Holiday food guide: Where to find the best tamales in Fort Worth

Unwrap the gift of food this season.


FTWtoday readers had the most to say about the tamales at JesCraves.

Photo by JesCraves

It’s the holiday tamale season. 🎶 We all have a favorite food we associate with the holidays — whether that’s pumpkin pie, fruit cake, or eggnog — but, one of the most noteworthy dishes is tamales.

Tamales are a traditional Mesoamerican dish made of masa or corn dough filled with meat, vegetables, or fruit and wrapped in a corn husk. The word tamale is of Nahuatl origin and the dish has a long history in Mexico and Central America, dating back to at least the Aztec and Maya civilizations.

Tamale-making is a time-intensive process and has been passed down by generations. They’re traditionally considered a special occasion dish, served at celebrations and ceremonies, and can be especially hard to find around the holidays.

To help you plan ahead, we put together a list of local spots so you can place your dozen — or should we say dozens — of tamale orders. Here’s what our readers recommended.

JesCrave, 3004 Cullen St.
Choose from a variety of rotating flavors including hatch chili, pork, chicken, and cheese jalepeño. Place a large order by calling 817-456-1015 or email.

Hush Hush Barbeque, 10611 Holly Grove Dr.
The barbecue joint is serving up smoked brisket and pork tamales. Call or text 817-657-6820 to place an order or connect on Facebook.

Esperanza’s, 2122 N. Main St. + 1601 Park Place Ave.
The café is run by the same family who created Joe T. Garcia’s in the Stockyards and is serving traditional Mexican cuisine, including meat tamales. To place an order at North Main Street call: 817-626-5770 or for Park Place call: 817-923-1961.

Ibarra’s Tortilleria, 1109 NW 25th St.
The self-proclaimed “Christmas Tamales Command Center” sells four varieties of tamales including pork, pork with jalapeno, chicken, and brisket. Place your order by calling 817-625-6391.

Tesoro Mexican Café, 2919 Race St.
Stop by the newly opened Mexican restaurant for the Guajolotongo — aka tamale bowl — with your choice of green or red chicken tamales + green or red chilaquiles. Head to the restaurant on Saturdays + Sundays to order to dish.

Panther City BBQ, 201 E. Hattie St.
Pre-order a dozen brisket tamales that are served either warm or frozen, depending on when you decide to eat them. Order online and pick-up in store during restaurant hours, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Cafecito, 1229 8th Ave.
Tamales will be available in limited quantities for pre-order on Saturday, Nov. 18. Chicken and pork will be available, and each dozen comes with special tomatillo salsa.


A group of women celebrated the Mexican Independence Day fiesta with tamales at Marine Park.

Photo by FW Star-Telegram Collection/ UTA Special Collections

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