that was pretty sweet.

I do plan on going back and skipping the sides next time. I’d be adventurous and try one of their speciality tamales and maybe the dessert ones. But I’m more of a traditional tamales kind of gal, so you won’t find me there anytime soon. Possibly next summer. Although if you’ve got the tamale fever and want to give your taste buds a surprise of a different kind, you might want to check out this funky and upscale tamale joint.

Riot Sauce, anyone?
For more info, visit their Facebook page.



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